Genetics and Evolution of the Human Species
Writing Assignment #1 (35 points)
Genes in the Family
1) Assignment: Talk to a family member or members and find an example of a genetic condition in your family.
Next, find a reliable, scientific source(s) that discusses this particular genetic condition. Sources should be
professional publications designed for the general public and can include websites on specific diseases or
syndromes (e.g., for high blood pressure visit the American Society for Hypertension webpage). It is best to avoid
research journal articles for this assignment as they will most likely be too technical for the goal of this writing.
2) Grading: Using the information in the source(s) you found, write a one page (single-spaced) letter (400-500
words) to a family member and tell him/her what is known about the genetics of this condition. Your description
should include the genes and proteins involved (if they are known) (10 points), any environmental factors that
contribute to the development of the condition (10 points), and any known treatments (10). Remember, this
letter is to a family member so write in a manner that your reader will understand.
3) Citations: There is no need for in-text citations, however, please include at the end of your letter the source(s)
used for this assignment (author, journal/magazine/book, title, date) and cite them using any acceptable
bibliographical format (5 points).
One excellent website to visit is:
Genes and Disease is a collection of articles that discuss genes and the diseases that they cause. With each
genetic disorder, the underlying mutation(s) is discussed, along with clinical features and links to key websites.