Science - 2019-20

BIO.5 f, i-j - Cell Growth & Heredity

The student will investigate and understand common mechanisms of inheritance and protein synthesis. Key concepts include
f) genetic variation;
i) use, limitations, and misuse of genetic information; and
j) exploration of the impact of DNA technologies.

Bloom's Levels:  Analyze; Understand

Adopted: 2010


  • Genetic information is passed from generation to generation by DNA; DNA controls the traits of an organism.

  • I can explain why some populations have gone extinct or have significant developmental issues.


  • Genotype describes the genetic make-up of an organism and phenotype describes the organism’s appearance based on its genes. Homozygous individuals have two identical alleles for a particular trait, while heterozygous individuals have contrasting alleles. When one allele masks the effect of another, that allele is called dominant and the other recessive. When an intermediate phenotype occurs and no allele dominates, incomplete dominance results. Many other patterns of inheritance exist including multiple alleles, polygenic inheritance, and sex-linked inheritance.
  • DNA technologies allow scientists to identify, study, and modify genes. Forensic identification is an example of the application of DNA technology.
  • Genetic engineering techniques are used in a variety of industries, in agriculture, in basic research, and in medicine. There is great benefit in terms of useful products derived through genetic engineering (e.g., human growth hormone, insulin, and pest- and disease-resistant fruits and vegetables). 
  • Eugenics, a pseudo-science of selective procreation, was a movement throughout the twentieth century, worldwide as well as in Virginia, that demonstrated a misuse of the principles of heredity. 
  • The Human Genome Project is a collaborative effort to map the entire gene sequence of organisms. This information may be useful in detection, prevention, and treatment of many genetic diseases. The potential for identifying and altering genomes raises practical and ethical questions. 
  • Cloning is the production of genetically identical cells and/or organisms. 


In order to meet this standard, it is expected that students will

f) evaluate karyotype charts and make a determination of the genderand genetic health of the individual.

     provide examples of reasons for genetic  diversity and why it can be an advantage for populations.

     provide examples of mutations that are lethal, harmful, and beneficial.

i) evaluate examples of genetic engineering and the potential for controversy.

     describe the uses, limitations, and potential for misuse of genetic information.


gene, gene expression, genetic predisposition, dominant, recessive, chromosome, haploid, diploid, allele, phenotype, genotype, trait, homozygous, heterozygous, mutation, albino, inheritance, test cross, inversion, drosophila, pedigree, sex-linked, fertility, pollinator, reproduction, fertilization, embryo, zygote, asexual, gamete, development

Updated: Dec 01, 2017