Resources for Online Biosciences Learning

There are many resources available for online science learning—including courses, open educational resources, videos, simulations, games, and activities. In fact, there are so many resources available that it is quite a challenge to find high-quality ones. In this post, the ABE Program Office provides some curated resources relevant to the Amgen Biotech Experience. 

ABE

ABE provides three online learning modules. These modules are described below:

  • Bioethics of Gene Editing. Lyme disease is a pervasive problem in the United States. Kevin Esvelt, a scientists at MIT, is trying to use gene editing to disrupt the cycle of transmission. In this module, students learn about gene editing using the CRISPR process and consider the ethics of four case studies in which biotechnology is used to solve human problems. After learning about specific cases, students decide whether they agree or disagree with using gene editing to help solve a human problem and share their thoughts with their classmates.

  • Bioinformatics. Many people are aware of the main two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. However, few people know that there are other types of diabetes. Different types of diabetes require different treatment, so determining the genetics of diabetes becomes important in developing and prescribing treatments. In this module, students use bioinformatics to study a Norwegian family in which several members had a rare form of diabetes  to better understand the causes of the genetic disorder and also to learn more about insulin.

  • Saving a Life. A man drinks an unknown liquid and soon is found unresponsive in an emergency room. Students use bioinformatics tools to investigate what substance caused such a life-threatening response. 

ABE also offers an extensive resource library that includes videos, articles, and interactives.

LabXchange

On LabXchange, you’ll find virtual simulations of all six core ABE labs. The team at LabXchange combined these simulations with other useful content types like scrollable interactives, videos, and assessments into pathways that highlight the different concepts and techniques underlying each lab. You can use the pathways as they are, or create a copy of the pathway and add different content from the LabXchange library or add content you create. In addition, you can join the LabXchange class “Resources for ABE Teachers” (class code: ABELXC) to find implementation guides, lesson plans, and more, and to share your experiences, challenges, or questions with fellow ABE teachers. See the screencast below to learn how to join a class.

To help you quickly start using LabXchange, LabXchange designed a new resource, Remote Learning with LabXchange, which features step-by-step guides and tutorials. You can also register here for an upcoming webinar (19 March) that will help orient you to how to use LabXchange for online and hybrid learning. For more information and to register, visit the LabXchange website.

Khan Academy

Another resource you can use to augment your online teaching is Khan Academy. Khan Academy is a nonprofit educational organization that provides free video tutorials and interactive exercises. Khan Academy offers a number of relevant online course, including:

You can find specific biotechnology content on Khan Academy by accessing this link: Biotechnology. The following Khan Academy videos allow students to explore ABE content:

Other ABE-Related Content

There are many other sources of online content related to ABE, some of which we have included here to help you get started.

  • HHMI Biointeractive includes an array of videos, simulations, and interactive media including one that introduces CRISPR-Cas9

  • Geniventure from Concord Consortium allows students to explore genetics through game-like challenges

  • Molecular Workbench from Concord Consortium offers interactive simulations for teaching and learning science 

  • Learn.Genetics from the University of Utah includes multimedia resources for teaching and learning complex genetics topics

  • Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory’s DNA Learning Center Biology Animations of cellular and molecular processes

  • yourgenome from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute presents information about genetics and genomics

  • DNA Learning Center’s Barcoding 101 presents resources for using DNA barcoding to identify plants or animals—or products made from them

  • Outbreak Squad allows students to explore the outbreak of a disease through gaming (not available on mobile devices)

  • Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology: An array of introductory articles and media on a wide range of biotechnology-related topics such as DNA sequencing, personalized medicine, and bioinformatics.

  • Intro to Biotechnology: Techniques and Applications from Scitable is a set of four multimedia units covering biotechnology techniques, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), gene therapy and the potential for misuse of genetics

  • TEDTalks: The TEDTalks series includes short, dynamic lectures by many experts in the fields of biology, biotechnology, genetics, medicine and molecular biology, to name just a few. The full directory of topics is linked here.

You’ll find more resources in this listing of curated resources that the ABE Program Office has created. Do you have other resources that you would recommend that we include? Share them with the ABE Program Office at ABEInfo@edc.org.

Other Recent Resources from the Program Office