Understanding Disease at the Organelle Level



Task 1: Research and gather information on the structure and function of various organelles.

Directions: Visit the websites below and fill-in the appropriate information in the chart found on your WebQuest worksheet.  
Note: The more time you spend researching now, the better prepared you will be for solving the case studies later.

Organelles: http://www.edhsgreensea.net/Biology/html_stuff/Cell%20Organelles.htm

Organelles: micro.magnet.fsu.edu/cells/animalcell.html

Organelles: www.wisc-online.com/Objects/ViewObject.aspx?ID=ap11604

Organelles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zafJKbMPA8

Organelles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfopLilIOeA

Organelles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URUJD5NEXC8

Organelles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpcxwf5lzns

Task 2: Investigate the connections between dysfunctional organelles and disease.
A) Directions: The websites listed below contain information on various diseases and the dysfunctional organelles that cause them. Investigate these diseases. Fill-in the chart on your worksheet with the following information: (1) name of disease (2) organelle responsible for the disease (3) explain how the disease is a result of the malfunctioning organelle.    

Organelles & Human Disease: www.mhhe.com/biosci/ap/holehaap/student/olc/h-reading10.html

Lysosomal Storage Disorders: https://www.pompe.com/patients/about/classifying/about-lsd.aspx

Mitochondrial Disease: http://www.lhsc.on.ca/Patients_Families_Visitors/Genetics/Inherited_Metabolic/Mitochondria/GeneralSymptoms.htm

Organelles and Human Disease

B) Directions: Watch the YouTube video below and answer the prompt on the WebQuest worksheet.
Prompt: One of the symptoms of mitochondrial disease is fatigue (weak and tired). Explain how the inability of mitochondria to perform their proper function can account for this disease symptom?

Task 3: Apply your knowledge of organelle structure and function to solve medical case studies.
Directions: Read each case study below. Determine which organelle is responsible for the disease symptoms. Write your answers on your WebQuest worksheets and provide reasons why you chose that particular organelle. 

Case Study #1
George is an 18 year old male, who arrived in the emergency room (ER) at 6:03 a.m. with severe indigestion. The attending physician did blood work and found no abnormalities with it. An X-ray of his abdomen suggested that George's body is unable to digest his food. The attending physician suggested this could be due to the inability of the intestinal cells to package the needed enzymes and bile salts for shipment to the intestinal cavity. Which cell organelle is the cause of George's indigestion?

Case Study #2:
Lauren is a senior at a nearby high school. She is a good student who does her work on weekdays and likes to party on the weekends with her friends. A few months ago, Lauren developed a persistent cough that has worsened over time. She has also had trouble breathing over the past week or so. Her parents decided it was time she see a doctor and made an appointment with the family physician. Lauren arrived at the doctor's office the following day. The doctor asked her a number of questions about her health history and daily habits, including, whether or not she smoked cigarettes. Lauren responded that she started smoking cigarettes (about 2 per day) her freshman year of high school and does not intend to quit anytime soon. The doctor decided it was necessary to take a biopsy of the cells that line the bronchus (passageway to the lungs). After several days, the biopsy report has come back along with a micrograph of the bronchial cells. Lauren's cigarette smoking has badly damaged these organelles which are responsible for moving dirt and mucous up-and-out of her respiratory system. Analyze the micrograph (see "Case Study #2" image below) and determine what cell organelles have been damaged.

Case Study #3:
Valerie is a studious 15 year old who is also a valuable member of her school's field hockey team. They are 15-1 this year and have a chance at winning the state championship. However, Valerie recently began feeling ill with noticeable signs of a high fever. After several days, her parents decided to take her to the ER and the attending physician admitted her to the hospital with an ongoing bacterial infection. After several more days, doctors are perplexed that her body is unable to fight off the infection. They decide to take a blood sample and have it sent to the lab for analysis. Lab results indicate that the vacuoles in her white blood cells are successfully trapping the bacteria. However, this organelle is not binding to the vacuoles and releasing the enzymes necessary to break down the bacterial cell walls. Identify the organelle so doctors can begin providing the proper treatment to Valerie.

Case Study #4:
Jim and Lisa have lived in the state of New Jersey most of their lives. They are both in their early 30's and recently married. They have been trying to have their first child for a number of months but Lisa has been unable to get pregnant. Recently, Jim and Lisa decided to go to their family physician to see if there may be something wrong. The physician obtained a sample of Jim's sperm cells and had it sent to a lab for microscopic analysis. After several days, the physician received a micrograph of the sperm cells and noted a structural defect in the organelle responsible for cell movement. Analyze the micrograph (see "Case Study #4" image below) and determine the organelle responsible for Jim and Lisa's inability to have a baby.

Case Study #5:
Ryan is an 18-year-old male who recently went to the family doctor for a check-up. The doctor found his testosterone (a lipid) levels to be extremely low and decided to perform a blood test. Results show that the reproductive cells of Ryan's body are not synthesizing lipids at normal levels. Which cell organelle is not working properly?    


Case Study #4
Description: Micrograph
Faces of Mitchondrial Disease

Description: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3F_nUR1wlA
Case Study #2
Description: Micrograph

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