Spiderman (2002)

Concept featured in clip: Genetics
Location of clip: DVD: 0:06:29-0:10:51, 0:13:42-0:14:56, 0:17:46-0:19:10

Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: This clip shows Peter on a student tour of a college genetics laboratory. Peter is bitten by an escaped, experimental spider that has been biologically engineered to have enhanced traits. The spider's venom causes Peter to fall ill and after a night's sleep, the venom alters his genetic makeup. He wakes to find his body has changed dramatically overnight, giving him perfect vision, muscle tone, increased strength, agility, the ability to fire strands of strong webbing from his wrists, and super heightened senses giving him a psychic warning of danger.

Connection of flickclip to the concept: This clip is a visual way for students to see how genetics can be engineered for specific adaptations. The clip portrays the double helix of the spider and the engineering of the special traits being added to the strands of DNA to enhance its ability for strength, jumping, speed, etc. The genome of the spider is a combination of genes from 3 different spiders to create a "super spider."
Suggestions to teachers:
1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

a. How can genes be altered? Is this an ethical practice?

b. How can our senses and different abilities be enhanced?

2. Students can research the effects of gene engineering and how it has been used to clone animals and enhance plants.

3. As a classroom activity, you could have the students debate the issue of ethics and whether or not engineering genes is an ethical practice.