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2007 GENA lesson plan: Molecular Biology and Genetic Disease Modeling


These lessons are intended to facilitate advanced high school science education in the field of genetics. The lessons and laboratories focus on a human disorder known as Rapid-onset Dystonia Parkinsonism and fruit fly (Drosophila) mutants in the ATPalpha gene (encodes Na/K ATPase, a.k.a. the sodium pump) that model this disease. Students will observe locomotor impairment in the fly strains, learn how to set up a PCR reaction (mock exercise) and analyze sequence chromatographs to find the mutation within the ATPalpha gene. An internet link is provided to a free sequence scanner software. Instruction is provided for optional exercises, namely, observing segregation of the autosomal dominant mutation and performing PCR. Support materials including mutant and control fly strains and sequence chromatographs can be obtained free of charge by contacting (M.J.P.).