Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Sub Image2:Macro to Micro Structures
1) Atoms and Molecules2) Macro to Micro Structures 3) Energetics and Dynamics 4) Theory and Practice in Chemical Systems 5) Chemical Design 6) The Chemistry of Life 7) Chemistry and the Environment 8) Chemistry at the Interface

Unit 8.1 MiniDoc: The Human Genome
Chemistry has had an important contribution to genome studies by creating the basis for understanding the processes, which underlie biological mechanisms.
Video program cues: 0:30-00:30 - 4:35 -4:35

Chemistry and gene composition


Deciphering the human genome

"In 1987, when we got the first automated DNA sequencer, that actually read DNA out into a computer based on four fluorescent dyes which were attached to the four chemical bases which form the DNA alphabet — that’s when I decided that at some stage, I was going to set up a factory and try to sequence the entire genome. This was a very multi - disciplinary effort in areas in which I was not an expert: I have never built a supercomputer before, the mathematics were far beyond any training that I have had, we had to develop all new lab procedures. We had everything from physicists to computer engineers, to software engineers, to molecular biologists, biologists, chemists; it’s a pretty broad spectrum… and only because it was a whole team that worked together, did it work."

Dr. J. Craig Venter
Former President, Celera Genomics


Brennan, M. (2000)' A Great Day For The Human Genome, 'Chemical & Engineering, News, Vol. 78, No. 27, pp: 4-5

Brennan, M. and Zurer, P. (2000)' Closing In On The Human Genome, 'Chemical & Engineering, News, Vol. 78, No. 3, p: 11.

Tissue engineering

"Our lab is essentially trying to grow arteries in the laboratory, from a patient’s own cells, which might be useful for bypass surgery. To grow these vessels, what we are using is a bio-compatible, biodegradable polymer, made from synthetic polyester called poly-glycolic acid. In this incubator, we have a system, which mimics the human body in many ways. Our goal is to take cells from a patient, and grow them on biocompatible polymer scaffolding in the lab, in the presence of certain biochemicals and supporting protein and elements, to help the cells grow and make proteins in the extra cellular matrix… We are working on adding in a gene called telomerase into our vascular cells, to try to make them essentially live longer in the laboratory and to make them feel, instead of being old cells from an old person, trick them into believing that they are young cells from a young person. We found that young cells grow better in the laboratory, make more protein and form vessels better than old cells."

Dr. Laura Niklason
Assistant Professors, Duke University Medical Center

Jacoby, M. (2001)' Custom-Made Biomaterials, 'Chemical & Engineering News, Vol. 79, No. 6, pp: 30-35.

Proceed to Unit 8.2 arrow

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