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January 15, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 2)

Silencing Genomes

  • Beautiful site, free worm strain order form
  • Can't navigate site using "back" button

RNA interference (RNAi) was a revolutionary method to manipulate gene expression, and it is routinely employed by laboratories around the world. With the help of the Silencing Genomes website by the Cold Spring Harbor, science teachers can now easily bring this technology into their classrooms. The website provides complete laboratory protocols—including background information and reagent recipes—and accompanying student question sheets for a series of classroom experiments that explore the use of RNAi in C. elegans. There are seven experimental modules in total, including observing and culturing C. elegans, inducing RNAi by feeding, and creating an RNAi feeding strain. As if these teacher resources weren’t enough, the site also has a “strain order” page on which teachers can request (for free!) up to ten different C. elegans strains to use in their classroom experiments.

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