Epigenetics is a relatively new branch of biology and biochemistry. Literally translating to “above the genome,” epigenetics examines the role that external/environmental factors serve in controlling the expression of an individual’s genes. This unit plan is designed to serve as an introduction to epigenetics and a survey of relevant applications to disease, biotechnology, and cellular functions. The unit spans approximately 1 week in a traditional (50-minute period) high school Biology (9th, 10th grade) classroom.
The activities can be amended to increase the rigor for AP level students. The main components are:
1) Review of Genetics and an Overview of Epigenetics,
2) Histone Action Simulation, and
3) a Final Assessment, educating community members about epigenetics.
Author: Brooke Sauer