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7th Grade Life Science Page

Genetics Research Project

Tools Scientists Use
Classroom Rules and Regulations
Scientific Method
Lab Safety
Cell Division
DNA and Heredity
Evolution and Genetic Variation
Food Chains
Genetics Research Project
Genetic Disorder Topics

Genetic Disease Research Project

Genetics Disease Research Project

Part of being a scientist requires one to do research and report those findings to the scientific community. Our research topic this quarter will focus on genetic diseases, the kinds of diseases that are inherited. Genetic diseases are not acquired or “caught”, instead they are transmitted to offspring from parents by DNA or more specifically, by genes.


Your job is to investigate a genetic disease using many resources. These resources may include: encyclopedias, reference books, medical books, magazines (reputable ones), and of course, the Internet. Speaking of the Internet, there are many, if not thousands of resources available for this research topic. As a researcher, you have to distinguish fact from fiction.  I will provide you with a list of dependable sources of information from the Internet.


What we’re going to do:


I. Choose a genetic disease to research


        You will choose a topic randomly from a hat OR you may choose to research a disease that someone in your family has or runs in your family.


II. Perform research on your topic using your local library, hospital/medical library, school library and/or the Internet.


        We will use the computer lab during 2 class periods to help you get started on your research.


III. You are required to write a 1-2 page paper on your topic. If you decide to type your paper, it must be double- spaced using font size: 12 and Times New Roman font.  NONE OTHER WILL BE ACCEPTED!


        If you decide to handwrite your paper, it should be 2-4 pages written and must be written neatly and legibly in black or blue ink (no other colors will be accepted). You may only write on the front side of each paper, you are not permitted to write on the back of your pages.  Remember, SPELLING COUNTS. Please don’t rely on the spell-checker found on many word processing programs. They don’t identify all of the errors. Ask someone to proofread your paper before you submit your final copy.


        Each paper requires a cover page that should include the title, your name, and the date and period number.


IV. What are you going to write about?

1. What is the name of your disease?

2. What are the symptoms of this disease? How does the disease present itself? Meaning, are there any physical symptoms? If so, what are they?

3. What is the life expectancy of someone with this disease?

4. Who is affected? Males only? Females only? Or Both?

5. How is the disease transmitted? Is it a sex-linked trait? Is it a dominant or recessive trait?


V. Genetic Counseling- You will be a genetic counselor. Using the information you have found, prepare a Punnett Square showing the probabilities of a specific disease being transmitted from parents to offspring.  We’ll talk about this in class.


VI. Include pictures

     Pictures speak a thousand words.  Include pictures or illustrations of the disease and/or pictures of people who have the disease, if it causes outward physical symptoms.


VII. Oral Presentation:

     1. You will present a short, 5 -minute talk communicating your findings to other members of the scientific community (your classmates).     


VIII. Due Dates:


Final Draft of paper is due: April 3, 2006 (Late papers WILL NOT be accepted)


Presentations will begin promptly on April 3-6.


Please visit for information and links to websites about this project. TO ENTER THE WEBSITE TYPE ZIP CODE: 22191



This project will be counted 3 times into your homework grade; two times for the paper and one time for the presentation. It is important that you do your best and ask for help anytime you need it.


Below are some links to genetic disorders I thought you might find useful:





Virtual Autopsy Lab