Scientific Community Survey

The scientifically enthusiastic Grade 9 students of my class embarked on an intriguing endeavour to explore the connection between a specific gene (gene TAS2R38) and the distribution of people around the world. Their survey aimed to investigate the link between the gene responsible for tasting PTC (phenylthiocarbamide) paper and the geographic origins of students attending the senior school.

To gather data, the Grade 9 students embarked on a Senior School-wide survey, approaching their fellow schoolmates and teachers. They surveyed almost 90 individuals and collected data. The survey was comprised of three essential questions:

(1) Can you taste PTC paper? 

(2) Are you a third culture kid? 

(3) Which country/part of the world are you from? 

With a commitment to maintaining anonymity and confidentiality, the students meticulously recorded the responses. The students have started to analyse the data and have already started to find some intriguing patterns. We are hoping that the findings provide compelling evidence for the genetic component of taste perception and its potential influence on biogeographical distribution.

This survey underscores the rich cultural diversity within the school community. Moreover, the geographic origins of the students reveals a tapestry of countries and regions represented. This diversity exemplifies the multicultural nature of the school and presents a compelling opportunity to explore the potential interplay between genes and human distribution across the globe.

The Grade 9 students are now in the process of analysing the collected data to better understand the correlations between the gene for PTC taste perception, biogeography and cultural diversity. The resulting report and the subsequent mapping of the data will shed light on the intricate relationship between genes and the distribution of individuals across different parts of the world. Through this study, the students aim to trigger curiosity in how greater natural events like tectonic plate movements and biogeography can impact our culture and genetic make up.

Sandeep Varma

MYP Biology Teacher

Gr 6 Mathematics and Home Room Teacher

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