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Gene Rummy: A Card Game About Mendelian Genetics
Many people struggle with the fundamental concepts underlying Mendelian genetics. As soon as we involve more than two traits things get complicated. The classic examples are fine, but additional resources can be helpful. Besides, playing with blood isn't all it's cracked up to be, and rabbits are cuter. Here's a visual way to learn the jargon and the basic principles of Mendelian inheritance while playing a fast-paced card game using rabbit coat color genetics. Coat color in rabbits demonstrates dominance/recessive traits, differences in pheno- vs genotypes, epistatis, and multiple alleles - all of which blend together to form the color we see. Gene Rummy is a variation of Gin Rummy. Players can try their hand at breeding rabbits - without the mess, smell, or expense. This workshop is a demonstration of our prototype card game and participants will have an opportunity to examine the cards, see how the games are played, and try a few hands themselves. Two variants exist: “Families”: attempt to form families from the rabbits in their hands by choosing a sire and dam and the babies that this mating could produce. 2) “Production”: pick a rabbit from the “Gene Pool” and try to find two parents who could produce it.
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Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE)
Becker, K. 2014. Gene Rummy: A Card Game About Mendelian Genetics. Pages 53-56, in Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching, Volume 35 (K. McMahon, Editor). Proceedings of the 35th Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE), 199 pages.
Science and Technology