BioServers

www.bioservers.org

BioServers site is a suite of statistical tools that allow students working with Genetic Origins protocols to access Alu data or mtDNA sequences. Sequence Server and Allele Server are full-featured databases that let students access DNALC datasets, search external databases, and directly manipulate polymorphism collections. Students who register with the site can return to experiments saved in their workspace. Simulation Server is a "Monte Carlo" statistical program that models population genetics.

Allele Server allows students to tabulate student Alu insertion data and compare two populations by contingency chi-square, genetic drift, and genetic distance. The database has forms to allow students to enter their own genotypes, and reference data from more than 40 world populations.

Simulation Server allows students to model genetic changes over time – simulating the same conditions in 100 or more test populations at a time. Teachers appreciate this facility, because it allows students to model Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in gene systems under selective pressure – such as the sickle cell mutation.

Sequence Server allows students to enter their own mt sequence data and perform multiple sequence alignments. As with the Alu data, they may compare themselves to other students or to world reference populations and ancient DNA samples. A student may also use his/her mtDNA sequence to perform a BLAST search to find similar sequences in Genbank. Sequences identified in the search can then be moved to the student's workspace for further comparison.

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