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Science Time

Science Time

Program Content for May 20, 2015


Read the article “New hope for cystic fibrosis” on page A1 of the Monday, May 18, 2015 edition of The Seattle Times.


Pre-reading and Vocabulary: Define each term and then use it in a sentence to demonstrate your understanding.


1.     mutant

2.     placebo

3.     genetic disorder

4.     gene

5.     exacerbation


Comprehension Questions

1.     What are the symptoms of cystic fibrosis?  

2.     Describe what Dr. Bonnie Ramsey refers to as a “breakthrough” in treating cystic fibrosis.  

3.     What is F508del?  

4.     What were the results of the Orkambi drug trials?  

5.     How many pills per day do people given Orkambi need to take?  

6.     Who might benefit from Orkambi?  

7.     How are the cystic fibrosis drugs Orkambi and Kalydeco (ivacaftor) similar?  

8.     What two drugs are combined to make Orkambi?  

9.     How does Orkambi work?  

10.  What is one potential concern of the new drug Orkambi?  


Prompts and Extensions


1.     Watch this video clip to learn more about the causes and symptoms of cystic fibrosis.

2.     Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder.  Other common genetic disorders besides CF include down sydrome, fragile X syndrome, Klinefelter sydrome, sickle cell disease, and Turner syndrome.  Choose one of these genetic disorders or another of your choosing (there are about 1000) and create an informational brochure.  Include information about the disorder, its effects on people, how it is treated, and other important information.

3.     A genetic counselor is a trained professional that helps families understand their possible risks of having a child with a genetic disorder.  Find out more about this profession by answering the following questions.  Where do genetic counselors work?  What are their roles and responsibilities? How does someone know whether or not they should visit a genetic counselor?

4.     Genetic testing on babies can be done in a number of different ways.  Explain the differences between each of the following tests. Amniocentesis, chronic villus sampling (CVS), and a karyotype.


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