These explorations are intended to expand your understanding of the nature of genetic inheritance, and its impact on our lives. Use your favorite Internet search programs to roam around the World Wide Web and discover what other people who have interest in these subjects have said to explain and support their views. Seek out reliable, factual sources. Do not stop at just two or three. It is worth the extra time to thoroughly research these questions and get views on all sides of the issues.
Questions to Explore
1. Look on the Internet for examples of human traits that are not inherited by simple rules of inheritance in which one allele is dominant and the other is recessive. What are the traits? What exception to Mendelian inheritance patterns do they exemplify (e.g., codominance, polygenic inheritance, pleiotropy, etc.)?
2. Search the Internet for information about "genetically modified foods". What plants and animals have been genetically changed in the laboratory over the last decade? How have they been modified? What is the opinion of knowledgeable scientists about this practice? What is the opinion of the general public in the U.S. and elsewhere about the results? Are these opinions reasonable? (Hint: there is considerable difference in public attitude about GM foods from one continent to another.)
3. Monozygotic twins are essentially identical genetically but not always phenotypically the same. Search the Web for information about traits that sometimes are different between human monozygotic twins. What are they? How do scientists explain these differences?
Help Getting Started
If you have not been satisfied with the search programs that you have used in the past, try one of the following. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, none of them can link you to everything available on the Web today because of the rapid growth of sites and the way search engines selectively exclude certain kinds of sites.
Old Standby General
If you don't have success searching with these programs, take a look at the Related Internet Links section of this tutorial.
CAUTION: In doing your searches, keep in mind that not everything on the Web is accurate, current, or true. To help discover which sites can be trusted and which ones cannot, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Who are the authors of the site? What are their credentials? Are they experts? 2. Is the information current? When was the website created and last updated? 3. Do the facts presented in the site seem correct? 4. Is the purpose of the site to objectively inform and explain or to persuade and sell a particular perspective?
Copyright © 2000-2012 by Dennis O'Neil. All rights reserved.