Ch 10: MCAS STE Biology: Genetics & Heredity

About This Chapter

Use the video lessons in this chapter to study up on genes and how DNA gets passed from one generation to the next. This information will help you prepare for related questions on the MCAS STE Biology exam.

Genes are the building blocks of life and they hold the information that determines our characteristics. In this chapter you will review the properties of genes and exactly how genes are passed from one generation to the next. By the end of this chapter you will have examined:

  • The basics of genetics
  • Properties of alleles
  • Mendel's Laws: segregation and independent assortment
  • Codominance and incomplete dominance
  • Sex linked and sex limited traits
  • Chromosomal linkage
  • DNA mutations, insertions and deletions
  • How mutations affect protein function
  • Environmental mutations
  • Frameshift mutations and their effects
  • The Punnett square

The lessons have been specially developed with several learning methods to help you retain the information in this chapter. Each lesson contains a video to visually explain the material along with its transcript to help you with taking notes. At the end of each lesson, you can take the self-assessment quiz to test your knowledge and see how questions may appear on the exam.

MCAS STE Biology: Genetics & Heredity Chapter Objectives

The MCAS STE Biology exam is one of four Science and Technology/Engineering exams taken by high school students in Massachusetts. The exam consists of five main content areas. The information reviewed in this chapter will prepare you for questions related to genetics, which account for 20% of the final score.

The MCAS STE Biology exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions and 5 open-ended responses. The open-ended questions could be related to any of the five content areas that make up the exam, so it's important to study for all of them. Students need to pass one of the four STE exams with a score of 220 or higher in order to qualify for high school graduation.

12 Lessons in Chapter 10: MCAS STE Biology: Genetics & Heredity
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Genetics: Heredity, Traits & Chromosomes

1. Genetics: Heredity, Traits & Chromosomes

We view manipulation of genes in our crops and livestock as a recent development. Yet, man has been manipulating the genetic makeup of his food for thousands of years through cultivation and breeding. This lesson will begin to help you understand how genetics works.

Properties of Alleles

2. Properties of Alleles

What is a dominant phenotype and how will it affect Adrian's flying hamster research? Tune in as he studies homozygous and heterozygous genotypes and the phenotypes they produce.

Mendel's First Law: The Law of Segregation

3. Mendel's First Law: The Law of Segregation

Breaking up is a hard thing to do, but homologous chromosomes always go their separate way. What effect does chromosome segregation have on genetics? We look once more to Adrian's flying hamsters for answers.

Mendel's Second Law: The Law of Independent Assortment

4. Mendel's Second Law: The Law of Independent Assortment

Understanding how Mendel's law of independent assortment describes inheritance of genes is as easy as flipping a coin. Grab a few coins, cue up the video and see how.

Exceptions to Simple Dominance: Codominance and Incomplete Dominance

5. Exceptions to Simple Dominance: Codominance and Incomplete Dominance

Have you ever wondered what it means if someone is a universal donor or acceptor of blood? See how genetic interactions play a key role in this trait.

Exceptions to Independent Assortment: Sex-Linked and Sex-Limited Traits

6. Exceptions to Independent Assortment: Sex-Linked and Sex-Limited Traits

More men are color blind compared women. But often, not every brother, cousin or uncle in a family tree is color blind. Why not? How can genetics explain this seemingly complex inheritance pattern?

Crossing Over & Gene Linkage: Definition, Importance & Results

7. Crossing Over & Gene Linkage: Definition, Importance & Results

During this latest development of his flying hamster experiments, Adrian must learn about linked genes and recombinant chromosomes to unlock the mystery of the fire-breathing hamster. In this lesson, you'll look at another exception to Mendel's law of independent assortment.

What is a Point Mutation? - Definition, Causes & Types

8. What is a Point Mutation? - Definition, Causes & Types

What are genetic mutations? How do they affect our DNA? This lesson covers the basics of point mutations and provides simple examples of different mutation types.

Effects of Mutations on Protein Function: Missense, Nonsense, and Silent Mutations

9. Effects of Mutations on Protein Function: Missense, Nonsense, and Silent Mutations

How does a tiny point mutation change the way a protein works? What are the consequences of base substitutions? In this lesson, we'll use an imaginary creature to explore missense, nonsense and silent mutations.

Mutagens: How the Environment Affects Mutation Rates

10. Mutagens: How the Environment Affects Mutation Rates

What causes mutations to occur in living things? How do we avoid mutations? Are mutations always bad? Discover answers to these questions and more in this lesson on mutagens.

Effects of Frameshift Mutations: Definitions and Examples

11. Effects of Frameshift Mutations: Definitions and Examples

What is a frameshift in genetic translation? How can a frameshift mutation change a protein? In this lesson, learn about the codon reading frame and how frameshift mutations cause serious problems for polypeptide formation.

Punnett Square: Definition & Example

12. Punnett Square: Definition & Example

This lesson will define what a Punnett square is and show several examples of how one can be used. It will also briefly describe patterns of inheritance.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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