GENIE The Human Genome Race!

This is a really fun and competitive exercise where the students make up a genetic sequence from a number of overlapping fragments (an example of which is below).  Prizes are always useful as an incentive for the winner(s).  To do this exercise you only need some stopwatches and the information provided in the supporting documentation.

 150-CIMG1446.jpg  GENIE The Human Genome Race!




We tend to divide the students into groups of about 5 or 6 people, and give each group a pack of the fragments to fit together.  There is the option to do a shorter version which will take less time and we give them this as the practice warm-up before giving them the extra sequences for the real exercise.  It is fast and furious, but involves them working together in a group and is good fun.

This activity can be carried out with students from the age of 11 to adults.

This session fits in with Key Stages 3 and 4 of the National Curriculum for England (ages 11-14 and 14-16).

What this activity will demonstrate is:

  • That DNA sequencing involves identifying sequences made up of the four nucleotide bases in DNA.
  • That DNA sequencing is a laborious process made possible by computer technology.

The rest of the exercise is more of a discussion about how computers have been used to sequence the human genome and the students have a go at guessing how long it would take a computer to work out the sequence they have just put together.


Activity Information
Author(s): GENIE
Subject: Genetics
Level: Ages 11-14 and 14-16
Language: English
Publish Date: 1st March 2012

Download whole package
        Download arrow This is the zipped package containing all files.
1 Genome Race
Download arrow Download arrow Download arrow     This document has the instructions, procedures and background to the activity.
2 Genome Race Strips
Download arrow Download arrow Download arrow     This document contains genome race strips for the activity.
3 Human Genome Project      Download arrow Download arrow
Human Genome sequences for activity.
4 Genome Race Poster      Download arrow Download arrow
Poster on human genome.

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