Genetics resources

Last updated Aug 18, 2016

Got your DNA sequenced? Found a scary variant in one of your protein-coding genes? Look it up on ExAC. Story by Carl Zimmer (Aug 2016):

PBS Gross Science explains meiotic gene drive with CRISPR-Cas, in context of Zika and the possibility of eliminating Aedes mosquitoes:  – Aug 2016

Learn Genetics A multi-faced resource by the U. Utah Health Sciences Genetic Science Learning Center, with excellent interactive tutorials, examples, animations. In addition to Genetics and Human Health, the site has modules on Cell Biology, Evolution and Ecology, and Science Tools.

DNA and RNA structural comparison A 5:20 video with animation and clear explanation of structure of nucleic acids. Video hosted on DNA Tube, unclear who owns the copyright.

Protein Synthesis The original 1971 Stanford U. film of protein synthesis, played out by people in a campus lawn, with words adapted from Jabberwocky, and introduced by Paul Berg (1980 Chemistry Nobel laureate)

Genetics of Harry Potter at the National Library of Medicine (thanks to Charlie Warden for reporting this discovery). Two lessons for middle and high school students; first is very basic Mendelian inheritance, second goes into multiple alleles, modifiers and complex traits.

Doodle animation of DNA packaging at a very basic level, with lovely music:

Biorad’s PCR song – can’t teach PCR without it! The Dolan DNA Learning Center, gateway to some great animations. The Animation library has the best animation explaining PCR (interactive version here) and cycle sequencing. The 3-D Animation library contains truly excellent molecular animations of DNA packaging in chromatin, DNA replication, transcription, RNA splicing, and translation. Basic cloning into plasmids, too.

DNA from the Beginning – An animated primer of the 75 experiments that made modern genetics. An offshoot of the Dolan DNA Learning Center, affiliated with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories.

The Central Dogma – a Nature Video animation of the central dogma with Tron-like effects. Just under 11 min.

How Genes Are Regulated: Transcription Factors – a short molecular animation of transcription factor binding to DNA. 2:56

RNA interference – a Nature Reviews Genetics video animation of RNAi  5:07

Genome Editing with CRISPR/Cas9 with  – a video by MIT suitable for intro bio students. Good visualization of how guide RNA targets complementary DNA for cleavage by Cas9. 4:12

This July 2011 Tedx Boston talk (11 min) by Richard Resnick is accessible for lay audiences and intro biology students, and powerfully makes the point about how genome sequencing will be as disruptive as computing and the internet:

DNA Turning Human Story Into a Tell-All Alanna Mitchell’s NY Times science news story about DNA of Denisovans and interbreeding of humans with Neanderthals and Denisovans, Jan 30, 2012 YouTube video on “Whole genome sequencing and you” explains very basic information about genome sequencing, benefits and risks.

How Haemophilus influenzae cells take up DNA – stop-motion video by Rose Redfield for sophomore or junior-level Genetics or Molecular Biology courses



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