MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Genetic Basis of Inheritance and Variation

Amjad Mahasneh
Department of Biology
Jordan University of Science and Technology
Irbid, Jordan

The topic of this video module is genetic basis for variation among humans. The main learning objective is that students will learn the genetic mechanisms that cause variation among humans (parents and children, brothers and sisters) and how to calculate the probability that two individuals will have an identical genetic makeup. This module does not require many prerequisites, only a general knowledge of DNA as the genetic material, as well as a knowledge of meiosis. However, these topics are covered briefly in the lesson. In addition to class discussions, the types of in-class activities for this lesson include: predicting the phenotypes and genotypes according to the blending and the particulate hypotheses of inheritance; determining the results of a single crossing over between non-sister chromatids; calculating the number of possible combinations that result from independent assortment, crossing over and random fertilization; and estimating the probability that two individuals have the same genetic material. This lesson can be completed in 50-60 minutes, with the students working on in-class activities during the 20-25 minutes of the lesson. Materials needed include colored pencils or pens and a blackboard or equivalent.

Dr. Mahasneh received his PhD from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He teaches Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to undergraduate and graduate students at Jordan University of Science and Technology. He is interested in studying genetic diseases that affect humans.

This site presents a lesson on Types of Reproduction provided by Skwirk, an online education portal featuring syllabus-specific content for Australian school students.
http://www.skwirk.com/p-c_s-4_u-88_t-176_c-563/types-of-reproduction/nsw/ science/code-of-life-genetics-/reproduction

This site, funded by the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, presents an animated primer on the basis of DNA, genes and heredity.
http://www.dnaftb.org/dnaftb/

This site presents a lesson on Meiosis sponsored by Kimball’s Biology Pages, an online biology book written by a former Harvard university professor.
http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/M/Meiosis.html

This site presents a Wikipedia entry on Human Genetic Variation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_genetic_variation

This site presents a Wikipedia site on Genetics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetics

This is a Wikipedia presentation of Mendelian Inheritance.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mendelian_inheritance

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