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Making Biology Interesting Again

A group of researchers has developed an online teaching tool that they say will make biology classes more interesting for undergraduate students.

The team, led by Susan Singer, a biology professor at Carleton College in Minnesota, developed the Genomics Explorers, which helps students frame research questions and identify appropriate strategies; and introduces them to the bioinformatics tools and genomics datasets they'll need for their investigation.

So far, Singer and her colleagues have developed study programs for the partridge pea plant, Chamaecrista fasciculate, and a sea anemone, Aiptasia pallida.

These programs give students information about sequencing technologies and relevant bioinformatics tools and databases. They also provide transcriptome and gene expression data, variant information, and more for both organisms.

The team has won the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction. They've also published a paper that describes the tool in greater detail.

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