NEWSLETTER August 2023

Genome: Unlocking Life's Code Celebrates the Birthday of Henrietta Lacks in August

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. At the end of the timeline, 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 are freely available for download in PDF form. 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. Incorporate the lesson plans into your curriculum for this school year!

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It's time to sign up for Skype a Scientist's Fall 2023 semester! Skype a Scientist connects scientists with classrooms, families, libraries, scout troups and more globally. Students have an opportunity to meet a real scientist and get answers to their questions directly. If you’ve signed up last year and didn’t get a match, try again this year as their recruitment squad is working hard to bring science to as many people as possible. Sign up now!

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DNA Subway: A Bioinformatics Tool for Students

Bring the DNA Subway to your students! DNA Subway is a collaborative workspace to generate DNA sequence annotations, conduct phylogenetic analyses, and analyze Next-Generation Sequencing data. It has an appealing and intuitive interface that uses the metaphor of a network of subway lines to guide users through the maze of analysis steps necessary to annotate and compare DNA sequences. Developed with an eye to undergraduate education; DNA Subway can make high-level DNA analysis available to faculty and students by simplifying annotation and comparative genomics workflows.

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"Invasive Spotlight: The Northern Snakehead" StoryMap: A DNA Barcoding Activity for the Classroom

DNA barcodes are sections of DNA in a genome that can be used to identify organisms. Introduce the use of DNA barcodes to sequence DNA to your students through the “Invasive Spotlight: The Northern Snakehead” StoryMap available from the Academy of Natural Sciences and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC). This StoryMap provides a deep dive into the science of the northern snakehead invasion in North America, telling the story with the use of graphics and maps. Two activities are offered and DNA barcoding is one aspect of an activity that identifies what snakeheads are eating. The other activity uses maps to identify where the fish have been seen and their habitats. Teacher and student resources are available for each activity. An engaging and interesting approach to introducing DNA barcoding your students!

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This month's featured article in

Genomics: Insights

"How can Stony corals resist climate change?"

Author: Ritika Thomas

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