Donate Today!   Join GSA      

Home | Contact GSA      

Teaching Tools
Genetics Learning Framework
GSA PREP - Labs and Exercises
Primers in GENETICS
Online Resource Room

PALM Network - Education Mentoring
CBE-Life Sciences Education Editorial Partnership
Where to Publish










GSA PREP Partner Resource

CourseSource articles linked to the GSA Genetics Learning Framework cross-posted here with permission    



Exploration of the Human Genome by Investigation of Personalized SNPs




Lani C. Keller



Students often shy away from tedious bioinformatics approaches to exploring their genomes. However, in our expanding digital world these skills are some of the most relevant and valuable. To increase students' interest in their own genomes, I have designed a computer-based laboratory lesson that was coupled with opportunity for the students to be genotyped by the consumer sequencing company, 23andMe. This lesson employs multiple open-access websites through which students explore a health-related single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in which they are most interested. Through a series of guided activities, students investigate the genomic region in which their SNP lies, investigate if there are any genome-wide association studies about this SNP, and then determine what model organism would be the best to use if they were to conduct future research about the gene in which the SNP lies. This module could be adapted as a supplement for a variety of Biology lecture or laboratory courses including but not limited to genetics and molecular biology.


Genetics Concept(s) Addressed:

Genetic Variation: How do different types of mutations affect genes and the corresponding mRNAs and proteins?

Genetics of Model Organisms: How do the results of molecular genetics studies in model organisms help us understand aspects of human genetics and genetic diseases?

Core Competencies Addressed:

Students should be able to implement observational strategies to formulate a question.

Students should be able to generate and interpret graphs displaying experimental results.

Students should be able to critique large data sets and use bioinformatics to assess genetics data.

Students should be able to communicate experimental results effectively, including writing research papers and giving presentations.

Students should be able to identify and critique scientific issues relating to society or ethics.



Intermediate undergraduate; biology/genetics majors

Activity Type:

Laboratory activity

Activity Length:


3 hours




Keller, L.C. 2015. Exploring the Human Genome by Investigation of Personalized SNPs. CourceSource. 00:xxx. doi:00.0000/journal.cs.000000

Article in CourseSource