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Genome Stories

Author(s): Gregory Vogt, Ed.D, Barbara Tharp, M.S., and Nancy Moreno, Ph.D.
Genome Stories

© Heiti Paves

  • Grades:
  • 6-8 9-12

Biologists have built understanding of many complex biological processes, including diseases,by observing model organisms. Since all living organisms share the same genetic code, and even many of the same genes—fundamental mechanisms can be studied in one system and the findings applied across a wide range of species, including humans. The Genome Stories Guide for Teachers provides students with a deeper understanding of the importance of using model organisms. The guide contains the following hands-on activities with investigative readings.

  1. Model Organisms — What are characteristics of different model organisms? Which types of biological problems have been investigated using model organisms?

  2. Caenorhabditis elegans: Introduction to Model Organisms for Genetics — What is C. Elegans, what are its characteristics and typical behavior, and how can we establish and maintain C. elegans cultures?

  3. C. Elegans Familiarization: Touch Stimulation — How do C. elegans worms respond to touch stimulation?

  4. C. Elegans Familiarization: Temperature and Growth — How does temperature (higher or lower than normal) affect lifespan and behaviors of C. elegans?

  5. Coiling DNA — How do cells fit DNA strands with composed of billions of base pairs in tight places?

  6. Genomic Health Era: Pros and Cons — What are the implications, positive and negative, of genetic testing and whole genome screenings?

Though originally created for middle school students, activites in this guide also may be used with high school students.

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Download: Genome Stories Guide for Teachers

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Funded by the following grant(s)

Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Gene U: Inquiry-based Genomics Learning Experiences for Teachers and Students
Grant Number: 5R25OD011134