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Summer SAVY 2016 (Session 2, Day 4) – Genetics II (Mrs. Jones)

Posted by on Thursday, June 23, 2016 in Grade 3, Grade 4, SAVY.

Every day your kids amaze me. Seriously. With every new topic I introduce, I think, “Surely this will be the one that stumps them.” But every time they prove me wrong. I am constantly blown away with their ability learn such complex topics and how much progress they have made in such a short amount of time.

 Today we talked about what happens when DNA gets mutated, specifically how it effects the RNA and the protein. We also learned that there are different types of mutations that can occur and that these mutations can occur as an error in replication or from environmental exposures like radiation or chemicals.  We also learned that not all mutations are bad mutations and some can actually be advantageous.

 We also learned about genetically modified organisms and their uses. We talked about how we bioengineer such organisms through processes like selective breeding (as seen in dogs) or through genetic modification. Additionally, we acknowledge that GMOs are a hot-button topic right now and discussed some advantages and disadvantages to them.  Our lesson was completed with a field trip to a genetics lab at Vanderbilt that uses the nematode C. elegans to study nerve cells. The students were able to see how these worms are used in real science experiments to understand biological questions. They even got to practice picking up the worms under the microscope!  

 I can’t believe Day 4 is already over. I’m looking forward to another great day tomorrow.