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Biology LibreTexts

9.1: Cracking the Code Worksheet

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  • Cracking the Code of Life

    Documentary – 20 Points

    Chronicle of the fiercely competitive race to capture one of the biggest scientific prizes ever: the complete letter-by-letter sequence of genetic information that defines human life—the human genome—and its profound implications for medicine and human health.

    I. Timing is Everything

    A. It was expected to take at least __________ years to completely sequence the human genome.

    1. It took __________ years to find the one genetic mistake that causes cystic fibrosis.

    2. Another __________ years to find the gene for Huntington's disease.

    3. __________ years to find one of the genes that increase the risk of breast cancer.

    B. Medical Need: Tay Sachs revealed

    1. Type of inheritance _________________________.

    2. Symptoms: deafness, progressive blindness, paralysis, seizure, delayed mental and social development

    II. The Human Genome Project

    A. Sequenced only "euchromatic" regions of the genome, which make up about 90% of the genome.

    B. In 1999, a 1/3 of the genome had been sequenced, but progress slowed as more and more pieces of the genome became “private property” by way of US patents.

    C. In March 2000, President Clinton announced that the genome sequence could not be patented, and should be made freely available to all researchers.

    III. Progress

    A. By the 2000s _____________ base pairs/sec were being sequenced.

    1. The average difference between those chimps is ___________ times more than the average difference between two humans that you'd pluck off this planet.

    2. Every human on this planet goes back to a founding population of perhaps _________ thousand people in Africa about __________ thousand years ago.

    3. Ubiquitin remains __________% identical between humans and yeast, even after a billion years of evolution.

    4. Humans and Bananas share _________ % of genes.

    IV. Units of Heredity

    A. Not only were there situations where entirely diseased variants were detected, but even within gene anomalies were often charted.

    B. Cystic Fibrosis Example

    1. Symptoms: chronic respiratory infections, 50% die before age 30.

    2. Most common fatal inherited disease.

    3. The result of a ___________________________ deletion, which results in a misshapen protein.

    C. About them Genes

    1. Genes are _____ dimensional.

    2. Genes make proteins.

    D. Cancer

    1. Scientists discovered changes/mutations in two specific genes that make a woman’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer much higher

    2. The genes are ______________ and __________________.

    3. Normal risk of developing breast cancer is about ________% over the course of her lifetime. For a woman with a mutation in one of those genes, the lifetime risk is about ____________ %.

    V. Interesting Facts:

    List 2 new things you've learned from the documentary.