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FOXP2 and Speech

A Gene Expression Case



Co Authors:

Jianli Zhou
Department of Plant Biology
University of Georgia
zhjianli@uga.edu

Peggy Brickman
Department of Plant Biology
University of Georgia
brickman@uga.edu

Abstract:

FOXP2 was first identified as a human language gene when a mutated version of the gene was found to cause speech problems in the KE family in London. In 2009, a research team transferred the cloned FOXP2 gene into mice and demonstrated that the FOXP2 transgenic mice made different sounds. This "clicker case" uses personal response systems (aka clickers) and a PowerPoint presentation with multiple-choice questions to explore the cutting-edge science behind this discovery. Figures adapted from peer-reviewed research articles are also used to teach about gene expression and the steps for creating a transgenic mouse. The case was developed for an introductory biology course for non-science majors and science majors but could be expanded for an upper-level molecular biology or a biotechnology course.

Objectives:
  • Describe the processes of transcription and translation, and predict what would happen if one factor involved in each process were missing (e.g., a mutation in the promoter).
  • Predict the protein sequence if the corresponding DNA sequence is provided.
  • Explain why, if all cells have the same DNA, they don't make the same proteins.
  • Describe the steps for making a transgenic mouse and understand the purpose of each step.
  • Understand why recombinant DNA technology is used; describe the steps for making recombinant DNA and understand the purpose of each step.
  • Know applications of transgenic organisms.
Keywords: FOXP2; gene expression; transcription; translation; mutation; recombinant DNA; transgenic organism; mouse; human speech; language; human genetics; genetic engineering
Topical Area: Scientific method
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF, PowerPoint
Type/Method: Clicker, Interrupted, Journal Article
Language: English
Subject Headings: Genetics / Heredity   Biology (General)   Molecular Biology   Biotechnology   Communication Science  
Date Posted: 8/10/2011
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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