Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

genetic engineering

Gene Editing with CRISPR-Cas – A Potential Cure for Severe Sickle Cell Anemia

This analysis and discussion activity introduces Victoria Gray whose severe sickle cell anemia was effectively treated by gene editing with CRISPR-Cas.

To begin, students review the molecular biology of sickle cell anemia, transcription and translation.

Next, they learn how bacteria use CRISPR-Cas to defend against viral infections. Then, students examine some of the research findings that scientists used to identify the target for gene editing.

Finally, students analyze the CRISPR-Cas gene editing treatment for sickle cell anemia.

The Teacher Notes present an optional additional video and question to stimulate students to consider the ethical controversies related to potential uses of CRISPR-Cas.

Genetic Engineering Challenge – How can scientists develop a type of rice that could prevent vitamin A deficiency?

Parts of rice diagram

This analysis and discussion activity begins with an introduction to vitamin A deficiency and a review of transcription, translation, and the universal genetic code.

Several questions challenge students to design a basic plan that could produce a genetically engineered rice plant that makes rice grains that contain pro-vitamin A. Subsequent information and questions guide students as they learn how scientists use bacteria to insert desired genes, together with an appropriate promoter, in the DNA of plant cells.

In a final optional section, students evaluate the pro and con arguments in the controversy concerning Golden Rice.

Syndicate content