Blue People of Kentucky

Overview & Concepts

In this activity students will be introduced to an unusual and rare genetic condition that causes a person's skin to turn blue.   A powerpoint presentation will be used to introduce the topic.  The presentation will open up opportunities to review genetic concepts as well as create discussion on topics like population genetics, ethics, etc.  Students will examine a pedigree where they will see that this disorder is an autosomal recessive trait.   The OMIM website will be accessed to link students knowledge about genetics, DNA, protein synthesis and mutations to real world databases.

Grade Level: 

Concepts Covered: 

genetics, population genetics, protein synthesis, pedigrees, mutations, databases

Prior Knowledge Required: 

Students should know how genetic traits are passed from one generation to the next.  They should be familiar with DNA and how it can be altered by mutations.  They should know how to read a pedigree. The central dogma of Biology should be understood. 

Activity Notes

Days to Teach: 



Student handouts, computers with Power Point and Internet access, Power Point file

Teaching Tips / Activity Overview: 

  1. Begin with the presentation The Blue People of Kentucky PPT.   The powerpoint and discussion will probably take 30 minutes.
  2. Have students work alone or in small groups to  use OMIM and complete the worksheet The Blue People of Kentucky.



Worksheet, discussion, unit test

Academic Standards
Categories & Tags
Subject Area: 
Type of Activity: 

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