PBS Documentary: The Gene
Does your written response clearly contain comparisons of documentary contents to the lessons we learned in our course?
1) watch the PBS documentary “The Gene, An Intimate History (Part 1).” full video (01:53:49)
Before watching, please understand that this documentary does touch on intense topics. Examples include human diseases, family grief, and terrible eras of human history, such as the eugenics movement and the holocaust.
2) Choose only one (1) of the prompts below, and write a response that you submit electronically here. For full credit, follow the grading guidelines listed.
Originality (pass/fail). Write an original response in your own words. I will give 0 points overall if your response is not original.
Examples of unoriginal work that you should not turn in: Writing that is highly similar to the narration from this documentary.
Writing that is highly similar to a response by another classmate.
Writing that is highly similar to published work, whether online, hard-copy, etc.
Please reach out to me if you have questions about originality. Generally, I will encourage you to respond in your own words rather than quote others. This is a short response! I would prefer to hear what you think rather than read quotations.
Completeness and appropriate length (3 points). Does your written response directly answer each of the prompt questions? The maximum accepted length for this written response is one (1) page.
Knowledge (3 points). Does your written response clearly show that you did the following?
Viewed the assigned documentary
Understood the documentary contents by correctly identifying key terms or persons, and summarizing the concepts
Analysis (2 points). Does your written response clearly contain comparisons of documentary contents to the lessons we learned in our course?
Writing (2 points). Did you write clearly, and in complete sentences?
Prompt #1: Paul Berg and recombinant DNA (answer all parts of this prompt)
Describe Dr. Paul Berg and the strategy for creating recombinant DNA. Specifically, tell me:
What was the original DNA(s)?
What was the recombinant DNA created?
How were the DNAs altered? What tools were used?
If we were to create a recombinant DNA today, please describe either 1) an intended application that might be beneficial to humans, or 2) an unintended consequence that might be dangerous. (Please describe a specific example.)
Prompt #2: Nancy Wexler and gene “hunting” (answer all parts of this prompt)
Describe Dr. Nancy Wexler and the strategy her team used to find a human disease gene. Specifically, tell me:
What was the disease?
What resources were required for the approach used?
What kinds of data were collected and analyzed?
If we were to “hunt” a human gene today, what technologies might be different now compared to what scientists did in the 1980s? Would we still use the kind of information that Dr. Wexler collected?
Answer preview does your written response clearly contain comparisons of documentary contents to the lessons we learned in our course?