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Showing 1-60 of 61 Resources
  • Sodium Channel Evolution in Electric Fish

    Sodium Channel Evolution in Electric Fish

    Data Points

    Scientists investigated how gene duplication contributed to the evolution of electric fish.

  • Sex Verification Testing of Athletes

    Sex Verification Testing of Athletes

    Click & Learn

    This interactive explores the biology of sex determination and development in humans, set against the backdrop of the different sex testing policies implemented throughout sports history.

  • Developing an Explanation for Mouse Fur Color

    Developing an Explanation for Mouse Fur Color

    Lessons

    In this activity, students collect and analyze evidence for each of the major conditions for evolution by natural selection to develop an explanation for how populations change over time.

  • Cystic Fibrosis Mechanism and Treatment

    Cystic Fibrosis Mechanism and Treatment

    Animations

    (2 min 31 sec) Mutations in the CFTR gene, which encodes a transmembrane ion channel, cause mucus buildup in the airways of patients with cystic fibrosis.

  • CRISPR-Cas 9 Mechanism & Applications

    CRISPR-Cas 9 Mechanism & Applications

    Click & Learn

    Explore this dynamic interactive to learn the basic principles of how this revolutionary tool works and the many ways in which scientists are using it in their research.

  • Pelvic Evolution in Sticklebacks

    Pelvic Evolution in Sticklebacks

    Data Points

    Scientists used SNP genotyping in populations of freshwater stickleback fish to determine the genetic mutations responsible for the impaired development of pelvises and spines.

  • Central Dogma Card Activity

    Central Dogma Card Activity

    Card Activities

    In this hands-on activity students review the steps of eukaryotic gene expression and learn how this knowledge can be used to treat genetic disease.

  • Monkey Social Status and Immune Response

    Monkey Social Status and Immune Response

    Data Points

    Scientists studied how the dominance ranking of female rhesus macaques living in social groups affected the expression of genes linked to immune response.

  • Film Guide for Genes as Medicine

    Film Guide for Genes as Medicine

    Film Activities

    The following classroom-ready resources complement the film Genes as Medicine. It tells the story of the successes and challenges that led to the development of the first FDA-approved gene therapy for a genetic disease.

  • The Search for a Mutated Gene

    The Search for a Mutated Gene

    Scientists at Work

    (8 min 54 sec) This video describes the case of a patient with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a progressive disease that leads to blindness, and how physician-scientist Dr. Ed Stone approached the search for the causal mutation.

  • Genes as Medicine

    Genes as Medicine

    Short Films

    (17 min 16 sec) This film describes the scientific principles and the research efforts involved in the development of a gene therapy for a congenital form of blindness, and how a young patient benefited from this medical breakthrough.

  • Stalking the Genetic Basis of a Trait

    Stalking the Genetic Basis of a Trait

    Lessons

    In this activity students analyze data on the expression of the tb1 gene and use it to formulate an explanation as to how a specific difference in the corn version of the gene explains the phenotype of less branching.

  • Central Dogma and Genetic Medicine

    Central Dogma and Genetic Medicine

    Click & Learn

    This interactive uses the central dogma as a model for exploring how modern molecular biology technologies can be used to treat genetic diseases.

  • 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.

  • Think Like a Scientist: Natural Selection in an Outbreak

    Think Like a Scientist: Natural Selection in an Outbreak

    Scientists at Work

    (7 min 29 sec) This video focuses on the front lines of the 2013–2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa and explains how scientists monitored the evolution of the virus by analyzing its genome.

  • 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. 

  • Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

    Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

    Scientists at Work

    (8 min 35 sec) Learn the process by which a line of genetically modified mosquitoes was engineered to reduce populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the wild.

  • Understanding Variation in Human Skin Color

    Understanding Variation in Human Skin Color

    Lessons

    In this activity, students extend the concepts covered in the short film The Biology of Skin Color through the application of models and mathematical thinking to explain how genomic variation and human ancestry can explain differences in skin color, a polygenic trait.

  • Alzheimer’s Disease: Piecing Together the Evidence

    Alzheimer’s Disease: Piecing Together the Evidence

    Click & Learn

    This interactive explores evidence from brain anatomy, tissue histology, and genetic studies to reveal possible targets for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Using Genetic Evidence to Identify Ivory Poaching Hotspots

    Using Genetic Evidence to Identify Ivory Poaching Hotspots

    Data Points

    A team of scientists analyzed the DNA from seized ivory to determine where the ivory from poached elephants came from.

  • CSI Wildlife

    CSI Wildlife

    Click & Learn

    In this interactive, students use DNA profiling, or fingerprinting, to solve two cases of elephant poaching. In the process they will learn about genetic markers, PCR, gel electrophoresis, allele frequencies, and population genetics.

  • Origin of a Gene Mutation Causing Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

    Origin of a Gene Mutation Causing Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

    Data Points

    This activity analyzes a published scientific figure from a study of a family that has a high prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Identifying Autism Genes by Tracking Gene Mutations

    Identifying Autism Genes by Tracking Gene Mutations

    Data Points

    A team of scientists used homozygosity mapping to map SNPs on chromosome 3 in a family with an autistic son to identify a likely gene that caused the disorder.

  • 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.

  • Genetic Origin of Variation in Human Skin Color

    Genetic Origin of Variation in Human Skin Color

    Data Points

    Dr. Rebecca Lamason and colleagues studied the genetic origin of variation in human skin color using a model organism, the zebrafish.

  • Activity for Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Activity for Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Film Activities

    This activity explores how scientists determined how and where corn was domesticated, as discussed in the short film Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn.

  • Activity for The Biology of Skin Color

    Activity for The Biology of Skin Color

    Film Activities

    This activity explores the evidence that differences in human skin color are adaptations to varying intensity of UV light, as discussed in the short film The Biology of Skin Color.

  • 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. 

  • The Biology of Skin Color

    The Biology of Skin Color

    Short Films

    (18 min 58 sec) This film explores the hypothesis that different tones of skin color in humans arose as adaptations to the intensity of ultraviolet radiation in different parts of the world.

  • Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Short Films

    (17 min 51 sec) This film explores the genetic and archaeological evidence that suggest that corn is the result of the domestication of a wild Mexican grass called teosinte.

  • Seeing Single Molecules Move

    Seeing Single Molecules Move

    Animations

    (1 min 40 sec) Single-molecule analysis using super-resolution microscopes reveals that transcription factors are not usually found bound to their binding sites on DNA.

  • 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.

  • Gleevec-Resistant Form of Kinase BCR-ABL

    Gleevec-Resistant Form of Kinase BCR-ABL

    Animations

    (2 min 14 sec) Mutations in the BCR-ABL gene can cause resistance to Gleevec, but another drug, dasatinib, can be used instead.

  • Gleevec Inhibits Cancer-Causing Kinase BCR-ABL

    Gleevec Inhibits Cancer-Causing Kinase BCR-ABL

    Animations

    (3 min 31 sec) The drug Gleevec binds to and inactivates BCR-ABL, a mutant kinase that causes chronic myeloid leukemia. 

  • The Origin of Species: Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree

    The Origin of Species: Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree

    Short Films

    (17 min 45 sec) This film explores the adaptation of anole lizards (genus Anolis) to habitats common across the islands of the Caribbean. The anoles are excellent examples of adaptive radiation, convergent evolution, and speciation through reproductive isolation.

  • Modeling the Regulatory Switches of the Pitx1 Gene in Stickleback Fish

    Modeling the Regulatory Switches of the Pitx1 Gene in Stickleback Fish

    Labs & Demos

    A hands-on activity in which students interpret molecular diagrams and build physical models of eukaryotic gene regulation.

  • 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.

  • Dengue Virus Life Cycle

    Dengue Virus Life Cycle

    Animations

    (4 min 12 sec) Dengue virus has sophisticated mechanisms for entering a cell, for replicating its RNA genome, and for translating proteins.

  • 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.

  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

    Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

    Animations

    (54 sec) PCR is a standard laboratory technique that allows amplification of specific segments of DNA based on complementarity.

  • The LUX operon controls light production

    The LUX operon controls light production

    Animations

    (2 min 25 sec) A single transcription factor controls this operon, which contains five genes necessary to produce bioluminescence.

  • HIV life cycle

    HIV life cycle

    Animations

    (4 min 52 sec) How HIV infects a cell and replicates itself using reverse transcriptase and the host's cellular machinery.

  • Protease inhibitors

    Protease inhibitors

    Animations

    (1 min 6 sec) Protease inhibitors prevent maturation of viral proteins inside HIV particles.

  • AZT blocks reverse transcriptase

    AZT blocks reverse transcriptase

    Animations

    (1 min 46 sec) HIV's reverse transcriptase mistakes AZT for thymidine. Once incorporated, AZT stops reverse transcription.

  • 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.

  • X Inactivation

    X Inactivation

    Animations

    (55 sec) This animation shows how the random deactivation of one of the X chromosomes in a pair can lead to a mozaicism in the expression genes. 

  • RNA Diversity

    RNA Diversity

    Click & Learn

    RNA is an information molecule that can also function as an enzyme. Learn about the many different forms that RNA can take.

  • Enzymes That Are Not Proteins: The Discovery of Ribozymes

    Enzymes That Are Not Proteins: The Discovery of Ribozymes

    Clips

    (19 min 4 sec) Listen to past HHMI President Dr. Thomas Cech discussing his Nobel Prize-winning discovery of RNA's catalytic properties.

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