The Curious Case of the Carbon Copy Kitty
Department of Animal Science
Iowa State University
After the media coverage of Dolly the sheep and pet cloning, most students in a general biology or general genetics course will have heard of animal cloning, but it is also common for them to hold a number of misconceptions about the science of mammalian cloning, development, and genetics. This "clicker" case study combines the use of student personal response systems (clickers) with a PowerPoint presentation to help remove some of these misconceptions by presenting the story of a fictitious feline television star who is permanently incapacitated and cannot be replaced. A biotechnology company capitalizes on the need for an exact duplicate and offers to clone the original cat so that the TV viewing public "won't know the difference." Things do not go exactly as planned, however, and the television studio and biotech company end up in court. Students are asked to describe the science behind cloning as well as explain how a clone can be produced that is genetically but not phenotypically identical to the original animal.
- Diagram the process of cloning by nuclear transfer and track the genetic contribution of each individual involved in the process.
- Differentiate between nuclear and extranuclear inheritance.
- Diagram the process of lyonization and its effect on coat color in cats.
- Understand the chromosomal basis of inheritance.
KeywordsCloning; X inactivation; lionization; epistasis; nuclear transfer; DNA fingerprinting; extranuclear inheritance
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division
Type / MethodsClicker, Interrupted
Subject HeadingsBiology (General) | Cell Biology | Genetics / Heredity | Biotechnology |