Common Core State Standard L.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: Video of a current news event is presented for discussion to encourage student participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the video. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.
Experts edit out deadly gene mutation in embryo
Scientists recently hit a major milestone that could one day ease dangerous hereditary problems in babies. For the first time ever, scientists corrected a genetic mutation that can lead to a serious condition that enlarges the heart. Worries about mistakes and legal issues mean it will be a while before the gene editing technique shows up in clinical trials. Also, the public is doubtful. One poll found 65 percent of Americans think it should be illegal to alter the genes of unborn babies to reduce disease risk.
■Class discussion: Would you support altering human genes to eliminate deadly genetic defects? Would you support gene editing to enhance human babies – making them smarter, stronger, or live longer? What are the potential dangers of altering human genes? Do we need laws to control genetic research? Would restrictive U.S. laws simply give an advantage to researchers in other countries? Will human beings be able to decide exactly how we will evolve? Would “enhanced” beings threaten the rest of humanity? What happened to other human species in the past?