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Why do Some People Inherit a Predisposition to Cancer? A small group activity on cancer genetics
Before undergraduate students take a genetics course they generally know cancer has a genetic basis and involves the proliferation of cells; however, many are uncertain about why only a subset of people have a predisposition to cancer and how that...
cancer Inheritance patterns Probability calculation Proto-oncogene Tumor Suppressor Gene
Lesson
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43

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You and Your Oral Microflora: Introducing non-biology majors to their “forgotten organ”
With limited time available for laboratory activities, introductory science courses for non-science majors typically use the laboratory period to reinforce material that was previously presented during lecture. This practice was true of a human...
bacteria microbiome BLAST microbes DNA replication Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
Science Behind the Lesson
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The Science Behind Parthenogenesis: Interesting things happen when meiosis goes “wrong”
Parthenogenetic reproduction is a fascinating, complex topic.  This article accompanies “Why Meiosis Matters: The case of the fatherless snake.” It summarizes the basic information an introductory biology or genetics instructor...
meiosis mitosis sex determination Asexual reproduction Parthenogenesis
Lesson
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The Case of the Missing Strawberries: RFLP analysis
While solving the fictional mystery of the missing strawberries, students are engaged in a guided-inquiry lesson featuring small-group and class discussions, hands-on activities, and laboratory exercises related to molecular genotyping by...
process of science DNA forensics gel electrophoresis Molecular genotyping Restriction endonuclease Restriction enzyme Restriction fragment length polymorphism RFLP
Lesson
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Sex-specific differences in Meiosis: Real-world applications
In traditional classrooms, students are typically presented with facts that they are asked to memorize and recall during an exam.  The rapid explosion of available scientific facts in recent years has made this model of teaching...
meiosis Reproduction Aneuploidy Gamete Non-disjunction Oocyte Sperm Trisomy
Lesson
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Homologous chromosomes? Exploring human sex chromosomes, sex determination and sex reversal using bioinformatics approaches
Constructing a robust understanding of homologous chromosomes, sex chromosomes, and the particulate nature of genes is a notoriously difficult task for undergraduate biology students. In this lesson, students expand their knowledge of human...
bioinformatics autosome homologous chromosomes homologous recombination sex chromosome sex determination sex reversal mutations
Lesson
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Does it pose a threat? Investigating the impact of Bt corn on monarch butterflies
Aspiring scientists know that a hallmark of science is that experiments are repeatable and testable.  However, students do not often get opportunities to explore the replicability of science.  Using a current “hot topic” of...
ecology Community Ecology Bt corn Genetic modification Monarch butterflies
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Why Meiosis Matters: The case of the fatherless snake
A compelling reason to learn something can make all the difference in students’ motivation to learn it.  Motivation, in turn, is one of the key attitudes that drives learning.  This story presents students with a compelling puzzle of a...
meiosis mitosis sex determination Asexual reproduction Parthenogenesis