About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3061-3072
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain

THE HUMAN GENOME PROJECT: AN OPPORTUNITY FOR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION

M. Temple

Nazareth College (UNITED STATES)
The Human Genome Project (HGP) is an international collaborative effort to describe and analyze all the genes which define the human species. The HGP needs to be accessible, useful and enjoyable for students. Can higher education students use Web technologies to explore the HGP and become skilled at retrieving what they need from it? This paper describes a project which comprised collaborative internet-based sessions for students in Hungary and Portugal, and subsequent revisions in the United States. These workshops enabled students to actively and repeatedly acquire and apply information from the HGP, rather than simply read or be told about it.
The first part of this project presented four Web-based interactive student sessions at Semmelweis University in Budapest, through the support of a Fulbright Lectureship. These sessions were designed in collaboration with Semmelweis faculty for health care education students. They included an overview of the HGP using the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) website; practical utilization of Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) for clinical genetic applications; human pedigree construction using internet resources; and use of NCBI and OMIM to critique neonatal genetic screening programs. The project’s second part adapted these sessions for a graduate student workshop at the School of Biotechnology of the Catholic University of Portugal in Porto, supported by the Fulbright Intercountry Lecture Program. Introductory sessions investigating NCBI and OMIM led to more advanced topics: DNA and protein sequence comparisons, and nutrigenomics – how genetics and nutrition interact in human individuals.
Feedback from students and colleagues in Budapest and Porto enabled further development of these sessions for undergraduate students at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York, USA: 1) a better-focused OMIM project for biology majors; 2) a new OMIM session for nursing students about genetics and mental health; 3) improved DNA and protein sequence analyses for genetics students; and 4) substantial revision of a bioinformatics course for upper-level biology majors.
Student exploration of the HGP using interactive web-based sessions shows that 1) a modular approach enables rapid and effective adaption to students’ needs, scientific background and fluency in English; 2) student skills in other computer applications, such as Google and computer games, readily transfer to HGP searches and applications; 3) these internet resources stimulate and reward international collaboration among academic colleagues; and 4) internet databases comprise the only technological platform which enable students to readily and repeatedly explore and apply the HGP in their scientific or clinical education in an international context.
This project invites further development. First, NCBI resources could easily be applied in agricultural and social sciences, as well as in bioethics, by adapting some of the modules described here. Second, this project could benefit greatly from utilizing the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) website in conjunction with NCBI. Finally, since both NCBI and EBI are the product of sustained international collaboration and are easily available on any Internet-connected computer, teachers around the world have an excellent opportunity to collaborate in developing useful modules for their students and curricular goals.
@InProceedings{TEMPLE2010THE,
author = {Temple, M.},
title = {THE HUMAN GENOME PROJECT: AN OPPORTUNITY FOR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION},
series = {4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-5538-9},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {8-10 March, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {3061-3072}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Temple
TI - THE HUMAN GENOME PROJECT: AN OPPORTUNITY FOR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-613-5538-9/2340-1079
PY - 2010
Y1 - 8-10 March, 2010
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2010 Proceedings
SP - 3061
EP - 3072
ER -
M. Temple (2010) THE HUMAN GENOME PROJECT: AN OPPORTUNITY FOR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION, INTED2010 Proceedings, pp. 3061-3072.
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