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A Cure for Cancer?

This flipped case study begins with a video in which a student reveals a family member's diagnosis with breast cancer and then considers the whirlw ...

A Decision to Branch Out

In this flipped case study, students use the scientific method to investigate how changes in a few genes have shaped the evolution of maize plant a ...

A Devil of a Disease

Since its first recorded appearance in 1996, Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) has wiped out an estimated 70 percent of the Tasmanian dev ...

A Family in Need: In-Class Case Study on Cancer Genetics

This case is designed as an in-class, problem-based learning activity for students to learn about several innovative medical applications of molecu ...

A Family in Need: Internet-Enhanced Case Study on Cancer Genetics

This problem-based learning case was designed for students to learn about several innovative medical applications of molecular biology. Students as ...

A Genetic Defense for Murder?

This case study presents the mock trial of "Martin Miller." There is no question that Martin killed his girlfriend; he admitted to stabbing her in ...

A Metabolic Storm

This "clicker" case presents the true story of a 20-year-old athlete who developed a life threatening reaction to anesthesia during a simple electi ...

A Rainbow of Sepia

This flipped case study examines the selective pressures that have affected the evolution of diverse human skin pigmentations. To prepare for the c ...

A Right to Her Genes

In this true story, students examine the case of a woman with a family predisposition to cancer who is considering genetic testing. Students learn ...

A Sickeningly Sweet Baby Boy

When a newborn develops symptoms eerily similar to those of an older sibling who died shortly after birth, his Mennonite parents are understandably ...

Am I a Girl, or a Boy?

A baby is born with ambiguous genitalia to parents from the Dominican Republic and is determined to be a female based on general appearance.  ...

An Elderly Anomaly

This case study follows the process of diagnosing a patient, 67-year-old “Chester Fitzgerald,” who has suffered an ischemic stroke. An ...

Animals Can Run Away, but Plants Must Stay

In this PowerPoint-driven case study, students consider the many challenges faced by plants and discuss which of these might induce a morphological ...

As the Worm Turns

At what point in evolutionary development does a group of individuals become two distinct species? This case addresses that fundamental question by ...

Black and Blue with Love

In this directed case study students follow a nurse practitioner and work with a diagnostics team to determine what is wrong with Tristan, an infan ...

Bloodline: A Human Genetics Case

In this "clicker" case, based on a TV drama about a family secret that only knowledge of genetics can solve, students apply what they have read and ...

Breast Cancer Risk

This case study takes a combined directed and discussion approach to explore risk factors for breast cancer. After a preparatory reading assignment ...

Bringing Back Baby Jason

This dilemma case, designed for use in an undergraduate genetics course, explores the basic genetic concepts underlying the cloning process as well ...

But I'm Too Young!

In this “clicker case,” students are introduced to Abby, a college student who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. As they follow A ...

Can a Genetic Disease Be Cured?

In this discussion case, parents must decide whether or not to enroll their sons in an experimental treatment program designed to alleviate the sym ...

Chemical Eric Can't See

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 b ...

Classic Experiments in Molecular Biology

All introductory biology textbooks, and many sophomore-level genetics textbooks as well, describe several classic experiments in molecular biology. ...

Colon Cancer

In this case, developed for an introductory genetics class, students meet a woman whose family has a history of colon cancer. Students create a ped ...

Cow of the Future

In this case developed for an introductory general microbiology course, students consider concepts of bacterial genetics as they act as consultants ...

Cut It Out!

This directed case study was developed to introduce students to the CRISPR-Cas9 system for genome editing. CRISPR-Cas9 has made numerous headlines ...

Cystic Fibrosis

This PowerPoint-driven, flipped case study begins with a short video about a woman suffering from cystic fibrosis (CF) in the 1970s, a friend of th ...

Dark Skin, Blond Hair

This interrupted case is based on a genome wide association study (GWAS) that identified the genetic variation causing some inhabitants of the Solo ...

DeafBlind Cajuns

This modular case study tells the story of Dan and Annie, a married couple of Acadian ancestry who have a genetic form of deafblindness called Ushe ...

Diabetes and Insulin Signaling

Cellular signaling, otherwise known as signal transduction, is the mechanism by which cellular context and environmental situation are used to regu ...

Diagnosing and Treating Charlie’s Strange Spots

This case study introduces a patient who comes into a doctor's office with an interesting set of symptoms that leads to an exotic cancer diagnosis. ...

Diagnosis of a Congenital Disorder

This progressive disclosure case study explores the medically-related issues of a female infant born with the congenital disorder Sirenomelia, more ...

Don’t Lose Your Head!

This whimsical case introduces students to the topic of dorsal/ventral (DV) axis formation in amphibians. After the recent birth of a good-sized cl ...

Evolution and Plasticity in Guppies

This case study focuses on the relationship between evolution and plasticity using a hands-on, inquiry-based approach. Students view examples from ...

Evolution in Action

This case study is based on Dr. Richard Lenski’s ongoing studies of evolution in E. coli. Students are introduced to prokaryotic bio ...

Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis

This case is based on a research paper about the lignin content of genetically modified corn published in the American Journal of Botany. ...

Fatally Flawed?

The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19, was first detected in China in late 2019 and rapidly spread thro ...

Fear!

In this PowerPoint-driven case study, students compare and contrast poliovirus and its effects with SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19. Before the class meeting, ...

Fish Out of (Salt) Water

This interrupted case study is based on a journal article that describes the rapid adaptation of a population (in this case, steelhead trout) in re ...

FOXP2 and Speech

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 Londo ...

Gender: In the Genes or in the Jeans?

How are males and females different? Most people have a sex that is consistent on all levels: genetic, gonadal, internal genitals, external genital ...

Genetic Testing

This case study centers on “Tom,” a 43-year-old male patient, and his recent genetic sequencing results and diagnosis of multiple endoc ...

Genetic Testing and Breast Cancer

In this dilemma case, the central character, Kathy, must decide whether or not to be tested for known mutations in the breast cancer genes. Student ...

Genetics and a Transcontinental Romance

Annika is a PhD student from Sweden who spends two years in the Solomon Islands to complete her fieldwork. During her stay in the South Pacific she ...

Giving Birth to Someone Else's Children?

Most students have heard about situations in which the paternity of a child is questioned, but maternity? This case was designed for intro ...

Glowing Plants on Kickstarter

This case study is centered on a real scenario from 2013 in which the Kickstarter fundraising platform included a fundraising proposal from a group ...

Hemophilia

This case deals with the genetics of the hemophilic condition that afflicted the royal families of Europe.  Students trace the pedigrees of th ...

How Many More Thymes? A Case of Phytochemical Defense

This clicker case addresses several concepts related to the evolutionary ecology of herbivore defenses. A survey of several different studies that ...

I Scream for Ice Cream

Lactose intolerance, caused by a lack of persistent lactase enzyme expression, is a trait commonly observed in adult humans, with varying geographi ...

Identical Twins, Identical Fates?

This case tells the story of Elise, a college freshman whose identical twin sister has recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Elise is concern ...

Immunological Malfunction?

This case study was developed to complement the study of the immune system and to emphasize the crosstalk that occurs at the cellular level between ...

In Sickness and in Health

In this interrupted case study, Greg and Olga, a young couple planning a family, have decided to see a genetic counselor because of a family histor ...

It’s All Greek to Me: Genetics Edition

Stephania and Nikolaus Stamos are concerned about their baby daughter. They take her to her pediatrician, who immediately notices that the once bri ...

Joel E. Greengiant Learns About Peas

This case study follows purveyors of peas, Joel E. and Jolene Greengiant, as they learn about the origin, biochemistry, genetics and eventual artif ...

Josie

In this interdisciplinary case, students meet Josie, the main character, who suffers from a variety of symptoms. Students must grapple with the con ...

King Tut's Family Secrets

This "clicker case" is based on several articles published in 2010 that determined the genealogy of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun based ...

Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself

This case study relates the actual experiences of a woman with breast cancer as she shares her experiences through a series of blog posts at variou ...

Little Girl Lost: A Case Study on Defective Cellular Organelles

This case study introduces students to the structure and function of cellular organelles and seeks to show their importance by discussing diseases ...

Living in a Genomic World

This directed case study was developed in order to present genomic data to students, allow them to interpret the impact of genetic variations on ph ...

Living With Her Genes

When a 30-year-old genetic counselor learns that her 38-year-old sister has developed early onset familial Alzheimer’s disease (EOFAD), a dom ...

Make a Life to Save a Life

In this “clicker case,” students learn about meiosis through the real-life story of a couple who used pre-implantation genetic screenin ...

Making Connections

This case study introduces students to Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and its underlying genetics, cell biology, and some of the associated ...

Mathematics in Conservation

This interrupted case study teaches probability theory and transmission genetics through their application to the conservation of the endangered Fl ...

Mendel Dreams

In this PowerPoint-based clicker case, developed for use in either a general biology or general genetics class, students are introduced to the life ...

More Than Meets the Eye

The classic example of a human trait that behaves in a clear Mendelian fashion is human eye color. The gene that controls it exists in two forms: a ...

mRNA Processing

This clicker case study follows a dialogue between two college students, Lucy and Dan, as they discover how alternative splicing of mRNA molecules ...

MRSA in the NICU

DNA sequencing and analysis (bioinformatics) is an increasingly important tool for understanding biological data, including medical data. In this c ...

Nature or Nurture

This case explores the question of whether gender identity is determined strictly by genetics (nature) or social variables (nurture).  It is b ...

No Matter If You’re Black or White

Human populations have adapted to varying intensities of sunlight with varying tones of skin coloration. The balanced interplay between melanin con ...

Not Exactly...

This case study follows a young couple that is consulting with a genetic counselor about their plans to have a child. Because of their family histo ...

One Tablet a Day May Keep Cancer Away

This dilemma/decision case study is intended to demonstrate how knowledge of signal transduction pathways can be applied to the pharmaceutical indu ...

Peppered Moths and the Industrial Revolution

This interrupted case study was written for students to gain a better understanding of evolutionary concepts and principles as they develop their s ...

Pharmacogenetics: How Genetic Information Is Used to Treat Disease

In this clicker case, two teenagers are diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), a cancer of the bone marrow where there is an abnormal o ...

Pharmacogenetics: Using Genetics to Treat Disease

This case study investigates the applications of genetics to medicine by exploring one of the first examples of a pharmacogenetic test to enter mai ...

PKU Carriers

In this interrupted case study, students read about a college student with phenylketonuria (PKU).  Students learn how diet affects a person wi ...

Poor Devils

Cancer is usually thought to be a disease that affects individuals. But could cancer evolve to become infectious? This case follows the research on ...

Protein Targeting Gone Awry

This case study synthesizes students' knowledge of the central dogma and cell structure by examining a rare health disorder in order to understand ...

Putting the Pieces Together: The Discovery of DNA Structure and Replication

This case study provides an overview of the seminal experimental work that led to the discovery of DNA structure and the confirmation of the semi-c ...

Rice ’n Beans or Ricin Beans?

Taylor must write a report about a natural toxin while she is home from college on break. After a family dinner conversation about the latest attem ...

Seeds of Dissension

A possible act of industrial espionage is the backdrop for this case study, which introduces students to analytical techniques routinely used in mo ...

Selecting the Perfect Baby

This dilemma case is based on the true story of Jack and Lisa Nash, whose daughter Molly was born with a rare genetic disorder, Fanconi anemia. By ...

Skinny Genes?

This case study introduces Megi, an active teenager who has recovered from anorexia nervosa.  The method of progressive disclosure is used to ...

Snow White Apples?

The protagonist of this two-day flipped case study, “Maria,” has two problems. She doesn’t like it when the apple slices in her l ...

SNPs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails, and That's What People Are Made Of

In this case on genome privacy, students work together to research one of six assigned lobbying groups’ views in this area and then present t ...

Solving a Medical Mystery with Bioinformatics

This computer-based case study guides students through publically available bioinformatics databases to solve a medical mystery. The case relates t ...

Sometimes It Is All in the Genes

Nancy, five months pregnant, agrees to a routine genetic test that indicates she carries the mutation for the fatal disease, cystic fibrosis. She c ...

Sonic Hedgehog

In this case study about a baby born with the genetic condition holoprosencephaly, students explore the “Sonic hedgehog” gene, signal t ...

Statins Stat!

This case study describes a visit by "Naomi" to her physician, who upon seeing Naomi's bloodwork decides to prescribe her a cholesterol-lowering ag ...

Super Bug

Sam, a pre-med college student, routinely gets dialysis and develops a urinary tract infection. The infection is from a bacterium that the news med ...

The Boy in the Temple

This interrupted case study examines molecular genetic evidence reported in scientific literature to determine the fate of Louis-Charles, son of Lo ...

The Campus Coffee Shop

Since caffeine is a widely used substance, especially by college age students, this case on the effects of caffeine on the human body serves as a r ...

The Canadian Canola Controversy

This case study reviews a controversial court case that took place in Canada in 2002 concerning an allegation of patent infringement and a genetica ...

The Case of Baby Joe

This interrupted case study follows the declining health of an infant who suffers from recurrent infections and finally is diagnosed with severe co ...

The Case of Desiree's Baby

This case is based on Kate Chopin’s short story “Desiree’s Baby,” a tragic tale of race and gender in antebellum Louisiana ...

The Case of the Malfunctioning Neuron

This flipped case study tells the story of Joyce, a biology student who notices the development of some unusual symptoms (foot slapping and slurred ...

The Case of the Tainted Taco Shells: Advanced Edition

This case discusses some of the issues associated with the use of genetically modified plants, including ecological risks, resistance, and allergen ...

The Curious Case of the Carbon Copy Kitty

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 anima ...

The Death of Baby Pierre

This directed case study on a genetic disorder was developed for an exam on genetics for a general biology course.  The case is based on an ar ...

The Evolution of Color Vision in Monkeys

This case study examines the evolution color vision in Old World and New World monkeys from multiple biological perspectives. This integrative appr ...

The Evolving Genetics of Disease Resistance

This interrupted case study for the flipped classroom applies evolutionary genetics research to human health. Students learn about a naturally occu ...

The Frozen Addicts

This interrupted case study is based on a PBS NOVA episode covering events in the summer of 1982 when seven California heroin users mysteriously an ...

The Lady of Charleston?

This case uses the real story of Dawn Langley Simmons, who may have been misidentified as male at birth, to illustrate the developmental basis of h ...

The Mona Lisa Molecule: Mysteries of DNA Unraveled

This case study details the historical discovery of the structure of DNA. Images of this key molecule are as iconic as those of the Mona Lisa, and ...

The Physiology of a Neurodegenerative Disease

In this case, a young woman learns that her uncle has been diagnosed with Huntington’s disease. She talks with her fellow graduate students t ...

The Potential Perils of Pauline

This directed case study follows the story of “Pauline,” a 20-year-old college student who has just received results from a personal ge ...

The Power of a Test

In this directed case study, students follow the story of “Marcus,” a recent college graduate who is working as a technician in a clini ...

The Sound of DNA

The steps involved in transcription and translation can be difficult for students to comprehend. Relating popular culture references (such as song ...

The Wolfman and the Chromosomal Basis of Heredity

This “clicker case” tells the story of Danny Gomez, a Mexican circus performer, and his family in order to teach basic principles of ge ...

Thomas and Sally

Did Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, have children with his slave Sally Hemings? This PowerPoint clicker case explores this ...

Those Old Kentucky Blues

This interrupted case study begins with the construction of a pedigree following an initial encounter with a clan of “blue people.” Aft ...

To Be or Not to Be ... an Inhibitory Neurotransmitter

Jessica and George are students struggling to understand the forces which control ions moving across membranes.  For the nervous system in par ...

To the Bitter End

This interrupted case dramatizes the discovery of a Mendelian trait in humans, namely the variation in the ability to taste the chemical phenylthio ...

Too Many B Cells

Taylor's doctor notices she has swollen lymph nodes and an elevated white blood cell count on her routine annual exam and asks her to return for a ...

Torn at the Genes

The setting for this case is the family dinner table, where a heated discussion about genetically altered foods is taking place. Marsha Cumberland& ...

What's Wrong with Our Son?

In this interrupted case study, students examine the fundamental connections between genotype, 3-D protein structure and phenotype by exploring pos ...

When a Gene Turned Off Is a Matter of Life or Death

When Jordan is diagnosed with brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme), his college plans are unexpectedly put on hold. This scenario is presented in ...

Where’s the Evidence?

This analysis case study uses a jigsaw activity in which students learn about characteristics of the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 ...

Which Came First, the Mutation or the Antibiotic?

This case study presents the story of Phil, an undergraduate majoring in biology, whose Russian cousin Dimitri has contracted tuberculosis (TB) fro ...

Which Little Piggy Went to Market?

In this case study, a scientist is contacted by a friend from a meat processing plant who is looking for a test to determine the sex of the animals ...

Why Did the Snake Cross the Road?

Although Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium is a fundamental part of introductory biology classes, students often have difficulty understanding its implica ...

Why Is He Different from Both Parents?

This case study was developed to teach the topic of human ABO blood type and genetic inheritance in biology courses at the lower undergraduate leve ...

You Are Not the Mother of Your Children

This case is based on a true story of a woman whose children were almost taken from her because her DNA profile indicated that she was not the moth ...