HomeHHMI's BioInteractiveHow Novel Icefish Genes Can Improve Human Health

BioInteractive

Free Resources for Science Education

 
Classroom Resource
How Novel Icefish Genes Can Improve Human Health

Summary

A lesson that requires students to read detailed scientific passages and explain how an understanding of specific icefish adaptations might lead to a treatment or cure for human disorders, such as osteoporosis and anemia. 

Appropriate for: high school biology (all levels), introductory college biology.

This lesson serves as an extension to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute short film The Making of the Fittest: The Birth and Death of Genes. It will also require students to read and process detailed scientific about two common human diseases that share some physiological similarities with certain icefish adaptations. Students are asked to relate how studying the genetics of these icefish adaptations could help in finding treatments or cures for common human diseases.


Curriculum Connections:

NGSS (April 2013)
HS-LS2-6, HS-LS4-2, HS-LS4-4, HS-LS4-5, HS.LS1.A, HS.LS2.C, HS.LS4.B, HS.LS4.C

Common Core (2010)
ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.1, ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.4, ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.9, ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.1, ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1, ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2, ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.7, ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.4, ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.8, ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.9, ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.4, ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.7, ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.8

AP Biology (2012–13)
1.A.1, 1.A.2, 3.A.1, 3.C.1, 4.C.1

IB Biology (2009)
4.1, 4.3, 5.4, 6.2, 7.5


Supporting Materials (6)

Short Film
Scientists have pieced together the evolutionary history of the Antarctic icefish. The icefish makes an excellent case study for genetic evolution as both the gain and loss of genes have led to key adaptations.
Film Guides
The following classroom-ready resources complement The Making of the Fittest: The Birth and Death of Genes, which describes how scientists have pieced together the evolutionary history of the Antarctic icefish. The icefish makes an excellent case study for genetic evolution as both the gain and loss of genes have led to key adaptations.
Classroom Resource
A dramatic demonstration that simulates how tiny ice crystals would form and grow in the blood of most fish if they ventured into the icy waters of the Antarctic.
Classroom Resource
An advanced lesson that describes the role of mutations in the birth and death of genes. It includes background information, examples, video clips, and animations.
Classroom Resource
A simple activity that investigates the importance of antifreeze proteins to icefish survival.
Classroom Resource
A simple demonstration that uses readily-available materials to simulate how blood pumps through the circulatory system of icefish and other fish.

Download this item