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What lessons can we learn about genetically engineered organisms from the example of the jabberjay, a fictional bird in the movie “The Hunger Games”?
In this lesson, you will define genetically modified organisms, learn about the risks and benefits of research on G.M.O.’s, explore the growing do-it-yourself biology movement, and develop proposals seeking to either restrict or permit research into genetically modifying the avian flu virus.
Learners will then have an interactive experience with a simulation on TransGen Island to explore scientific and moral issues of genetic modification (transgenic salmon). Within the virtual environment, you will be able to gather data, analyze the data, and produce a final report. While doing so, you must deal with ethical issues in data integrity, environmental impact, and animal welfare.
Ready to get started? Let's go!
- define genetically modified organisms,
- reflect on the risks and benefits of research on G.M.O.’s
- evaluate the growing do-it-yourself biology movement
- develop proposals seeking to either restrict or permit research into genetically modifying the avian flu virus.
- gather and analyze data on virtual transgenic salmon
- imagine and create hypothetical genetically modified organisms that could be used by governments
- GORMAN, J. (2012). The ‘Hunger Games’ Mockingjay: Fiction, for Now.
- Zimmer, C. (2012). Amateur Biologists Are New Fear in Making a Mutant Flu Virus.
- Quick Poll | Realistic or Not? (Due Monday by 11:55pm, EST)
- Discussion | JabberJay Genetic Engineering Reflection (Due Tuesday by 11:55pm, EST)
- Assignment | Fiction, for Now (Due Thursday, by 11:55pm, EST)
- Presentation | Group Project (Due next Monday by 11:55pm, EST)
- Lab | SciEthics Interactive Simulation & Report (Due in Three Weeks)
Dream up your own genetically modified organisms that could be used by governments. They might find inspiration in this summary of some of the ways government intelligence agencies have sought to use animals in various spy missions, or the potential to use glowing bacteria to encrypt secret messages.
- Create and display illustrations or prototypes of your organism(s), along with information about the origins and special characteristics of each by using Google Draw. Consider sharing your creation on your blog or even just in our general discussion area for extra credit.
Discovery Education, (2002). History's Harvest: Where Food Comes From. [Full Video]. Available from http://www.discoveryeducation.com/