“Cracking the Code of Life” - Human Genome Project

“Cracking the Code of Life: The race to decode human DNA” Video Questions
(A video on the Human Genome Project)
NOVA – © 2001
“When you look at the mirror, you don’t see DNA or RNA. You see proteins and the action of proteins.
We are the product of our proteins and their activity.” Craig Venter, “Cracking the Code of Life” Video
1) How much of a banana’s DNA is similar to ours? _______________________ GENES_
2) 4 and some billion years ago – 1st speck of life on warm surface of a ____________
3) Raw DNA looks like what in raw form? Eric Lander – geneticist found that it looks like
4) Human beings only have _________as many genes as the fruit fly.
5) DNA is organized similar to steps in a __________.
6) Each step is made of base pairs: _______________________________.
7) DNA is _________ steps long in form of a ___________.
8) Size of DNA – 10 angstroms = __________ of a meter.
9) Each step in the ladder can give information about ______________________________
10) Every human baby born is _____% identical to every other human baby in the world.
11) Since 1990, scientists have been involved in the _________________________ to understand the
tiniest differences in our ______ that makes us healthy or sick.
12) Only about 1% of the _______ are active and this is why scientists needed a map to find these
13) Revolutionized technology – ________ letters every second.
14) Boeing 777 – __________ parts.
15) _____________, is similar to getting a parts list, but that’s all you have. It’s important to have, but
that doesn’t mean _________________________________.
16) Allison and Tim had a son Hayden – something was not right – something clearly wrong by time he
was 1 year old. Laughed all the time. Never crawled or ate with his hands. Started regressing.
Started missing developmental milestones. Slowly getting worse – __________ Disease.
17) Tay Sachs begins with just ________ in a letter/base of the ______________.
18) Genes create _________, and the protein that is supposed to ________ fat in brain, which when it is
___________, the fat builds up in the ________ and begins to ________ the baby’s brain.
19) Hayden has gone blind, can’t eat solid food, has seizures as much as ____ times a day. Only one
outcome. Most die by age _________.
20) Tim’s identical twin brother, Charlie, and wife Blythe, who have 2 girls, including little
__________, who startled easily just like Hayden always did. Cameron had Tay Sachs also.
21) Tay Sachs is a very _____ condition and it usually occurs in ___________, like Ashkenazi Jews.
And even then, the baby must __________________ from both parents.
22) Hayden Lord died a few months before his___ birthday.
23) The promise of the human genome project – an __________________ for parents, doctors, etc. about
genetic diseases. ___________can spot these catastrophes while they’re still insignificant dots on
the gene.
24) _________________, a government scientist thought that he could find the human genome much
faster than the other science team in 1990.
25) Craig Venter wanted to use the new machine that could __________ Cs and Ts and As and Gs.
1) This machine worked as a robot chopped human _________ into tiny pieces. A laser bounces __
__________ off of each tiny bit of DNA and the color that it sees represents individual __________________________________
2) Venter’s dream was to have several of these machines going at once, so he quit his government job
and started a company called ___________________, (Celera) means speed.
3) Served time in navy and was drafted to ___Navy_____, where he saw many people die. Returned in
_____ and wanted to make use of this gift.
4) He didn’t like the attitude of the government team – planned to take___years.
5) Venter said his team would finish in _ years!
6) Craig Venter's announcement that his team would finish the entire genome in just two years _____________ everybody working on the public project. Now they were scrambling to keep up.
7) Skip to 33:45 to 38:15
8) Take bullet point notes here on:
9) Skip from 46:54 to 58:16
10) Cystic fibrosis discussion:
- Riley Demose – ____ days old – Cathy got the call that Riley had tested positive for ___________.
CF, Cystic Fibrosis, attacks several _______of the body, especially the lungs. Its victims suffer from
- Half of all patients die before age ____
- When you look at yourself in the mirror, you don't see ____. You don't see _____. You see _______
and the ______________________. So that's what we are physically composed of.
- Proteins are 3-dimensional because ____ are 3-d.
- Every protein is given a shape, which defines them and their ________.
- In the protein world, “your shape is your __________”.
- Riley is missing ___ letters out of ___________, but the consequences are huge. But because of that
error, he has a _______ gene. And that faulty gene creates a faulty, or _________________. And just
the slightest little changes may just have consequences that are ______.
- The protein is misshapen, and lung cells can’t do their job. His lung cells will not let _____ out of
the cell, causing it to be trapped in the cell. The lung cell becomes sticky and covered in _______.
If doctors could just get the shape of the protein right, then it would be recognized and allowed in the
cell to do its job.
- Just finding the letters in the Genome project was ____dimensional .
- Fixing the proteins from the letters is ___-dimensional.
- Toni also has CF, but she developed it later. Didn’t fit the profile.
- She was told she might not survive beyond her ____ birthday, and now she’s in her mid-40s. She
still has to go to hospital to get_______ cleaned out. She still has the mistake in the genes, but she
has something that most patients don’t have.
- Craig Gerard, Toni’s doctor, says that “no gene acts in __________”. Could she have some good
genes that are helping her?
- Dr. Gerard is looking for _______________ in Toni that might be helping her. Maybe they could
bottle it and give to Riley and other CF patients.
11) The first building blocks are the ______________. From them we can infer the _______.
12) From the genes, you get to the _________________ and then you have to understand what
13) A human being only has _______ or so genes, only about ______ as many as a fruit fly. That’s
bothersome. But the difference is that our genes _______________________.
14) One gene in fruit fly might only make _____ proteins, while one in human might make ____
proteins, causing different functions.
15) Male pattern baldness search – look at the gene’s letters for hair for bald guys. Compare the letters
with those of men with hairs. Look at brothers’ genes so that the only differences may be the
________ difference. If you use related people, it’s easier.
16) Iceland – little island with tiny population of __________ people, mostly all descended from
________ 1000 years ago. They have a fantastic _______ history, almost everyone’s family tree,
and it’s on a database.
- Lady with osteoarthritis - Got sick at 12 and _____of her 17 siblings had to have hip replacements
b/c it was so bad. This is the family that the decoding people were looking for .
- They started combining family trees, medical records, and DNA to learn what’s going on.
17) What’s the problem with everyone seeing your medical records?
18) Movie clip “Gattaca” – everyone’s DNA (future diary) is available and most babies are __________
produced. The main character in the movie was conceived the “_______________” way.
19) Making gene chips – came from babies. A single chip will allow you to test ____________ babies
for certain diseases.
20) Knowing is _______; knowing early is ___________; as long as there is something that you can
21) What if it took 20-50 years to find a cure for a disease you were going to get? Would you still want
to know?
22) What if the test just tells you that you may get the disease? Would you want to know anyways?
23) Alyssa and Lori and Melanie (younger sister who died of ovarian cancer). Died in 1983.
- Alyssa then got breast cancer at age 34. She did well, but then found another lump in 1996.
- There are links b/t breast and ovarian cancer – ______ and ______ are perfectly healthy normal
genes that we all have. Sometimes there is a __________on them – ___letters missing and genes are
reconfigured. This mutation causes a very high cancer risk – 80%
- Lori went to be tested – she was fine. However, Alyssa does carry the mutated gene, so she’s
wondering what day she’ll get sick.
- Alyssa’s son and daughter could also be carrying the gene – ____% chance
- Alana found lump in her own breast in senior year of high school (____years old). Lump was
______________________ but Alana decided not to have the test that year.
24) Do we want to know? And, can we live with the answer of maybe or not? ____________
25) In “Gattaca”, they could choose the baby that they wanted, one without baldness, obesity, etc. We
have the beginnings of the ability to do this today.
-If we can do this, can we also add in the eyesight of a hawk? Not right now.
-It’s a very complex machine, and going in with a monkey wrench could break the machine.
-But, we do it with plants and some animals. Does that make is okay?
26) What about with humans? How do you feel about this topic? Please support your answer.
27) Who won the race of finding the Human Genome first? ________________________________
Notebook Questions
1. What is the significance of knowing the human genome?
2. Do you think we have to be careful with the power that knowing it gives us? Explain.
3. What can we do with this knowledge?
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