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NHGRI launches improved online Spanish talking glossary of genetic terms

By Omar McCrimmon
Assistant Public Affairs Specialist
Chromosome illustration in Spanish

¿Cómo se dice "gene" en español? The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) today released an updated online Spanish Talking Glossary of Genetics to provide a resource to the Spanish-speaking community seeking a better understanding of genetics and genomics.

New features of the glossary - originally launched in 2003 - include an alphabetically organized navigational tool and lists of related terms.

The glossary, announced at the 2011 annual meeting of the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), gives students, teachers and the Spanish-speaking public a reliable online resource for more than 200 terms and basic concepts behind today's breakthroughs in genetics and genomics. A key added feature to the glossary is the ability to switch from English to Spanish in an instant.

"The Spanish Talking Glossary is the result of volunteer efforts of more than100 Spanish-speaking genetics professionals," said Jeff Witherly, Ph.D., senior advisor in NHGRI's Education and Community Involvement Branch. "Volunteers from NIH and reviewers from colleges and high schools in the United States contributed to this project over the last year."

Just like the English version of the glossary, many of the terms and definitions come from current textbooks used in middle and high school science classes around the nation. Users can actually hear each term and definition described by scientists who provide context and other supplementary information. Scientists biographies and photographs accompany the glossary terms.

"The updated version of NHGRI's Spanish Talking Glossary is a major milestone to help Spanish speakers understand common genetic terms like "gene" and "chromosome," said Amalia Dutra, Ph.D., the Spanish Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms scientific advisor.

The Spanish glossary is available at

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Last Reviewed: March 14, 2014