The BiotechnologyEducation Company
DNA Sequencing to Save Endangered Species
Since the 1980’s, DNA evidence has been used in the criminal justice system to help convict violent offenders and, just as importantly, exonerate innocent individuals. An approach often used is DNA profiling, a technique where investigators compare the base pair order of DNA found at the crime scene to a suspect’s DNA. Now, another type of genetic analysis – DNA barcoding – is being used to combat illegal wildlife trading.
Tagged on: DNA, Barcoding, Wildlife, Forensics, Science, Advanced
Detecting the Silent Killer - Understanding Diabetes
Diabetes, known officially as diabetes mellitus (DM), is a common but severe long-term metabolic disease. The World Health Organization’s 2014 data indicates that about 9% of the global adult population (age > 18) suffered from this disease and more than 1.5 million people died from complications caused by diabetes. Governments and private companies invest huge amounts of money into research to fight diabetes each year.
Tagged on: Diabetes, Science, Disease, Intermediate, Advanced
Edvotek at the International Space Station
Who doesn’t dream of visiting space? Few people throughout history have had the chance to experience zero gravity and to observe the world from thousands of miles away. Since 2010, the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) has provided an opportunity for American and Canadian students to design and fly microgravity experiments in low earth orbit. As of 2015, SSEP has sponsored eight missions for elementary through university aged students, two onboard the Space Shuttle and six to the International Space Station (ISS).
Tagged on: NASA, Space, ISS, Advanced, Beads
Sequencing Tardigrade DNA Reveals Unexpected Results
Recently, tardigrades (known by some as moss piglets and others as water bears) have been making headlines in the field of genetics. What are these excellently nicknamed critters? They are very small aquatic animals. A quick search will show some amazing pictures (and videos). Imagine a less than 1 mm animal with a head attached to a barrel shaped body and four pairs of clawed legs. Interestingly, the hindmost legs are orientated differently from the front six - one useful way to distinguish them from other microscopic animals. Inside they have digestive, excretory, and nervous systems.
Tagged on: Advanced, Science, DNA Sequencing
Seasonal Variations in Gene Expression
A lot changes in the fall – temperatures, leaf colors, coffee flavors, sunrise time, TV shows, it's a long list. Add to this list your transcriptome. A transcriptome is the set of all RNA molecules in a cell or population of cells. The name comes from transcription, which is the first part of gene expression where information in a strand of DNA is copied into messenger RNA. The DNA information in a eukaryotic organism, e.g. the genome, is more or less constant apart from the occasional mutation. In contrast the transcriptome is in constant flux.
Tagged on: Genes, Advanced, Intermediate, Science
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