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  • Patterns in the Distribution of Lactase Persistence

    Patterns in the Distribution of Lactase Persistence

    Card Activities

    Students explore the geographic distribution of lactase persistence around the world by analyzing real data collected by scientists.

  • DNA Profiling Activity

    DNA Profiling Activity

    Case Studies

    This multi-part lesson is designed to give students a firm understanding of genetic profiling using short tandem repeats (STRs), which is a process used by forensics labs around the world. 

  • The Teosinte Hypothesis

    The Teosinte Hypothesis

    Lessons

    In this activity, students further explore the short film Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn, by working through the mathematical concepts behind George Beadle’s claim that teosinte is the wild ancestor of maize.

  • How We Get Our Skin Color

    How We Get Our Skin Color

    Animations

    (3 min 32 sec) This engaging animation shows how human skin cells produce the pigment melanin, which gives skin its color. 

  • Pedigrees and the Inheritance of Lactose Intolerance

    Pedigrees and the Inheritance of Lactose Intolerance

    Lessons

    In this activity, students explore concepts covered in the short film Got Lactase? The Co-evolution of Genes and Culture about the genetic variations associated with lactose tolerance/intolerance and how the trait is inherited in families.

  • Mapping Genes to Traits in Dogs Using SNPs

    Mapping Genes to Traits in Dogs Using SNPs

    Card Activities

    In this activity, students identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are correlated with different traits in dogs to identify genes associated with those traits.

  • Classifying Cancer Genes and Examining Patient Data

    Classifying Cancer Genes and Examining Patient Data

    Card Activities

    These two hands-on activities engage students in exploring the genetic basis of cancer using cards and posters.

  • Autism and the Structure and Function of Synapses

    Autism and the Structure and Function of Synapses

    Animations

    (2 min 3 sec) Genes associated with autism affect the structure and function of neuronal synapses.

  • Natural Selection of Lactose Tolerance

    Natural Selection of Lactose Tolerance

    Animations

    (46 sec) Environmental and cultural factors can affect whether a new human mutation becomes common in a population.

  • Regulation of Eukaryotic DNA Transcription

    Regulation of Eukaryotic DNA Transcription

    Animations

    (2 min 5 sec) General transcription factors, activators, and repressors interact to regulate the transcription of eukaryotic DNA into RNA.

  • The Chemical Structure of DNA

    The Chemical Structure of DNA

    Animations

    (2 min 44 sec) DNA's chemical properties can be harnessed for a variety of biotechnology applications.

  • Visualizing Gene-Expression Patterns

    Visualizing Gene-Expression Patterns

    Click & Learn

    Learn about the different ways scientists are able to detect when genes are being expressed in various tissues.

  • The p53 Gene and Cancer

    The p53 Gene and Cancer

    Click & Learn

    This Click and Learn explains the structure and function of the p53 protein as well as how the protein’s activity is regulated.

  • Triplet code

    Triplet code

    Animations

    (1 min 8 sec) Once the structure of DNA was discovered, the next challenge was determining how the sequence of letters coded for the 20 amino acids. In theory, one or two letters can only code for 4 or 16 amino acids, respectively. A scheme using three letters, a triplet code, is the minimum necessary to encode for all the amino acids.

  • Translation (advanced detail)

    Translation (advanced detail)

    Animations

    (3 min 4 sec) Messenger RNA (mRNA) carries DNA's genetic information to the ribosome, where it is translated into a sequence of amino acids. mRNA is fed into the ribosome, and it is positioned so that it can be read in groups of three letters, known as codons. Each mRNA codon is matched against the transfer RNA molecule's anti-codon. If there is a match, the amino acid carried by the transfer RNA is added to the growing protein chain. Also available in Spanish.

  • Translation (Basic Detail)

    Translation (Basic Detail)

    Animations

    (2 min 6 sec) This animation shows the translation of messenger RNA into protein.

  • DNA Transcription (Advanced Detail)

    DNA Transcription (Advanced Detail)

    Animations

    (1 min 55 sec) This animation shows how RNA polymerase and other transcription factors interact to transcribe DNA into RNA.

  • DNA Transcription (Basic Detail)

    DNA Transcription (Basic Detail)

    Animations

    (1 min 55 sec) This animation shows the transcription of DNA into RNA.

  • Sickle Cell Anemia

    Sickle Cell Anemia

    Animations

    (1 min) Sickle cell anemia is a genetic disease that affects hemoglobin.

  • mRNA splicing

    mRNA splicing

    Animations

    (39 sec) Once a gene has been transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA), it is edited in a process called splicing. Noncoding regions called introns are removed, leaving protein-coding regions called exons.

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