Labs and Tools


From Brian White at the University of Massachusetts
This computer lab allows students to explore the connections between phenotype and genotype through a greenhouse simulation covering genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology and evolution.

From DNA Mutations to Selectable Phenotypes to Genetically Diverged Populations

From Jim Smith, Michigan State University
The power point presentation from Dr. Smith’s presentation is available here.

The following tools may be helpful in exploring molecular sequences:

DNA Subway

A biotechnology platform for exploring plant sequences from the Dolan DNA Learning Center and the iPlant Collaborative. DNA subway allows students to search for, analyze, and compare gene sequences in an alignment or a phylogenetic tree format.

Integrated Microbial Genomes Annotation Collaboration Toolkit (IMG-ACT)

From the DOE Joint Genome Institute. IMG-ACT provides access to a number of microbial genomes, and supports student annotation of the genomes. (Annotation is simply overlaying biological information including identifying gene sequences, similarities between genes, putative and identified gene functions, etc). This paper provides additional information about the tool: Ditty JL, Kvaal CA, Goodner B, Freyermuth SK, Bailey C, et al. 2010 Incorporating Genomics and Bioinformatics across the Life Sciences Curriculum. PLoS Biol 8(8): e1000448. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000448

From the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)

Tutorials on using the NCBI resources for exploring genomic information.

2Can Support Portal

From the European Molecular Biology Lab – European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) This site provides short and concise introductions to basic concepts in molecular and cell biology and bioinformatics. The main emphasis is placed on making it as easy as possible for the user to understand which tools and databases are available from the EBI and from sites belonging to its collaborators.