Gene Screen is a fact-packed learning tool about genetics at the intersection of health and heredity. Gene Screen provides information about recessive genetic disease in different cultures and ethnicities, with an emphasis on diseases that are more prevalent in the Ashkenazi Jewish population.
Gene Screen was produced by the DNA Learning Center, Cold Spring Harbor laboratory, and was developed with support from the Victor Center for the Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases, Einstein Healthcare Network, Philadelphia, USA.
Updated for all iPhones, iPad Air, and iPad Mini.
New color palette and added links for disease information.
Ratings and Reviews
Very useful information
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Gene Screen, produced by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, is designed to be an introductory-level exploration of how human genetic disorders are inherited. The free app is divided into 3 different sections. In “Learn About Genetics,” the user is able to gain important background knowledge about genes and chromosomes, founder effect, a brief library of human recessive diseases, and some very basic information about the uses of genetic screening, particularly with Jewish genetic diseases. In “Inheritance Calculators,” the user can manipulate variables of a basic Punnett square to learn about genetic probability, deduce trends/patterns of recessive inheritance, and, once again, learn about Jewish disease prevalence compared to the world population. Lastly, “Map of Genetic Diseases” lets users peruse world regions to visualize what recessive diseases are most prevalent in that area.
The app is well-organized and uses visual tactics of section headings and app-within-app design to guide the learner through the modules. At the same time, a user is able to choose any topic and is not forced to go through all of the material. This allows a teacher to differentiate how to assign a project involving this app. For example, students struggling with the basic concepts could be guided/required to move through the Section 1 modules whereas more advanced students could jump right into the manipulatives. The app has no sound and no zoom capability, which can be difficult for students that have vision disabilities.
I think it’s a great way to let students choose a disease of interest; however, the list is highly focused on recessive disorders that are prevalent in Ashkenazi Jewish populations, which is limiting. I like the additional resources page that links to several well-known databases of information. Truthfully, when I first clicked on the resources page I was expecting to see teacher instructional materials or at least suggestions for classroom use. Many apps these days include guides of some sort so that a teacher is not starting from scratch when planning a lesson. I would say that the target population would be beginning genetics learners, most likely middle school or early high school age. Lastly, I think this is an app that could be used as part of a larger project-based learning unit. It provides some fundamental review to support more inquiry-driven activities in the classroom.
- Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
- 129.5 MB
- Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
- Age Rating
- Rated 12+ for the following:
- Infrequent/Mild Medical/Treatment Information
- © 2015, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.