Skill Building

Skill Building sessions let you practice what you learned at the Open House. Lessons and activities allow for self-paced learning. These are also great resources for teachers.

Introduction to Bioinformatics Video

This short video will introduce you to the field of bioinformatics and the role of bioinformaticians in genetics and genomics research. It also includes a brief guide to walk you through the Wiki vs. OMIM Bioinformatics exercise. You will learn that bioinformatics is a key component of genetics and genomics and that analyses can be performed anywhere there is a computer and an internet connection.

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Introduction to Bioinformatics Lesson

The Wiki vs. OMIM Bioinformatics exercise allows you to "jump into bioinformatics" by exploring two databases in search of specific genetic information: Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia you are likely familiar with navigating; and OMIM, an online catalog of human genetics and genetic diseases. The exercise outlines student tasks and thinking questions. 

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Solving a Medical Mystery with Bioinformatics

This case study guides students through publicly available bioinformatics databases to solve a medical mystery. The case relates the real-life story of Dr. James Lupski, a renowned geneticist, who has a rare form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT), a degenerative peripheral neuropathy. Students assume the role of a family physician who meets Dr. Lupski prior to his diagnosis. Students then investigate his symptoms to provide a medical diagnosis and, alongside Dr. Lupski, investigate his published genomic data and the causative gene, SH3TC2. Since there is no cure for the disease, students explore model databases to determine if there is an animal model of CMT and if it is being actively researched.

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JAX Mighty Mice in Space Lessons

These lessons take real data from Dr. Lee’s Mice in Space experiments and allow students to immerse themselves in the research process and learn scientific skills including prediction, experimental design, data interpretation, and graphing analysis. Visit the Mice In Space website to find the complete lesson series, including a teacher guide, two student lessons, and one project with accompanying poster template.

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The Power of a Test, How COVID-19 is Diagnosed and Who Does It

In this directed case study, students follow the story of “Marcus,” a recent college graduate working as a technician in a clinical laboratory. Marcus’ work duties suddenly shift to testing patient samples for COVID-19 when the pandemic hits his region. Students investigate the molecular biology of the COVID-19 PCR diagnostic test and also learn about careers in a clinical laboratory.

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