ABCs of DNA: Unraveling the Mystery of Genetics Information for Consumers

MLA Course
Listing Archived: Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Primary contact information...
University of Maryland NN/LM SCR
601 W Lombard St
Baltimore MD , 21201-1512
United States
Terri Ottosen is the primary contact.
Phone: 410.706.2855
Fax: 410.706.0099
Resource URL:
Region: Mid-Atlantic

Description: Consumers need access to information and resources about genetic information in a manner that is understandable. Librarians working with the public need to be aware of the issues surrounding genetics and resources to assist patrons in locating and evaluating sometimes complex and confusing information. This class explores basic concepts such as genes and chromosomes and offers an overview of genetic disorders, genetic testing, genetic counseling, and the Human Genome Project. Ethical and legal issues associated with genetic disorders will be covered with regard to privacy, discrimination, and potential legislative impact on medicine and society. A variety of reliable health information resources will be demonstrated, including, but not limited to: Genetics Home Reference,, CHID (Combined Health Information Database), NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders), and MedlinePlus. This 4-hour hands-on class is intended for consumers, public librarians, and health sciences librarians who work with the public.

Experience Level: Beginning
CE Contact Hours: 4
Professional Competencies: Health Sciences Information Services
Subject: Consumer Health
Course Type: Face to Face, e-Learning, Hands-on, RML Offerings


•Introduction – 15 minutes
 Introduce topic, instructor, participants and objectives 

• Video – 30 minutes
“DNA: the Secret of Life; a Film about the Double Helix” 

•Follow-up Discussion and Lecture – 20 minutes
 Genes, chromosomes, DNA concepts, terms, definitions 

•Presentation and Demonstration – 15 minutes
 Genetic consultation and testing web resources 

•Lecture and Demonstration – 15 minutes
 Human Genome Project 

BREAK – 10 minutes 
•Demonstration and exercise– 15 minutes
 Genetic disorders and family history taking 

•Demonstration and Online Exploration/Practice – 30 minutes
 Internet resources  

• Lecture and Discussion – 30 minutes
 Ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding genetics 

 BREAK – 10 minutes 
•Case Studies and Role Playing – 30 minutes
 Dealing with patrons or own questions about genetics 

•Exercises – 20 minutes
 Hands-on practice

The instructional methods used include Lecture, Demonstration, Learning Videotape, Discussion, Dialog, Brainstorming, Simulation, Role Playing, Hands-on Exercises, Case Method, Case Study, and Other.