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Listed under:  Science  >  Life  >  Genes  >  Heredity
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Decoding the platypus genome

Find out what scientists have discovered from decoding the platypus genome. Learn how these discoveries provide some surprising insights into this unusual animal's underwater feeding, number of sex chromosomes, protection of its young and evolution of the male platypus's venomous spur.


Using genes to unlock the secrets of Tutankhamen

Tutankhamen was an Egyptian pharaoh who ascended to the throne in 1333 BC, at the age or nine or ten. His fame in modern times is due to the discovery of his virtually intact tomb in 1922. Since then, many questions have been asked about his life and ancestry. Listen to this audio clip to find out how genetic technology ...

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Genetically modified food: divided perspectives

Imagine that farmers were able to droughtproof or pest-proof their crops. Manipulating genes in food can provide solutions to many farming and food supply problems. However, not everyone agrees on how this new technology should be used. Watch this clip to find out why some Australian farmers are divided on this issue.

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Greenpeace takes a stand against GM crops

Watch Greenpeace activists mow down a research crop of genetically modified (GM) wheat grown by CSIRO. Consider some arguments for and against GM foods and find out the number of GM crops being trialled around Australia.

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Handling deadly viruses safely to save lives

Imagine working in a research laboratory and handling deadly animal viruses that could potentially infect humans. Find out how this vital research helps protect Australia's wildlife, farm animals and human population. See how scientists use techniques such as 'gene silencing' to fight viruses.

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GM bananas

Meet a scientist who is genetically modifying bananas to make them more nutritious. Learn about some of the benefits and concerns about using gene technologies to modify foods.

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Who funds GM research trials?

Genetically modified (GM) foods are expensive to develop. They are often created through research partnerships between publicly funded scientists and private corporations. This offers advantages but also raises concerns about research objectivity and potential bias. Explore some of the issues surrounding the commercialisation ...

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Genetics, inheritance and epilepsy

Explore genetics, the patterns of inheritance and disease-causing mutations. Find out about Gregor Mendel's historic pea-plant breeding experiments showing that traits are inherited in particular patterns. See how Australian scientists discovered the gene mutation responsible for a type of epilepsy.

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Breast cancer: genes and inheritance

Discover an Australian woman's family history of breast cancer and the role of genes and inheritance in determining her own risk of developing breast cancer. Find out what she did to get off the breast cancer 'roller coaster'. Watch this clip to learn about the science behind the breast cancer risk and treatment of Angelina ...

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Cloning stem cells

Cell cloning involves making an exact copy of a cell. Geneticists have discovered that cell cloning can be used to create large numbers of stem cells. Stem-cell therapy holds much hope for the treatment of some of our most debilitating genetic diseases. Watch this clip to learn more about this exciting breakthrough and ...

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Ancient DNA

What questions might be answered by the DNA of ancient fossilised remains? What mysteries of the past could be unlocked? Watch this clip and learn more about some fascinating genetic research taking place right here in Australia.

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'Junk DNA' not junk after all

Geneticists have long thought that 98 per cent of human DNA was 'junk' (or 'non-coding') DNA. However, recent scientific research suggests that there is much more to this DNA than first thought. Watch this clip to discover more.

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Harnessing stem cells to grow new cells

Have you ever wanted to know what the fuss about stem cells is? Watch this 2009 clip to find out what stem cells are and why they are valuable to medical research. Learn about a breakthrough that might defuse the ethical debate.

Interactive resource

EagleCat: cell division

Watch a step-by-step animation of cell division. Observe the differences between the two types of cell division, meiosis and mitosis. Look at images of the different stages of meiosis or mitosis and identify each stage by name. Use movie controls to jump to a specified stage of cell division. Print out images of the stages ...

Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)


See how genes and genetic engineering work. Build models of DNA, and work out how it is copied as cells divide. Discover how the codes carried in the genes are copied and used to build proteins. See how gene splicing can be used to benefit human lives. For example, model the transfer of a human gene into bacteria, so they ...

Interactive resource

Genes: introduction to genes

Zoom in on a living plant to see views down to the atomic level. Discover how each component consists of smaller parts. Identify the parts that carry the instructions for the plant’s characteristics. For example, observe that the chromosomes are made of DNA. This learning object is the first in a series of five objects ...

Interactive resource

Genes: what is DNA?

Build models of the DNA molecules that make up chromosomes. Discover how the components match up to make a double helix. For example, discover that the bases adenine and thymine pair up to form ‘rungs’ of the helix. This learning object is the second in a series of five objects that progressively increase in difficulty. ...

Interactive resource

Genes: DNA replication

Model the copying of DNA molecules when cells divide. Discover the part played by enzymes in the replication process. Select the correct base pairings to complete the DNA double helix. For example, pair adenine with thymine. This learning object is the third in a series of five objects that progressively increase in difficulty. ...

Interactive resource

Genes: protein synthesis

Model the process that living cells use to build protein molecules. First, build an RNA strand to copy the gene code of the DNA. Then follow the RNA out of the nucleus to the ribosomes and use a triplet code to pick the correct sequence of amino acids to build the protein. For example, match the code UCU with the amino ...

Interactive resource

Genes: gene splicing

Model the process of gene splicing to produce the insulin needed by people with diabetes. Cut the insulin gene from a DNA strand, then insert it into the DNA of a plasmid, which will produce insulin when transferred to a bacterium. Use you knowledge of DNA structure to direct the splicing process. For example, select the ...