Science education

I was pretty impressed to find the swine flu genome sequences, from the cases in California and Texas, already for viewing at the NCBI. You can get them and work them, too. It's pretty easy. Tomorrow, we'll align sequences and make trees. Activity 3: Getting the swine flu sequence data 1. Go to the NCBI, find the Influenza Virus Resource page and follow the link to: 04/27/2009: Newest swine influenza A (H1N1) sequences. 2. You'll see a page that looks like this: ... Read more
I'm a big of learning from data. There are many things we can learn about swine flu and other kinds of flu by using public databases. In digital biology activity 1, we learned about the kinds of creatures that can get flu. Personally, I'm a little skeptical about the blowfly, but... Now, you might wonder, what kinds of flu do these different creatures get? Are they all getting H1N1, or do they get different variations? What are H and N anyway? We can discuss all of these, but for now, lets see what kinds of flu strains infect different kinds of creatures. Activity 2. What ... Read more
Genome sequences from California and Texas isolates of the H1N1 swine flu are already available for exploration at the NCBI. Let's do a bit of digital biology and see what we can learn. Activity 1. What kinds of animals get the flu? For the past few years we've been worrying about avian (bird). Now, we're hearing about swine (pig) flu. All of this news might you wonder just who gets the flu besides pigs, birds, and humans. We can find out by looking at the data. Over the past few years, researchers have been sequencing influenza genomes and depositing ... Read more

A couple of years ago, I answered a reader's question about the cost of genome sequencing. One of my readers had asked why the cost of sequencing a human genome was so high. At that time, I used some of the prices advertised by core labs on the web and the reported coverage to estimate the cost of sequencing Craig Venter's genome. As you can imagine, the cost of sequencing has dropped quite a bit since then.

In 2007, Genome Technology reported the cost of sequencing ... Read more

This is a video that a friend made that shows, very clearly, how to pour an agarose gel, load the samples and run it. I especially like the way he used a bit of time lapse photography to show the dyes separating as the gel ran. ... Read more
"Yo, you regulate it's genes" The English makes me cringe, but I love the idea. Tom McFadden, an associate instructor at Stanford, has made a series of Biology rap videos and posted them on YouTube. Yo, check it out. ... Read more
If you haven't seen these, check out Jake Young's collection of videos showing T cells getting infected by HIV. The best one is at the bottom of the post.Read more
A few weeks ago I heard a story from a friend in Oklahoma. She works with high school science teachers, helping them learn how to add biotechnology to their courses. One teacher, in particular, has taken the new science activities to heart. Her students did so well, they won a science competition and were asked to fly somewhere to accept the prize. For many of those students, this would be their first trip on an airplane and their first trip outside of rural Oklahoma. It was pretty exciting! But there were some unexpected problems. Some of these children were illegal. ... Read more
The NIH has some extra money to fund summer research for students and teachers. Check it out!
The NIH and grantee partner institutions have a unique opportunity to support summer research experiences for high school and college students, as well as elementary, middle, and secondary school science teachers, and faculty from non-research intensive institutions in your geographic area. Supported through American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), these administrative supplements are available, on an expedited basis, to NIH research grants of faculty ... Read more
I don't usually publish press releases, but I'm making an exception for this one, since your's truly is one of the Co-PI's. If you're a teacher within commuting distance of Seattle, the schedule and sign up information is here.
NSF AWARDS $1.3 MILLION TO NWABR FOR BIOINFORMATICS EDUCATION Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) brings the understanding of how biology and information technology interact to teachers and their students Seattle, WA - ... Read more

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