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Genetic Testing

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  1. Biotechnology
  2. Microbiology
  3. Stem Cells
  1. Genetic Mastermind
      Provides a game that helps teach concepts in genetics.

Lesson Plans
  1. Cells (Franklin Institute)
      Provides a lesson plan on the cell. "In your classroom, you and your students can make a model of a cell and some of its parts."

  2. Cells - Grades 1 - 6 on Molecules and Cells (San Diego State University)
      Provides 6 elementary school level lessons on molecules and cells.

  3. Genetics Lessons (University of Kansas Medical Center)
      Provides lessons related to genetics and ethics related to biotechnology.

  1. Cells and Biochemistry (Awesome Library)
      Provides information on cells and more.

  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."

  1. -Genetic Link to Autism Found (Wall Street Journal)
      "Scientists say that roughly 20% of autism cases can be linked to known genetic abnormalities, and many more may be discovered."

      "Last week, for example, researchers reported that an experimental drug, arbaclofen, reduced social withdrawal and challenging behaviors in children and adults with Fragile X syndrome, the single most common genetic cause of autism."

      "Researchers at the University of Melbourne, Australia, have developed a test that looks for 237 genetic markers called single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Some are thought to raise the risk of autism; others seem to protect against it. The test correctly predicted autism with more than 70% accuracy in people of Central European descent, but only 54% in those of Chinese descent, according to a study in the journal Molecular Psychiatry this month."

  2. -Link Found Between Religion and Genes (ABC News)
      "Recent studies with twins show that while environmental factors play a big part in determining a person's degree of faith early in life, later on genetics take over and become a dominant factor as people make the transition into adulthood and either strengthen or reduce the role of religion in their lives."

  3. Archbishop Tutu's Genome Examined (
      "Archbishop Desmond Tutu dedicated his life to the promotion of equality. Now a new study of his genetic makeup has helped scientists understand how different human beings are — at least genetically."

      " 'It is exciting that science is finding evidence of genetic diversity among groups of people as well as among individuals, and this discovery should be embraced, not feared,' he said. 'It would be disastrous if scientists were to ignore the diversity of the human race because this is the greatest asset of humanity.' "

  4. Bacteria Adapt by Swapping Genes (Scientific American)
      "Bacteria, like all organisms, have to make a living in an ever changing world. They face shifting climates, varying food supplies and--horror of horrors--antibiotics. How do they adapt? According to the results of a new study, simply by copying the successful innovations of their relatives."

      "The team revealed that the bacteria do this by using a process known as horizontal gene transfer, in which a cell passes genetic information to another cell that is not its offspring."

  5. Bees - Males Have Half the Chromosomes (
      "Bees, wasps, and ants from the group of insects known as the hymenopteran order and other invertebrates have males with only half the usual complement of chromosomes. These insects and invertebrates comprise 20 percent of all animals." 10-04

  6. Bio-Fuels From Genetics (
      "J. Craig Venter, who gained worldwide fame in 2000 when he mapped the human genetic code, is behind a new start-up called Synthetic Genomics, which plans to create new types of organisms that, ideally, would produce hydrogen, secrete nonpolluting heating oil or be able to break down greenhouse gases."

  7. Bioinformatics Definitions and History (Bioinformatics)
      " 'The mathematical, statistical and computing methods that aim to solve biological problems using DNA and amino acid sequences and related information.' " 1-04

  8. Changes in Social Status Seen in Genes of Monkeys (New York Times)
      "Social stress is known to have adverse health effects on both humans and primates."

      "Now, researchers report that it also affects the immune system of female rhesus macaques at the genetic level."

  9. College and Professional Level - Medical Research Articles (
      "PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine, includes over 15 million citations for biomedical articles back to the 1950's. These citations are from MEDLINE and additional life science journals. PubMed includes links to many sites providing full text articles and other related resources." 2-05

  10. 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."

  11. Engineered Plant Increases Carbon Dioxide Uptake (
      "In research recently completed at Emory University School of Medicine, scientists have discovered a mutant enzyme that could enable plants to use and to convert carbon dioxide more quickly, effectively removing more greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere." 02-06

  12. Gene Connected to Partner Bonding (MSNBC News)
      "“Fifteen percent of the men carrying no 334 allele reported marital crisis, whereas 34 percent of the men carrying two copies of this allele reported marital crisis,” the researchers wrote."

      "More than 30 percent of the men who had at least one copy of 334 were unmarried, compared to 17 percent of the men who had no copies." 09-08

  13. Gene Map of the Human Genome (NCBI)
      Provides information on recent research to sequence human genomes.

  14. Genes - An Introduction (Athro, Limited)
      Provides an introduction to concepts related to genetics. 12-00

  15. Genes - An Introduction (U.S. Department of Energy and The Human Genome Project)
      Provides an introduction to genes. 1-04

  16. Genes Control Aging (
      "Two University of Colorado at Boulder researchers working with GenoPlex Inc. in Denver have identified a biological switch that controls lifespan in tiny worms, a finding that could have applications for mammals, including people." Discusses DAF-2 and DAF-16. College Level. 9-02

  17. Genes Help Us Select Friends (MSNBC News)
      "A forthcoming study in the Archives of Psychiatry says that we can add how we choose our friends to the growing list of traits strongly influenced by genetic factors. A team of Virginia Commonwealth University researchers found that genes, alongside environment, strongly influence who we choose as friends. The researchers studied the peer groups of approximately 1,800 male twins, having each subject describe the level of social deviance among their friends, such as how many of their friends got drunk, used or sold drugs, or damaged property. The research showed that an individual's selection of friends--whether they chose to socialize with fewer or more socially deviant peers--was shaped by genetic factors." 08-07

  18. Genes and Miniaturization - Beyond Biology (US Department of Energy and the Human Genome Project)
      Describes how information from genes applies to miniaturization and helping humans.

  19. Genetic and Fossil Records Tell Different Stories on Origins of Humans (New York Times)
      "After decades of digging, paleoanthropologists looking for fossilized human bones have established a reasonably clear picture: Modern humans arose in Africa some 200,000 years ago and all archaic species of humans then disappeared, surviving only outside Africa, as did the Neanderthals in Europe. Geneticists studying DNA now say that, to the contrary, a previously unknown archaic species of human, a cousin of the Neanderthals, may have lingered in Africa until perhaps 25,000 years ago, coexisting with the modern humans and on occasion interbreeding with them." 07-12

  20. Genetics Glossary (National Human Genome Research Institute)
      Provides definitions of the key terms, such as base pairs. 6-00

  21. Genetics Help With the Study of Fast Evolution of Crabs (National Geographic Society - Krause)
      Describes how the rapid evolution of the Jamaican tree crab was studied with the help of genetic material. 1-02

  22. Genome Mapping - Select Research Articles (Macmillan Publishers - Nature)
      Provides select research articles on mapping the human genome. 6-00

  23. Genome Mapping by Organism (Nature)
      Provides genome research summaries for humans, mice, rats, elegans, tuberculosis, and other organisms that have been mapped. 6-00

  24. Genomes - Types of Genome Maps (US Department of Energy and the Human Genome Project)
      Provides information and drawings to illustrate different ways of portraying genetic sequences. 1-04

  25. Glowing Mosquitoes to Fight Malaria (BBC News)
      "A protein that makes the sex glands and sperm of male mosquitoes glow could help reduce malaria infection rates, UK scientists say."

      "They used the protein to tag male mosquito larvae, the genes of which can be manipulated to make them infertile."

      "As malaria is spread only by female mosquitoes, the scientists hope sending such sterile males into the wild could help kill off infective populations." 10-05

  26. Hodgkin, Dorothy Crowfoot (University of California San Diego)
      "Concentrating first on her contributions to science, she is known as a founder of the science of protein crystallography. Hodgkin's contributions to crystallography included solutions of the structures of cholesterol, lactoglobulin, ferritin, tobacco mosaic virus, penicillin, vitamin B-12, and insulin (a solution on which she worked for 34 years), as well as the development of methods for indexing and processing X-ray intensities." 1-04

  27. Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Roper)
      Summarizes the known genetic history of current humans, as well as migration and climate patterns. Written at the college level. 06-03

  28. Love and Chemistry (
      "Young, a researcher at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University in Atlanta, studies the neurobiology that underlies pair bonds -- what nonscientists might call love."

      "In an essay in the journal Nature last month, he laid out evidence that scientists may soon be able to tie the emotion 'love' to a biochemical chain of events, and might someday even be able to develop drugs that enhance social bonding -- in much the same way that pharmaceuticals today can help regulate emotions like anxiety and depression."

      "In a study published in September in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, Walum studied a version of the AVPR1A gene that codes for vasopressin receptors in men. He studied more than 1,000 Swedish men, and found that men who carried a particular variant of the gene were less likely to be married than men without the variant, were more likely to report a recent crisis in their marriage, and ranked lower on a scale of partner bonding that asked questions such as 'how often do you kiss your mate?' "

      "Now, Walum and his colleagues are studying whether there are similar relationships between oxytocin receptors and pair bonding in women -- a more difficult study, he says, because there are no genes with as straightforward a relationship to oxytocin receptors as the AVPR1A gene has to vasopressin receptors in males." 02-09

  29. Marine Life - Sampling and Discovering Microbes (
      Provides information on a project designed to find new microbes in the oceans for genetic research.

  30. Medicine and the Genome Projects (CNN - Feig)
      Summarizes implications of the human genome project, considered a major milestone for medicine. 2-01

  31. New Clue in Motor Neurone Puzzle (BBC News)
      "Researchers say they have made the most significant breakthrough for 15 years in the quest to understand the fatal condition Motor Neurone Disease (MND)." 02-08

  32. New Theory Rejects Single-Ancestor Doctrine (Scientific American)
      "Instead of one universal evolutionary tree, picture a three-trunk stand sharing a communal root system. A new theory of cellular evolution published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences rejects Charles Darwin’s Doctrine of Common Descent—the idea that all organisms are derived from a single primordial ancestor. Instead, Carl Woese of the University of Illinois-Champaign proposes that the three cell types that comprise life on earth arose from three forms of proto cells that swam together in a dense genetic soup, freely sharing their DNA."

      "Indeed, such DNA swapping was the driving force in the evolution of unicellular organisms, Woese argues. Biologists have traditionally credited this so-called horizontal gene transfer with just a minor role in cellular evolution. But Woese asserts that only by sharing their genes—or evolutionary inventions, as he calls them—could simple cellular organizations have given rise to more complex cell designs. In the beginning, he says, primitive cells 'did not have stable genealogical records.' But eventually, these lines—including the three that spawned all extant life forms—reached what Woese terms the "Darwinian threshold," the point at which a lineage matures to genetic stability. Here the cellular organization became fixed, leading to a traceable cell line via reproduction. 'Crossing a Darwinian threshold leads to a more solidified, organized cellular design,' he explains." 12-05

  33. 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

  34. Scientists Discover 6 Million New Genes in the Ocean (PBS News)
      "Scientists spent two years trawling the oceans for bacteria and viruses, and in the process discovered 6 million new genes, doubling the number known on Earth and holding promise for new antibiotics and alternative energy sources."

      "The newly discovered genes include those that help microbes use the sun's energy in new ways, help them use nitrogen and protect them from ultraviolet light, the scientists reported." 03-07

  35. Search GeneBank, Genomes, Proteins, and Structures (National Center for Biotechnology Information)
      "Established in 1988 as a national resource for molecular biology information, NCBI creates public databases, conducts research in computational biology, develops software tools for analyzing genome data, and disseminates biomedical information - all for the better understanding of molecular processes affecting human health and disease." 2-02

  36. Study Changes Long-Held DNA Beliefs (PBS News)
      "A four-year international study of the human genome has prompted scientists to rethink some of their most basic ideas about how DNA functions." 06-07

  37. Unusual Gene Causes Blond Hair (New York Times)
      "In the Solomon Islands, about 10 percent of the dark-skinned indigenous people have strikingly blond hair. Some islanders theorize that the coloring could be a result of excess sun exposure, or a diet rich in fish. Another explanation is that the blondness was inherited from distant ancestors — European traders and explorers who came to the islands."

      "But that’s not the case, researchers now report. The gene variant responsible for blond hair in the islanders is distinctly different from the gene that causes blond hair in Europeans." 05-12

  38. Worms Move Up on the Tree of Life (CBS News)
      "With the new study results, the researchers say the two worm groups constitute an entirely new division of life, or phylum, which they name the xenacoelomorpha. This phylum would join the three known phyla of deuterostomes: vertebrates (animals with a backbone, including humans); echinoderms (such as starfish), and hemichordates (such as acorn worms)."

      "Being such simple creatures and yet still mixing and mingling on the family tree with us complex creatures suggests these marine worms were once complex themselves, Telford said."

  1. Biology - Genetics Projects to Promote Scientific Inquiry Skills (Genetic Science Learning Center)
      Provides a variety of resource materials to teach about genetics.

  2. Cell Growth Patterns (Conway and Stuart)
      Provides an interactive method to show a variety of patterns of cell growth. 6-02

  3. Chromosomes and Genetics (Utah Museum)
      Provides basic information about chromosomes, DNA, stem cells, and related topics of interest. Visitors sometimes misspell as chromosones, cromosomes, or cromosones. 10-09

  4. DNA Workshop (
      "An embryonic cell divides again and again. Where there was one cell there are two, then four, then eight,... Each holds all the genetic information needed to create a human being. How, exactly, do these cells make copies of themselves?" 4-03

  5. Genetic Mastermind
      Provides a game that helps teach concepts in genetics.

  6. Problems (Science4kids)
      Teaches science and genetics through problem solving. 1-01

  1. Human Genome Database (National Center for Biotechnology Information)
      Provides database information on human genes, the human genome project. College level. 06-03


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