National DNA Day is a unique day when students, teachers and the public can learn more about genetics and genomics! The day commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003, and the discovery of DNA’s double helix.

It presents an excellent opportunity for Grade 12 students to review DNA / biotechnology and Grade 11 students to develop and extend their understanding of the relevant concepts.

I have scanned several sites and incorporated direct links resources here that I think you will find very useful.  For starters here is an information booklet that discusses the genetic code, genetic mutations and how they cause disease together with providing a list of useful links to other sources for the inquisitive student.

Then there is a flash file explaining how proteins are made.

Perhaps the students would like to join the Facebook group or Twitter? (There are several useful links here that you could incorporate into your teaching here also)

Students can read an overview of the Human Genome Project, (HGP).

Here you will find teaching resources on a range of subjects such as Forensics, Advances in DNA Sequencing, Human Microbiome Project, Epigenetics, Family History and the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Genome Research. Make sure you scroll down for the additional links.

Check out Nature magazine and a web focus on DNA

Here is a link to NOVA online with a variety  classroom resources to help you and your students learn some of the science and issues behind the Human Genome Project.

NOVA also put together a  two-hour special, hosted by ABC “Nightline” correspondent Robert Krulwich, chronicling the race to capture one of the biggest prizes in scientific history: the complete letter-by-letter sequence of genetic information that defines human life — the human genome. Here’s what you’ll find online:

I like this online exercise that allows students to transcribe and translate a gene

This site provides teacher pages, student pages etc on a wide variety of activities.

Then there is DNA from the Beginning that organises itself around key concepts from clasical genetics to molecular genetics and mixes animations with key concepts and additional links.

And finally…

A gene test that may be only two years away could warn doctors that they missed something. It’s just one tantalizing glimpse of what’s ahead as Reuters delves into the state of genomics.

Well I hope I have provided you with a helping hand to celebrate National DNA day.

(One last thing, NDD is normally on April 25th but has been moved to the 23rd for school participation)

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