Genome Alberta Sharing the Trail
Here is what’s available from Genome Alberta! <ul><li>Curricular Support  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Genomics – A New Revolutio...
Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) <ul><li>Major discovery of  human genome project was single nucleotide polymorphism...
Genomics marked the beginning of a new age in biology and medicine  1900 1953 1977 1980 1983 1990 1994-98 1998 2000 2003 W...
Mountain Pine Beetle
The Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic:  A  Disease System  of Three  Genomes Host Pine Trees Bark Beetle Fungal Pathogens Slid...
Genome Alberta Forestry At the Molecular Level
Technology Society Science Pine Beetle Epidemic
Gee in Genome Suitcase
Gee in Genome
Wiki Mind Map
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Sharing the trail : Inspiring your students through GenOmics and other Social Media


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Sharing the Trail : Inspiring your students through GenOmics and other Social Media is a presentation made to the Alberta Teachers Association - Science Council Conference 2011. Speaker notes are provided to explain the slides. I blog Genomics to encourage Scientific Literacy at

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  • I made this presentation at the Alberta Teachers’ Association : Science Council Conference 2011. I used the metaphor of the Legacy Trail. The initial part of the trail has a slight up hill representing a short sharp learning curve. The rest of the trail requires very little shifting of gears. On the trail, there are riders, walkers and roller-bladers of various speed and skill levels. I hope to be able to accommodate all levels.
  • Advanced participants can run with this one, for the rest I promise, I’ll be back later to explain how to use this with your classes.
  • This is an outline of the topics I will discuss. Genomics – A New Revolution in Science is a presentation available on our website which can be downloaded and used by teachers in whatever manner they wish. Some teachers use it as a presentation between Mendelian Genetics and Molecular Genetics. Some use it as a station in a multi-activity classroom. Some give it to students to use on their own computers. You can use individual slides, or all of them, it is entirely up to your own professional decisions.
  • This is an example of the type of information you can find in the presentation.
  • Most of the slides have speaking notes to go along with them. I’ll show a few more examples.
  • What makes this slide different of significance is that it shows not only the result of translation to a specific protein, but that in some cases genes can affect the way to metabolites are produced by the cell. Also of significance, the estimated number of genes that code for proteins has been greatly reduced since the discovery that many proteins undergo post-translational modification.
  • If a change of one nucleotide in a specific location occurs in at least 1% of the population, then it is operationally defined as a SNP. These SNPs are considered to be evolutionarily stable, i.e., not changing in frequency from generation to generation. This is an example of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. This slide also allows you to discuss the Wobble Hypothesis as well.
  • The Human Genome Project represents a milestone in that it ushered in a comprehensive plan to map the entire genome sequence. Prior efforts often had individual labs working on smaller sections of specific interest. Cooperation greatly reduced the costs of sequencing and access to the entire information has led to many new research areas not available prior to this.
  • The Genome News Network publishes a quick guide to sequenced genomes. The list is growing rapidly.
  • One area of great interest to Genome Alberta is the Mountain Pine Beetle. It is called the Tria Project.
  • It is of great interest because there is an interaction of three genomes.
  • Another presentation available on our website is Forestry at the Molecular Level. This primer about the mountain pine beetle is for teachers wishing to have students do enquiry appoach, project based learning.
  • In Alberta , there is a Curricular emphasis. Foundation 3 Scope and character of the interaction of science, technology and society Attitudes, Knowledge STS and Skills. The Pine Beetle Epidemic is great example of a topic which touches on all three of the curricular emphasis.
  • You may remember seeing Gee in Genome at a science centre or museum when it visited Alberta recently. It spent time in Edmonton and in Red Deer. Well, we have a junior sized version available in a suitcase. I don’t think it is appropriate for Bio 20/30, but it is a great kit for either junior high or for the Science 20/30 programs. Just get in touch with me if you wish to book this one. We will arrange to send it out.
  • The kit contains display panels in both French and English. It also has books, video interviews props and a binder of activites.
  • The Alberta curriculum also allow students to gain additional credits through independent projects. Genome Alberta has collaborated with students to achieve the requirements for the Biotechnology module. If you have students interested, please get in touch. This is a great opportunity to gain credits for students involved with science fairs, the Sanofi-Biotalent program or the HYRS program.
  • One of the most exciting projects that we were involved with last year was the Let’s Talk DNA on DNA Day. In collaboration with Let’s Talk Science, we set up four simultaneous chat rooms on genetic topics. We anticipate doing this again in April 2012. Be sure to include this in your year plan. You could have each student on their own computer, or set-up your white board and sign in as a class.
  • All the various social media connections are linked on our website.
  • The blogs are linked on the upper right hand of our front page.
  • Our education page is where we have a variety of things to download including the two presentations talked about earlier.
  • There are numerous bloggers on the Genome Alberta web.
  • I blog genomics to encourage scientific literacy. I blog information especially of interest to science teachers. I’m open to suggestions, and have written blogs in response to questions that I received in the past.
  • I use a variety of available technology to support my blogs. One is authorstream. I like it because it supports the latest powerpoint programs allows you to use the audio function.
  • I have also loaded up presentations to slideshare.
  • If I were a teacher, I would probably use Prezi a lot. It is a very dynamic way of presenting information all on one big slide/poster. From what I have heard, kids love it too. There are education accounts available.
  • These days, it seems like YouTube is the place to be. I’ve made videos using the built in mic and camera on my laptop. I found that I got much better quality when I switched to a Flip camera. Unfortunately, they will no longer be available. I’ve also just used the video function of my point and shoot camera. Additionally, I have used powerpoint and then saved them as a .wmv This type of file can then be loaded as a YouTube video.
  • An example of the type of videos useful for teachers, after the Cacao genome was released, I collected a number of links from the media as well as the original media release. I suggest ways that teachers can use these as a lesson plan.
  • I use diigo to share book marks on my blogs. Here is an example listing book reviews that I have done.
  • I use delicious for personal bookmarking. I also have my delicious account linked to my twitter account which enables me to tweet directly if I wish to share the link with others.
  • The GenOmics Facebook application is a one stop source for genomics and other related &apos;omics&apos; news including nutrigenomics, metabolomics, and metagenomics.
  • You can view GenOmics and follow the links without being signed into Facebook.
  • When I first found this site, there were only about 10 social networks listed. Now there are at least 160 available. I have not had time to investigate them all. I doubt I ever will.
  • Of all the social media, I like Twitter the best. It allows you to find information easily. It allows you to find people to follow very easy and it allows people to find you if you wish to share information. If something is happening, you can usually find it out. Check what is trending or type in a search: news, weather, sports, road conditions or genomics. It is all there on Twitter.
  • I also use a widget to help me tweet out information I find worthwhile.
  • With this widget, I could let it default the tweet, or I can highlight the portion I want. Alternately, I can also type in whatever I want.
  • I noted that the # symbol has been called either the pound key or the number key, sometimes both by the same phone answering system. But when it comes to Twitter, it is called a hashtag. If you wish to claim a hashtag for working with your colleagues or students, go to tagdef. This not only allows you to claim it, but to tweet it out there as well. You may wish to set one up for homework and study help or just sharing ideas. Unsure of what a tag means? You can usually find them defined at tagdef
  • Twitter is ethereal. You tweets will disappear in less than a week or two. I learned early that if I sent my tweets to my Google reader they, that I could not only save them, I could quickly search them with the power of Google as well.
  • A couple of words of warning about Twitter. If you get a direct message – even from a legitimate friend - BE VERY CAREFUL. I do not open messages like this. This type of message results from hackers taking over an account and then hoping to get you too through this type of provocative message and link. It is very embarrassing for the real person who spends the next day apologizing to all their followers and trying to regain control of their accounts.
  • If you start on Twitter, make sure to submit an iconic picture, and send out about 10 or 20 tweets before spamming out to follow hundreds of people. When I get requests from people like this, I tend not to follow back as they are not offering anything.
  • The reverse is when I get followers who are following thousands. In this case, they are following over 26,000. Needless to say, I doubt if they really have time or interest in following me. They are just hoping that I follow them back to increase their numbers.
  • Sometimes you may be surprised and honoured as a news spotter on That means you have sent out tweets deemed by others to be of value.
  • If you want followers or viewers, you need to build your stream organically. I see no value in buying views or followers on sites like this. Kind of boggles the mind!
  • Speaking of mind, I like to use the Wiki Mind Map. I’ve blogged this one before. It is a fun way to quickly check a topic.
  • The WikiSummarizer provides even more information. If you wish to find out about a topic and you are not even sure that you know how to frame up the search a search engine, this is a great site to get you started.
  • WolframAlpha is an alternate search engine that provides information from a curated data base. Again, it is a novel way of looking at a topic.
  • I’ve also taken blogs I’ve written and checked them out using Wordle. Sometimes a picture of this nature is great just for giving you personal feedback to see if you really emphasized what you think you did in something you have written. I’ve also used these to illustrate the very blog itself.
  • A very useful site for teachers and students is Portfoliocommunities.
  • You can set up a free account. This is one example of how I used it. I set up a page of DNA videos that I thought value to teachers.
  • Not everything we read on the internet is accurate. If it were, I would be a ghost speaking to you, having passed away in 1994. I do my fact checking, and make sure that everything I blog is up to date. I look forward to you comments and feedback.
  • Are we there yet? No! But the trail is before us, and it will be a great journey. I’m Gerry Ward and you can find me at
  • Sharing the trail : Inspiring your students through GenOmics and other Social Media

    1. 1. Genome Alberta Sharing the Trail
    2. 3. Here is what’s available from Genome Alberta! <ul><li>Curricular Support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Genomics – A New Revolution in Science </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inquiry into Mountain Pine Beetle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gee in Genome Kit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Biotechnology module partnering/support </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social Media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>GenOmics on Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microblogging – Twitter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other online technology for teachers </li></ul></ul>
    3. 7. Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) <ul><li>Major discovery of human genome project was single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs): points in genome where 2 or more alternative alleles are found in >1% of population </li></ul><ul><li>93% genes have SNPs </li></ul><ul><li>~40% will alter an amino acid </li></ul><ul><li>SNPs may have important consequences for health/disease </li></ul>
    4. 8. Genomics marked the beginning of a new age in biology and medicine 1900 1953 1977 1980 1983 1990 1994-98 1998 2000 2003 Watson and Crick identify DNA (the double helix) as the Chemical basis of heredity DNA markers used to map human disease genes to chromosomal regions Human Genome Projects (HPG) begins-an international effort to map and sequence all the genes in the human genome DNA markers used to map human disease genes to chromosomal regions Gene map – working draft 2000: complete release 2005 Sanger and Gilbert derive methods of sequencing DNA Huntington disease gene mapped to chromosome 4 Genetic and physical mapping Working Draft of the human genome sequencing complete Rediscovery of Mendel's laws helps establish the science of genetics Source: Health Policy Research Bulletin, volume 1 issue2, September 2001
    5. 10. Mountain Pine Beetle
    6. 11. The Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic: A Disease System of Three Genomes Host Pine Trees Bark Beetle Fungal Pathogens Slide Courtesy Joerg Bohlmann U BC
    7. 12. Genome Alberta Forestry At the Molecular Level
    8. 13. Technology Society Science Pine Beetle Epidemic
    9. 14. Gee in Genome Suitcase
    10. 15. Gee in Genome
    11. 43. Wiki Mind Map
    12. 44. WikiSummarizer
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