DNA from the beginning

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The Cloudworks Team
17 June 2008

Simple animations are a rich and powerful way of teaching complex relations – as for a course on basic genetics and molecular biology.

Where students need to become familiar with abstract and complex theoretical relationships, especially in science subjects, text descriptions are of limited help. Graphics can make descriptions easier to understand by representing relationships in a spatial dimension. Animation can help still more by introducing a temporal dimension, to show the changing relationships unfolding in time.

The resource ‘DNA from the beginning’ includes Flash animations which present concepts from genetics and molecular biology in a step by step way, using concrete examples. The site has received massively positive feedback from students.

As well as self-tests, the resource also includes photographs and biographical details of scientists and video clips of them talking about their work, thus aiming to give students a flavour of scientific research.

[James D. Watson and colleagues at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory]

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