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Harry Potter and the Chinese Genetics Course

Over the long holiday break, my husband and I watched all eight Harry Potter movies on Blue-ray. (My favorites? The first and last.) After spending 1,180 minutes with Harry, Hermione, Ron and the rest of gang, the movies are very much still on my brain - which is why I found a news story about a Chinese medical school using Harry Potter to teach genetics so fun. From Science Scope:

The class at Sun Yat-sen University in the southern province of Guangdong looks at how our genetic makeup determines how we act in different situations.

In an interview with the Telegraph, lecturer (and Potter fan) Chen Suqin explained the types of genetic issues she can explore through the series’ plot points. For instance, both Harry and the Dark Lord Voldemort have blood from the house of Slytherin.


Other plots and magical characters — Dobby, Dumbledore, the Weasleys — will be used to show how our genetic makeup influences our social behavior.

“Genetics is often viewed as very boring and a dry topic by students,” Chen told the Telegraph. “But if they are Harry Potter fans, this course will help raise their curiosity and help them remember what they have learnt.”

Photo by Louis K

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