Advanced Bioinformatics: Genetic Research
This is the second of a two-part series in NWABR's bioinformatics curriculum, funded by a grant called Bio-ITEST: New Frontiers in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, an Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) award from the National Science Foundation(NSF). This three-year award provided funding for education outreach programs and curriculum development that help secondary school teachers and their students learn about how information technology is used in biological research.
This curriculum unit explores how bioinformatics is used to perform genetic research. Specifically, the bioinformatics tools of BLAST, ORFinder, ClustalW and Cn3D are used to analyze genetic sequences.
The cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) gene is introduced as the “DNA barcoding” gene that allows for identification of animal species. Students examine DNA sequences from different animal species, investigate the relationship between protein structure and function, and explore evolutionary relationships among eukaryotic organisms.
The unit concludes with an authentic student research project, sequencing the COI genes from samples obtained through a partnership with the Seattle Aquarium in Seattle, Washington, or samples they collect themselves in the community.
Throughout the unit, students are presented with a number of career options in which the tools of bioinformatics are developed or used. The career lesson near the end of the unit culminates with resume and cover letter writing activities and a mock job interview.
Download the full Unit Overview (PDF). This contains authors and contributors, lesson summaries, instructional requirements, and lesson correlations to National Science Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards.
In order for us to measure how our curriculum resources are being used, please take a moment to contact us and let us know the class or classes in which you're using our lessons. We also welcome feedback about our advanced bioinformatics curriculum. We will not share your contact information with anyone.
Major collaborators include Digital World Biology, EdLab Group, and Shoreline Community College. The program also draws on NWABR’s strong relationships with school districts, community groups, bioethicists and NWABR member research institutions.
Complete Lesson Plans
Lesson One: The Process of Genetic Research Genetic_Research_Lesson1_NWABR.pdf
PowerPoint for Lesson One Genetic_Research_Lesson1_Slides_NWABR.ppt
Lesson Two: DNA Barcoding and the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD) Genetic_Research_Lesson2_NWABR.pdf
PowerPoint for Lesson Two Genetic_Research_Lesson2_Slides_NWABR.ppt
Lesson Three: Using Bioinformatics to Study Evolutionary Relationships Genetic_Research_Lesson3_NWABR.pdf
PowerPoint for Lesson Three Genetic_Research_Lesson3_Slides_NWABR.ppt
Lesson Four: Using Bioinformatics to Analyze Protein Sequences Genetic_Research_Lesson4_NWABR.pdf
PowerPoint for Lesson Four Genetic_Research_Lesson4_Slides_NWABR.ppt
Lesson Five: Protein Structure and Function: A Molecular Murder Mystery Genetic_Research_Lesson5_NWABR.pdf
PowerPoint for Lesson Five Genetic_Research_Lesson5_Slides_NWABR.ppt
Lesson Six: Genetic Research Unit Assessment: Writing Research Reports Genetic_Research_Lesson6_NWABR.pdf
PowerPoint for Lesson Six Genetic_Research_Lesson6_Slides_NWABR.ppt
Lesson Seven: Who Should Pay? Funding Research on Rare Genetic Diseases Genetic_Research_Lesson7_NWABR.pdf
PowerPoint for Lesson Seven Genetic_Research_Lesson7_Slides_NWABR.ppt
Lesson Eight: Exploring Bioinformatics Careers Genetic_Research_Lesson8_NWABR.pdf
PowerPoint for Lesson Eight Genetic_Research_Lesson8_Slides_NWABR.ppt
Lesson Nine: Analyzing DNA Sequences and DNA Barcoding Genetic_Research_Lesson9_NWABR.pdf
PowerPoint for Lesson Nine Genetic_Research_Lesson9_Slides_NWABR.ppt
Wet Lab: DNA Barcoding: From Samples to Sequences Genetic_Research_Wet_Lab_NWABR.pdf
PowerPoint for Wet Lab Genetic_Research_Wet_Lab_Slides_NWABR.ppt
PowerPoints to accompany each "Using Bioinformatics: Genetic Research" lesson are found on the "Lessons" page, beside each lesson title.
See our Student Career Center for career profiles, planning resources, and more.
Lesson Two: DNA Barcoding and the Barcode of Life Database
DNA Barcoding Animation. New animation to accomany the advanced bioinformatics curriculum!
Unknown DNA Sequences:
Lesson 3: Using Bioinformatics to Study Evolutionary Relationships
Lesson 4: Using Bioinformatics to Analyze Protein Sequences
|Group Sequences||DNA||Protein||Outgroup (DNA)|
|Group 1: Class Mammalia (Mammals)||DNA||Protein||Outgroup|
|Group 2: Class Aves (Birds)||DNA||Protein||Outgroup|
|Group 3: Class Osteichthyes (Bony Fishes)||DNA||Protein||Outgroup|
|Group 4: Class Chondrichthyes (Cartilaginous Fishes)||DNA||Protein||Outgroup|
|Group 5: Class Reptilia (Reptiles)||DNA||Protein||Outgroup|
Lesson 5: Molecular Murder Mystery
* To open the "Carl North" file, right click on the link (PC) to save the file to your desktop prior to opening. [For Mac users, click the "Carl North" link, select "Save As," and then save the file to your Desktop]
When opening each file, you may need to click "Open With" and "Browse." Then select "Cn3D" from the program list.
Lesson Six: Assessment: Writing Research Reports
Lesson Nine: Analyzing DNA Sequences and DNA Barcoding
Be sure to download BOTH the "F" and "R" sequences for each sample.
Open Chromatograms using Finch TV.