A detailed and engaging lesson presentation (41 slides) that looks at the key details of the process of gene therapy as well as some of the issues with this treatment. The lesson links the potential treatment to the disease Cystic fibrosis, so that students can envisage how it will work. Students are guided through the steps of the process and links are made to other topics, such as genetic engineering, so that students are challenged to recall the specifics of restriction enzymes. Time is taken to look at some of the issues involved with the treatment, including the problem of cells being replaced by untreated cells naturally by the body. Students will come to understand the difference between somatic gene therapy and germ-line gene therapy and be able to describe why the latter is currently not allowed in the UK. There are regular progress checks throughout the lesson so that students can assess their understanding as well as a number of competitions, to maintain engagement and motivation.
This lesson has been designed for GCSE students but is challenging enough to be used with A-level students who are beginning this topic.