Science / Year 10 / Science Understanding / Biological sciences

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Curriculum content descriptions

Transmission of heritable characteristics from one generation to the next involves DNA and genes (ACSSU184)

Elaborations
  • describing the role of DNA as the blueprint for controlling the characteristics of organisms
  • using models and diagrams to represent the relationship between DNA, genes and chromosomes
  • recognising that genetic information passed on to offspring is from both parents by meiosis and fertilisation
  • representing patterns of inheritance of a simple dominant/recessive characteristic through generations of a family
  • predicting simple ratios of offspring genotypes and phenotypes in crosses involving dominant/recessive gene pairs or in genes that are sex-linked
  • describing mutations as changes in DNA or chromosomes and outlining the factors that contribute to causing mutations
ScOT terms

Heredity

Interactive

Stickleback Evolution Virtual Lab - iTunes app

Enter this virtual laboratory and conduct experiments to investigate genetic variation and evolution of populations of the three-spined stickleback fish. Students analyse fish and fossillised specimens, construct tables and graphs, and interpret their analysis. There are also instructive tutorials, videos describing stickleback ...

Video

Harnessing stem cells to grow new cells

Have you ever wanted to know what the fuss about stem cells is? Watch this 2009 clip to find out what stem cells are and why they are valuable to medical research. Learn about a breakthrough that might defuse the ethical debate.

Video

Could you make a unicorn by crossing DNA?

Good question! Find out whether this is possible by watching as biologist at MIT, Dr Sera Thornton explains. What is a genome? And why do genomes need to be decoded? If the rhino genome was successfully decoded and the part that described the rhino horn was isolated, what would the process be for creating a unicorn?

Online

Genetically engineered crops

Explore how DNA and genes transmit heritable characteristics from one generation to the next. Discover how artificial selection and genetic engineering can be used to introduce desirable traits into plant foods. Use video clips to explore the arguments for and against genetically engineered crops.Examine different perspectives ...

Video

Ancient DNA

What questions might be answered by the DNA of ancient fossilised remains? What mysteries of the past could be unlocked? Watch this clip and learn more about some fascinating genetic research taking place right here in Australia.

Video

Drugs may contain a 'biological calling card'

Illegal drug producers may leave behind DNA in the drugs they manufacture. This 'biological calling card' can then be used to locate and identify suspects. Find out how a South Australian scientist was able to extract DNA from a sample of drugs seized from a police drug-trafficking operation. Discover the new technique ...

Video

Breast cancer: genes and inheritance

Discover an Australian woman's family history of breast cancer and the role of genes and inheritance in determining her own risk of developing breast cancer. Find out what she did to get off the breast cancer 'roller coaster'. Watch this clip to learn about the science behind the breast cancer risk and treatment of Angelina ...

Video

What is the Doomsday Vault?

Imagine a world where all plants were wiped out. How would we feed ourselves? Seed banks around the world store seeds and safeguard them for future use in case of such a scenario. The largest and most comprehensive seed bank of all is the Doomsday Vault in the Arctic. Why do you think it's located there?

Image

'Anhanguera blittersdorffi'

This is a model skeleton of 'Anhanguera blittersdorffi', a flying reptile with a wingspan of 4 m. It was a member of the pterosaur group, carnivorous flying reptiles with skin-covered wings.

Video

'Junk DNA' not junk after all

Geneticists have long thought that 98 per cent of human DNA was 'junk' (or 'non-coding') DNA. However, recent scientific research suggests that there is much more to this DNA than first thought. Watch this clip to discover more.

Video

Saving the Mountain Pygmy-possum

Discover the tiny Mountain Pygmy-possum and find out what scientists are doing to try to save it from extinction. Learn about the possum and why it is endangered, and watch some research being conducted out in the field and in a laboratory. The clip includes footage of this rare and endangered native Australian animal in the wild.

Text

The first modern humans in south-east Asia

This is a multilayered resource about the theories and evidence of the origins of the first modern humans in south-east Asia. It has four sections: Theories; The sout-heast Asian fossil record; The appearance of sout-heast Asian features; and The first modern Indonesians. The Related sections, Related items and Related ...

Interactive

What is meiosis?

This is an interactive resource in which students explore meiosis and fertilization in dragons in a virtual lab. In the 'world' of Geniverse, students explore heredity and genetics by breeding and studying virtual dragons. They can control the process of meiosis and fertilization and engage in challenges by examining the ...

Interactive

Meiosis

This is an interactive resource about how meiosis and fertilization shuffle the alleles that offspring inherit. Students explore meiosis with a computer model of breeding dragons. They run a simulation of the process of meiosis, inspect the chromosomes, then choose gametes to fertilize. They can then predict the results ...

Interactive

Natural selection

This is an interactive resource in which students explore natural selection by controlling an environment and causing mutations in rabbits. Students can select vary environments, selection pressures, mutations and associated genetics, and then observe the populations change. This interactive resource is supported by tips ...

Video

Farmers, their animals and the environment

This is a video about the valuable genetic diversity of Asia's indigenous domesticated animals; the contribution the animals' genes make to local people's food security; and the results of the use of genetic technologies. The video identifies ever-present links between farmers, their animals and the environment by describing ...

Video

Building cells synthetically

A cell's own genetic material provides the instructions for how it works, but what if we could design our own set of instructions? Synthetic biology combines biology and engineering in the design of new systems and functions for cells. Watch this animated clip for an explanation of this new, innovative technology. See examples ...

Video

Who funds GM research trials?

Genetically modified (GM) foods are expensive to develop. They are often created through research partnerships between publicly funded scientists and private corporations. This offers advantages but also raises concerns about research objectivity and potential bias. Explore some of the issues surrounding the commercialisation ...

Audio

Using genes to unlock the secrets of Tutankhamen

Tutankhamen was an Egyptian pharaoh who ascended to the throne in 1333 BC, at the age or nine or ten. His fame in modern times is due to the discovery of his virtually intact tomb in 1922. Since then, many questions have been asked about his life and ancestry. Listen to this audio clip to find out how genetic technology ...

Video

Genetically modified food: divided perspectives

Imagine that farmers were able to droughtproof or pest-proof their crops. Manipulating genes in food can provide solutions to many farming and food supply problems. However, not everyone agrees on how this new technology should be used. Watch this clip to find out why some Australian farmers are divided on this issue.