Short Course in Genomics NHGRI (National Human Genome Research Institute)

National Human Genome Research Institute Short Course in Genomics

The Education and Community Involvement (ECIB) Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is offering its annual NHGRI Short Course in Genomics from July 29 – August 1, 2019.

This year’s course is for middle and high school teachers, community college and Tribal College faculty teaching genetics, biology or related science courses. Class size is limited.

What is the NHGRI Short Course in Genomics?

The NHGRI Short Course in Genomics offers science educators the opportunity to hear lectures and receive teaching resources from leading NHGRI and National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers, clinicians and staff and to discuss ways to incorporate genomics content into their classrooms.

Topics range from complex disorders/diseases, sequencing technologies, brain and behavior, bioinformatics, gene editing, the human microbiome, and ethical issues in genomics research, among others.

When and Where is the course held?

The NHGRI Short Course in Genomics will be held from Monday, July 29 – Thursday, August 1, 2019, on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland.  Accepted participants must attend for all four days of the course.

Is there a fee to attend the course? 

The course itself is free. NHGRI has funding for air travel, hotel accommodations and per diem for up to four participants only.  Selection is based on financial need and distance from course location.

How to Apply

The application for Summer 2019 will be available in late February. If you are interested in being notified when the 2019 application opens, please email Christina Daulton (

For more information:

Ms. Christina Daulton:
Phone: (301) 496-1946

Dr. Belen Hurle
Phone: (301) 402-4931

Last Updated: February 13, 2019Get Email Updates     

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The Forefront of Genomics


Demonstration: How to Extracting DNA from Strawberries

23andMe Shows You How to Extract DNA from Strawberries

By Thao Do, Ph.D.,  Manager of 23andMe’s Education and Academia Program

Access November 19, 2018, 23andMeBlog

One of the most popular experiments in genetics is how to extract DNA from strawberries. This is a quick and simple experiment that you can do at home or in the classroom and is excellent for kids and adults of all ages.


At 23andMe, we love to demo this experiment at family events and conferences to bring the tiny, invisible world of DNA to life. When people can see, touch, and interact with the white clumps of strawberry DNA, they often have an Aha! Moment. For most people, this simple way to extract DNA from strawberries is the entry point into genetics education.


All the materials that you need are everyday-materials that you might find in your home. Below you’ll see a recipe and discussion guide so you can try this experiment as well.


You can also check out this clip from 23andMe DNA LIVE event, where Thao Do, 23andMe’s Education and Academia Program Manager, shows studio sports host Mike Yam and 4th grader, Arden Lee, how to extract DNA from strawberries.


Strawberry DNA Extraction Recipe


1 resealable plastic bag

3 strawberries

½ cup of water

1 tsp table salt

2 tsp dishwashing liquid


Tip: Use clear or light color liquid so you can see the color contrast between the red strawberry solution and clear rubbing alcohol. Other color dishwashing liquid or detergent are ok too.

½ cup rubbing alcohol (95-99% isopropyl or ethanol)
1 coffee filter or paper towel

1 clear cup or test tube


Tip: You can buy test tube at a very low cost on Amazon

1 coffee stirrer or toothpick



Safety Caution: Be careful when handling the rubbing alcohol and make sure it doesn’t get into your eyes or mouth.

  1. Pull off green leaves on the strawberries
  2. Put 3 strawberries into the resealable plastic bag, push the air out of the bag, seal it, and gently smash the strawberries for a few minutes.
  3. In a cup, mix ½ cup of water, 1 tsp salt, and 2 tsp dishwashing liquid.
  4. Add 2 tsp of this liquid into the bag with the strawberry.

Tip: You don’t have to accurately measure these liquids. Approximations will work just fine here.

  1. Reseal the bag and gently mix the smashed strawberry with the salt and dishwashing liquid solution for a few more minutes
  2. Put a coffee filter or paper towel over an empty cup or test tube
  3. Pour the strawberry solution over a coffee filter or a paper towel to filter out any big strawberry pieces. Let the strawberry mixture filter into an empty clear cup or test tube.
  4. Tilt the empty clear cup or test tube and gently pour the rubbing alcohol so the alcohol forms a layer on top of the strawberry liquid.

Tip: Some recipes call for chilling the rubbing alcohol in the fridge or freezer before the experiment. In our experiences, this doesn’t make a noticeable difference. You can just use room-temperature rubbing alcohol.

  1. Wait for a few minutes. You should see white clumps and strings forming at the middle layer between the strawberry solution and rubbing alcohol – this is the strawberries’ DNA. (Kids often think this looks like “snot”!)
  2. Use the coffee stirrer or toothpick to swirl the DNA around and pull it up.


Discussion points:

  1. The cell’s genetic and hereditary information are stored in DNA.
  2. A single strand of DNA is very tiny (nanometer-scale, much smaller than a strand of hair) so we cannot see it with our eyes. We need a very powerful microscope to see individual strands of DNA.
  3. In this experiment, we use different chemicals to extract the strawberry DNA and make them clump together so we can easily see the strawberry DNA with just our naked eyes.
  4. The dishwashing liquid helps pop open (lyse) the strawberry cells, releasing the DNA into solution. (This is why we use dishwashing liquid to clean our dishes – the detergent chemical can break down food remains, grease, and pop open any bacterial cells to keep your dishes sparkling clean.)
  5. Salt is added to separate DNA from non-DNA parts, like cell walls, proteins, and other substances.
  6. Rubbing alcohol causes the DNA to come out of solution and clump together (precipitate), which makes it easier to see with the naked eyes.
  7. Strawberries are the perfect choice for a DNA extraction experiment because they are octoploid which means they have up to eight sets of chromosomes. In contrast, human cells are generally diploid, which means they only have two sets of chromosomes.
  8. You can use other fruits like kiwis, bananas, apple sauces to do a similar experiment as well. In our experiences, strawberries are the best choices because they provide a strong color contrast, red liquid against the clear alcohol, and they have many copies of chromosomes so they’re easier to extract and visualize.

Genealogy and DNA The Right Way

Genealogy and DNA the right way means the process of selecting and retaining your data and test results.

I have written about DNA and Genealogy several times underscoring the need to research, consultation and reviewing the databases, methods, and DNA testing processes out in the marketplace today. Nothing has changed much over the last year. People of color are just not in large numbers in any database around the world.

Please read the article posted on CAAGRI.Org website accessed November 16, 2018.

Gedmatch Position After California Law Enforcement Used Gedmatch Data

(Correction) Resource: access April 30, 2018

Presented as written.


April 28, 2018 We now have facility to allow users to delete their registration/profile and associated DNA and GEDCOM resources. If you are interested in how to use this facility Click here to find more information.

Deletion of Registration/Profile


We now have a facility to allow a user to delete their Profile/Registration along with all of their DNA resources (ie kits they have uploaded), GEDCOM resources (ie family trees) AND their login profile (ie user login) from the current database used by

This deletion will be permanate and cannot be undone.


  1. You can access this facility under the “Your Log-in Profile” section with the link “View/Change/Delete your profile (password, email, groups)”.
  2. Click on the right tab labeled “Profile/Registration Deletion”.
  3. You will see DNA and GEDCOM resources and a place to verify your password at the bottom of the page.
  4. The next page is the final warning where you can click the delete button.
  5. You will then see DNA and GEDCOM resources as they are deleted – you can then click continue and will be logged out and directed to the login page.
  6. At this point your Profile/Registration and all resources are either deleted or scheduled for deletion.


April 27, 2018 To correct a BIG misunderstanding, we do not show any person’s DNA on GEDmatch. We only show manipulations of data such as DNA matches

April 27, 2018 We understand that the GEDmatch database was used to help identify the Golden State Killer. Although we were not approached by law enforcement or anyone else about this case or about the DNA, it has always been GEDmatch�s policy to inform users that the database could be used for other uses, as set forth in the Site Policy ( linked to the login page and While the database was created for genealogical research, it is important that GEDmatch participants understand the possible uses of their DNA, including identification of relatives that have committed crimes or were victims of crimes. If you are concerned about non-genealogical uses of your DNA, you should not upload your DNA to the database and/or you should remove DNA that has already been uploaded. 

Genetics and the California’s Golden State Killer

It is amazing to me the number of genealogists who have stepped forward with some position and lack of confidence in Gedmatch. I do not subscribe to that line of thinking. What the media is not sharing is the platform used by Gedmatch to assist Law Enforcement. The application was built by Gedmatch and to be upfront, many testing companies were asked to help. Gedmatch is a very small company compared to FTDNS, 23andMe, and Ancestry.

Forensic genetic genealogist looked at the data provided by Gedmatch using a different Gedmatch tool. They found matches and used an interpretive pedigree process to isolate a potential suspect. Next was the collection of information to verify their conclusions.

This tool has nothing to do with the database housed on Gedmatch. At this point, I need to say I am reviewing the process. I still support Gedmatch, without the tools, it offers I would not have located and or discovered so many many relatives. Genetic or ancestors or distance cousins.

The errors and omissions set the stage for misunderstanding by news outlets and those in the genetic genealogy field of study for reasons abundant. To get noticed, recognized, accolades, see me.

The truth, Gedmatch provided no names but the data, it was Law Enforcement responsibility to determine the usefulness of the data. Once the determination was made and data numbers isolated, they could get a warrant to get the information release. They had a sample as a point of reference, not some random look in Gedmatch database.   Do not believe all that you read, I can for once say “false news or fake news”. Ask questions before you leap to conclusions, be a true genealogist or genetic genealogist and follow investigative protocol.

For further reading, I recommend Shannon Christmas blog:


DNADNA Visualization


This dna visualization was created by Mike Toogood in the UK. Still working on the software for my own genealogy. Enjoy!

Join the dots today!

Visualise your DNA Match Relationships Easily and Quickly

easy web creator
  • FREE TO USE – DNADNA is free to use – copyright reserved
  • EASY AND SIMPLE – ‘Ever played join the dots … you can use visualisation.
  • ARTISTIC – The pictures you produce are pleasing – there is no right or wrong way.
  • MEANINGFULNESS – Layout the information in a way that looks meaningful to you.

    What is DNADNA?

    Join the dots for grown up Genealogists!

    best free website builder
    • A VISUALISATION SYSTEM  Network Analysis pictures can be used to understand complex systems.
    • NET GRAPHS ARE IDEAL  Understand links between distant DNA cousins.
    • A DATA PRE PROCESSOR  DNADNA uses logic and simple rules to prune and select the most genealogically relevant bits from the vast amount of data that is now available as more people DNA test.
    • MATERNAL/PATERNAL/BOTH INFERENCE ENGINE  DNADNA can infer likely relationships from known ones and color your graph accordingly.



Y DNA Tree of Mankind Paternal Lineages


The benefits of using the Y chromosome in genetic genealogy are often not well understood. Please consider that with Big Y and Y111 and in the future, Y500, this has all changed. Y DNA is a powerful, reliable family lineage tracker, from genealogy to the ancient. Since every woman has a father the Y can track up to half of all lineages. It also has a nice affinity to surnames, land and other legal records.
Y DNA is extremely high resolution and useful in the genealogical timeframe. At the same time it does not wash out like autosomal DNA so Y DNA can break through genealogical brick walls.|
PDF is at

Resource: Mike Wadna Y DNA access 1/10/2018



New GEDmatch Genesis Beta



GEDmatch Genesis

GEDmatch Genesis is a peek at things to come for GEDmatch. It provides two things:

    • Ability to accept uploads from testing companies with formats and SNP sets not compatible with the current main GEDmatch database.
  • A new comparison algorithm that we believe will provide better accuracy, and more flexibility. More info: The Genesis Algorithm

During this initial deployment, the GEDmatch Genesis database will be separate from the main GEDmatch database, and comparisons for one will not show entries made in the other. Eventually, the 2 databases will be merged, and results will include entries from both. Likewise, the benefits of the Genesis comparison algorithm will eventually become available to all GEDmatch users.

The initial offering of Genesis applications will be limited to autosomal DNA matches. That too will be expanded as we move forward in our effort to convert existing GEDmatch software to the new algorithm.

We hope you find this transition to GEDmatch Genesis useful.




The Genesis Algorithm

For several years, GEDmatch has provided genetic genealogists, both beginners and experts, the ability to search for matches among kits in their database without regard to vendor. Also, GEDmatch has provided a rich suite of analysis programs allowing users to dig deeply into the genetic details of their matches, enhance the reports from their vendors, and even pursue their own original research ideas. Our algorithms are evolving to extract the most trustworthy and meaningful matching information possible using the markers common to pairs of kits even though sometimes limited.

Unfortunately, all too often, kits appear to share a DNA segment purely by chance. To combat this confusing phenomenon, we recently have developed a reliability measure that allows users to assess the quality of a matching segment in an intuitively appealing fashion. We also use the measure to guide our matching algorithms as they wring the greatest amount of useful information possible from the markers common to pairs of kits.

If we could assume that marker characteristics were uniform in all regions within chromosomes, we could use a “one size fits all” requirement for matching segments as is sometimes done. Unfortunately, the relevant characteristics vary widely. Some long segments with few markers may be accidental matches. Some marker rich short segments are often discarded although they are profoundly non-random.

Using the characteristics of each and every marker in a segment, we compute the expected number of purely chance matches to it to be found in the database. That number is then used to classify the segment into one of several levels reflecting the likelihood that the random matches may overwhelm the real ones. When a user executes a one-to-many search or a one-to-one comparison specifying a minimum segment length, the display can then include an estimate of validity for each segment found.

One can assume those segments designated to be valid are the result of a DNA inheritance process rather than mere chance. Questions may still remain about how far back shared DNA originates, but a confounding factor has been removed.



African Royal DNA Project

Click on the link for more information:
DNA Tested African Descendants and Roots to Glory Tours have partnered to bring you the African Royal DNA Project. This project is designed to assist Africans in the …
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