Intellectual Merit: Comparative genomics, as a field, aims to identify functional regions in the genomes of plants and animals by comparing entire genomic DNA sequences. These bioinformatic comparisons have revealed regions of genomes that are highly conserved over long evolutionary times, yet little is known regarding their function. Most of these highly conserved DNA sequences occur in non-protein coding regions of genomes. This project aims to elucidate the function and evolution of the most slowly evolving portions of the Drosophila (fruit fly) genome. Because they are so highly conserved, it is anticipated these regions of the Drosophila genome have important functions. Fruit flies will be studied because they can be experimentally manipulated using sophisticated genetic and molecular methods. This project is a collaborative effort led by computational biologist Andrew Kern, responsible for the bioinformatic aspects of the research, and by geneticist Daniel Barbash, responsible for the experimental studies. Broader Impacts: Dr. Kern will collaborate with Nancy Serrell, the Director of Dartmouth College's Office of Outreach, to identify interested high school science teachers in the local area and coordinate organization of on-site, hands-on workshops for high school students. The project will use a 'cascade' approach to bring computational biological methods into the high school classroom. Dr. Kern will collaborate with local high school teachers to develop, test, and refine lesson plans, which will be implemented in high school classrooms with assistance from graduate and undergraduate students in the Kern Lab. Lesson plans will provide students with significant hands-on applications comparing genomes using bioinformatic programs and web-based analysis tools. Dr. Barbash will train undergraduate researchers in experimental design, research methods, and data analysis to participate in the Drosophila genetics research.
|Effective start/end date||8/15/11 → 3/31/14|
- National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))