The Human Genome Project -- Exploring Our Molecular Selves
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on-line education kit

Welcome to the Human Genome Project, "Exploring Our Molecular Selves" online multimedia educational kit.

The Human Genome Project (HGP) began in 1990 as an effort by researchers from around the world to map and sequence the human genome - the totality of human DNA - as well as the genomes of important experimental organisms, like yeast, the nematode worm, and mouse. In 2000, the collaborators in the HGP announced the completion of a draft revealing 90% of the human sequence and in February 2001, the initial analysis of the human genome sequence was published in the scientific literature. The HGP completed in April 2003.

To mark this occasion, the Human Genome Project released a free, multimedia educational kit for high school students and the interested public. A limited number of kits were produced and distributed within the first year of the release in February 2001. In order to continue to provide broad access of these materials, the contents of the education kit were reformatted and are available on this website in two formats; download modules or online viewing. Additionally, the online version contains two segments that are not available for download. The contents of both versions are listed below.

The following modules are available for download:

Dynamic Timeline: An interactive timeline presenting more than 90 key events in the history of genetics occurring over nearly 150 years. A short, illustrated story describes each key event. In addition, primary references, archival images, and many original scientific publications are available for more detailed study.

Genes, Variation and Human History: Two interactive classroom activities, Genetic Variation in Populations and Using Genes to Trace Human History allow students to study the similarities and differences among individuals and among populations.

How to Sequence a Genome: An animated, narrated segment on the essential steps in sequencing an organism's genome.

Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI): A segment on Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues that begins with a video that introduces key themes. Case studies are presented with discussion questions to spur dialogue on these important issues.

Bioinformatics A tutorial that demonstrates finding genes, finding functions and examining variation through the use of bioinformatics. Bioinformatics is the branch of biology that is concerned with the acquisition, storage, display, and analysis of the information found in nucleic acid and protein sequence data.

Exploring Our Molecular Selves (Video): A 3D computer-animated video illustrating the basic components and principles of molecular biology. The video gives a sense of the scale of cells, chromosomes, and DNA and shows how the information in DNA is converted into the molecules necessary for life.

Glossary of Genetic Terms: A link to the talking Glossary of Genetic Terms presenting written definitions, phonetic spelling, illustrations, and audio of scientists defining scientific terms.



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