How Can Gene Editing Eliminate Lyme Disease?


This is a close reading and annotation exercise that can be completed in small groups.  The article is an abridged version of  “Rewriting the Code of Life” from the Annals of Science, January 2017.  It includes concepts about transmission of pathogens and secondary hosts followed by an explanation of how CRISPR could be used to break the cycle by immunizing mice.  

There is also an explanation on gene drives could be used to increase the speed at which the immune genes would be inherited in wild populations.    The concepts included are written for a broad audience, but specifics of the technology can be explored further within and advanced biology classroom.

Students are asked to annotate the text and answer questions in small groups about what they have read.  The questions are embedded within the document so that students must pause at key points and reflect upon what they have read.   Students ideally would have had prior lessons on close reading and text annotations.


Time Required:  40-55 minutes (including discussion)
Grade Level:  11-12

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text’s explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.



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