Sources for Learning about DNA - dummies

By April Leigh Helm, Matthew L. Helm

You can use DNA tests to predict the probability that someone is related to you or that you have traits of a particular ethnicity. Here are five sites about DNA to explore:

  • DNA Learning Center: This site, sponsored by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, contains links to a number of web pages created by the Laboratory on different aspects of DNA research. The pages range from an image archive of the eugenics movement to an interactive site on the code of DNA. The site also contains resources for teachers and programs for teaching DNA to students.

  • Double Helix: 50 years of DNA: Nature Magazine has a website dedicated to the history of DNA. Of special interest is the original paper published by Watson and Crick that described the structure of DNA in 1953.

  • Genetics Home Reference: This site, by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, focuses on understanding genetic disorders. It might become handy if you test your DNA with a company that includes health conditions in its results (such as 23andMe).

  • National Human Genome Research Institute: If you want to keep up on the latest research on the human genome, this site should be in your bookmarks. For educational items, look at the Education tab and, in particular, the fact sheets that explain things such as chromosomes, cloning, genetic mapping, and a glossary of genetic terms.

  • Okay, maybe this web page isn’t all that educational, but it doesn’t hurt to play sometimes. This page contains a game where you assemble proteins together to form a double helix structure for an organism. It’s located on the official site for the Nobel Prize, so you can find some additional resources on DNA, if games aren’t what you’re looking for.