We can work on The Value of Nature and Controversial Issues in Biology

Purpose:This activity will allow non Biology majors to examine some of the reasons they should be concerned about their knowledge of biology.  The goal is for students is to be able to apply the knowledge gained in this course to their everyday lives. In addition, it is important for students to be able to write well and defend their viewpoint on current events or controversial issues in biology and society today.

Directions: Answer the following with a short paragraph for each question. Make sure you defend or explain your answers. Also, include all web sites you examined. Attach your answers in the document provided.  Either bold your answers or use another color of ink for ease in grading.  Attach your word document to the blog site.  To access the blog site, Click on “Tools” then “blog”, then upload your document there.

Due date: This assignment is worth 15 points

Part A: The Value of Nature and Controversial Issues in Biology(5 points)

Images: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2016/01/call-to-wild/img/wild01-2048.jpghttp://www.abc.net.au/radionational/image/5700898-3×2-700×467.jpg



(2 points)


What are some of the ways that nature inspires you or has a positive impact on your life? (how do you enjoy nature?)


What value does it have?


What are some of the impacts humankind is having on nature and our environment?











Images: http://prn.fm/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/baby-vaccinated.jpg






(3 points)


What are some specific examples of issues or questions you might encounter in your life for which knowledge of biology might be helpful?


Describe at least two controversial issues that you have questions about or have great concerns.



How do you best feel we can resolve these issues? Do scientists have all the answers of should the public be able to provide input?


Part B: CASE STUDY: The Infidelity Gene(5 points)

Images: http://assets.rebelcircus.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/infidelity-gene-compressed.jpghttp://cdn.inquisitr.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/ct-sc-fam-1015-infidelity.jpg


John and Mary Smith met in college and married soon after graduation.  They were lucky enough to find good jobs in the same area, bought a condo and settled into a comfortable life.


Eventually, John and Mary decided to start a family.  They heard about DNA testing: a new family planning procedure using DNA samples to screen for possible genetic differences that could affect their child’s health and development. This sounded like a wise precaution, and they ordered the tests.  When the results came back, John and Mary were relieved to learn that they each had a clean bill of health as far as their future children were concerned.  There was one personal glitch, however:  the test revealed that John had the “infidelity gene”….


Mary had never heard of an infidelity gene.  In fact, Mary wasn’t entirely sure what a gene was, and she had no idea how – or whether – a gene could cause her husband to be unfaithful.  Mary consulted her doctor and searched online to find out more about this gene, but what she read was confusing…..


Use the internet to search for the “infidelity gene” (or “ruthless gene”) Select three sites and try to evaluate each for clarity, accuracy, and usefulness.Attach the three sites here: (3 points)
Search for a commercial lab that will test your DNA for the presence of the infidelity gene. This process is called direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing. In this case, DTC marketing gives people genetic information without the benefit of a trained genetic counselor or other medical professional. (2 points)post the link to the website here:

Do you think most people will be able to understand the test results on their own? Why or why not?
Should the government regulate DTC marketing of genetic screening procedures or should it be eliminated in favor of medically supervised tests?

Do you think your genes influence your behavior? Do they control your behavior?  If a person has the “infidelity gene and the hormone imbalance it produces, is fidelity still a choice this person can make?  Why or why not?

Part C Applying knowledge of biology toControversial issues(5 points)



Images: http://non-gmoreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/genetically-modified-corn-farmer.jpghttps://www.historyandheadlines.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/January-12-1998-European-nations-agreed-to-ban-human-cloning-1.jpg


Suppose a public hearing is convened in your town to discuss, and eventually vote on, the  scenarios 1-4 listed below.


For each of the scenarios, answer these questions:

What information would you need to draw your conclusion or to form a viewpoint?
From where or whom would you seek this information?
What specific questions would you need to have answered to make an informed choice or decision?
How would you vote?

A biotechnology company has plans to build a facility in your community that will provide genetically modified organisms to local farmers
A group of parents submit a petition to your local school board asking that intelligent design be taught in biology courses an as an alternative to natural selection
The local university seeks state funding to build a new research facility where scientists will study human genetics, research animal cloning, and perform stem cell research
Your town proposes to add fluoride to the drinking water.

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