The Human Genome WebQuest

by Elaine Fitzgerald, Gary Robichaux, Stephanie Steib
 St. Charles Parish

Introduction · Question · Background Info · Individual Roles · Group Process
 Rubric· Conclusion · Teacher's Guide


Introduction

Senator SoSo introduces a bill into Congress that causes pandemonium!

He wants to require that all newborn babies be genetically fingerprinted. The media has released this information, and many concerned citizens have come forward to express their opinion. A committee composed of representatives from different interest groups has been formed to study the issue.



The Question

The main question you will be asked to find an answer for is:

Should Congress pass a bill to require genetic fingerprinting of all babies born in the United States? Why or Why not?



Background Information

Before becoming an expert on genetic testing, we'd better make sure that everyone on your WebQuest team knows the basics. Use the links below to answer the question:

1) What are A, T, G and C?

2) What is Deoxyribonucleic Acid?

3) What is a gene?

4) What is a chromosome?

5) What is the human genome?

6) What is genetic testing?


Make sure everyone on your team can answer all the questions before moving into your individual roles.

Genomics 101 The Basics

Glossary of Molecular Genetics



Individual Roles

Now that you have some overall background knowledge, it's time to return to the main question for this WebQuest. Questions this big and important are better answered when a few people are working on it at one time. Things work even better when a group decides to look at the question from different perspectives. This way team members can become experts on different aspects of the question and then come together to poll their learning. This is where teamwork pays off. Each team member will create a graphic organizer that shows all issues (pros/cons) and supporting details. So are you ready to divide and conquer this question?


Doctor

Use the links below to learn more about your role. You will look at how gene testing will affect the future of the medical field. While searching, consider the following questions:

1)How is genetic testing currently used in the medical field?

2)How will genetic testing affect the future of medicine?

3)What are some drawbacks of genetic testing?


What Can the New Gene Tests Tell Us?

Genetic Testing Opens Brave New World
 
Genetic Testing Can Lead to Individualized Therapy
Health Care Law

Insurance Representative

Use the links below to learn more about your role. You will look at how gene testing will affect the future of the insurance field. While searching, consider the following questions:

1)How is genetic testing currently affecting health, life and disability insurance? Consider premiums as well as coverage.

2)How will genetic testing affect insurance coverage in the future?

CNN Genetic Testing and Insurance

The Implication of Genetic Testing on Life Insurance

Gene Testing Poses Social Dilemmas
 
 
Understanding Gene Testing
 
 
Gene Testing may affect Insurance Industry
 

Legislator

Use the links below to learn more about your role. You will look at how gene testing will affect the future of the people in the United States, keep in mind that you are concerned with the rights of ALL people. While searching, consider the following questions:

1)Considering different ethnic groups, how is genetic testing currently affecting citizens of the United States?

2)How will genetic testing affect citizens in the future?

Protecting Genetic Privacy
Protecting the rights of individuals and health care institutions.

Genetic Privacy
 
 
Gene Testing Who Benefits



Ethicist

Use the links below to learn more about your role. Specifically, look for answers to the following questions:

1)What are the ethical issues concerning genetic testing?

2)How will these issues play a role in creating policies and procedures related to genetic testing?

Ethical Issues of the Human Genome Project

What Can We Expect

Human Genome Diversity Project

Bioethics: Draft of a Universal Declaration on the human genome

New genetic tests provide fresh grounds for discrimination


Sports Commissioner

Use the links below to learn more about your role. Specifically, look for answers to the following questions:

1)What are the issues of genetic engineering in sports?

2)How will genetic engineering impact the future of sports?

Has Science Improved Sports?

Sports: ESPN Genetic Testing Beckons

Sports Medicine: Genetic Susceptibility to Brain Injury in




Group Synthesis

Congratulations! Your team is now full of expertise. Each person on your team has become experts on genetic testing. You've all learned a lot of information. But guess what, gathering useful information isn't the same as truly understanding a topic.

So with your team members all gathered together, carefully evaluate the data, form a consensus, and make a final recommendation.

Your WebQuest team should create a presentation (PowerPoint, Hyperstudio, Flyer, Brochure, etc.) Make sure you have an answer that everyone on the team can live with. This presentation will be used by your team to make a recommendation to Congress.

Real World Feedback:
        Medical Science Expert




Conclusion

At the beginning of this activity, you were asked to make a recommendation. Did your committee come to a consensus? Was there only one right answer? Did everyone on your team agree with the recommendation? Was your opinion different from the recommendation?

You've explored the issues surrounding genetic testing. Using the information you've gained and the opinions you've formed, we will now study the pure science of genetics.


Lesson Ideas


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