Using the specific example of how an enveloped virus docks and enters a host CD4 leukocyte, students learn details about the role of cell membrane receptors, lysogenic and lytic phases of viral replication, the precise roles and interactions of white blood cells in the non-specific and specific immune system response, beneficial and deleterious genetic mutations, the challenges of community health, and the ethics of drug patents. A series of activities fill in the students’ base of knowledge as they dive deeply into explorations of how HIV works and the repercussions it has on a cell, a system, an organism and a community. Students explore the mechanics of transcription and translation in the context of a high-jacked cell, and then look at this process from a different angle to assess the effect transposed pieces of DNA have had on evolution. Guided by scientific context, students are challenged to design a drug to cure or prevent further infection that is firmly rooted in the physics, chemistry and biology of the infection process. Students are asked to examine the statistics of drug efficacy using a collaborative method with real-world context. Logic, critical thinking and communication are required to fully grasp the history of a communicable disease that has proliferated due to an array of factors that extend beyond biology into the areas of sociology, economics and politics. Use this case study to teach Next Generation Science Skills in a phenomenon-based manner that captures students and turns them on to research and discovery.
The Case Studies for Advanced Science series use an NGSS storyline technique to dive deep into one real-life example of scientific research. Students are confronted with phenomena that intrigues them and sparks inquiry. Activities help them follow the questions that arise, and modeling is used to elucidate the processes of biology, anatomy, physiology and biochemistry, shedding light on patterns and outcomes.
Each case study topic is chosen because it acts as an excellent vehicle to cover the concepts in an AP/IB Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, or Biomedical course with the depth and detail necessary for engaging advanced learners.
The Case Studies for Advanced Science are recommended for:
- IB Biology teachers, as the curricula completely cover the anatomy and physiology, TOK connections and IA practice necessary for the HL Biology course
- A seasoned AP Biology teacher who prefers the holistic approach presented in the “Big Ideas,” in which fundamental processes and concepts are learned while students explore a specific example in depth
- Anatomy and Physiology teachers, who focus on the processes and physiology, structure and function, and the origin and progression of a disease.
- Use in an independent research course guided by initiating activities and foundational concepts that are expanded into the areas of individual student interest
The Case Studies series will be expanded as curricula become available for the following topics:
- Addiction and Depression: A case study approach to understanding the nervous system, the endocrine system and neuropharmacology
- Ants: A case study approach to exploring chemical communication, social structures and symbiosis
- Cancer: A case study approach to health and disease in cell biology and genetics
- Sonoran Desert: A case study approach to understanding interdependent relationships within a dynamic ecosystem