Ethical Applications of Human Genetics

Teacher: Donald R. Berthiaume

Subject: genetics, ethical issues

Grade Level(s): 10

Target Audience: Genetics

Materials Needed: VCR, overhead projector

Class Time: 15 to 20 minutes

Brief Summary: Students are exposed to satellite programs such as the Human Genome Project sponsored by the Massachusetts Corporation for Educational Telecommunications (MCET). This program also provides e-mail links, videotapes, and video disks and content support for participating teachers.

Student Objective(s): Students are asked to read the handouts provided, observe the case studies videos and participate in live interactive broadcasts, and maintain a log book on all of the activities pertaining to the Human Genome Project.

Integration (tying it all together): The MCET program reinforces the assigned readings and teaching activities pertaining to genetics and biochemistry. It also ties in social and ethical issues. English composition and script taking was an essential aspect of this activity.

Description of Activities: The Human Genome Project features live interactive broadcast that encourages students to examine and debate current issues biotechnology and human genetics. The Genome Project from MCET involves: a) four videotaped case studies that address genetic conditions, b) written background materials on the project and scenarios in the videos, c) guest ethicists address issues such as genetic selection and disability rights, and d) possible computer networking.

Further Information and References: MCET, Suite 300, Cambridge, MA 02139-4135, Ph: (617) 621-0290 Fax: (617) 252-5709

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