Drosophila genetics in the classroom

W Sofer, L Tompkins
1994 Genetics  
Drosophila has long been useful for demonstrating the principles of classical Mendelian genetics in the classroom. In recent years, the organism has also helped students understand biochemical and behavioral genetics. In this connection, this article describes the development of a set of integrated laboratory exercises and descriptive materials--a laboratory module--in biochemical genetics for use by high-school students. The module focuses on the Adh gene and its product, the alcohol
more » ... ase enzyme. Among other activities, students using the module get to measure alcohol tolerance and to assay alcohol dehydrogenase activity in Adh-negative and -positive flies. To effectively present the module in the classroom, teachers attend a month-long Dissemination Institute in the summer. During this period, they learn about other research activities that can be adapted for classroom use. One such activity that has proved popular with teachers and students utilizes Drosophila to introduce some of the concepts of behavioral genetics to the high-school student. By establishing closer interactions between high-school educators and research scientists, the gulf between the two communities can begin to be bridged. It is anticipated that the result of a closer relationship will be that the excitement and creativity of science will be more effectively conveyed to students.
pmid:8138175 pmcid:PMC1205791 fatcat:dskngw4zdrdvdf6h5w346y5xgu