NHGRI Launches Improved Online Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms
The National Human Genome Research Institute has launched the next generation of its online Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms providing students, teachers and the public a reliable online resource for more than 200 terms and basic concepts behind today's breakthroughs in genetics and genomics.
Balintfy: Want to understand genetics and genomics, or a term like “allele”?
Witherly: What we try to do is create a single place to go where professionals can help you figure that out in a normal way.
Balintfy: Jeff Witherly is a senior advisor at the National Human Genome Research Instituteís Education and Community Involvement Branch. He explains that a new on-line glossary defines 256 genetic terms.
Witherly: A lot of the terminology in genetics, which is now working its way into the medical field, is not only common in the doctor's office, itís common in movie plots that we see, and we try to understand it, it's become part of the American conversation. Some of these terms, like, are double terms, genetic variation, or even mitochondria, or what is DNA, or more difficult terms that are becoming more and more common, like allele, those are all terms that are easy to find in this glossary.
Balintfy: Witherly says each term has a written definition, that a layperson can understand, plus an audio explanation by NIH experts.
Witherly: They say some of the most wonderful things about these terms, with the passion that they have for the field, and the general understanding that somebody out there needs this.
Balintfy: For example, allele is explained by Dr. Leslie Biesecher (BEE-secker) a Chief and Senior Investigator at NHGRI.
Biesecker: So an "allele" is the word that we use to describe the alternative form or versions of a gene. People inherit one allele for each autosomal gene from each parent, and we tend to lump the alleles into categories. Typically, we call them either normal or wild-type alleles, or abnormal, or mutant alleles.
Balintfy: Witherly continues that in addition to the written definitions and verbal explanations, each term has a space for an illustration or a 3-D animation. Witherly: For a teacher or a student, the illustrations can be downloaded in PDFs or PowerPoints, it can also be used copyright-free.Balintfy: The Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms and a “Test Your Gene Knowledge” quiz are available at www.genome.gov/glossary. This is Joe Balintfy, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Joe Balintfy
Sound Bite: Jeff Witherly
Topic: genome, genetic, glossary, genetic terms, talking glossary, genomics, genetics, allele
Additional Info: NHGRI Launches Improved Online Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms