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Lessons
DNA and Protein Synthesis in the Cell
Discipline
Science
Grades
9, 10, 11, 12
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In this lesson, students explore how DNA fits into chromosomes and how chromosomes relate to the human body. They learn about DNA replication and protein synthesis and model these two processes in Web activities. Then students read about molecular genetics and discuss the significance of proteins in the human body. Finally, they learn how mutations may affect protein synthesis and cause genetic disorders. 

It is important to note that the multimedia resources incorporated into this lesson require Shockwave, Flash, or Quicktime. (author/cb)

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Ohio Science Academic Content Standards (2002)
Life Sciences
Benchmarks (9–10)
B.
Explain the characteristics of life as indicated by cellular processes and describe the process of cell division and development.
C.
Explain the genetic mechanisms and molecular basis of inheritance.
E.
Explain how evolutionary relationships contribute to an understanding of the unity and diversity of life.
H.
Describe a foundation of biological evolution as the change in gene frequency of a population over time. Explain the historical and current scientific developments, mechanisms and processes of biological evolution. Describe how scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory.
Benchmarks (11–12)
A.
Explain how processes at the cellular level affect the functions and characteristics of an organism.
C.
Explain how the molecular basis of life and the principles of genetics determine inheritance.
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 10)
3.
Explain the characteristics of life as indicated by cellular processes including a. homeostasis b. energy transfers and transformation c. transportation of molecules d. disposal of wastes e. synthesis of new molecules
5.
Illustrate the relationship of the structure and function of DNA to protein synthesis and the characteristics of an organism.
7.
Describe that spontaneous changes in DNA are mutations, which are a source of genetic variation. When mutations occur in sex cells, they may be passed on to future generations; mutations that occur in body cells may affect the functioning of that cell or the organism in which that cell is found.
13.
Explain that the variation of organisms within a species increases the likelihood that at least some members of a species will survive under gradually changing environmental conditions.
21.
Explain that natural selection provides the following mechanism for evolution; undirected variation in inherited characteristics exist within every species. These characteristics may give individuals an advantage or disadvantage compared to others in surviving and reproducing. The advantaged offspring are more likely to survive and reproduce. Therefore, the proportion of individuals that have advantageous characteristics will increase. When an environment changes, the survival value of some inherited characteristics may change.
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 12)
1.
Recognize that information stored in DNA provides the instructions for assembling protein molecules used by the cells that determine the characteristics of the organism.
5.
Examine the inheritance of traits through one or more genes and how a single gene can influence more than one trait.
Scientific Inquiry
Benchmarks (9–10)
A.
Participate in and apply the processes of scientific investigation to create models and to design, conduct, evaluate and communicate the results of these investigations.
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 9)
3.
Construct, interpret and apply physical and conceptual models that represent or explain systems, objects, events or concepts.
National Science Education Standards
Life Science
Reproduction and heredity (Grades 5 - 8)
The cell (Grades 9 - 12)
Molecular basis of heredity (Grades 9 - 12)
Biological evolution (Grades 9 - 12)