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Cracking the Code of Life
Cracking the Code of Life Teacher Resources
Curriculum Supplements | Books | Articles | Web Sites

Curriculum Supplements
Genes, Environment, and Human Behavior. Biological Sciences Curriculum Study. Colorado Springs, CO, 2000.
A downloadable teaching module comprised of five student activities that lay out the methods and assumptions of behavioral genetics. Focuses on some of the complex interactions between the genetic, developmental, and environmental factors governing human behavior, and prepares students to think about implications for public policy. Available free in PDF format at:

Human Genetic Variation. National Institutes of Health (NIH), BSCS, & Videodiscovery, Inc. Curriculum Supplement Series, NIH Publication No. 99-4647. October 1999.
For grades 9-12. Offers teachers five inquiry-based activities for students to explore how scientific research in human genetic variation can yield more targeted, and potentially more effective, medical treatments. Encourages analysis of the ethical, legal, and social issues arising from genomic data. Provides correlations to national science education standards, as well as tips for student assessment. Available free from the NIH Office of Science Education at:

Your Genes, Your Choices: Exploring the Issues Raised by Genetic Research. By Catherine Baker. Washington D.C.: The American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1999.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, this book uses specific cases to probe analysis about the ethical, legal, and social implications of the Human Genome Project. For a table of contents and more information, see:

Downloadable PDF file at:

Primer on Molecular Genetics. By Denise Casey. Human Genome Project, U.S. Department of Energy. Washington, D.C., 1992.
Provides a glossary to Human Genome Project terms, as well as basic genetic definitions. Also covers mapping and sequencing of the human genome, and explains sequencing technologies, the search for specific genes, and the challenges of data collection and interpretation. Ends with a section about the impact of the Human Genome Project. Available on the Web at:

The Human Genome Project: Cracking the Code Within Us. By Elizabeth L Marshall. Minneapolis, MN: Econo-Clad Books, 1999.
Explores the process and technology used in sequencing a portion of the human genome. Connects the discoveries in the human genome with their ethical implications.

Abraham Lincoln's DNA and Other Adventures in Genetics. By Philip R. Reilly. Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, August 2000.
Draws from a wide range of tales of crime, history, illness, and ethics to prompt reflection upon principles and issues in human genetics.

Rosalind Franklin and DNA. By Anne Sayre. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., July 2000.
Offers an account of Franklin's work elucidating the structure of DNA and explores the difficulties often faced by women in science. (Franklin's research played a critical role in the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of DNA; Watson and Crick's discovery relied heavily on her X-ray crystallography data.)

The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA. By James D. Watson. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1998.
Chronicles the race to discover the structure of DNA and some of the scientific rivalries involved, as seen by James Watson.

A Structure of Deoxyribonucleic Acid. By Francis Crick and James Watson. Nature. Volume 171, 1953: 737-738.
The seminal paper on the discovery of the structure of DNA.

Outlook 2000: Inventing the Future. U.S. News & World Report. January 3, 2000.
Special double issue features various articles about the Human Genome Project, on topics ranging from how learning the secrets of DNA may help cure illnesses and arrest aging to the benefits and perils of genetic testing.

Web Sites
Genes and Disease
Shows which diseases have been mapped on which chromosomes. The Map Viewer presents a graphical view of the available human genome sequence data, as well as cytogenetic, genetic, physical, and radiation hybrid maps.

Genetics Resources
Describes and links to additional resources on specific subject areas within genetics and medicine.

The Human Genome Project
Presents background on the Human Genome Project from the National Human Genome Research Institute. Links to more detailed resources describing the history and goals of the Human Genome Project.

Glossary of Genetic Terms
Provides a basic glossary of almost 200 genetics terms. Illustrations accompany many of the definitions.

The National Cancer Institute—Questions and Answers about Gene Therapy

Provides short answers to popular questions about gene therapy, such as "What scientific developments led up to gene therapy?," "What major problems must scientists overcome before gene therapy becomes a common technique for treating disease?," and "What impact is gene therapy likely to have on medicine in the future?" Discusses the basics of germ-line gene therapy and genetic enhancement.

Research Technique Fact Sheets
Outlines techniques commonly used by researchers, including chromosome microdissection, DNA chip technology, DNA microarray technology, fluorescence in situ hybridization, polymerase chain reaction, and spectral karyotyping.

Student Guide to the Human Genome Project
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, this site offers background on the Human Genome Project, along with links to images, diagrams, an idea exchange for science projects relating to the human genome, and information about careers in genetics.—The Genetics Revolution Newsfile
Includes a timeline with key genetic discoveries since 1953 and articles about the basics in the Human Genome Project, the most recent clonings (piglets), and applications of genetic research in the plant and animal realm. Also explores the implications of genetic research and gene therapy for humans, providing links to additional resources, as well as articles about business and ethical considerations.

Watch the Program Here | Our Genetic Future (A Survey)
Manipulating Genes: How Much is Too Much? | Understanding Heredity
Explore a Stretch of Code | Nature vs Nurture Revisited
Sequence for Yourself | Journey into DNA | Meet the Decoders
Resources | Update to Program | Teacher's Guide | Transcript
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