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Studying Genomes: From the Lab to the Classroom
All web seminar participants use online tools that allow them to mark-up presenter's slides or share desktop applications in addition to engaging in chat with others online and answering poll questions

This Web Seminar, developed in collaboration with the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) took place on Tuesday, November 13, 2007, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. In this program the presenter highlighted concepts related to current understanding and emerging research related to genomics and evolution.

Guided by Dr. Rob DeSalle, author and curator in the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), web seminar participants explored relationships among species and how these relationships are represented in evolutionary trees. Comparative study of genomes allow scientists to explore where to place species on an evolutionary tree, where they branch as well as the roots from which species stem. Studying genomes is easier using online databases and tools that allow access to protein and amino acid sequencing of species. In addition, human evolution, a mere hairline length on the evolutionary timeline, can be studied through genetic information that is passed (or not passed) from generation to generation. More information can be found both online and in the Hall of Human Origins at AMNH.

Fifty-six (56) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter, the NSDL moderator, and the NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Participants received an NSTA SciGuide for attending and completing an evaluation form.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • "It was a great overview of genomics and evolutionary biology. Having the
    help during the session, and the links and PowerPoint to 'take away' is
    great too.”

  • “Having someone EXPLAIN evolutionary trees. It is hard to just see them in
    the text book. I loved the interaction, the quizzes...very cool!”

  • “This is my 1st seminar so I had no idea what to expect. It was interesting
    and informative! I'd do it again anytime and expect to in the near future!!
    Thank you for offering this!”

  • “This is my first experience, so I don't have much to compare with...but
    the concept of this is awesome. I am at home and able to attend a seminar.
    It doesn't take all day, no substitute needed, no sub lesson plans...this is AMAZING. I can't wait until the next opportunity.”

Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!


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