“The Animated Genome” is a 5-minute animation synchronized brilliantly to a dramatic and engaging soundtrack. The animation presents a unique and lively introduction to (or review of) DNA and the human genome. Employing clever 2-D imaging and playful animations of people, animals, and molecules, the animation covers many topics and applications of genomic science including DNA’s triplet code, base pairing, mutation, sickle cell anemia, DNA replication, forensics, and genealogy. With banners that bear key words or factoids, a modern soundtrack, and a whimsical sense of humor, this video resource will capture the attention of students in the arts as well as the sciences.
“The Animated Genome” video may be short, but its individual screens contain information that deserves more attention than is possible in continuous viewing. A single stopped frame can provide a focus for discussing a specific topic in depth before moving on to the next. Created with oversight by working scientists and educators, the 2-D illustrations and creative approaches never compromise scientific accuracy. Even the humorous comments convey information: Viewers are told that DNA is 300,000 times thinner than a strand of hair, but “trimming it is not a good idea.” And a comment on DNA’s durability notes: DNA can last for 100,000 years, “if you don’t get cremated.”
The concept of “multiple intelligences” has gained traction in the classroom, but teachers still find it challenging to obtain resources that appeal to a variety of learning modes – especially in science. Unlike many resources, the Animated Genome reaches out to students on a multitude of levels: factual, verbal, artistic, musical, quantitative, humor (both visual and verbal), and even kinesthetic. The video can be used by an individual, a full classroom, or as a springboard for discussion.
About the Creators:
The “Animated Genome” was produced as part of the exhibition “Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code” by the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Music: "Patterns" by Danny Elfman. Video by Sanan Media.