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FOXP2 and Speech

A Gene Expression Case


Author(s)

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 Areas

Scientific method

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF, PowerPoint

Type / Methods

Clicker, Interrupted, Journal Article

Language

English

Subject Headings

Genetics / Heredity  |   Biology (General)  |   Molecular Biology  |   Biotechnology  |   Communication Science  |  


Date Posted

8/10/2011

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