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The future in your genes

  • GCSE
  • Popular Activity
  • Topical

Type: Activity
Learning Strategy: Communication
Topic: Inheritance of characteristics

Scientists have discovered genes linked to some of Britain's most common diseases. The implications of the research, funded by the Wellcome Trust, could be far-reaching. Through pitching for a slot on a TV news programme, students examine the benefits of knowing this information.

14-16 How Science Works:
How science works
Applications and implications of science
4a The use of contemporary scientific and technological developments
and their benefits, [drawbacks and risks].

Published: 19th June 2007
Reviews & Comments: 5

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Learning objectives

Students will examine the benefits of knowing how genes are linked to diseases.

Try the activity

You will need Acrobat Reader installed to open the activity sheets.

Organisms and health
5c The ways in which organisms function are related to the genes in their cells
5e Human health is affected by a range of environmental and inherited factors,

Please see downloadable teachers' notes for details of links to GCSE specifications.

Running the activity

Display page 1 to set the scene. This article covers only positive implications of the research. Ask students for their reactions to the question at the bottom of the page.

Give each group a copy of page 2, a template for the activity. Tell students that the news editor must select items to broadcast in today's news. Students must prepare an exciting news package that the editor cannot ignore!

Pages 3 and 4 include information about the study and paraphrases of quotes from people involved in – or potentially affected by – the study. Students need this information to complete the task on page 2.

Groups should present their package to the class after a set time. The packages could be peer reviewed using objectives decided by the class or those below:
• The "hook" that grabs the viewer in the first few seconds
• Range of views presented
• Explanation of the science
• Creativity
• Filling the time

Possible ICT opportunity: use PowerPoint for the news feature/ background etc. Cross-curricular links are possible with English and Performing Arts.

Reviews & Comments

Write your online review to share your feedback and classroom tips with other teachers. How well does it work, how engaging is it, how did you use it, and how could it be improved?

The future in your genes review

Oct 29th, 2008

5 Star

Excellent activity that my top set pupils really enjoyed. I used this in conjuction with other news articles to provide a wider source of activties and to link in with how this is reported in the media.

The class of year 9 pupils have just began the triple science course.

Reviewer: Beth Harrop

The future in your genes review

Jun 23rd, 2008

5 Star

Really useful activity to extend G+T year 9 students.

Reviewer: Lisa Hays


Jun 8th, 2008

4 Star

had good key info

Reviewer: komal patel


Sep 20th, 2007

5 Star

Simple and straightforward - good value

Reviewer: Chris Higgs

The future in your genes

Jul 9th, 2007

3 Star

Tried this as an activity at the end of a topic on inheritance and variation with top set Year 7. They found it difficult to put material together to produce a TV interview, but when we changed the goal to producing some info posters to use next term for jeans for genes dat they got involved and produced some good work.

Reviewer: jane Griffin