Life Cycle - Human Biology (6B)
Post Lab 

  • Distinguishing illnesses.
  • Comparing genetic disorders with diseases. 
  • bacteria
  • disease
  • disorder
  • genes
  • inherited
  • virus

Students discuss genetic disorder versus other diseases.



Many students cannot distinguish the difference between a genetic disorder and a disease.  Cavities, earaches, and skin boils are caused by bacteria.  The common cold, AIDS, measles, and cancer are all caused by viruses.  Sickle cell anemia and hemophilia are genetic disorders.  If students are not clear or unaware of what heredity and genetics are,  you may want to discuss that certain characteristics of humans are genetic, or carried on from one family generation to another generation.  

How do you determine which characteristics are genetic?  Ask the students to look at their neighbor's ear lobe and observe if the ear is attached to his face or if it is free.  This is a genetic trait within families.  If you can roll your tongue, if your thumb bends back, your eye color, and your hairline type are all genetic traits that are inherited.  The direction of your hair growth, or hair whorl is also genetic.  These are characteristics that do not adversely affect the human body, but some genetic traits can cause severe damage to a human body.  The chances of getting a genetically impairing trait are statistically linked to recessive and dominant gene pools.  

  1. To illustrate this to your students, get a piece of 8 1/2" x 11 paper and randomly place one or two colored lines on the paper (short direction). This represents a "genetically transmitted" trait that will result in a disorder.  Cut out 4 paper dolls, by folding the paper in half.  (This represents how many children were born by parents with the trait.) Some genetic mishaps are not inherited, but represent a departure from the average human genetic make up.  In other words, not all the children will have the disorder.  
  2. Ask the students if they can determine whether an illness is bacterial, viral, or genetic. You may want to make a list as they bring each disease up. 




 strep throat
 bubonic plague
 chancre sore
 common cold
 yellow fever
 sickle cell anemia
 mongolism *
 cystic fibrosis
 color blindness
 Huntington's  disease
  1. You can use the recommended book, Germs Make me Sick and see if students can critique the book for correctness. For instance, is the term “germ" appropriate.  “Germ” is not a scientific name, but yet the book makes it appear that it is.  There are also other mistakes like there should be a picture of a virus when it really is a bacterium.  Students should critique whether the students who read the book would really understand the difference of germs.

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