Mimic (1997)
 
Concept featured in clip: Infectious disease; genetic engineering
Location of clip: DVD: Chapter 2: 0:21-4:32



Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: The scene begins with Dr. Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino) touring hospital wards filled with netted beds covering children dying of a virulent disease caused by cockroaches. As the doctor says when giving her the tour "The lucky ones will end up in leg braces. Most of these kids won't make it."

The clip then moves into a futuristic appearance with Dr. Tyler releasing some sort of insect into a mass of cockroaches in the subway.

Finally, the clip goes on into the future and depicts a gathering where Dr. Tyler describes how she genetically altered a termite with mantis DNA to serve as an ally against the cockroach. "We call it the Judas Breed" she says and adds that no new cases of the disease have been seen in six months.

Connection of flickclip to the concept: This is a great clip to initiate a discussion on infectious diseases and methods for combating them.
Suggestions to teachers:
1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

a. Have students pay attention to the initial part of the clip. When they see the children dying in the beds, have the students pose possible answers as to what they think could be causing such a disease? How might this disease be propogated and then thusly contained?

b. After the second part of the clip, ask the students what they think Dr. Tyler is doing in the subway. How would releasing a large insect be part of a plan to eradicate a disease? What issues might arise if this method were used in the real world?

c. At the conclusion of the last portion of the clip, ask the students what concerns they have about genetically altering a termite with mantis DNA in creating a cure for this disease, It appears to be working. After all, Dr. Tyler designed the Judas Breed to die after one generation. But will it?

2. This clip ties in directly to the NSES "Social and Personal Perspectives" standards. What sorts of considerations must scientists make when they create new vaccines or treatments for illnesses? What kinds of issues must be addressed when genetically engineering organisms?