Human Genetics Educational Resources


Human GeneticsThe field of human genetics has grown in popularity over the years as people strive to find out what makes us all the way we are. Geneticists spend their days trying to discover the motivation behind human behavior and the appearance of the human population. Human genetics is the study of trait inheritance in the Homo sapiens world. It is a complex field with a wide range of variables, and many of the questions within it still remain unanswered. Genetics encompasses many subjects, including gene manipulation, molecular biology, cytogenetics, genomics, and genetic counseling. By understanding these subjects better, scientists can answer questions about genetic-related diseases and potentially find ways to prevent them in the future. Students can also more easily complete their nursing programs.

AspiringNurse.com has compiled an extensive list with the best human genetics resources on the web. Read on to learn more about this ever-changing field of study.

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Resources for Human Genomics

Human genomics is a specific sector of genetics that deals with the genomes of organisms. This study aims to understand the DNA sequence of organisms, and it is often used in genetic mapping. For more information about this field and the research efforts within it, you may refer to the links below:

  • Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics: This is a widely popular journal for the field of human genetics, with sections for genome structure and function, genomic technology, human variation and population genetics, genetic modification, human evolution, and human genetic disease. You will have to pay for a subscription to the journal, unless you have an academic affiliation that constitutes receiving a free copy.
  • Department of Human Genetics: This is a comprehensive genetics resource from the Emory University School of Medicine. Within it, you can read a genetics fact sheet and find links to other resources in the world of human genetics. You may also subscribe to educational newsletters on this website.
  • Human Genetics Initiative: This is a publication from Oregon Health and Science University that was designed to enhance educational programs related to human genetics. This resource uses advanced technology, new faculty, and expert training to create a comprehensive source of genome and genetic studies.
  • Human Genome Project Information: This resource is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, the Office of Biological and Environmental Research, and the Human Genome Program. Here you will find a glossary of commonly used genetic terms, which will serve to boost your scientific vocabulary.
  • Human Genomics Lab: This website is dedicated to the human genomics research from the Human Genomics Lab at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. This lab may be used for a variety of studies, but it is mainly reserved for research related to cardiovascular disease, cardiorespiratory endurance, the genetic history of obesity, and risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
  • Hussman Institute for Human Genomics: The is a blog from the Hussman Institute, a sector of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. This site provides information about current research projects and ways to improve patient health through the study of human genetics. Members of the community may participate in the studies on campus, so feel free to use the contact information on the site to get more involved.
  • National Center for Biotechnology Information: This is the website for the NCBI. This organization acts as a hub for research information in the field, making it a great resource for novice and experienced geneticists alike. The site offers tips to fight and prevent disease through the study of genetics.
  • National Information Resource on Ethics and Human Genetics: This is a website from Georgetown University, created through the National Human Genome Research Institute. This site looks over the scientific information surrounding genetic studies, as well as legal, ethical, and social implications that accompany the field.
  • Stanford Genomic Resources: This is a resource from Stanford University. It offers up-to-date news about genetics research in the world, as well as insight into the genomics projects at the school. You can access the Candida, Saccharomyces, Aspergillus, and Tetrahymena genome databases from this site, along with tons of other information for the field. .
  • UCSC Genome Bioinformatics: This site deals specifically with the study of genetic bioinformatics. It is a product of the University of California Santa Cruz.

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Resources for the History of Genetics

Most researchers agree study of genetics originated in the mid-1800s when friar Gregor Mendel began experimenting with pea plants. With that in mind, there are some theories that suggest that Aristotle and Hippocrates studies this subject long before Mendel though, or that their work became the predecessor to that of Charles Darwin. Similar theories have been made about Albucasis, who studied the genetic disorder of hemophilia before Mendel discovered the idea of inheritance. Whatever the case may be, it is easy to see that the start of this exploration made a large impact on the scientific community. Here are some resources you can refer to when you want to learn more about the starting point:

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Resources for Mendelian Inheritance

Gregor Mendel is considered one of the founding fathers of human genetics, even though his studies did not deal with humans at all. Mendel conducted experiments on pea plants over a 9-year period, wherein he cross-bred different plants and studied the ones that resulted. At that time, he came up with two laws that still serve as fundamentals in genetics. One law asserts that when members of a gene pair separate before gamete formation, each half takes an allele. The second law states that genes for different traits work independently of one another during the formation of gametes. These laws launched a slew of studies in genetics, and they led to the concept of dominant and recessive genes.

If you plan to study human genetics now or in the near future, you need to have an understanding of Mendelian Inheritance. It will serve as a basis for your research. Here are some links that explain who Mendel was and what he worked on until the day he died:

  • General Information on Mendelian Inheritance : This link is courtesy of Ohio State University. It provides a broad overview of Mendelian inheritance, including information about the specific experiments he ran in his research.
  • Mendel’s Genetics: This resource provides a detailed overview of cross-breeding, with regards to Mendel’s pea plant experiments.
  • Interactive Cross Breeding Tutorial: This tutorial was developed by the Biology department at the University of Arizona. It allows visitors to test the theories of monohybrid cross-breeding through a hands-on tool.
  • Gregor Mendel: This is a biography outlining the life of Gregor Mendel.

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Resources for Molecular Genetics

Molecular genetics is the study of DNA and chromosomes as they relate to physical, emotional, and psychological traits. This study occurs at the molecular level, as indicated by the name. It shows which genes are passes down to future generations and which ones are randomly dispersed in nature. Part of this field focuses on chromosomes that carry medical disorders. The studies within it are used to develop gene therapy techniques, which can prevent chromosome-specific disorders from arising in the future.

One area of interest within the study of molecular genetics is The Human Genome Project. This has gone over the last 13 years, and it has participants from 18 different countries. So far, it has pinpointed 20,000 to 25,000 genes in human DNA and sequences of chemical-based pairs. This work, combined with other efforts in molecular genetics, has led to the discovery of new energy sources and elements of the environment.

If you want to learn more about molecular genetics, check out the links below:

  • DNA and Molecular Genetics: This is a resource from Maricopa Community College that outlines the history of molecular genetics and DNA as a whole.
  • Gene Sequencing: This is a government publication that details the physical structure of DNA. It explains how the process of gene sequencing works and what it has done for the scientific community.
  • The “Omics”: This is a glossary from the University of Miami that defines popular terms in the field of genomic studies.
  • Genomics: This is an article from the University of North Carolina that highlights the uses for genomic research. Reading this may help you understand the importance of this sector of genetics.
  • Pharmacogenomics: This is a resource from the American Medical Association that related genetic makeup to pharmaceutical drugs.
  • Proteomics: This article explains the study of proteomics and how it is used to identify proteins in human genetics.
  • Transcriptomics: This is a publication from Wellcome Trust, a research department in the United Kingdom. It highlights the purpose and discoveries of transcriptomics.
  • Metabolomics: This is a resource from the University of Wisconsin that analyzes gene expression with regard to the as it relates to human metabolites.

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Resources for Gene Interactions

Gene sequencing is a complex field that cannot describes how traits are passed from one organism to the next. The interactions within it may relate to sex and many other dominance factors, which is why hemophilia may be passed from mother to son. Scientists must assess all of these alternative factors to determine conclusions about genetics as a whole. Here are some resources that delve into this idea a little closer:

  • Punnett Squares: This is an article explaining the use and function of Punnett squares. These devices determine how likely an organism is to receive traits from its parents.
  • Dominance: This is an article from the College of DuPage that describes the different types of gene dominance in the world.
  • Gene Interactions: This is a great resource from Maricopa Community College that explains the study of sex-linked chromosomes in fruit flies.
  • Gene and Protein Database Guide: This is a resource from the U.S. government that provides links to alternative databases for gene and protein study.

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Resources for DNA and Chromosomes

The discovery of DNA occurred in the late 1800s when Johann Friedrich Miescher isolated what something he called “nuclein” from the nucleus in a cell. This discovery was not visited again until the 1940s and 1950s when scientists determined that DNA strands were shaped as double helixes. Watson and Crick were the scientists responsible for this discovery, and they won the Nobel Prize for their work. Nevertheless, their work was largely based on research from Rosalind Franklin, a person who was not nominated for the Nobel Prize.

The helical shape that Watson and Crick unveiled explained how the base pairs of guanine-cytosine and adenine-thymine were held together. These pairs are apparent in genetics today, and they serve as a basis of knowledge for everyone in the field. To find out more about DNA and chromosomes, review some of the links below.

  • Discovery of DNA: This article was written by the Nobel Prize board, and it explains how DNA was first discovered in the world.
  • DNA Glossary: This is a comprehensive glossary of terms that relate to the structure of DNA.
  • DNA Structure: This is a graphic presentation of the structure of DNA, including base pairs and nucleotides. It is available online through the University of Arizona.
  • Chromosomes: This is a site from National Human Genome Research. It provides generic but interesting information about the study of chromosomes.

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Resources for Gene Expression and Regulation

Gene expression is a process wherein DNA information turns into proteins. This relates to the coiling and uncoiling actions in genes, and it is regulated by transcription activators in cells. These special activators transform the information from DNA into messenger RNA, otherwise known as mRNA. mRNA then translates into transfer RNA, also known as tRNA. This process takes place with the help of ribosomes, and it creates proteins as a result. If you want to learn more about gene expression and regulation, check out the resources below.

  • Definition of Gene Expression: This is a special resource from Earlham College that pinpoints the parts of a gene that are responsible for gene expression and activation.
  • How Many Genes Are There?: This government-released resource provides and approximation for the number of possible genomes in humans.
  • Gene Regulation: This is a publication from Eastern Michigan University that explains why gene regulation is necessary in the process of eukaryotes.
  • Transcription and Translation: This is a great link from the State University of New York that shows the two steps necessary for protein synthesis.
  • Genetic Codes: This resource is courtesy of Iows State University, and it goes over the sequencing of genetic codes, nucleotides and amino acids.

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Resources for Genetic Evolution and Mutation

Two of the primary forms of cell division in the human body are mitosis and meiosis. Meiosis only occurs in sex cells, and mitosis describes cell division for everything else. Genetic evolution greatly depends on these processes; small changes could lead to large mutations and general changes in an organism. That is why scientists focus on mitosis and meiosis when they study genetic mutation and evolution.

Evolution occurs over a long stretch of time, and it is often the result of external factors. Mutation is a different matter entirely, as it involves changes in the nucleotide at a molecular level. If you are trying to learn about either of these subjects for your study of human genetics, some of the resources below may help you understand matters a little easier. Here are some great links for genetic evolution and mutation:

  • Mitosis and Meiosis: This is an article from the National Institutes of Health that explains how cells are formed, divided, and altered through mitosis and meiosis.
  • Gene Mutations: This is a publication from Union County College that highlights the different types of gene mutations known at the moment. This resource also explains how to calculate genetic mutation rates.
  • Causes of Mutations: This resource is from the University of California Berkeley that shows how mutations occur during the process of genetic evolution.
  • Gene Evolution: This is another great link from State University of New York that explains how gene evolution starts and ends. It explains the processes of mitosis and meiosis, and it also discusses population genetics.
  • Genetic Disorders: This is a publication from the University of Utah that discusses the classifications of various genetic disorders.
  • Common Genetic Disorders: This resource is courtesy of the University of Maryland Medical Center, and it gives an overview of genetics and genetic disorders.

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Resources for Genetic Research

Genetic research has grown significantly over the past few years, as scientists develop new theories and technologies to understand DNA and trait inheritance. It has led to discoveries in many areas of the medical field, including research related to cloning, sickle-cell disease, cystic fibrosis, and hemophilia. With the vast potential for discoveries within this field of research, there is no question that it will be around for years to come. Here are some great resources associated with genetic research and the studies within it:

  • Genetics and Medical Research: This resource shows advances in genetic research in reference to vaccines, drugs, enzyme replacement, and gene therapy.
  • Issues in Genetic Research: This government publication discusses the ethical, social, and legal problems that come along with gene therapy and manipulation.
  • Glossary: This is a simple glossary for terms related to genetic research.
  • Genetics and Cancer: This article explains how gene therapy may be used to cure cancer in the future.
  • Gene Therapy: This is a detailed study of gene therapy using people who suffer from severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID).