You don't have to run the actual lab. guestimates are OK
Experiment 5: Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle cell anemia is a genetic disease (1 base pair mutation that changes a protein). It is
common in those of African ancestry. ?S? will represent the normal dominant allele and ?s? the
recessive sickle allele. They are co-dominant alleles ? SS is normal, Ss is not fatal, ss is
debilitating, painful and often fatal.
The remaining population has 50% of the initial gene pool (two colors) and the gene frequency
is different. As these individuals reproduce, their offspring will no longer reflect the original
100 ml Beaker
1. Place 25 red (S) and 25 blue (s) beads into the 100 ml beaker and mix well.
2. Randomly (without looking) remove two beads. Repeat 10 times (without returning the
beads to the beaker), each time recording if it was a SS, Ss or ss.
3. Remove each ss from the population ? they died.
4. The remaining beads survived and reproduced.
5. Count how many red and blue beads remained (separately) and place twice that number
back in the beaker.
6. Repeat the process seven times.
1. What is the remaining ratio of alleles?
2. Have any been selected against?
3. Given enough generations, would you expect one of these alleles to completely disappear
from the population? Why or why not?
4. Would this be different if you started with a larger population? Smaller?
5. After hundreds or even thousands of generations both alleles are still common in those of
African ancestry. How would you explain this?
6. The worldwide distribution of sickle gene matches very closely to the worldwide distribution
of malaria (http://cdc-malaria.ncsa.uiuc.edu/). Is this significant? Why or why not?
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