Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cloning Activity

What is cloning?

What is Cloning?

1. Who is Dolly?

Dolly is a cloned sheep that was founded in 1997.

2. When a zygote divides into to separate cells, it is called: Embryo Twinning

3. Somatic cells are also called Diploid cells.

4. In order to clone a gene, a gene is inserted into a plasmid.

5. In order to create an embryo from a somatic cell, the donor egg cell must have its nucleus removed.

Click and Clone

6. List all the materials needed to clone a mouse.

A mouse you will clone

an egg cell donor

a surrogate mother to grow the clone


petri dishes

sharp pipette

blunt pipette

a chemical to stimulate cell division.

7. Place the following steps in the correct order.

4. Stimulate cell division
6. Deliver baby
2. Remove and discard the nucleus from the egg cell
1. Isolate donor cells from egg donor and germ cell donor
3. Transfer the somatic cell nucleus into the egg cell
5. Implant embryo into a surrogate mother

8. There are two time gaps in the process of cloning. What are they? (ie. what do you have to wait for?)

You must wait for the new DNA and the egg cell to adjust with one another, and wait until the cell has divided a few times after introducing the DNA and egg to the chemical stimulant to help stimulate cell division.

9. What color with the cloned mouse be? Brown

What is the name of this mouse? Mini Mimi

Why Clone?

10. Why is cloning extinct animals problematic?

Cloning extinct animals is a problematic scientific agenda due to a little reasoning logic. What is the point of bring back animals that have become extinct? History has obviously made the decision to get rid of the organism. Why must we bring it make from the grave? How is their presence going to change the world that we have created? If dinosaurs or woolly mammoths are brought back, then wouldn't they suffer? I mean, they would have to adjust to massive temperature changes, environmental changes, different food supply, etc. There is an endless amount of changes from their time to ours.

11. What are some reasons a person might want to clone a human?

A couple that is infertile, to replace a deceased child, and to help gay couples become parents.

The Clone Zone

12. What animal was cloned in 1885?

The sea urchin was cloned in 1885.

13. How did Spemann separate the two cells of the embryo of a salamander in 1902?

He separated the two cells by creating a tiny noose, which was made out of a single strand of baby hair. The baby hair tightened the it between the two cells of the embryo, until they were separated.

14. The process of removing a nucleus is called is called enucleating.

15. In 1952, the nucleus of a frog embryo cell was placed into a donor cell. Did it work to clone the animal?

Not entirely, they successfully cloned them, but the ones who did survive had abnormalities.

16. Can the nucleus of an adult cell be injected into an egg cell and produce a clone?


17. Why are mammals hard to clone?

The DNA is very intricate and mammals oftentimes progress differently depending on environment.

18. What were the names of the first two cloned cows?

Fusion and Copy were the names of the first two cloned cows.

19. In what year was the National Bioethics Advisory Council formed?

It was formed in 1995.

20. The first mammal clone to be produced from an adult (somatic) cell?

Dolly the sheep was the first mammal clone to be produced from an adult somatic cell.

21. What do scientists do to adult cells to make them "behave" like embryos?

Scientists remove the nucleus of somatic cell, and transfer it into thenucleated egg cell, reprogramming it to behave like embryos.

22. Transgenic, cloned sheep were used to produce what medical protein?

Farm animals such as cows, sheep and goats are currently being genetically engineered to produce drugs or proteins that are useful in medicine.

23. What is a stem cell?

Stem cells are the body's building blocks, responsible for developing, maintaining and repairing the body throughout life. As a result, they might be used to repair damaged or diseased organs and tissues.

Cloning Myths

24. Briefly describe in your own words, why CC the cat was not identical in color to Rainbow, even though she was a clone/

The answer lies on the X chromosome. In cats, a gene that helps determine coat color resides on this chromosome. Both CC and Rainbow, being females, have two X chromosomes. (Males have one X and one Y chromosome.) Since the two cats have the exact same X chromosomes, they have the same two coat color genes, one specifying black and the other specifying orange .Very early in her development, each of Rainbow's cells "turned off" one entire X chromosome - and therefore, turned off either the black color gene or the orange one. This process, called X-inactivation, happens normally in females, in order to prevent them from having twice as much X-chromosome activity as males. It also happens randomly, meaning that not every cell turns off the same X chromosome.

25. What is "nature vs nurture"?

Basically, this means that while genetics can help determine traits, environmental influences have a considerable impact on shaping anindividuals physical appearance and personality. For example, do you know any identical twins? They are genetically the same, but do they really look and act exactly alike?

Is it Cloning or Not?

26. For each of the following scenarios, indicate YES (it is cloning) or NO (it is not cloning)

NOT Sperm taken from a mole goat is combined with a female's egg in apetri dish. The resulting embryo is implanted into the female's uterus to develop

YES A sheep embryo, composed of 16 cells, is removed from the mother's uterus and separated into
individual cells. Each cell is allowed to multiply, creating 16 separate embryos, which are then implanted in different female sheep to develop to maturity.

NOT A cow with many desirable traits is stimulated with hormones to produce a number of egg cells. Each of these eggs is fertilized and implanted into a surrogate mother.

vitro fertilization

YES Cell nuclei from an extinct
woolly mammoth are placed into enucleatedcow cells.

27. Define or describe each of the following processes (you may need to reset the Cloning or Not Screen)

Invitro fertilization- The embryo, which is created through the fusion of male'ssperm and the female's egg, will not be identical to any other organism.

Embryo splitting-The 16 cells are removed from the mother's uterus and separated into individual cells. Then each cell is allowed to multiply, and this will create 16 separate embryos. After this has happened, then the embryos will be inserted into a different female to develop into maturity.

Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer-"In genetics and developmental biology, somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a laboratory technique for creating a clonal embryo, using an ovum with a donor nucleus."

Multiple Ovulation Embryo Transfer-"Multiple ovulation embryo transfer is a way to produce an animal of certain genetic qualities faster. The multiple ovulation part is where the female animal is manipulated hormonally to produce more than the usual number of eggs during ovulation. The chosenmale's semen, containing the genes you are selecting are placed to fertilise the eggs in the female. the new embryos are then removed from the female before they are attached to the uterine wall. This is the embryo transfer part. Other female animals are used because their oestrous cycle is at the right point to recieve the embryo. Hormones can be used to manipulate the recieving animal's oestrous cycle as well."

Artificial Insemination-"Artificial insemination, or AI, is the process by which sperm is placed into the reproductive tract of a female for the purpose of impregnating the female by using means other than sexual intercourse orNI."

What Are the Risks of Cloning?

28. What is one reason why cloning animals has such a high failure rate?

Here is a list of reasons why cloning animals has such a high failure rate:

  • he enucleated egg and the transferred nucleus may not be compatible
  • An egg with a newly transferred nucleus may not begin to divide or develop properly
  • Implantation of the embryo into the surrogate mother might fail
  • The pregnancy itself might fail

29. What is a telomere and how does it affect cloned animals?

Telomere is basically is the DNA sequences at both ends of the chromosome that will shrink the length of the sequence every time the DNA is copied. ". Chromosomes from cloned cattle or mice had longer telomeres than normal. These cells showed other signs of youth and seemed to have an extended lifespan compared with cells from a naturally conceived cow. On the other hand, Dolly the sheep's chromosomes had shorter telomere lengths than normal. This means that Dolly's cells were aging faster than the cells from a normal sheep."

30. Pick one of the questions to ponder and ....ponder it. Write a brief essay on your thoughts and opinions.

What are the benefits? What are the risks? Whom will the technology help? Does it have the potential to hurt anyone?
What does this mean for me? For my family? For others around me? Why might others not share my view?

There are several benefits to the cloning of humans, in actual. The first one is rejuvation. This will help aging people look younger by the production of cloned tissue. "According to Dr. Richard Seed, one of the leading proponents of human cloning technology, one day it should be possible to reverse the aging process." The second one is for heartattack treatment. Dying from a heartattack is the #1 killer. Scientists will be able to clone healthy heart cells and remove the "bad" cells and replace them with the healthy ones. Another reason is for the cloning of human stem cells. Recent experiments have showed that nascent cells can grow and produce human organs and tissue. This can be used for replacing/repairing damaged organs/tissue. Infertility can help couples have children and reproduce. "The success rate of current infertility treatments is very low. Further, the couple has to go through tormenting procedures for a small chance of getting a child. The advent of human cloning technology will make it possible for infertile couples to have child than ever before." Using the cloning treatments during surgeries are also extremely benefical. Silicon gels and other cosemtics are used during surgery. These are known for causing immune disease. If you lose a limb, then scientists have been able to get you a false arm, but it is not as functional. In the future, they want to have something that will be already present in the body. Amputees can have regenerated arms/legs/fingers/toes etc. It is estimated that a person has 8 defective genes inside their body. With cloning, this rate can go down, even become 0 defective genes. People who are interested in plastic/cosmetic surgey will love this. New technologies can come from cloning, like implants. A problem in society is people judging each other by how they look. Women can have their "good" genes cloned, it lower the change of their children being born with any type of genetic diseases. Another things is with the bone marrow. There are very few who will suffer through the pain just to donate. Bone marrow is needed to help Leukemia patients. Scientists will be able to clone the cells in bone marrow. One of the most important would be helping with cancers and other diseases that preferred a new vital organ. If we are able to create a new heart, then someone's live can be spared. We can clone, skin for skin cancer patients, lungs, kidneys, etc. Think of all the people we could save from dying of deadly disease. Roughly 7.2 to 7.5 million people worldwide die of cancer each year. It may just seem like a number to you, but it will really hit you when it happens to someone you know or you. Wouldn't you want to an organ secured for you, if you ever needed it? Waiting on the donors list can take a long time. There have been success stories from around the world. Now is the time to try something new that could eventually change medicine was we know it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

GM Crops

Should we Grow GM Crops?

  1. What is a GM Crop.

    A GM crop is a genetically modified crop that will either help it grow faster, grow bigger or more lush, or keep “predators” away (predators meaning things that may eat the crop).

    2. List 2 arguments FOR the growing of GM crops

    GM foods will promise many health benefits- Advocates hold that GM foods will leave traditional crops in the dust. They will have longer shelf life. They will be better for us, with some products already in the works benefiting our waistlines (low-calorie sugar beets and oils with lower saturated fat content, for example) and others bearing higher nutritional content (high-fiber corn and high-starch potatoes). And they will be safer to eat.
Advocates maintain that GM technology will help the environment-In the U.S. alone, farmers spray, spread, and otherwise administer more than 970 million tons of insect- and plant-killers every year. These pose threats to the environment. Pesticide residues linger on crops and in soil, find their way into the guts of wildlife that eat contaminated foliage, and leach into groundwater and wash into streams.

3. List 2 arguments AGAINST the growing of GM crops.

GM foods might pose health risks for certain people- Some people, including children, are highly allergic to peanuts and other foods. Some critics of GM foods feel the possibility exists that those genetically modifying food crops may unintentionally introduce a new allergen. Given that genes can be introduced from unrelated species -- for example, a fish gene can be put into a plant -- some critics argue that the possibilities of allergies might be greater than with traditionally bred crops.

Many feel GM crop technology will hurt small farmers- Critics of GM agriculture insist that patenting genetically altered crops, as agribusiness is rushing to do, will make small farmers indentured to big firms. Monsanto, one of the biggest players in the field, is currently suing dozens of North American farmers whom it claims have raised its patented GM crops without paying for the privilege.

*Read some of the reader’s responses.

Engineer a Crop

4. Practice this simulation until you get the largest ears of corn. How many times did it take you?

It took me one try to get the largest ears of corn, but it took for crop seasons to get there.

What’s for Dinner?

*Click on the foods on the table to see what research is being done to bioenginner the foods.

5. List two foods and desribe how they are being modified.

Potatoes- Potatoes engineered to absorb less oil when fried are currently pending approval by food regulatory boards. Bioengineers are also working to generate high-performance cooking oils such as peanut oil, sunflower oil, and soybean oil, which may allow for healthier fried foods with fewer saturated fats.

Coffee- Several biotechnology companies are testing coffee plants engineered to produce coffee with altered caffeine content. If these new coffee beans are approved for public consumption, coffee growers could potentially produce decaffeinated coffee beans, avoiding having to decaffeinate coffee beans after the harvest.


*Read the article titled “Are GM Food Sufficiently Regulated in the US?”

Do you think food should be labeled if it has been genetically modified? Why or Why not?

I believe food should be labeled if it has been genetically modified because if you know you are allergic to a certain type of genetically engineered food, whenever you go anywhere to eat or buy food anywhere in the entire world, you will have to be cautious. If foods were labeled it would make it a lot easier to live a normal life.

Finished? Go to www.yahooligans.com and type "genetic engineering" in the search field. Browse some of the sites that pop up.

(Yahooligans is better than yahoo, the sites tend to be picked for education rather than for scientists and universities, you'll find more understandable and interesting sites on yahooligans than you will with Yahoo)

Write down any of the sites you visited below.





Wednesday, December 8, 2010

DNA Fingerprinting

DNA Fingerprinting


1. DNA is unique for everyone. The only exception is if a person has what?
An Identical Twin

2. What are DNA fingerprints used for?
DNA fingerprints can be used for anything from determining a biological mother or father to identifying the suspect of a crime
Part 1 “It Takes a Lickin”

3. What “crime” was committed?
Someone licked Jimmy Sweet’s holographic NOVA lollipop.

4. What bodily fluid was removed from the “crime scene” to get DNA?

Part 2 “DNA Fingerprinting at the NOVA Lab”

5. What does a restriction enzyme do?
Cuts that long DNA molecules at different locations.

6. What is agarose gel?
A thick, porous, Jello-like substance. It will act like a molecular strainer.
7. What is electrophoresis?
The process of moving molecules with an electric current

8. Smaller fragments of DNA move ____________ than longer strands?
Farther toward the tray’s opposite end

9. Why do you need to place a nylon membrane over the gel?
Because the agarose gel is difficult to work with. The DNA transferred to a nylon membrane.

10. Probes attach themselves to __________
DNA fragments on the nylon membrane.
12. Sketch your DNA fingerprint.

11. Which chemical in your “virtual lab” is radioactive?
The probes.

13. Based on your DNA fingerprint, who licked the lollipop?

Click on the Link “DNA Workshop” (if this link won't load, scroll down to the bottom where it says "try the non-java script version)
Once you’re there, go to the link “DNA Workshop Activity” and practice with DNA replication and protein synthesis.

Browse the DNA Workshop site.

14. What kinds of things could you do at the DNA workshop?
Copy the DNA and make the codons and the proteins from the codons.
Find an Article about DNA
15. Read an article about genetics at this site that you might find interesting, or use the "Search" box in the upper right hand corner to search for DNA fingerprinting.
Title of Article DNA double-strand break signaling and human disorders
Author and Date
Toshiyuki Bohgaki , Miyuki Bohgaki and Razqallah Hakem November 5, 2010
Summarize what the article was about. Write this in a paragraph format.
This article was about how DNA double-strand breaks are the most serious type of DNA damage. This repair from these breaks are vital for organisms such as humans and animals to survive. The repair of DNA breaks are fundamental as demonstrated by the many human syndromes, neurodegenerative diseases, immunodeficiency and cancer. Homologous recombination and non-homologous end-joining pathways are the two major DNA repair pathways that mediate the repair of DNA double-strand breaks.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Identical Twins: Pinpointing environmental impact on the epigenome

1. Often, the physical characteristics of genetically identical twins become increasingly different as they age, even at the molecular level. Explain why this is so. (use the terms "environment" and "epigenome") The environment at birth and until around the time when they begin school is the same. Over time, the epigenome changes from the other twin due to the difference in environment, stress, diet, and many other factors.
2. Name 3-4 environmental factors that influence the epigenome. Diet, stress, physical activity, and environment.
3. What is an imprinted gene? An imprinted gene is when the epigenomic tags from your parents stay on your chromosomes.


1. Discuss factors in your daily life (ie. Diet, exercise, stress etc.) that could be affecting your epigenome. Diet, stress, amount of physical activity, environment, etc.


1. Explain how a high-nurturing mother rat shapes her pup's epigenome, and what that pup's response to stress will be. A high nurturing mother rat shapes her pup's epigenome by stimulating the epigenome. That pup's response to stress will be very calm after stress.
2. In rats, does licking by the mother activate, or deactivate her pup's GR gene? Activates the GR gene.
3. Explain how cortisol and the GR protein work together in the brain to relax a rat pup. You may draw a diagram. Lots of cortisol makes it easier for the rat to calm down from stress. If the pup was nurtured a lot have more GR protein in the hippocampus. Cortisol attaches to the GR protein, creating the easiness of calming down quickly, because stress is "headquartered" in the hippocampus.
4. The rat nurturing example shows us how parental behavior can shape the behavior of their offspring on a biochemical level. Relate this to humans and think about the personal and social implications. Record your thoughts. If your parents abuse you while you are young, you will most likely have a hard time calming down from alarming or stressful situations. On the other hand, if you were brought up by loving, nurturing parents, it will be easier for you to calm down from alarming or stressful situations.

1. Explain how the food we eat affects gene expression. Diets high in these methyl-donating nutrients can rapidly alter gene expression, especially during early development when the epigenome is first being established.
2. Can the diets of parents affect their offspring's epigenome? Yes, if a grandparent or parent went an extended period without proper nutrients, it will effect the offspring or the grandchild. It will either effect them physically, or internally, such as reproductive system issues, mental issues, or any other issues.


1. How does Dietary methyl influence gene expression? More methyl means less rRNA production, which means fewer ribosomes, which means less protein production. Less protein production accounts for weak muscles, bones, and can cause many diseases.
2. Why do Toxins affect gene methylation? Drugs of abuse such as cocaine trigger epigenetic changes in certain brain regions, affecting hundreds of genes at a time. Some of these changes remain long after the drug has been cleared from the system. Research in this area suggests that some of the long-term effects of drug abuse and addiction (including high rates of relapse) may be written in epigenetic code.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


1. Which stage does the following occur
Chromatin condenses into chromosomes Prophase
Chromosomes align in center of cell. Metaphase
Longest part of the cell cycle. Interphase
Nuclear envelope breaks down. Prometaphase
Cell is cleaved into two new daughter cells. Anaphase
Daughter chromosomes arrive at the poles. Telophase

2. The colored chromosomes represent chromatids. There are two of each color because one is an exact duplicate of the other.

--How many chromosomes are visible at the beginning of mitosis? Eight

-- How many are in each daughter cell at the end of mitosis? Four

--The little green T shaped things on the cell are: Centrioles

-- What happens to the centrioles during mitosis? They move to separate ends of the cell so that each new daughter cell will have one.

3 . Identify the stages of these cells:

Prometaphase Cytokinesis Prophase

View the animation and sketch the cell in:


The centrioles move to opposite sides of the cell.


Spindle fibers attach to chromosomes.


The cell splits into two daughter cells.

You will have 36 cells to classify. When you’re finished, record your data in the chart below.


Number of cells


Percent of cells

(calculate: number of cells divided by total cells x 100 )

56%28%8%5%3%100 %