The Topic:

Easier - Genetics is the study of the way living things pass characteristics to their offspring. Examples of some of those inherited traits are size, color, blood type, and weight.
Harder - Genetic characteristics are determined by genes that are present in the cells of all organisms. Genes determine most physical traits like body build, color of eyes and other inherited traits like color blindness and various diseases.
An Augustinian monk named Gregor Mendel, born in 1822 in the town of Heinzendorf, Austria, discovered the principals of genetics during the 1860's. His theories, proven today, said that there are two genes for each trait, one inherited from each parent. They can be the same trait or different. If they are different, one can be dominant and will be seen in the organism. If the gene is recessive, the effect is hidden and therefore not seen in the organism.
Cracking the Code of Life from PBS NOVA Online
This companion site to the television broadcast chronicles the race to unravel the sequence of genetic information that defines human life - the human genome. Here you can webcast the entire show from archived segments and find additional resources and information.
2) Explore a Stretch of Code by L. Aguirre
3) Glossary
4) Sequence for Yourself by R. Groleau
5) Understanding Heredity
Other Related PBS Websites:
6) Genetic Research: A Health Spotlight Focus from PBS Online NewsHour
7) Our Genes / Our Choices (A 3-part Fred Friendly Seminar)
Gene Almanac from Dolan DNA Learning Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Here you can learn about stem cell research, find out how your health can be determined by your genes, and discover the principles of genetics.
Awesome Companion Websites from Dolan DNA Learning Center:
2) DNA from the Beginning
3) Eugenics Archive
4) Genetic Origins
5) Your Genes, Your Health
Gene Scene from American Museum of Natural History's OLogy
This is a great place for young learners to begin investigating genetics.
Other Introductory Websites:
2) Diving Into the Gene Pool from Exploratorium
3) Genetics from The Tech Museum of Innovation
4) Genetics from Gondar Design Biology
5) Growth & Genetics from BrainPOP
6) I Can Do That! from Eureka! Science, Corp.
Genetic Science Learning Center from University of Utah
What is DNA? What are proteins? Why do genetic disorders happen? This website gives you a better understanding of genetics and the impact on lives and society.
Not-To-Be-Missed Sections:
2) Can DNA Demand a Verdict?
3) What are Genetic Disorders?
4) What Can Our Chromosomes Tell Us?
After exploring some the sites, pick one of the following activities to expand, test, and display your new knowledge about genetics.
Test Your Knowledge. Before you did deep into the subject of genetics, take an online quiz to find out what you already know. Start with What Do You Know? from the American Museum of Natural History's OLogy.
Analyze And Explain A Genetic Illness. Select one of the genetic illnesses found at Your Genes, Your Health or other websites - choose one that you know little about. Use this resource, other websites, and your library media center to research and learn of its cause and effects. Present your findings using a multimedia presentation such as PowerPoint. Be sure to include appropriate charts, pictures, and other graph materials to improve the final presentation. To extend the activity, create a quiz to use with your audience to check its effectiveness.
Pick A Genetics WebQuest. Adapt or follow the procedures found at one of these webQuest sites:
1) Developmental Proteins in Drosophila (Advanced level) by N. Exner
2) Genetics: Can We Extend Life? (Grades 9-12) from Manteno High School & Olivet Nazarene University
3) Genetic Testing of Newborns; What Would You Do with Baby Cha-Cha? (Grades 9-12)
4) Gene Wars (Grades 9-12)
5) Webquest on Genetics by M. Olshan
Complete A Genetic Survey. Take and inventory of peoples common genetic traits such as the occurrence of detached earlobes, dimples, mid-digital hair (on knuckles), hair color, etc. First plan your survey and refine your question list. Identify a target group of at least 20 to 25 people that you wish to study. Finally conduct your survey and tabulate the results. Summarize your finding on a graph. Two other 42eXplore projects may be helpful: Polls and Surveys and Charts and Graphs.
Take The Genetic Survey. What are your thoughts and opinions about our genetic future? Take the survey at Our Genetic Future and let the folks PBS NOVA Online know what you think.
More Websites
DNA Animations by D. Lundberg
This webpage houses a collection of links to animations.
This is an online database of genetic and molecular data for Drosophila. Begin with "Getting Started."
Gene Map of the Human Genome from the National Center for Biotechnology Information
Begun in 1990, the U.S. Human Genome Project is a 15-year effort coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health to identify all the estimated 100,000 genes in human DNA; and determine the sequences of the 3 billion chemical bases that make up human DNA, store this information in databases, and develop tools for data analysis.
Update to the Website:
2) New Gene Map of the Human Genome
Gene Stories from BBC
This comprehensive site connects to articles related to genetics, cloning, and the human genome project.
Genetics Education Center at University of Kansas Medical Center
This site was created for students and educators interested in human genetics and the human genome project - - contains tons of resources and lots of links to other relevant websites.
Genome Database at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario Canada
This is the official central repository for genomic mapping data resulting from the Human Genome Initiative.
Genetic Drift Online from Mountain States Genetic Network
This online educational publication provides a thorough overview of a single topic in each issue.
Human Genome Project Information from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy
This a comprehensive website for information about the U.S. and worldwide Human Genome Project including general project information, news sources, research, publications, educational resources, ethical/social issues, are the latest developments.
Not-To-Be-Missed Sections:
2) Gene Testing
3) Genetics in the Courtroom
4) DNA Forensics
5) Webcasts-Online (Audio and Video Files about Genetics and the Human Genome Project)
Here you can learn about Gregor Mendel and plant genetics.
Other Sites on Gregor Mendel:
2) Exhibition On-Line from Mendel Museum of Genetics, Czech Republic
3) Gregor Mendel (1823-1884) by S. Yon Rhee from National Health Museum's Access
4) Gregor Mendel 1822 - 1884
5) Gregor Mendel and Mendelian Genetics
6) Johann Gregor Mendel: Why His Discoveries Were Ignored for 35 (72) Years
Morgan: A Genetics Tutorial
Here is a multimedia tutorial that covers the basic principles of genetics, suitable for an advanced high school class or introductory college biology. Before starting the tutorial, you must download and install the Chemscape Chime plug-in from MDL.
National Human Genome Research Institute
This government organization supports genetic and genomic research, investigation into the ethical, legal and social implications surrounding genetics research, and educational outreach activities.
Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms from National Human Genome Research Institute
This site was created to help people without scientific backgrounds understand the terms and concepts used in genetic research.
Your Genes, Your Choices: Exploring the Issues Raised by Genetic Research by K. Baker
This online text describes the Human Genome Project, the science behind it, and the ethical, legal, and social issues that are raised by the project.
More Websites on Law Enforcement and DNA Evidence
Basics of DNA Fingerprinting by K. Brinton and K. Lieberman
This site provides information on the structure and function of DNA as it relates to DNA fingerprinting.
Related Website:
2) DNA Fingerprinting Tutorial
What Every Law Enforcement Officer Should Know About DNA Evidence
Recent advancements in DNA technology are enabling law enforcement officers to solve cases previously thought to be unsolvable.
Related Websites:
2) Debate over DNA Evidence from Wired News,1283,20670,00.html
3) How Far Will the DNA Revolution Go? from PBS Frontline
Information on Genetic Illnesses and Disorders
Genes and Disease
Most of the genetic disorders featured on this web site are the direct result of a mutation in one gene.
Familial Alzheimer Disease: (1) Alzheimer Disease: What Is It? from Your Genes Your Health, (2)
Early-Onset Familial Alzheimer Disease by T.D. Bird, (3) Fact sheet: Genetics of Familial Alzheimer's Disease, (4) Non-familial Alzheimer's Disease is Mainly Due to Genetic Factors, (5) Facts About Genetics and Alzheimer's Disease, (6) About Alzheimer’s from Alzheimer’s Association, (7) Alzheimer's Disease from Medline Plus, U.S. National Library of Medicine
Beta-thalassemia (aka Cooley's anemia or Mediterranean anemia): (1) Beta-thalassemia: What Is It?
from Your Genes Your Health, (2) Beta-Thalassemia Project by S.M. Diamond, (3) Beta Thalassemia (Cooley's Anemia) from Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, (4) Beta Thalassemia from Children's Hospital Oakland, (5) Beta Thalassemia (Cooley's Anemia) from Methodist Health Care System, Houston, (6) Beta Thalassemia by K. Takeshita from eMedicine, (7) About Thalassemia
Cystic Fibrosis: (1) What is Cystic Fibrosis? from the Boomer Esiason Foundation, (2) Cystic
Fibrosis from Michigan State University DNA Diagnostic Program, (3) Cystic Fibrosis: What Is It? from Your Genes Your Health, (4) What Is CF from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, (5) Cystic Fibrosis Information & Resource, (6) Cystic Fibrosis Worldwide, (7) Cystic Fibrosis Center at Stanford,
Down Syndrome: (1) Down Syndrome: What Is It? from Your Genes Your Health, (2) National
Down Syndrome Society, (3) Down Syndrome: Health Issues - Medical Essays and Information by L. Leshin, (4) National Down Syndrome Congress, (5) Down Syndrome Information Network, (6) Down Syndrome, (7) Uno Mas! Down Syndrome Online, (8) Down Syndrome / Trisomy 21 from Genetic Drift
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (aka Pseudohypertrophic): (1) Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy:
What Is It? from Your Genes Your Health, (2) Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, (3) Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) from Muscular Dystrophy Association, (4) Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) from from National Center for Biotechnology Information, (5) Haynes Family's Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Info Page, (6) Muscular Dystrophies: Duchenne and Becker, (7) Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Fragile X Syndrome: (1) Fragile X Syndrome: What Is It? from Your Genes Your Health, (2)
FRAXA Research Foundation, (3) National Fragile X Foundation, (4) Fragile X Syndrome from GeneReviews, (5) Facts About Fragile X Syndrome from National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, (6) Fragile X Syndrome, (7) Fragile X Syndrome from National Center for Biotechnology Information, (8) Fragile X Syndrome from Genetic Drift
Hemochromatosis: (1) Hemochromatosis: What Is It? from Your Genes Your Health, (2) American
Hemochromatosis Society (AHS), (3) Hemochromatosis from National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, (4) Hemochromatosis from Medline Plus, (5) Hemochromatosis - Diagnosis, Treatment, and Maintenance, (6) Hemochromatosis Education & Research, (7) Hereditary Hemochromatosis
Hemophilia: (1) Hemophilia: What Is It? from Your Genes Your Health, (2) National Hemophilia
Foundation, (3) Frequently Asked Questions from World Federation of Hemophilia, (4) Hemophilia Galaxy, (5) Hemophilia Federation of America, (6) Hemophilia: "The Royal Disease" by Y. Aronova-Tiuntseva and C.F. Herreid at University at Buffalo, State University of New York, (7) Canadian Hemophilia Society
Huntington Disease: (1) Huntington Disease: What Is It? from Your Genes Your Health, (2)
Huntington's Disease Society of America (HDSA), (3) Caring for People with Huntington's Disease from Kansas University Medical Center, (4) Huntington's Disease Advocacy Center, (5) Electronic Resources on Huntington's Disease, 1990-1999 by R. Davis, (6) Huntington's Disease Information from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, (7) Huntington's Disease Lighthouse, (8) Huntington Society of Canada
Marfan Syndrome: (1) Marfan Syndrome: What Is It? from Your Genes Your Health, (2) National
Marfan Foundation, (3) Marfan Syndrome: What It Is, and What to do About It by J. Cortese, (4) Marfan Syndrome from National Center for Biotechnology Information, (5) Marfan World, (6) What is Marfan Syndrome? from Children's Heart Institute, (7) Marfan Syndrome from Genetic Drift
Neurofibromatosis: (1) Neurofibromatosis (NF1, NF2): What Is It? from Your Genes Your Health,
(2) Neurofibromatosis 1 (von Recklinghausen disease) from Genetic Drift, (3) National Neurofibromatosis Foundation, (4) Neurofibromatosis, Inc., (5) Neurofibromatosis Resources, (6) Neurofibromatosis from Medline Plus, (7) Neurofibromatosis Information from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, (8) Neurofibromatosis 1 from Gene Reviews
Phenylketonuria: (1) Phenylketonuria: What Is It? from Your Genes Your Health, (2)
Phenylketonuria from National Center for Biotechnology Information, (3) Phenylketonuria from Medline Plus, (4) Phenylketonuria (PKU) from Med Help International, (5) PKU from March of Dimes, (6) Phenylketonuria (PKU) from Kimball's Biology Pages, (7) Hyperphenylalaninemia (PKU) Resource Booklet for Families from The Montreal Children's Hospital
Polycystic Kidney Disease: (1) Polycystic Kidney Disease: What Is It? from Your Genes Your
Health, (2) PKD Foundation, (3) Polycystic Kidney Disease from National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, (4) Polycystic Kidney Disease from National Center for Biotechnology Information, (5) Glenn Foley Wings Foundation, (6) Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) from Methodist Health Care System, (7) Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
Sickle Cell Anemia: (1) New Hope for People with Sickle Cell Anemia by E. Mayfield, (2) Sickle
Cell Anemia: What Is It? from Your Genes Your Health, (3) Sickle Cell Information Center, (4) American Sickle Cell Anemia Association, (5) Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, (6) Sickle Cell Anemia from Medline Plus, (7) Sickle Cell Anemia from National Center for Biotechnology Information, (8) Story on Sickle Cell Anemia from TeensHealth
Tay-Sachs Disease: (1) Tay-Sachs Disease: What Is It? from Your Genes Your Health, (2) National
Tay-Sachs & Allied Diseases Association (NTSAD), (3) Tay-Sachs Disease Information from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, (4) Tay-Sachs Disease from National Center for Biotechnology Information, (5) Tay-Sachs Disease from March of Dimes, (6) Tay-Sachs Disease from Family Village Library, (7) Tay-Sachs Disease from Medline Plus
Turner Syndrome: (1) Turner Syndrome from Genetic Drift, (2) Turner Syndrome Society of United
States, (3) Turner Syndrome Support Society, (4) Endocrinology and Turner's Syndrome, (5) Turner Syndrome from National Institutes of Health, (6) Tim's Turner Syndrome Page, (7) Turner Syndrome, Its Symptoms and Treatments
Websites For Teachers
Classroom Genetics Profile (Grade 7) by J. Carson
This lesson introduces students to the role of inherited genes in determining a variety of human traits.
Classroom Resources: Cracking the Code of Life from PBS NOVA Online
This teacher's guide section provides background information on the project, activities to help students isolate their own DNA and learn how the genome was sequenced, and case studies to address some ethical issues.
Exploring Our Molecular Selves from Human Genome Project
This is the online version of a multimedia educational kit for high school students and the interested public.
Human Genetics: A Worldwide Search for the Dominant Trait - Do You Have It? by the Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education (CIESE), Stevens Institute of Technology
One way for students to learn how their physical characteristics or traits are inherited is to gather information about specific, easily-seen human features. The collected data is then examined to determine how many of the dominant and recessive traits showed up in the surveyed populations. Students can post questions and have discussions with other students participating in the project. Final reports are submitted and posted to the site.
Mapping the Human Genome from Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS)
This curriculum supplement describes the history, organization, and funding of the HGP and is designed for approximately one week of classroom instruction.
Other Related Instructional Modules from BSCS:
2) Bioinformatics and the Human Genome Project
3) Genes, Environment, and Human Behavior
4) Human Genome Project: Biology, Computers, and Privacy
5) Puzzle of Inheritance: Genetics and the Methods of Science
Teacher Resources at Eccles Institute of Human Genetics, University of Utah
This site contains teaching guides, online resources, teacher newsletter access, classroom materials, and much more.
amino acids
genetic illness
gene therapy
base pair
human genome
genetic counseling
ribonucleic acid
genetic code
genetic screening
genetic testing
genetic engineering
DNA sequence
rare diseases
genetic discrimination
DNA forensics
embryonic stem (ES) cell
cell biology
prenatal diagnosis
junk DNA
newborn screening
deoxyribonucleic acid
gene testing
double helix
identical twins
genetic diversity
Created by Kathy Crain, Elkhart Central High School, IN, 11/02.
Adapted by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 1/03.