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December 2005

Putting DNA to Work
Not an employment site, but one focused on applications of bio-science.
Grade Level: 9-12

The Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Science presents this site that details several current applications of DNA sequencing, from tracking the origin of SARS to criminal forensics.
This multimedia site is well organized and easily navigated. Various areas of the site are highlighted on the main page with the topics listed on the left and the interactive activities on the right side of the page.

Putting DNA to Work explores how DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)can be used to detect diseases, find similarities between humans and other species, determine how traits are inherited from one generation to the next, improve crops, and catch criminals as well as where it is found and other background information. There are five multimedia activities that include tracking down an inherited disease, using the FBI's CODIS system to identify the culprit in a crime, discover how diseases are identified, and examine how the genes of familiar food have mutated to transform what we eat. Teaching materials include lessons and interactive activities at introductory, intermediate and advanced levels. Included at the site are a well organized list of related Web links and suggestions for further reading.


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