Human Genetic Variation
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Additional Resources for Teachers

The following resources may provide additional background information about human genetic variation for you and your students.

Resources on the World Wide Web

National Human Genome Research Institute This site provides current and autoritative information about the work of the National Human Genome Research Institute and about the scope and progress of the Human Genome Project. It includes links to all of the genome centers in the United States and around the world, as well as to the major mapping, sequence, and structure databases. It also includes information about the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Human Genetics Research (ELSI) program.

The address takes you directly to the home page of the Office of Science Education and Outreach, which provides access to a variety of educational resources, including a talking glossary of genetics, printable illustrations and explanations of important terms and current techniques in molecular genetics, and schedules and (in some cases) the full texts of workshops and presentations on a wide range of topics related to human genetic research.

The address takes you directly to the Campus on the Mall Lecture Series on Genetics, a series of eight slide-illustrated lectures presented as a joint effort between researchers in NHGRI's Division of Intramural Research and the Smithsonian Institute. Geared toward the layperson and suitable for high school students, the course provides a tour of current research in human genetics and a glimpse into the genetic medicine of the future. Topics include the Human Genome Project, techniques involved in cloning and mapping genes, genes related to human behavior, the genetics of cancer, gene therapy, and issues related to genetic testing.

Department of Energy This site, funded and developed by the Human Genome Project of the U.S. Department of Energy, provides a wealth of information on the Human Genome Project and modern genetic research, including a Primer on Molecular Genetics and other resources for teachers.

DNA Learning Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory This site offers a variety of unique educational tools, such as bioservers that allow users to dabble in the emerging field of bioinformatics; articles and animations about specific topics in genetics; and interactive exercises that allow students to solve real-life genetics problems using authentic research tools. This site also includes DNA from the Beginning, an online, animated primer of genetics targeted at high school students and other people who do not have extensive science backgrounds.

Blazing a Genetic Trail, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Developed by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), this is an interesting, highly readable set of stories about the work of HHMI investigators in molecular genetics. The HHMI home page ( also provides a delightful feature called Becoming a Scientist in which each month, a new video introduces an HHMI investigator who talks about what it takes to become successful as a practicing scientist.

Access Excellence The section About Biotech on this site contains articles about new developments and ethical issues in biotechnology, a biotechnology career guide, information on techniques used in biotechnology, and a wide variety of printable images useful in teaching biology.

The Gene Letter, Shriver Center, Inc. This site provides a series of articles about a variety of topics in science, ethics, and law. Topics focus particularly on issues in medical genetics and change regularly, though back issues are also available.

National Library of Medicine This site provides brief descriptions, easily read by students, of more than 60 genetic disorders.

The DNA Files SoundVision Productions This site provides the audio of nine one-hour programs about genetic research and its applications that aired on National Public Radio. Tapes and transcripts of these broadcasts also are available for ordering.

Other Resources

Several organizations, directed at supporting individuals with genetic disorders or professional organizations, provide resources for teaching and for the lay public.

Alliance of Genetic Support Groups, 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 404, Washington, DC 20008; (800) 336-4363

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc., P.O. Box 8923 New Fairfield, CT 06812-8923; (800) 999-6673

National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc., 233 Canterbury Drive, Wallingford, PA 19086-6617; (800) 872-7608


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