Friday 4/24/15 Student Work

I will not be in school today.  I have listed below what each class should accomplish.  If you do not finish this material in class, you should complete it for homework.

  1. Anatomy
    1. Take quiz on organ functions.
    2. CompletetheHHMICariology Virtual Lab
      1. This can be found on the laptop under the Anatomy & Neuroscience folder on the ‘desktop’ – it works best in Internet Explorer
      2. This can also be found online here..
        2. You should try the laptop version first
      3. You will need sound for this so make sure your laptop has the sound working
      4. You can work in groups on one laptop
  2. ISR
    1. Complete the ‘Searching for Scientific Studies’ Google Doc
      1. For step 4 remember to input the question I assigned you in class
    2. Finish for homework if you do not complete it in class
  3. Genetics & Epidemiology
    1. Learn about DNA Fingerprinting and Gel Electrophoresis by going to my wiki page and completing the activities listed on that page
    2. You already did the karyotype activity listed in number 5, so you don’t have to repeat that
    3. Finish for homework if you don’t finish during class

Epigenetic Readings

It turns out that not all heritable traits (those that can be passed on to your offspring and beyond) are located within the nucleotide sequence of the DNA.  Experiences during your lifetime that do not mutate the ACTGs of your DNA can still have an effect that can be passed along to your future generations.  These changes are called epigenetic changes and offer fascinating new insights and possibilities in the world of genetics.  Go to my wiki page on epigenetics and follow the links to read several articles on epigenetics, genomic imprinting and new research findings.

Epigenetics wiki page

Genetics Test

You will have a genetics test on Wednesday, 4/22/15.  The test will include genetic crosses, pedigrees, karyotypes, inheritance patterns, DNA replication, transcription/translation and any other topics covered in class or assigned readings.

There is a practice test located at

While not all-inclusive, the practice test should give you a good idea of what to expect on the actual test. The test is for practice only and it is your responsibility to check the accuracy of any answers.  The crosses on the real test will be more extensive than on the practice test.

DNA Structure with JMOL

Go to my wiki page located here.  You will see two links (Exploring DNA and DNA Structure).  You should visit these pages in the order presented and view the JMOL interactive models at those sites.  These are very cool 3-D models that you can manipulate to understand the structure of DNA.  After you view the first site (Exploring DNA) and while you are viewing the second site (DNA Structure), you should answer the questions from the Question Sets shared with you in your Google Drive folder  Please don’t just rush to answer the questions.  Take your time to investigate and appreciate the beauty of DNA and of these modeling programs.

Due:  Tuesday, 3/31/15


Finish the NCBI BLAST tutorial and practice Google Doc so that we can apply that knowledge to Drake genetics 🙂

You should also try to finish up the Geniverse cases.

We will tie it all together at our next class and it will be helpful if you have tried your very best to work these things out before we meet.

Complete by Wednesday, 3/4/15

Screening for Alzheimer’s Disease

On March 9, 2014, The-Scientist reported on a new screening test for Alzheimer’s disease.  According to the abstract of the study,

Herein, we describe our lipidomic approach to detecting preclinical Alzheimer’s disease in a group of cognitively normal older adults. We discovered and validated a set of ten lipids from peripheral blood that predicted phenoconversion to either amnestic mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease within a 2–3 year timeframe with over 90% accuracy. This biomarker panel, reflecting cell membrane integrity, may be sensitive to early neurodegeneration of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.


Note the 90% accuracy claim of the test.  Now that we have looked at ways to measure a test’s value (i.e. sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV), you might wonder what a 90% accuracy means in the context of this study.  Others wondered the same thing and there are a few articles discussing this research finding in the context of medical screenings and being careful about the conclusions one should draw.

  1. Screen the Healthy? – read this page for a quick overview of the issue.
  2. How a “90% accurate” Alzheimer’s test can be wrong 92% of the time – see a good infographic here that visually displays the problem.
  3. On the hazards of significance testing. Part 1: the screening problem – finish by reading this page that shows the issue with screening via probability trees, Baye’s Rule, prevalence affects, and several examples.  An excellent summary of many of the issues we have discussed with screening tests.


Remind Signup

To sign up for Remind via text or email you should follow these directions…

  1. You can go to and enter the class code (given in class), press enter, and then select text or email. -or-
  2. You can send a text message of your class code to 81010. -or-
  3. You can send an email to “classcode” – (no quotation marks and do not include the @ symbol that is part of the class code).  You do not need anything else in the email (subject or message).
  4. They also have apps for your phone if you would prefer the app.

You do not have to create any accounts or logins/passwords.  I will use this to send out quick reminders, quick updates, and quick links to cool stuff.  You will not see my phone number and I will not see yours.  You can not reply back to me from that text – it is outgoing from me to you only.  If you need to contact me, send me an email.  You can unsubscribe anytime by texting STOP.

**VERY IMPORTANT** – me not sending a reminder does not ever excuse you from remembering what and when things are due!!!  I am just doing this to try to help.