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Insight into Blindness: Science Partnership for Discovery

The learning resources presented in these web pages explore scientists’ collaboration with one whanau as they work to discover the genetics behind the serious visual impairment that has plagued the family for five generations.

About the Learning Resources

Basic CMYK

Members of one New Zealand whanau are susceptible to an inherited condition which results in serious vision impairment. As well as vision problems, some whanau were affected by other conditions such as autism. Little was known about the genetic causes of this condition. Scientists collaborated with the whanau to trace the family tree, work out symptoms and patterns for how the disease presented (phenotype), use DNA profiling to establish the genotype, and learn more about the mutation and affected genes. These resources present a case study which explains the research questions asked and what the team found out. 


The resources and discussions in these pages will also provide an opportunity for you to learn more about causes of genetic mutations and sex-linked inheritance and explore patterns and relationships between phenotype and genotype.

Resource Links


An Insight into Blindness

A page for teachers and senior students summarising the key concepts associated with vision impairment.



Understanding Vision Impairment: Case Study

Learn how scientists are working with one New Zealand whanau to understand an inherited condition that has caused vision impairment and other health issues.



Discussion Questions

Resource questions designed to further discussion and promote understanding of gene expression related to inherited conditions. 


Question and Answer

Challenge Questions

Further questions to stimulate in-depth conversation and extend your thinking on the subject of genetic inheritance and gene expression related to vision impairment. 



Seminar Recording

An in-stream version of the seminar series the resources on these web pages originate from.



Seminar Paper

Download the seminar paper.



Links to Curriculum and Assessment of Learning

Information for teachers on how these resources link to current curriculum objectives.



Further Resources

Additional resources for teachers to further understand the resources presented in these web pages.