Winging It: Analyzing a Scientific Paper
In this activity, students analyze aspects of a scientific paper that investigates genes involved in the colors and patterns of butterfly wings.
This paper shows how evolutionary biologist Robert Reed and his colleagues used the biotechnology tool CRISPR-Cas9 to inactivate a number of butterfly genes and determine their functions. Students’ analyses of the paper are scaffolded by having students review the abstract and introduction, make a concept map of important terms in the paper, and interpret a subset of the results.
Student Learning Targets
- Analyze the abstract and introduction of a scientific paper to identify the authors’ argument structure.
- Describe how CRISPR-Cas9 was used explore the genetic basis of coloration and spot formation in butterfly wings.
- Interpret the results of CRISPR-Cas9 experiments by annotating figures from the results section of a scientific paper.
- Interpret the experimental design used in a CRSIPR-Cas9 experiment.
abstract, butterfly, concept map, CRISPR-Cas9, gene inactivation, gene knockout, optix, phenotype
Zhang, Linlin, Anyi Mazo-Vargas, and Robert D. Reed. “Single master regulatory gene coordinates the evolution and development of butterfly color and iridescence.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114, 40 (2017): 10707–10712. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1709058114.
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
HS-LS3-1, HS-LS3-2; SEP1
AP Biology (2019)
IST-1.L, IST-1.N, IST-1.P, IST-2.E, IST-3.F, IST-4.A; SP3
IB Biology (2016)
2.6, 2.7, 3.5, 7.2
Common Core (2010)
Vision and Change (2009)