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DNA

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Lesson Plans
  1. A History of DNA (PBS News)
      "The DNA television series and its Web episodes are a valuable resource for teachers and students. In this section we are pleased to offer lesson plans and activities for middle school and high school teachers that are designed to take up no more than one or two classroom periods." It includes a DNA glossary. 03-07

Lists
  1. DNA (Awesome Library)
      Provides information on DNA.

Materials
  1. A Leaf from Far, Far Away and Very, Very Close (Florida State University - Davidson)
      "View the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth. Then move through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude until you reach a tall oak tree just outside the buildings of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida. After that, begin to move from the actual size of a leaf into a microscopic world that reveals leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, DNA and finally, into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons."

Multimedia
  1. -Medical Revolution: Whole Exome Sequencing (Time.com)
      Reports on a new procedure to determine genetic patterns. 12-13

  2. DNA, Genes, and Heredity (DNA Learning Center)
      Provides animations to explain the basic concepts. Requires (free) Flash software.

  3. RNAi (Nature.com)
      "Click here to view an animated tour through the process of RNA interference." 06-07

News
  1. -10-31-08 DNA Kits Available at Retail Costs (Time.com)
      "Learning and sharing your genetic secrets are at the heart of 23andMe's controversial new service — a $399 saliva test that estimates your predisposition for more than 90 traits and conditions ranging from baldness to blindness. Although 23andMe isn't the only company selling DNA tests to the public, it does the best job of making them accessible and affordable. The 600,000 genetic markers that 23andMe identifies and interprets for each customer are 'the digital manifestation of you,' says Wojcicki (pronounced Wo-jis-key), 35, who majored in biology and was previously a health-care investor." 07-07

  2. DNA Kits Available to Learn Our Own Ancestry (PBS.org)
      "With advances in DNA technology, researchers are learning more about the origins and diversity of humans, allowing companies to offer DNA test kits and analysis for people who want to learn more about their ancestry."

      "Kittles' business got a big boost earlier this year when it was included in a PBS series called 'African American Lives.' It featured nine prominent people being tested to see where their ancestors came from. Some people, like series host Henry Louis Gates, Jr., were surprised to find that family lore about their origins is just plain wrong." 07-07

Papers
  1. -Secret Second Code Found on DNA (Science.Time.com)
      "A research team at the University of Washington has discovered a second code hidden within the DNA, written on top of the other."

      "Whereas the first code describes how proteins are made, this second language instructs the cell on how genes are to be controlled. The discovery, published in Science on Friday, will enable improved diagnoses and treatments of disease." 12-13

  2. A Definition of DNA (Wikipedia.org)
      "Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions for the development and functioning of living organisms. All living things contain DNA genomes. A possible exception is a group of viruses that have RNA genomes, but viruses are not normally considered living organisms. The main role of DNA in the cell is the long-term storage of information. The genome is often compared to a set of blueprints, since it contains the instructions to construct other components of the cell, such as proteins and RNA molecules. The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in regulating the expression of genetic information." 03-07

  3. A Description of DNA (TheTech.org)
      "Look closely at the chromosomes and you'd see that each is made of bundles of looping coils. If you unraveled these coils, you'd have a six-foot long double strand of deoxyribonucleic acid-DNA."

      "A DNA molecule is a twisted ladder-like stack of building blocks called nucleotides. There are four types of DNA nucleotides-adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine-or A, C, G, and T, for short." Provides a copy of the X-ray image made by Rosalind Franklin that inspired the conclusion of James Watson and Francis Crick that DNA has the shape of a double helix. 03-07

  4. An Introduction to DNA (DNAFTB.org)
      Provides a basic introduction to genetics and DNA. 03-07

  5. Chimpanzee Genome and Human Evolution (Nature.com)
      "What makes us human? We share more than 98% of our DNA and almost all of our genes with our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. Comparing the genetic code of humans and chimps will allow the study of not only our similarities, but also the minute differences that set us apart."

      "Providing a resource for more than just genomics, Nature presents a special web focus to commemorate the genome of Pan troglodytes. Alongside the first unequivocal fossil evidence of the genus Pan, leading researchers have kindly supplied Nature with previously-unseen film of experiments and observations of chimps in the wild and from world-renowned sanctuaries."

  6. Crick, Francis (MSNBC news)
      "Nobel Prize-winning scientist Francis Crick, who co-discovered the spiral, “double-helix” structure of DNA in 1953 and opened the way for everything from gene-spliced crops and medicines to DNA fingerprinting and the genetic detection of diseases, has died. He was 88." 01-05

  7. DNA Building Blocks Found in Meteorites (Time.com)
      "Scientists have been finding evidence of life inside meteorites for well over 100 years — that, or the building blocks of life. The claims of life have been debunked every time, most recently just this past March. It always turns out to be a wishful interpretation of chemicals, minerals and tiny structures inside the meteorite that could be the fossilized husks of long-dead bacteria — but almost certainly aren't."

      "The building blocks, though, have proved a lot more convincing. As far back as the 1960s, it was clear that amino acids, which link up to form proteins, can and do form in space. And now scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., are claiming that another set of molecules crucial to life have also rained down on Earth: adenine and guanine, two of the four so-called nucleobases that, along with cytosine and thymine, form the rungs of DNA's ladder-like structure." 08-11

  8. DNA Evidence Clears Prisoners After 59 Years in Prison (CBS News)
      "A lab's review of certain biological samples, which previously had led to the exoneration of three men linked to rape cases, has found that two additional men have been wrongly convicted of sexual assault, the governor's office said Wednesday."

      "Marvin Anderson, Arthur Lee Whitfield and Julius Ruffin, who were all wrongfully convicted of separate rapes in the 1980s, were freed after Burton's samples were found in their case files in 2001 and DNA testing revealed they were not the perpetrators. The three served a combined 59 years behind bars." 12-05

  9. DNA Matching to Find Criminals (KatiesLaw.org)
      "In January of 2006, "Katie's Bill", which requires DNA for most felony arrests for inclusion in the database, was passed by the New Mexico state legislature in only thirty days. The bill was signed into law in March 2006 and went into effect on January 1, 2007. After passing "Katie’s Law" in New Mexico, Dave and Jayann dedicated themselves to getting similar legislation passed nationwide."

      Editor's Note: The test uses 13 markers. 09-07

  10. DNA Vaccines (Suite101.com - Chamberlain)
      "DNA vaccines have several advantages over the vaccines we currently use. DNA is very stable and does not require refrigeration. No more "cold chain" would be needed. The DNA vaccines give life-long protection and do not require multiple injections throughout our lives. Many different vaccines can be given at the same time eliminating multiple visits and injections." 2-03

  11. DNA-Based Computer (BBC News)
      Describes a new nanocomputer developed at the Weizmann Institute in Israel by Professor Ehud Shapiro. A trillion of the computers will fit in a standard test tube. 11-01

  12. Dinosaur "Flesh" Found in a Surprise Discovery (CBS News)
      "In an announcement that conjured up thoughts of the movie 'Jurassic Park,' researchers revealed they had recovered soft tissues that resemble blood vessels and even cells from a 70-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex."

      "They don't know if they'll be able to recover DNA — the blueprint to life that was the key to recreating the giant animals in the fictional film."

  13. Efforts to Treat Diseases from Genome Research Results Are Frustrated (New York Times)
      "As more people have their entire genomes decoded, the roots of genetic disease may eventually be understood, but at this point there is no guarantee that treatments will follow. If each common disease is caused by a host of rare genetic variants, it may not be susceptible to drugs." 06-10

  14. Ethnic DNA Ties Covered by Tests (New York Times)
      "Many scientists criticize the ethnic ancestry tests as promising more than they can deliver. The legacy of an ancestor several generations back may be too diluted to show up. And the tests have a margin of error, so results showing a small amount of ancestry from one continent may not actually mean someone has any."

      "Given the tests' speculative nature, it seems unlikely that colleges, governments and other institutions will embrace them. But that has not stopped many test-takers from adopting new DNA-based ethnicities — and a sense of entitlement to the privileges typically reserved for them."

  15. Franklin, Rosalind (AccessExcellence.org - Ardell)
      "There is probably no other woman scientist with as much controversy surrounding her life and work as Rosalind Franklin. Franklin was responsible for much of the research and discovery work that led to the understanding of the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA." 4-03

  16. Franklin, Rosalind (PBS.org)
      After completing her essential discoveries on DNA, "She turned her attention to viruses, publishing 17 papers in five years. Her group's findings laid the foundation for structural virology." 4-03

  17. Franklin, Rosalind (University of California San Diego)
      "There is probably no other woman scientist with as much controversy surrounding her life and work as Rosalind Franklin. Franklin was responsible for much of the research and discovery work that led to the understanding of the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA." 4-03

  18. Genes to Trace Humanity's Migration (National Geographic)
      "New DNA studies suggest that all humans descended from a single African ancestor who lived some 60,000 years ago. To uncover the paths that lead from him to every living human, the National Geographic Society today launched the Genographic Project at its Washington, D.C., headquarters." 4-05

  19. Longevity Genes (Wall Street Journal)
      " 'Effectively, we're trying to identify the genome of healthy longevity,' says Peter Diamandis, founder of the X Prize Foundation, which is co-sponsoring the Archon Genomics X Prize." 09-12

  20. New Treatment for Mitochondria Problems (Time.com)
      "To help women with mitochondria problems from passing them on to their children, scientists remove the nucleus DNA from the egg of a prospective mother and insert it into a donor egg from which the donor DNA has been removed. This can happen before or after fertilization. The resulting embryo ends up with nucleus DNA from its parents but mitochondrial DNA from a donor. The DNA from the donor amounts to less than 1 percent of the resulting embryo's genes." 03-16

  21. Paternity Tests Not Just for the Rich (U.S. News)
      Not so very long ago, fatherhood had a bit of mystery to it. No more. Advances in genetics have made paternity tests one of the most simple and reliable medical tests available." 03-07

  22. Scientist Creates Life -- Almost (Time.com)
      "According to a just-released paper in the journal Science, he [J. Craig Venter] has gone beyond merely sequencing a genome and has designed and built one. In other words, he may have created life." 01-08

  23. Scientists Create First Artificial Genome (ABC News)
      "It may not quite be 'Frankenstein,' but for the first time scientists have created an organism controlled by completely manmade DNA."

      "Using the tools of synthetic biology, scientists from the J. Craig Venter Institute installed a completely artificial genome inside a host cell without DNA. Like the bolt of lightening that awakened Frankenstein, the new genome invigorated the host cell, which began to grow and reproduce, albeit with a few problems." 05-10

  24. Scientists Map the Entire Genome of a Human Fetus (Time.com)
      "It may sound like something conjured by Jules Verne, but it happened at the University of Washington: a professor and his graduate student used DNA samples from the parents of a baby boy who was still in utero and reconstructed his entire genetic makeup from A to Z." 06-12

  25. Scientists Turn DNA Tubes into Nanowires (Scientific American)
      "Scientists have recruited DNA to manufacture minuscule wires that could be used for nanoscale electronic devices." 1-04

   
   


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