It is Jeans for Genes day this Friday. This annual fundraising event encourages people to wear their jeans to school or work in order to raise money for the charity of the same name who provide funding and care for children with genetic disorders. They also help to fund research into genetics and the development of effective treatments and cures.
Genetic disorders affect 1 in 25 of the children born in the UK and complications arising from these are the biggest killer of children under the age of 14. Fortunately, progress in developments of treatments and cures is increasing every year thanks to our ever-expanding knowledge of the human genome and techniques such as gene therapy.
Cystic fibrosis is one of the most common genetic disorders with over 8 500 people in the UK being affected. It is a recessive disorder which means that you can be a carrier of the faulty gene without being affected yourself but the children of two carriers have a 25% chance of having the disorder.
Approximately 1 in 25 people in the UK carry the faulty cf gene and so the chances are that one student in every GCSE science class is a carrier. This makes it important that students learn about cystic fibrosis and so it is covered in all GCSE science specifications.
The cystic fibrosis PowerPoint I have created is intended to introduce cystic fibrosis after students have done some work already on monohybrid inheritance and using punnet squares. The starter is a simple fill in the gaps exercise which covers what a recessive disorder is. On the second slide the students have to figure out the probability of them being a carrier of cystic fibrosis if both of their parents are.
They are then introduced to the Jeans for Genes charity. At this point you could show them the Charity’s website or talk about an event that they may have taken part in. Their task is to write a talk for a school assembly on cystic fibrosis and how it affects a sufferer. They can use textbooks or the internet to help them write this.
The final slide shows a ‘grade ladder’ which can be used for peer of self-assessment of this task.
If you have taken place in a Jeans for Genes event at school or work or are planning one this year then please let us know about it as a comment below.
The Jeans for genes website. Loads of information, videos and fundraising advice if you want to get involved.
The cystic fibrosis trust website. Lots of useful information. Search for gene therapy for videos showing scientists discussing the future of this technique.