Project Overview
Student Learning Objectives
Content Material
Links to Course Competencies
Supplementary Resources


Introduction to Gene Structure


Time: Approximately 90 minutes.

Materials: Computers with Internet access, Student Directions, Microsoft PowerPoint and Word or similar programs, and referenced PowerPoint (Gene Structure.ppt).  

Prerequisites: This activity is designed for students who have a basic understanding of human genetics and some knowledge of DNA, RNA and protein production.

Implementation: This RWLO may be implemented as a class assignment or as a take-home lesson.  It is advisable to have at least some classroom teaching time to allow the instructor to navigate the site with the students once using the human insulin model.  Preferably the first gene will be done in-class (human adult beta-globin), while the second gene could be done either in-class or as extra credit homework. 

  1. Provide access to the Student Directions and print and distribute the Student Worksheet.doc  (1.2 MB) located in the Content Material section of this RWLO.  The Instructor Directions differ from the student copy by providing answers to the three genes used for discovery.
  2. Present in class or have students access the following short PowerPoint presentation: Gene structure.ppt (551 KB). The presentation describes the ideas of chromosomes, genes, and the dogma of how DNA codes for RNA which codes for Protein.
  3. The instructor goes to the site and shows how to navigate using the Student Directions for Searching the Human Genome Project.doc.  The instructors version has the gene names while the student version has only the sequences to be searched.
  4. Have the class now search the site using the directions and the worksheet list of genes.  Fill out the student worksheet as the information becomes available. 
  1. Make sure to explain that if the students get lost they can always use the "back" button on their web browser or go back to the beginning and start their search over.  Exploring the site for other information is a good option for the students after the worksheet information is obtained.