August 2021
Celebrate the Birthday of Henrietta Lacks with Genome: Unlocking Life's Code
This month, Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code celebrates Henrietta Lacks’ birthday by highlighting the timeline which presents the life of Henrietta Lacks and the medical science discoveries resulting from her cells known as HeLa cells. Scroll through the timeline to learn more about who Henrietta Lacks was, how HeLa cells were discovered, and how medical science has benefitted. The timeline complements four lesson plans created by K-12 educators in partnership with the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Human Genome Research Institute. The lesson plans explore a variety of topics that interconnect Henrietta Lacks’ life and experiences and highlight the importance of these topics to our current understanding of science and society. Each lesson plan comes with instructional materials including resource sheets, PowerPoint slides, and introductory activities. Applicable Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards are listed, and each lesson plan is available in PDF form for easy download.

Just Released! Microbiome Lesson Plans for the Classroom
Want to incorporate exciting new genomics content into your fall courses? Check out the brand new microbiome lesson plans developed by four educators/alumni from the National Human Genome Research Institute’s (NHGRI) annual summer Short Course in Genomics for middle school, high school, community college, and Tribal College educators. The NHGRI Short Course in Genomics Microbiome Lesson Plans were inspired by lectures and resources on the microbiome offered at various Short Courses in Genomics over the past five years.
The microbiome lesson plans consist of four modules:

You Are What You Eat - Exploring the Microbiome through Inquiry-Based Labs
Karla Smith Fuller, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology, Stella and Charles Guttman Community College, City University of New York
A Glimpse into the Microbiome: An Introductory Lecture
Andrew Lee, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Northern Virginia Community College

Microbiome Virtual Lab Exploration!
Joshua Farr, M.Ed, Mica Mountain High School and Sean Conlan, Ph.D., Associate Investigator, NHGRI Translational and Functional Genomics Branch 
Exploring the Microbiome and its Connection to Metabolic Syndrome
Waqar Kazmi, M.A, Biology Department, Northern Virginia Community College

Bold Predictions for Human Genomics by 2030 from the National Human Genome Research Institute
The National Human Genome Research Institute is hosting a seminar series focused on the “Bold Predictions for Human Genomics by 2030” that are described in NHGRI’s “Strategic Vision for Improving Human Health at the Forefront of Genomics.” Your calendars for the next seminar will be “Bold Prediction #7: The Clinical Relevance of all Encountered Genomic Variants will be Readily Predictable, Rendering the Diagnostic Designation ‘Variant of Uncertain Significance (VUS)’ Obsolete.” This seminar will be on September 16, 2021 from 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST. Registration is required.

New Classroom Activity from DNA Decoded
DNA Decoded offers ready-to-go standards aligned tools for educators that are freely downloadable. One of the newest offerings is the “Why Bats? Disease Transmission to Humans” classroom activity. In this activity, students will analyze the connection between bats and humans in the transmission of pathogens like COVID-19. They will learn about disease mutations and how epidemiologists track and fight disease outbreaks. The activity is for grades 9-12 and is approximately 45-60 minutes of classroom time.

This month's featured article in
Genomics: Insights

Author: Reuben Park

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