Personal Genetics Education Project

Mount Desert Island Biological Lab’s Summer Academy in Genomics for Maine High School students

pgEd is back on Mount Desert Island for the fourth time, teaching the ethics component of Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory’s summer course in genomics for high school students. Charlie Wray directs this NIH funded course that brings high school students from all over Maine together for a week of intense lab work and an ethics curriculum – all at the edge of Acadia National Park.  As an added bonus, I was lucky to be asked to lead a Science Cafe at the Asticou Inn in Northwest Harbor.  MDIBL offers a great roster of speakers for the Cafe series – and they do it year round, too!


Students: You are all so great and I really appreciate your willingness to tackle some hard topics and speak up with your ideas and opinions on all the things we are covering.  Below are a few links to articles I have mentioned and clips we have watched so far:

Nic Volker: One Year After Transplant, Nic Volker Enjoying Life

Genetic Complexity and Aggression:  Nova’s Can Science Stop Crime? 

Databanks and familial searching:  60 Minutes’ A Not So Perfect Match

More on Daryl Hunt:  Trailer for The Trials of Daryl Hunt documentary

Radiolab  (A podcast everyone should listen to whenever possible) on high and low licking rats: The Great Rat Mother Switcheroo (follow the links in the story back to the original episode).

I suspect we won’t get to everything I hoped to cover – but all the materials, slides, notes and reading I’ve mentioned are in our Lesson Plans.  I’ve been asked all sorts of questions I couldn’t answer off the top of my head.  I love when this happens – it is a chance for all of us to learn something new.  One student asked about genetics and post traumatic stress syndrome, here is a nice piece by the excellent Virginia Hughes in Scientific American: Roots of Post-Trauma Resilience Sought in Genetics and Brain Changes.  Remind me what else I couldn’t answer and I’ll try to post some articles in my next post about the course!

I would be grateful if you would spread the word about our materials, and about Map-Ed.  I was serious when I said you are all deputized to use our materials and the things we’ve covered to talk with friends, family and teachers about the ethical, social and legal dimensions of personal genetics.  Stay in touch! Dana

Upcoming Events

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CRISPR Workshop III: Public outreach, education, and engagement

January 18 - January 19
Berkeley CA
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Introduction to personal genetics and society

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