Curriculum & Resources



In this lesson, students deepen their understanding of the relationship between scientific research in modern biology and medicine by studying the genetic basis of thalassemia, a form of hereditary anemia quite widespread in all Mediterranean countries.

Students are asked to investigate through active teaching methods the gene mutations that cause alpha and beta thalassemia using bioinformatics tools, LabXchange, and practical activities with active participation of students, through the inquiry-based methods.

They will explore the molecular biology methods—including restriction enzyme digestion, PCR, and DNA electrophoresis—that are used to detect this blood disease

Finally, evolutionary aspects of this disease and potential gene therapy techniques for thalassemia care are investigated, reflecting also on ethical issues.

These materials were developed by ABE Master Teacher Fellow Salvatore Stira of ABE Italy as part of the ABE Master Teacher Fellowship.

Class sessions


Resource Type
Teaching Materials
Appropriate Ages
Upper Secondary
Resource Topic
Biotech & Medicine
Human Disease
Biotech & Society
Data Science
Lab Techniques
Gel Electrophoresis
Restriction Enzyme
Resource Author
Salvatore Stira, ABE Italy