Case Study -- Should the Results of the Human Genome Project be Sold for Profit?
- Teacher: Betty Jean Jones, EdD
- Subject: Human Genome
- Grade Level(s): 9 10 11 12
- Target Audience: Biology I
- Materials Needed: paper, pencil, case study
- Class Time: one 45-minute class period
- Brief Summary: The idea of patenting the discoveries made by scientists working on the Human Genome Project has raised a significant controversy. The chief argument against the issuing of patents is two-fold: the work of the
scientists has been paid with tax dollars; therefore, any results from that work rightfully belong to the taxpayers. From a moral stand point, the information belongs to all members of the human race.
- Student Objective(s): Discuss whether scientists working on the Human Genome Project should be allowed to patent their work. Determine ethical and legal considerations. Determine who owns genetic information.
- Integration (tying it all together): Choose one solution to problem that
students think is the best.
Compare and contrast the possible
solutions to problem. Discuss in
groups solutions to problems.
Listen to others and assess their
opinions. Explain and list things
that might happen in the future if
the students number one solution is
chosen by those in the case study.
- Description of Activities: List ethical and legal questions related to
case study. Discuss possible solutions to
problems developed in the case. Students are
working together in discussion groups --
cooperative learning takes place in group
interaction. Through discussion, students
voice their opinions, learn about each other
and can see what other students think. They
use individual and group decision-making.
- Further Information and References: Case study information taken from
Addison-Wesley Biology: Issues and
Publishing Company, Inc.
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