Class: 17 | Genetically Modified Organisms

Main Theme:

Natural selection, artificial selection, genetic modification & cloning all result in same thing –desired or most fit phenotypes, but the processes are different and have different ethical considerations.

Learning Objectives

  • Predict offspring phenotypes & genotypes
  • Differentiate between natural selection, artificial selection & genetic modification & cloning
  • Appreciate benefits of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  • Clarify concerns about GMOs
  • Prioritize biodiversity

Pre-class activity/activities:

Genetics Worksheet & Readings

Heads Up:

Materials for class:

Lesson Plan:

A. 5 min 

Learning objectives & Review central dogma of biology

B. 10 min

 Ballot Initiative 522 in Washington & reasons for and against GMO food labeling. Stress money spent on this issue & international and national interest. GMOs are very much in spotlight.

C. 5 min 

Natural selection & evolution as normal method of altering population genetics based on differential survival or fitness of phenotypes.

D. 40 min 

Definition and illustration of artificial selection/selective breeding, genetic modification, and genetic engineering. & cloning. broad list of GMO organisms & GMO development time-line. Significant breaks to answer questions:

         Why would we genetically modified a human?

       Why wouldn't we genetically modified a human?

         Why would we clone a human? Do you think it has already happened?

         Why wouldn't we clone a human?

* key points: medical miracles are possible, but where are the appropriate boundaries? Are clones people? How does economics play into human GM & cloning?

E. 5 min 



Post Class Notes

One section needed to complete their virus worksheets today, other classes had longer discussions about benefits & drawbacks of human genetic modification & cloning. Excellent class discussions.



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