Introducing high school students to the Gene Ontology classification system [version 1; referees: awaiting peer review]

Mehek Dedhia, Kenneth Kohetuk, Wim E. Crusio, Anna Delprato
F1000Res. 2019-03-01; 8: 241
DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.18061.1

We present an activity that introduces high school students to the Gene Ontology classification system which is widely used in genomics and systems biology studies to characterize large sets of genes based on functional and structural information. This is a valuable and standardized method used to identify genes that act in similar processes and pathways and also to gain insight into the overall architecture and distribution of genes and gene families associated with a particular tissue or disease. Through this exercise, students will learn how the classification system works by analyzing a list of genes using DAVID the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery that incorporates the Gene Ontology system into its suite of analysis tools. This method of profiling genes is used by our high school student interns to categorize gene expression data related to behavioral neuroscience. Students will get a feel for working with genes and gene sets, gain vocabulary, obtain an understanding of how a database is structured and gain an awareness of the vast amount of information that is known about genes as well as the online analysis tools that are available.

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