Posts Tagged ‘fun facts’

What Humans Can Learn from Semi-Intelligent Slime

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-21-2014

Inspiration from a Myth Buster

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 04-11-2012

Ever wonder how your PI comes up with his or her brilliant ideas? Perhaps they are very well read or blessed with fantastic intuition. Or, perhaps their ideas were inspired by a simple conversation they had with their father when they were 8 years old. Check out this video by MythBusters star Adam Savage to learn how some great ideas were conceived from some very unremarkable events.

Test your knowledge with the Personal Genome Project practice test

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 01-26-2012

Anyone familiar with scientific advances in the last few years should be well acquainted with the Personal Genome Project (PGP) launched by Dr. George Church in this 2005 Nature editorial. For those of you who have been living in a secluded cave somewhere for the past 6 years, the Personal Genome Project hopes to enroll 100,000 participants from the general public who are willing to have their genomes sequenced and allow the results to be published in a massive database along with extensive information about their traits and medical history. It is hoped that the information provided will help scientists test hypotheses about the relationships among genes, traits, and environment.

Perhaps less well known is what it takes to become a volunteer for this project. In order to enroll as a volunteer, potential participants must take an entrance exam that tests basic genetics literacy, informed consent expertise, and knowledge about the rights and responsibilities of human research subjects. That’s right…you must take a test and score 100% in order to qualify for participation in the study!

In order to help volunteers study for this exam, the Alan and Priscilla Oppenheimer Foundation have created a Personal Genome Project Study Guide which has information on:

  • genetic material
  • gene transmission
  • gene expression
  • gene regulation
  • genetics and society
  • project literacy

We thought that it would be fun for readers of this blog, who should be more familiar with the above topics than the average PGP volunteer, to take the practice tests associated with the study guide to see how much they actually remember from their first year courses! The tests are multiple choice so that should help prevent total embarrassment, but my guess is that most of us would not score 100% without preparing in advance. I took the gene transmission test and scored 9/10. Not enough to qualify as a volunteer!

Try your hand a the tests below and let us know how well you performed. Good Luck!

  1. Introduction to Cells, DNA, and Genes
  2. The Structure of DNA
  3. DNA’s Role in Determining Your Traits
  4. Gene Expression and Personal Traits
  5. Meiosis
  6. Heredity
  7. Coding for Proteins
  8. Controlling Protein-Coding Genes
  9. The Benefits of Applying Genetic Technology to Health Care
  10. The Risks of Applying Genetic Technology to Health Care
  11. Participating in the Personal Genome Project
  12. Human Research Subjects

For related posts see:
A story of genomic proportion
George Church: The father of personalized genomics
Genomes, Phenomes and Personalized Medicine

Adorable video: Kids answer why there should be more women in science

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 01-18-2012

For the last 14 years, L’Oréal and UNESCO have been promoting women in science through the For Women in Science program. According to the For Women in Science website, since 1998, 62 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Award Laureates from 28 countries have been recognized for their contributions to the advancement of science and over 860 Fellows from 93 countries have been encouraged to pursue their scientific vocations through national and international fellowship programs. In all, more than 900 women scientists have been distinguished by the Awards or supported in the pursuit of their careers since the creation of the L’OREAL-UNESCO For Women in Science partnership.

L’Oréal USA recently took to the street to ask citizens of this great country what they thought of women and science. Below is a video of their responses.

A musical introduction to cellular respiration

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 11-16-2011

I must admit that I am not very well versed when it comes to the krebs cycle and cellular respiration (as you probably figured out from the title of my previous post “To glycolisize or phoshphorylize“). Ask me to explain qPCR or protein blotting any time and I’d be happy to oblige (by the way, don’t forget to download the protein blotting guide that we posted the other day), but cellular respiration…forget it.

That is why I was intrigued to find this young science student’s creative attempt to educate himself and his adoring public about the intricacies of cellular respiration via a YouTube musical video. There are a million and one ways to learn seemingly difficult (and relatively boring) information. Do you have any examples like the one posted below?