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Chemical Eric Can't See


Author(s)

Eric Ribbens
Department of Biological Sciences
Western Illinois University
E-Ribbens@wiu.edu

Abstract

This autobiographical case study presents the story of Eric as he learns that he has a genetic eye disease, which progresses to the point that he becomes legally blind. The story is true and, in this respect, similar to another case by the same author in our collection, namely "Chemical Eric: Dealing with the Disintegration of Central Control." However a major difference is that the present case is written in a modular fashion so that teachers can "pick and choose" which sections of the case they would like to teach based on what they want to emphasize. One part of the case presents the results of Eric's visual fields test and asks students to interpret them. Another part of the case explores the genetics underlying the condition Eric has. Other parts of the case explore issues related to persons with disabilities, including physical, emotional, and social aspects of living with a disability. The case is suitable for an introductory majors or non-majors biology course, an introductory psychology course, or a human biology course. It could be modified for use in more advanced courses, such as neurobiology, and should also be suitable for a high school biology class. In addition, it could be used in a professional or clinical setting for training professionals to think about their patients. The case has two versions: a PDF version and a PowerPoint (PPT) version. They are the same except for the format. To access the print version, click on the “DOWNLOAD CASE” button located above to the right of the tabs. To access the PowerPoint version, click on the Supplemental Materials tab above.


Objectives

  • Challenge students to think about a specific vision problem and the effects of a genetic disease.
  • Introduce students to the calculation of the implications of genetic diseases for family members.
  • Connect the optical nervous system to the resulting vision.
  • Encourage students to humanize patients.

Keywords

Retinitis pigmentosa; genetic disease; genetic inheritance pattern; genetic counseling, eye; eyes; vision; vision impairment; vision loss; blindness; vitamin A; disability; disabilities

Topical Areas

Ethics, Social issues, Social justice issues

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Graduate, Professional (degree program), Clinical education, Continuing education

Format

PDF, PowerPoint

Type / Methods

Interrupted

Language

English

Subject Headings

Biology (General)  |   Anatomy  |   Genetics / Heredity  |   Nursing  |   Medicine (General)  |   Psychology  |   Sociology  |   Interdisciplinary Sciences  |  


Date Posted

1/13/2014

Teaching Notes

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Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

Supplemental Materials

This case has two versions: a PDF version and a PowerPoint (PPT) version.  They are the same except for the format. To access the PowerPoint version, click on the link below.  (To access the print version, click on the “DOWNLOAD CASE” button located above to the right of the tabs.)

  
  PowerPoint Version of the Case

Answer Key

Answer keys for the cases in our collection are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

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