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Culture, Learning, & Developmental Biology

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Word Document (2007)
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Description This resource examines the effects of nutritional deficiency on embryogenesis from several perspectives including social, psychological, and developmental biology. This interdisciplinary resource uses a case study as well as links to videos and articles to examine teratogens, fetal origin hypothesis, and cultural impacts on embryogenesis.
Type of Resource Assignment/Activity (Non-Laboratory/Non-Hands on Activity), Video
Format Word Document (2007) - DOCX
Emily Bradshaw, Florida Southern College
Development Date January 2, 2014
Grade/Age Levels Undergraduate lower division (Grades 13-14)
Undergraduate upper division (Grades 15-16)
General Public
Learning Time 2-3 hours
Language English
Type of Review Reviewed by SDB Peer Reviewers
Review Date May 6, 2014
Funding Source None
Suggested Use


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This resource is a case study that is broken into three parts.  The first asks students to weigh the impacts of Ramadan fasting on pregnant women; the second part is a Ted video discussing the measurable economic impacts of fetal nutrition and the third is another Ted video that introduces the idea of fetal origins research where certain preferences and influences get their start.

I think this case study will be valuable in an undergraduate course in nutrition and/or development.  There is a nice balance between scientific data and research and more emotional topics such as religious freedom and a mother’s choice or responsibility.  I suggest in a classroom setting that you have the students break into three groups and have each group work together to answer their set of specific questions.  Then have students from each group share what they have learned from their assigned reading/video with the class (who should take notes!).  I would then have the students write up their final “opinion” paper with facts or references for their point as their graded assignment (or post it to a discussion board for online courses).  I think the activity will be of interest to biology students and works well as a student centered teaching resource both individually or in small groups.

Jennifer Trusty, Georgia Perimeter College