Driving Question: Can you hack a genome for good?
Big Idea: These days, genetically modified organisms are literally everywhere. From mosquitoes to crops to even human cells, researchers are trying to solve the world’s big problems by tinkering with the blueprints for life itself. In this project you will propose and justify a line of research that aims to solve a biological problem using biotechnology and genetic engineering. In doing so, not only will you learn about the cutting edge of genetic technology, but you will also hone and apply your persuasive writing and presentation skills.
Products: 1) A written proposal for biohacking a genome in a novel way that will benefit the world. 2) A short presentation to the “VAHS Science foundation” on Wed, May 25th that explains, justifies, and defends your proposal.
Note: Only about 25% of grant proposals actually get funded. It’s a competitive scientific world out there! To reflect this reality, only 25% of your projects (4-5 students) will receive a 95% or higher as their overall grade – these projects will be approved and “funded”. The rest will be either “recommended for resubmission (grades 80-95%)” or outright “rejected (grades less than 80%)”.
- TED Talk video: Jennifer Doudna: We can now edit our DNA. But let’s do it wisely
- Nature magazine special feature on CRISPR
- Article: CRISPR the disruptor (for canvas discussion assignment)
- Identify a biological issue (human or otherwise) that could be addressed through biotechnology (Research checkpoint 1)
- Identify gene/protein targets to address this issue (Research checkpoint 2)
- Design a basic, realistic, genetic methodology to “hack” the gene target(s) you’ve identified and solve biological issue identified in #1. (Research checkpoint 3)
- Write a 3-5 page proposal that describes #1-3. Attach a works-cited page. Here is an outline to help you structure your proposal.
- Be prepared on Wed, May 25th to present and defend your proposal in class during the 5th period scheduled exam period. You should employ visual aids to help the audience understand your proposal.