Category Archives: Gene Transfer

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology linklist

This topic is Science at the moment, so let’s keep it as concise as possible. Some people go as far as studying a degree in all this, but that can wait for now!

Here’s the presentation for the IBDP Biology syllabus:

And here’s the revision page from Clcik4Biology

And now by topic:

Polymerase Chain Reaction

Very visual from Dolan DNA Learning Centre

McGraw Hill step-through

Rutgers step-through

and of course, the ever-so-silly PCR Song

Gel Electrophoresis and DNA Profiling (or DNA Fingerprinting)

Easy intro from Court TV

In-depth look from DNAi

DNA Learning Centre’s Electrophoresis animation

Learn.Genetics super-flashy animation

Case study: the case of the pothunters from Learn.Genetics

The Human Genome Project

Official Site How to sequence a genome

Teachers’ resources

Learn.Genetics genome resources

Outcomes: Bioinformatics DNA Microarrays 1 (2)

Outcomes: looking deeper into evolutionary relationships:

Gene Transfer Technology

McGraw Hill animation collection

NewScientist: gene therapy success reverses blindness

Gene Therapy in SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency) from Sumanas

Gene transfer in insulin production from abpi schools

Using the gene gun as a vector from Purdue

Genetic Modification in Crops and Animals

Glowing pigs and fish: Animal Farm TV series

GM food and you (objective, worth watching)

Cloning

Excellent animation from Dolan DNA Learning Centre

Video: Enucleation of an egg cell from Howard Hughes Medical Institute:

Download this Stem Cell cribsheet from SEED Magazine

Therapeutic cloning cures Parkinsons mice

More about cloning from ActionBioscience

If this catches your imagination, dig deeper!

Nellie McKay sings ‘Clonie’

Another TED video, though a bit of musical silliness.

Synthetic Biology – the man-made future?

Where’s the money in Biology? Probably where the future lies – genetics and synthetic biology.Synthetic Biology

As we learn more about genomes and the way different organisms (including pathogens) work, we can move towards creating targeted responses and DNA-level manipulation. Synthetic biologists take DNA and try to re-work it into a solution to a problem – by creating synthetic DNA, they hope to achieve control over the functions of the organism. They hope to generate alternative sources of fuel, targeted treatments and vaccines and many more applications.

Click on the image to the right to download a useful poster from SEED magazine.

BioBricks (company link) are a leading example of synthetic biology in action. Think of them like lego bricks or parts of standard computer code – you can take them and (theoretically) fit them into any genome. This is one of the wonders of DNA – base-pairings and the universality of the genetic code allow these researchers endless opportunities for tinkering and advancing science. Some BioBricks are ‘parts’, some are ‘devices’ and others are ‘systems’ – sections of code that increase in complexity and functionality.

There is an exciting world of information out there about this topic, and it’s well worth looking at if you think your future lies in biotechnology. It’s a discipline that pulls together Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Engineering and Programming, and the ways in are various. If you want to find out more about a career in synthetic biology, MIT are world-leaders in the field.

For a quick explanation of how synthetic biology works (and an interesting hardware/software analogy) watch the video from ScientificAmerican below:

You might also want to read ‘Prey’ by Michael Crichton for a bit of light holiday scare-mongering. Imagine ‘The Andromeda Strain‘ with nanoparticles.

And while we’re on the subject of Scientific American, you may as well check out their video channel on YouTube. It’s much like the NewScientist one.

Gene Therapy ‘Reverses Hereditary Blindness’

Awesome. And just in time for the Grade 11 Genetics unit!

Here’s the NewScientist article. And here’s an old one about gene therapy treating deafness.

Here is an article from the Guardian’s Science section that sums it up nicely.

Learn.Genetics @ Utah has loads of gene therapy interactives to learn more.

And for the hard-of-researching, here is the gene therapy wikipedia page.

Exciting times we live in.

Gene Almanac – a resource of good animations and simulations

From the Dolan Learning Centre, this collection of animations and simulations can be downloaded easily for PC and MAC.

Clicking the image on the left should bring you directly to an animation about the polymerase chain reaction.

Learn.Genetics @ Utah

Easily the best Genetics resource out there. Loads of Flash animations, Shockwave virtual labs and up-to-date information. Well worth spending some time there and seeing what could be used in class. Teachers can register for news and teaching ideas.

 

Virtual labs include DNA Extraction, Gel Electrophoresis and a DNA Microarray. Perfect for the DP Genetics unit.

HHMI Biointeractive: teach ahead of the textbook

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has produced some great, interactive resources for medicine and genetics, including a virtual ELISA test and a transgenic fly virtual lab. Go and have a look – there’re also plenty of animations, though even Flashcatcher can’t save them.

Download a worksheet for the ELISA here.

For a simple mock HIV test (using potassium iodide, lead nitrate and a bit of imaginitive labeling), visit the IB Biology Lab Bank 

Genetic Engineering: Glowing Pigs and Fish

I’ve no idea where this clip was taken from, but it’s a good 5-minute warmer for the topic of GM and it’s possibilities and potential pitfalls.

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