Sex-specific differences in Meiosis: Real-world applications
Reviewer: Leocadia Paliulis, Biology
Review: I've been looking for resources to support my teaching of meiosis to students in my sophomore-level genetics class. Meiosis can be confusing and students need multiple exercises and multiple repetitions to make sense of what happens in this fundamental process. This lesson focuses on the differences in meiosis between males and females, and also specifically addresses how female meiosis goes wrong in older women. I think the lesson is appropriate for students in my genetics class. In addition, there are no factual errors that I can see (a common problem in lessons on this topic). The lesson will be very interesting to my students as it integrates biology and social questions, showing some of the questions that a genetic counselor could help patients to address. I would also like to address some topics of medical ethics brought up in the CourseSource article that accompanies this lesson. I'm going to paste a quote from the article here because I think the proposed class discussion topic will be amazing: "Finally, there is opportunity for an ethical discussion around movements to avoid the generation of children with Down Syndrome. The topic includes the obvious issues of embryo destruction or abortion. In addition there is the legitimate concern from the Down Syndrome community that, if their population becomes smaller, fewer resources will be available for assistance. Furthermore, there is the fact that Down Syndrome represents a viable and natural human biological variant and that there is nothing “wrong” with having Down Syndrome. Although challenging, an individual with Down Syndrome can live a fulfilling and satisfying life. Therefore, at the discretion of the instructor, these topics could be addressed in a classroom discussion or in reflective writing assignments to highlight the impact that scientific technologies have on everyday life." Discussions of Down Syndrome are complex and one must be extremely sensitive to this complexity--calling Down Syndrome a disease is inappropriate, but thinking about ethical questions relating to reproductive rights is important and linked to a discussion of Down Syndrome. I want my students to have discussions about this, and I really appreciate that this discussion topic is offered as an option. I plan to assign some of the references cited in the paper related to Down Syndrome to my students. I plan to modify and use this resource in my class.
Do you intend to use this OER in a future class?: Yes, definitely!