My GENE Code: Public Engagement in Molecular Biology

Researchers: Tatiana Tatarinova (University of South Wales), Eric Tippmann (Cardiff University), Yingli Wang (Cardiff University)

Gene codeTatiana Tatarinova, Eric Tippmann and Yingli Wang wanted to fuel general public interest in all things gene and genetic related. Working together, they proposed a gene adoption resource, where users can “adopt a gene” (human or any other organism) in their name, or as a gift in someone else’s name. The website would generate a “Genegram” to be sent to an email address entered by the user.

A web portal was developed that allows users to search for a word or organism of interest, check gene function, and to adopt species or genes. This is the first part of the Adopt A Gene (AAG) project, and is located here. Visitors can search for words of any type for a match in the protein sequences. Upon adoption, the adopter is presented with a certificate.

Test sites were successfully delivered and the project now needs a dedicated server, commercial changes and marketing. A pilot study is underway for the development of a mobile application for Android.

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