Reading our DNA for clues

One of the organizing strands for the NSTA Conference in Phoenix is “Rigor Without Mortis: Challenging and Accessible Content.” Challenging AND accessible? Genetics fits that bill. The science is in our cells, so it’s certainly accessible, and for those of us with only a rudimentary appreciation of genetics, it’s challenging as well.
DNAFor instance, we can use a cheek swab to produce DNA to map our geneology. A number of databases are available for this. And we can do the same to support broader anthropological research. For example, National Geographic’s and IBM’s Genographic Project is mapping historical human migration patterns by collecting and analyzing DNA samples from hundreds of thousands of people from around the world.
Using similar techniques, session presenter Matthew E. Kaplan (Associate Staff Scientist and Project Lead, Human Origins Genotyping Laboratory, Arizona Research Laboratories, Division of Biotechnology, University of Arizona) is contributing to the DNA Shoah Project in order to analyze DNA data for a cause: to reunite families displaced by the Holocaust. His presentation is called DNA: The Strand That Connects Us All.
This fascinating session will take place on Friday, December 4 from 9:30–10:30 AM in the Phoenix Convention Center, Room 120B.
Do you have any questions you’d like Matt to cover?

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About Debra Shapiro

Associate Editor of member newspaper, NSTA Reports ( Editor of Freebies for Science Teachers ( and NSTA Calendar ( pages. Follow me on Twitter: @Debra_NSTA
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