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Summer SAVY 2016 (Session 5, Day 2) – More Data, More Problems: Tackling Genetic Epidemiology

Posted by on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 in Grade 5, Grade 6, SAVY.

Hello Students and Parents!

Day 2 of Tackling Genetic Epidemiology really flew by!

Our morning began with a game in which students recalled both names of class members and key terms from DAY 1 during morning review (alleles, phenotype, DNA, PMI). After our review game and discussion of how the concepts we are learning about relate to each other, we began our work in R, which is a computational environment which many geneticists use to conduct statistical analyses and create visualizations of results. Today, we learned the process of writing scripts and loading data into the R environment.

After lunch, we learned about the first method of DNA sequencing, Sanger sequencing. Students worked in groups to conduct the 4 Sanger sequencing reactions using one of the four ddNTPs. They then worked as a group to line up their strands in order to sequence their DNA.

In the afternoon, the students went on a field trip to the VANTAGE lab on Vanderbilt’s medical campus. Students were able to see robotic machinery designed to extract DNA from blood and machines that are used to genotype and sequence DNA. We also learned about Vanderbilt’s biobank, BioVU and saw where the 216,000 DNA samples are stored. Students asked questions about the program’s history, purpose, and future.

I hope the students had a great day of learning and I am excited to continue our journey tomorrow!