Program details

The focus of the Molecular Genetics Masterclass program is to allow students the opportunity to apply an understanding of genetics and DNA manipulation to a real-life scenario.

Sickle cell disease is a life-threatening inherited condition affecting millions of people worldwide. Early diagnosis is key in helping sufferers manage their condition and extend their life expectancy.

Students are introduced to a scenario involving a family with a sick child. Through a combination of pedigree chart analysis and genetic testing of the child and her family, students will be able to determine a diagnosis for baby Marie.

Micro-pipetting and gel electrophoresis will be utilized in order to test DNA from each family member for the sickle cell allele.

Students will be guided through the structure of DNA as it relates to sickle cell disease and inheritance of traits from parents.

Students will also be prompted to consider and discuss ethical issues surrounding DNA-based technologies.

“Discussion of ideas and results at the end of the program was powerful, as was the revision of Year 11 and Unit 3 theories.”
- Partner School Teacher.