The science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms.
The principles of genetics underpin synthetic biology, and indeed, life.
A few options to get you started.
University of Utah
Brief Introduction to Genetics
FEEL LIKE IT'S ALL PRETTY SIMPLE?
Try these for more depth and complexity.
Cold Spring Harbour Lab
Concepts and experiments with videos, personal stories, quizzes.
Scitable by Nature Education
Well-organised written information with links to journal articles.
Ties together a lot of information and talks about epigenetics.
TED talk by biologist/animator Drew Berry.
A beautifully presented history of genetics.
THINK YOU KNOW IT ALL?
Here are some of the big questions for which we don’t yet have convincing answers.
How did life begin?
Darwin and Wallace’s theory of natural selection explains how species could diversify and adapt to their environment over time. Watson and Crick’s model of DNA explains the mechanism of inheritance necessary for natural selection. Neither of these breakthroughs explain how the first self-replicating molecules came about. Numerous attempts are being made to create simple self-replicating molecules using a Synthetic Biology approach.
How can we predict the structure and function of a protein from the sequence of the gene that encodes it?
During the 1950’s and ’60’s the genetic code was ‘cracked’ and researchers discovered how a sequence of nucleotides in DNA is translated into a sequence of amino acids in protein. However, it is difficult to look at a protein sequence and guess how it will fold or what it will do. Since the 3D structure determines how a protein functions, this also makes it very hard to understand the biological significance of a protein or to design new proteins from scratch. Synthetic biology may offer an understanding of nature through ‘learning-by-building’.
How will we interpret the vast and growing amount of genetic information available?
Since 2003 the world’s oceans have been circumnavigated and sampled for DNA. Every year more and more genomes are sequenced, from humans and other species, and there is too much information for people to interpret by themselves. More and more frequently genetic information is stored in enormous databases online and the process of interpretation is automated.
Terms and conditions
Information on how to enter and prizes form part of these Terms and Conditions. Participation in this Promotion is deemed acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.
To be eligible to win, entrants in the written competition must write a piece of writing of no more than 1000 words addressing the question " Identify a current biological, environmental, or medical issue and discuss a genetically modified organism that might provide solutions" and submit it using the provided online submission system at the Strange Nature website in the following formats only: PDF, DOC, DOCX.
To be eligible to win, entrants in the multimedia competition must submit a video or podcast of no more than 5 minutes in length addressing the question " Identify a current biological, environmental, or medical issue and discuss a genetically modified organism that might provide solutions" and submit using the provided online submission system at the Strange Nature website in the following formats only: MPG, MP4, FLV, MOV and WMV.
The Promotion commences on 05/07/2015 and ends on 05/10/2015. All entries must be received by no later than 11:59pm AEST on 05/10/2015. Entries are deemed to be received at the time of receipt by the Promoter and NOT at the time of transmission by the entrant.
Entry is only open to Australian residents attending school for the duration of the relevant Promotional Period. Agents of the Promoter, all members of The University of Sydney iGEM Team 2015, are ineligible to enter.
The Promoter reserves the right, at any time, to verify the validity of entries and entrants (including an entrant’s identity, age, school and enrolment status) and to disqualify any entrant who submits an entry that is not in accordance with these Terms and Conditions or who tampers with the entry process. Failure by the Promoter to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights.
Entries must be original and written in English. Incomplete, indecipherable or illegible entries will be deemed invalid, including entries submitted in an incorrect format or without filling out all details of the entry form.
The Promotion is a game of skill and chance plays no part in determining the winner. The winner will be selected by our panel of judges based on the research, understanding and imagination demonstrated in the entry submitted. The judges’/Promoter’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
The prize is $500 for the winning entry in each of the written and multimedia divisions presented as a cheque; and $250 for first runner up in each division presented as a cheque. The prize money will be split evenly amongst the winning multimedia team and the team will be presented with individual cheques.
The prize winner will be notified by email and their name together with the winning entry will be published on the Strange Nature website.
If any prize is unavailable or otherwise unable to be supplied, the Promoter, in its discretion, reserves the right to substitute the prize with a prize to the equal value and/or specification, subject to any written directions from a regulatory authority.
By submitting an entry, entrants consent to the Promoter using the entrant's winning entry (either in full or in part), name, likeness, image and/or voice in the event they are a winner (including photograph, film and/or recording including to reproduce or publish such material in any medium) for an unlimited period without remuneration for the purpose of promoting this competition (including any outcome), and publicly acknowledging successful entries or support from the Promoter’s sponsors.
If this Promotion is interfered with in any way or is not capable of being conducted as reasonably anticipated due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of the Promoter, the Promoter reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to the fullest extent permitted by law (a) to disqualify any entrant; or (b) subject to any written directions from a regulatory authority, to modify, suspend, terminate or cancel the Promotion, as appropriate.
Except for any liability that cannot be excluded by law, the Promoter (including its agents) excludes all liability (including negligence), for any personal injury; or any loss or damage (including loss of opportunity); whether direct, indirect, special or consequential, arising in any way out of the Promotion, including, but not limited to, where arising out of the following: (a) any technical difficulties or equipment malfunction (whether or not under the Promoter’s control);(b) any theft, unauthorised access or third party interference; (c) any entry or prize claim that is late, lost, altered, damaged or misdirected (whether or not after their receipt by the Promoter) due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of the Promoter; (d) any variation in prize value to that stated in these Terms and Conditions; (e) any tax liability incurred by a winner or entrant; or (f) redemption or use of a prize.
The Promoter collects personal information in order to conduct the Promotion and may, for this purpose, disclose such information along with entries to third parties, including but not limited to agents, prize suppliers, researchers and, as required, to Australian regulatory authorities. Entry is conditional on providing this information.
All entries become the property of the Promoter.
The Promoter is The University of Sydney iGEM Team 2015, of The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Telephone +61 451 787 373.
This policy applies to Strange Nature and outlines our obligations in managing personal information we hold about entrants and others who come into contact with us.
Strange Nature is bound by the National Privacy Principles (‘NPPs’) contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (‘Privacy Act’) that require us to handle your personal information responsibly. ‘Personal Information’ is defined within the Privacy Act as information or an opinion about an individual that can be used to identify that individual.
Why does Strange Nature collect Personal Information?
The primary purposes for which Strange Nature collects your personal information include:
To notify and reward the winning and highly commended entrants.
To inform entrants of future opportunities to submit entries to Strange Nature.
To conduct comparative studies of common misconceptions about Synthetic Biology.
Strange Nature also takes reasonable steps to provide clear, complete and up-to-date information about our organisation, including how to get in touch with us. If you have a concern with the collection or use of your personal information, you can notify Strange Nature of your concern, make a complaint, obtain redress or pursue dispute resolution by simply contacting the Privacy Officer using the details set out below.
What kinds of Personal Information do we collect?
In general, the type of personal information Strange Nature collects and holds includes but is not limited to names, ages, genders, addresses, contact details, subjects studied and other information that will assist us in conducting our writing competition or studies of common misconceptions.
Personal Information Collection
When we collect your personal information we endeavour to:
Let you know whom we are and what we intend to do with your information when we receive it. We strive to be open – upon request we will let you know what sort of personal information we hold about you, how we collect it and how we use and disclose it. Subject to the Privacy Act you may request access to the personal information we hold about you by contacting the Privacy Officer via the details set out below (Note: For security reasons we will require you to verify your identity and to specify the information that you require).
Take steps to ensure that your personal details are accurate, complete and up-to-date when we use or collect them. You have the right under the Privacy Act to request changes to your personal information. We encourage you to contact us in order to update any personal information we hold about you using the Privacy Officer contact details set out below.
Collect personal information only by lawful and fair means, generally by forms filled out by you online.
Personal Information Disclosure
We may disclose your personal information to:
Sponsors providing the prize-money for the Strange Nature Writing Competition,
Researchers who will conduct comparative studies of common misconceptions about synthetic biology,
Other agents who assist us in providing services or who perform functions on our behalf, who are generally contract bound to protect your privacy,
Government bodies such as the Police or regulatory authorities, who seek access to your personal information for law enforcement or other purposes,
Anyone else to whom you have authorised us to disclose it.
Unless otherwise required or permitted by law, if we disclose your personal information to others we will only do so with your consent (implied or express), and we will also take steps to ensure the party to whom we have disclosed your information agrees to protect the privacy of your personal information.
The Spam Act 2003 (Cth) prohibits the sending of commercial electronic communications without the consent of the person to whom the communication is being sent. Communications may be sent for any of the purposes mentioned above. Strange Nature requests the email address of our entrants. Whenever emails are sent to an entrant Strange Nature will always provide the entrant with the option of “opting out” of receiving similar communications by way of electronic means in the future.
We always provide individuals with an opportunity to “opt-out” of receiving future communications from Strange Nature. If you receive a communication from us and don't wish to receive new information from us in the future, email the Privacy Officer on the details set out below and we will take appropriate steps to ensure your details are added to our ‘Do Not Mail’ list to ensure you will not receive any future communication from us. Strange Nature will not send communications to entrants who have asked us to mark their details as private or who have opted out of receiving such information.
The Security of our System
We take all reasonable steps to protect the security of personal information collected by us. Where we no longer require your personal information, we will take reasonable steps to destroy or suppress your personal information.
Updates to this Policy
Our Contact Details