Cell Differentiation and Epigenetics

Pregnant women exposed to PAH air pollution increase the risk of obesity in their children. The example of epigenetics, along with others, builds the basis for understanding the process of cell differentiation. Scholars view a video, discuss in small groups, and join a larger class discussion to learn more about the fascinating topic.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Video oversimplifies the concept into genes being either on or off; for advanced classes, go into more detail on the actual continuum
  • Break down the word epigenetics into root words to help pupils remember the meaning
Classroom Considerations

  • Relies on prior knowledge of mitosis, chromosomes, and genes
Pros

  • Provides a high level of detail for those needing a bigger challenge
  • Stresses the importance of cell differentiation, even in adults
Cons

  • None