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Resurrection Science

Resurrection Science

Introduction

How does DNA determine what an organism looks like? Why is genetic diversity important? What is de-extinction all about? Use the resources on this student esheet to help you answer these questions and make your way through the Resurrection Science book.


Exploration

Before you dive into genes and genetic diversity, you should review the concepts of endangered, extinct, and biodiversity. Go to the IUCN Red List to search for endangered and extinct species. See if you can name some of the endangered and extinct species out there.


To begin your review of genetics, watch the videos your teacher has assigned from this list:

These videos review heredity, how DNA translates to protein, genetic variation through sexual reproduction, natural selection, and speciation. Read the questions before watching the video and answer them on your Introduction to Genetics student sheet.  

  1. Draw the central dogma for how DNA makes protein.
  2. Define genotype and phenotype. Which part of the central dogma above represents the genotype and which represents the phenotype?  
  3. Define gene and allele. Where are genes found? Where are alleles found?
  4. What is heredity? How many chromosomes do you get from each parent?
  5. What does genetic diversity mean? Why is this important for natural selection and evolution?
  6. In your own words briefly describe CRISPR-Cas9 and one genetics application it can be used for.

To begin exploring the topic of de-extinction, read the introduction to the Resurrection Science book. Then watch one of these two TED talks:

As you watch the TED talk, think about your answers to these questions, which you can answer on your Introduction to De-Extinction student sheet:

  1. What is ancient DNA and where is it found?
  2. What issues are there in analyzing ancient DNA?
  3. What are some improvements that need to happen to recover enough DNA from an extinct animal and sequence a full genome?
  4. Take one of the de-extinction projects mentioned in Stewart Brand’s talk and briefly describe it here in your own words. 
  5. Briefly list and describe the basic steps it will take to breed an extinct animal.
  6. What is captive breeding? How does this help conservation efforts?
  7. Do you think the science of de-extinction will help conservation efforts? Explain in your own words. 

Each of the following videos accompanies a chapter in Resurrection Science. Depending on how your teacher has divided up the reading of the book, please select the relevant video(s) and chapter(s) and answer the questions on the corresponding student sheet:

An Ark of Toads

Watch the video on the Kihansi Spray Toads Return to the Wild as an introduction to this chapter and continue on to read Ch. 1 in the Resurrection Science book. Familiarize yourself with the key terms and questions from the Ark of Toads student sheet as you read the chapter and watch the video. Then define the terms and answer the questions once you've read the chapter.


Tracking Chimeras in the Fakahatchee Strand

Watch the video, By the Numbers: Saving the Florida Panther, as an introduction to this chapter and continue on to read Ch. 2 in the Resurrection Science book. Define the terms and answer the questions on the Tracking Chimeras in the Fakahatchee Strand student sheet. 


Exuberant Evolution in a Desert Fish

Watch the video, Where the Pupfish Play, as an introduction to this chapter and continue on to read Ch. 3  in the Resurrection Science book. Define the terms and answer the questions on the Exuberant Evolution in a Desert Fish student sheet.


Mysteries of the Whale Called 1334

Watch the video, Diving with Whales, as an introduction to this chapter and continue on to read Ch. 4  in the Resurrection Science book. Define the key terms and questions on the Mysteries of the Whale Called 1334 student sheet. 


Freezing Crows

Listen to the TED talk by Oliver Ryder, "Genetic Rescue and Biodiversity Banking," found on the Revive and Restore site as an introduction to this chapter and continue on to read Ch. 5 in the Resurrection Science book. Define the key terms and questions on the Freezing Crows student sheet.

Additional sources:


Metaphysical Rhinos

Watch the TED talk by Oliver Ryder, "Genetic Rescue and Biodiversity Banking," on the Revive and Restore site as an introduction to this chapter and continue on to read Ch. 6  in the Resurrection Science book. Define the key terms and questions on the Metaphysical Rhinos student sheet. 


Regenisis of the Passenger Pigeon

Watch the TED talk by Ben J. Novak, "How to Bring Passenger Pigeons All the Way Back," on the Revive and Restore site as an introduction to this chapter and continue on to read Ch. 7  in the Resurrection Science book. Define the key terms and questions on the Regenesis of the Passenger Pigeon student sheet.


Nice to Meet You

Watch the TED talk by Svante Pääbo, "DNA Clues to our Inner Neanderthal," as an introduction to this chapter and continue on to read Ch. 8  in the Resurrection Science book. Define the key terms and questions on the Nice to Meet You, Neanderthal student sheet. 

 


Knowledge Check

Your teacher will let you know which of these activities to complete:

Activity 1: Writing Assignment

M.R. O’Connor addresses a few key points in her interview that will help to answer the questions below. You should read the introduction to the Resurrection Science book, the articles below, and appropriate chapters. Pick one of the questions below to answer using the resources available. Follow the writing guidelines set by your teacher on the De-Extinction Writing Assignment student sheet. Please do your own work!

Additional reading:

Pick one of these writing topics:

  1. Do you think a genetically modified organism born in a laboratory will share the same essence of the previous living organism?
  2. Is it ethical to bring back an extinct organism and introduce it into the wild again?
  3. In a human-run world, is it only right to save organisms that provide some value or benefit to humans?
  4. Should we let natural processes of extinction take their course and instead focus our effort on preventing future extinctions rather than resurrecting extinct animals?
  5. What criteria would an animal have to have to be the best candidate for de-extinction? 

Activity 2: Debate Assignment

M.R. O’Connor addresses a few key points in her interview that will help to answer the questions below. Also read the introduction to the Resurrection Science book, the articles below, and appropriate chapters. Pick one of the questions below and pick which side of the debate you will defend. Follow the debate guidelines on the De-Extinction Debate Assignment student sheet.

Additional resources:


Activity 3: Discussion Assignment

You'll mostly use your book for this activity, so you should consult the Group Discussion Activity student sheet.


This esheet is a part of the Resurrection Science lesson.

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