Want to learn more about genetics but not sure where to begin? Here are a few free, public resources to get you started, whether you are a middle school student or an adult simply curious about genetics. Everyone is a learner at heart, and many are curious about how genetics works!
Learn.Genetics features engaging educational tools in genetics, human health, cell biology, and other related fields. The site offers virtual labs (DNA Extraction), exploratory videos, and webpages. A couple of our favorite interactive modules are Make A Karyotype, Build a DNA Molecule, Transcribe and Translate a Gene, The Outcome of Mutation, and Gene Control.
Genetic Home Reference is your “guide to understanding genetic conditions”. There are webpages for just about every gene, condition, topic, and concept imaginable from specific genes to the human genome project. The FAQ section is a great place to start your genetic knowledge exploration.
AboutGeneticCounselors.com, created by the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC), is a resource about the Genetic Counseling profession. The site breaks down the top FAQs such as what a genetic counselor is, how they can help patients, and how much genetic counseling costs. Another new NSGC site is FindAGeneticCounselor.com to help patients locate a genetic counselor in their area or for students to connect with nearby genetic counselors for shadowing opportunities.
Think a career in genetic counseling might be right for you? NSGC features a student section that includes information about the profession, training programs, and simulated genetic counseling sessions. Check out becomeageneticcounselor.org for additional info on genetic counseling, preparing for grad school, and even how to fund your training.
DNA Today is a radio show and podcast that educates the public about genetic and health topics through event coverage, news stories, and interviews. Kira Dineen hosts conversations with genetic counselors, researchers, patient advocates, and professors in the field of genetics. Episodes are geared towards students and discuss genetic testing, genetic counseling, hereditary cancer, patient advocacy, biotech companies, rare diseases, and bioethics.
National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD) is the rare disorder hub with a disease database and action network. NORD offers a free Student Membership, providing special quarterly newsletters specifically for students. As with most websites, the FAQs are often the best place to start.
There are countless accessible resources online to learn and explore genetics. We can’t list all of them, but here are a few more you can delve into…