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Biology  


Student Study Help in Genetics
By Cynthia Kirkeby
May 22, 2009, 09:19 PST



Scitable.com - a Study Place for Genetics

If you are studying biology and have entered the subtopic of genetics, you are probably coming up with as many questions as answers. This new site from Nature Education focuses on genetics and its related topics. The articles are clearly written with well done illustrations, as well as a list of related topics and suggested reading.

This Schematic diagram of an influenza A virus virion is an example of the quality illustrations that accompany the articles on Scitable.com. Copyright 2005 Nature Publishing Group, Horimoto, T., et. al., Influenza: Lessons from past pandemics, warnings from current incidents, Nature Reviews Microbiology 3, 591-600
A good example on a current topics is the article on Genetics and the Influenza Virus, which explains why there is such interest in an eventual avian flu pandemic. You may not realize that there have been three avian flu outbreaks in the 20th century, which killed tens of thousands to millions of people during the outbreaks. The worst was in 1918, when an estimated 40 million people died worldwide. Another occurred in 1957, when I was born (yes I know, I'm ancient) when my mother almost died after contracting the flu during my birth. 70,000 people in the US were not as lucky as my mother. The most recent outbreak took place in 1968, killing an additional 30,000 people in the US. All of these outbreaks were due to an antigenic shift, which is a case, "in which humans are infected with avian influenza viruses or viruses that contain a combination of genes from human and avian sources," according to the Scitable article.

In addition to excellent articles, Scitable.com also has online study groups that you can join, and it allows teachers to create specialized classrooms with forums, class notes, and specialized content. This is a great resource for anyone studying biology and genetics.





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