This lesson will focus on genetics and the concept of protein synthesis. Students will learn the role that DNA has in protein synthesis. They will understand how a protein’s unique structure will determine its function. Students will be able to manipulate a hemoglobin protein model and look at its specific structure. Also discussed will be mutations in a DNA sequence and how this may alter the protein product. Focus will be on normal red blood cells versus sickled red blood cells. Students will take a field trip to a high school blood drive to discuss blood cells.
1. Identify the parts of the cell involved in protein synthesis: nucleus, chromosomes, cytoplasm, ribosomes. 2. Define mutation as a change in the DNA sequence. 3. Explain that most mutations are silent, meaning that they have no major affect on the protein's structure. 4. Give several examples of human disease that are the result of mutations: cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, hemophilia, tay sachs. Discuss symptoms. 5. Define the word denature which means the unraveling or unshaping of a protein when conditions become unfavorable. It will affect its function. 6. Explain the Central Dogma of protein synthesis. Transcription of DNA into mRNA in the nucleus. Translation of mRNA into a protein in the cytoplasm on ribosomes. 7. Explain the suggested origin of sickle cell anemia in Africa. 8. Explain how it can offer resistance to malaria. 9. Discuss the basic function of the circulatory system and how sickle cell alters this.