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Careers in Human Genetics | ASHG

Careers in Human Genetics | ASHG | Teaching High School Genetics | Scoop.it
Kate Richmond's insight:

I would especially recommend this to students who are particularly excited about genetics and may consider going into the field. This website, from the American Society of Human Genetics, explains why you should become a geneticist, different careers in the field, and some other frequently asked questions. 

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Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms

Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms | Teaching High School Genetics | Scoop.it
Specialists in the field of genetics share their descriptions of terms, and many terms include images, animation and links to related terms. A quiz is also included.
Kate Richmond's insight:

Look, there on the computer! It's a glossary! No, it's a photographic bible! No, it's a collection of 3D animations! It's actually all of these and more. This online glossary, designed to help learners of all levels and guided by national science education standards, has both written and oral definitions of genetic terms, pictures and diagrams, and even animations. I especially love this site because students can explore on their own and use the features that help them most. 

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Gel Electrophoresis Virtual Lab

Kate Richmond's insight:

Want to do some gel electrophoresis in your biology classroom? (The answer is, obviously, YES!) Have enough money to buy the equipment... probably not. Hence this virtual lab. It shows why and how gel electrophoresis works to separate out DNA strands of differing lengths, and it has great graphics and explanations! If you have the equipment to do electrophoresis in the classroom I would recommend that first of all, but if not this is an excellent alternative.

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Peppered Moth Simulation

Peppered Moth Simulation | Teaching High School Genetics | Scoop.it
Simulate changes in moth population due to pollution and predation, and observe how species can change over time. Uses a shockwave program where students play a bluebird trying to survive by eating moths in a forest.
Kate Richmond's insight:

The peppered moth is a commonly used illustration of natural selection and while this perhaps technically falls into the "evolution" category, I think it is also an excellent situation to discuss the very close ties between genetics and natural selection. Furthermore, this is without doubt the best peppered moth simulation I have ever seen. Students very clearly are able to understand why the allele frequencies change depending on the type of forest, both simply by seeing which moths are more visible and by the graphs at the bottom. Also, it's pretty fun to hear the crunch when the bird successfully eats a moth... 

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Gummy_Bear_Genetics.pdf

Kate Richmond's insight:

All this lab requires is a few bags of gummy bears. Easy set up, easy clean up (the kids just eat the gummies!) but through the activity they demonstrate their knowledge of genetic inheritance including more complex inheritance patterns (co-dominance, incomplete dominance, etc.). This could very easily be adapted as an inquiry activity. 

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Bioethics Resources on the Web - National Institutes of Health

Bioethics Resources on the Web - National Institutes of Health | Teaching High School Genetics | Scoop.it
Kate Richmond's insight:

The National Institutes of Health's page for Bioethics resources has links to organizations, federal institutions, specific topics within bioethics, research and other links. When talking about genetics, it's important to discuss bioethics, as ethical problems become more prevalent and will affect students' lives. This website has some excellent resources to help teach bioethics to students.

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ScienceDaily: Biology News

ScienceDaily: Biology News | Teaching High School Genetics | Scoop.it
Biology news. Full-text biology news, articles and photos from research institutes around the world. Updated daily.
Kate Richmond's insight:

Daily science news is ideal not only for teaching genetics, but for any aspect of biology, chemistry, physics, or all other sciences! Good tool to keep students - and teachers - up to date on what is happening with "real science"

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Report Of Liquid Woolly Mammoth Blood Prompts Clone Talk : NPR

Report Of Liquid Woolly Mammoth Blood Prompts Clone Talk : NPR | Teaching High School Genetics | Scoop.it
Scientists in Siberia say they've extracted blood samples from the carcass of a 10,000-year-old woolly mammoth, leading to speculation that a clone of the extinct animal might someday walk the earth.
Kate Richmond's insight:

Can we clone a mammoth? SHOULD we do so? These are questions that intrigue students, most of whom are familiar with the quintessential image of gigantic, wooly beasts roaming through the Ice Age. This article would be interesting to students and also brings up some interesting topics (cryoprotectants, ivory ethics, etc.). It is also a nice mid-level reading assignment that can be used as students develop better content-reading skills.

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Karen Ford's comment, July 20, 2013 11:27 AM
Jurassic Park becomes a reality!
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Teach.Genetics™

Teach.Genetics™ | Teaching High School Genetics | Scoop.it

Teach.Genetics provides resources for K-12 teachers, higher education faculty, and public educators. These include PDF-based Print-and-Go™ activities, unit plans and other supporting resources. The materials are designed to support and extend the materials on Learn.Genetics


Via Beth Dichter
Kate Richmond's insight:

Like Learn.Genetics, Teach.Genetics, comes from the University of Utah. This site provides resources to teachers including activities, lesson planning, etc. that can help kick-start a genetics unit. 

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Learn.Genetics™ - Lots of resources including a virtual lab!

Learn.Genetics™ - Lots of resources including a virtual lab! | Teaching High School Genetics | Scoop.it

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
Kate Richmond's insight:

Animated "tours" about DNA, genes, DNA-to-protein synthesis, heredity, and cells; discussions about stem cells, addiction, cloning, and gene therapy; and LOTS of interactive material and online activities. This site is a biology teacher's dream!

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Sandy Schmidt's curator insight, April 30, 2013 3:47 PM

Great website to learn basics of genetics

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STAR: Genetics - Home

STAR: Genetics - Home | Teaching High School Genetics | Scoop.it
Kate Richmond's insight:

An excellent modeling tool that can help students see how genetic traits are passed on from generation to generation. This could be useful in answering student-generated questions such as "What happens if I cross trait (x) with trait (y)? Why does this occur?"

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DNA from the Beginning - An animated primer of 75 experiments that made modern genetics.

DNA from the Beginning - An animated primer of 75 experiments that made modern genetics. | Teaching High School Genetics | Scoop.it
Discover the concepts and experiments that define the fields of genetics and molecular biology. This animated primer features the work of over 100 scientists and researchers.
Kate Richmond's insight:

The textbook might describe some of the important experiments that helped shape our knowledge of genetics today, but this website gives a more visual description. DNA from the Beginning has a whopping 75 animated experiments with excellent, easy-to-comprehend explanations that show students how important studies contributed to what we know today about genetics. 

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Gene therapy promises to wipe out rare childhood diseases | The Raw Story

Gene therapy promises to wipe out rare childhood diseases | The Raw Story | Teaching High School Genetics | Scoop.it
Kate Richmond's insight:

How does "gene therapy" work? Have we ever had any successes? This article will cause students to think about stem cell and other types of genetic research and see what breakthroughs are occurring - and that we also have a long way to go. Bioethics is always a highlight of teaching genetics and it should be discussed with students because they will almost certainly have to deal with such choices in their lifetimes. 

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DNA Extraction Virtual Lab

Kate Richmond's insight:

While DNA extraction is actually fairly easy and cheap to do in the classroom, this virtual lab is a good partner activity to go along with it because it shows a slightly more complicated version of extraction and because it explains very clearly why each step takes place. It is also able to "zoom in" and show what is actually happening with the DNA at each step which, of course, you cannot show during an actual lab. 

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Web Lab Directory

Web Lab Directory | Teaching High School Genetics | Scoop.it
Kate Richmond's insight:

This website has 14 different online labs related to genetics, from exploring Mendel's pea experiments to discussing how DNA actually works and even talking about genetic counseling! Some of them could be turned into actual labs students could do without the computer but others are excellent simulations in their own right. 

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Home - OMIM - NCBI

Kate Richmond's insight:

OMIM is a database of all known human genes and phenotypes. A subset of OMIM holds extensive information on human genetic disorders, including the loci of the mutations, clinical symptoms, biochemical specifics, and more. This would be particularly helpful when doing projects that require students to research a certain disorder or phenotype of any kind. 

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03-0174.pdf

Kate Richmond's insight:

This infographic/poster about the Human Genome Project helps students to understand the significance of the project and how it can be applied to their lives.

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Karen Ford's comment, July 20, 2013 11:29 AM
This is a wonderful infographic.... makes you want a big hanging poster for your classroom/lab!
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Drag-and-Drop Genetics: Monohybrid

Drag-and-Drop Genetics: Monohybrid | Teaching High School Genetics | Scoop.it
Kate Richmond's insight:

A simple but interactive program allows students to "drag and drop" alleles in order to create crosses. If computers are in the classroom, this could be an opportunity for students to practice and self-check as they work on Punnett squares.

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Human Genome Project Information

Human Genome Project Information | Teaching High School Genetics | Scoop.it
The main homepage for Human Genome Project information --what the project is; its progress, history, and goals; what issues are associated with genome research; frequently asked questions, the science behind the project; who its sponsors are.
Kate Richmond's insight:

What genetics unit would be complete without some information about the Human Genome Project? This link is to their home page, but tabs cover everything from ethical, legal, and social issues to education.

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Dog-Gone Genetics: A Few Genes Control Fido's Looks : NPR

Dog-Gone Genetics: A Few Genes Control Fido's Looks : NPR | Teaching High School Genetics | Scoop.it
Humans have complicated genetic structures — not so dogs. Almost every physical trait in canines is controlled by just a few genes, which means custom-breeding a dog is only a matter of flipping a few genetic switches.

Via Sakis Koukouvis
Kate Richmond's insight:

A very short, but interesting article discussing dog genetics. Could be a good tool to get students interested in genetic processes such as selective breeding, and to explain how these can interfere with genes. 

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Genetics of white tigers pinpointed - due to a single gene, SLC45A2

Genetics of white tigers pinpointed - due to a single gene, SLC45A2 | Teaching High School Genetics | Scoop.it

Chinese scientists trace the rare white coloration in Bengal tigers to a single change in a gene that affects a host of animals, including humans.

 

White tigers are a rare variant of the customary orange Bengal sub-species. Today, they are found exclusively in captive programmes where the limited numbers are interbred to maintain the distinctive fur color.

 

Shu-Jin Luo of Peking University and colleagues investigated the genetics of a family of tigers living in Chimelong Safari Park in Panyu, Guangzhou Province. This ambush of tigers included both white and orange individuals.

 

The study zeroed in on the pigment gene called SLC45A2, which has long been associated with the light colouration seen in some human populations, and in a range of other animals including horses, chickens, and fish.

 

The team identified a small alteration in the white-tiger version of SLC45A2 that appears to inhibit the production of red and yellow pigments. This change has no effect on the generation of black pigment - explaining why the whites still have their characteristic dark stripes.

 

A number of the white tigers found in zoos have health issues, such as eyesight problems and some deformities.

 

However, Luo and colleagues say these deficiencies are a consequence of inbreeding by humans and that the white coats are in no way indicative of a more general weakness in the Bengal variant.

 

Establishing this fact means that re-introducing them to the wild under a carefully managed conservation programme might be worth considering.

"The last known free-ranging white tiger was shot in 1958, before which sporadic sightings were made in India," the researchers write.

 

"Reasons for the extinction of wild white tigers were likely the same as those accounting for the dramatic decline in wild tigers in general: uncontrolled trophy hunting, habitat loss, and habitat fragmentation.

 

"However, the fact that many white tigers captured or shot in the wild were mature adults suggests that a white tiger in the wild is able to survive without its ļ¬tness being substantially compromised."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Kate Richmond's insight:

This article could be an excellent content-reading activity for students while also bringing up issues of ethics in genetics and single-gene vs. polygenic traits.

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DragonGenetics1Protocol.pdf

Kate Richmond's insight:

Through this activity students explore Mendel's Law of Independent Assortment as well as genetic linkage, using the example of dragons. The interest-catching activity also asks thought-provoking questions. Probably 2-4 days.

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