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University of Bristol
Wellcome Trust
Recommended by:
Society of Biology
PEEP for Physics & Ethics at GCSE

Case Studies

Case Studies whether hypothetical or real are a tried and tested way of stimulating discussion around ethical dilemmas.

 Case Study 1 - Thalassaemia Contextualised
This case study, written by Prof. John Bryant of the University of Exeter (for the ETHICS project funded by the Higher Education Academy), raises questions linked to PGD, abortion and potential impact of genetic modification on future generations.

 Case Study 2 - Rainforest in South America
This short case study (written by Dr. Chris Southgate of the University of Exeter for the ETHICS project funded by the Higher Education Academy) raises questions linked to the loss of biodiversity through logging in tropical rainforest regions and in patenting genetic information from plants.

Real case studies in BEEP are:

Other relevant case studies designed
for use in teaching and available online are:

  •  Eric, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and Stem Cell Research which provides information, teaching activities and links to resources covering the potential role of stem cell treatments in Lou Gehrig's disease (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)  which is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord and eventually leads to death.
    Teaching notes for this case study
  •  The Benign Hamburger, a hypothetical scenario set in a chain of hamburger restaurants, which introduces and discusses issues and mechanisms involved in irradiating food to prevent potential growth of bacteria and consequent food poisoning.
    Teaching notes for this case study
  •  Frankenfoods? The Debate Over Genetically Modified Crops is another hypothetical scenario where environmental activists destroy the plant genetics department at an American university. The university had been researching genetic engineering techniques intended to reduce the use of pesticides.
    Teaching notes for this case study
  •  The Case of the “Tainted” Taco Shells This case study discusses some of the issues associated with the use of genetically modified plants, including ecological risks, resistance, and allergenicity.
    Teaching notes for this case study


 Concept Mapping


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