CSH Protocols focuses on methods for use at the bench (and at the computer), but this only covers part of the job requirements for most academic scientists. Teaching can be a demanding task, but there are more and more resources available online to help put together informative and memorable lectures for students. Here’s a quick rundown of a few sites freely available from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory that provide some useful teaching tools.

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The Dolan DNA Learning Center should be your first stop when looking for materials for lectures. The site features a variety of topics, including molecular biology (here as well), RNAi, cancer, evolution, plant genetics, bioinformatics (here also), genes and health and a historical overview of eugenics. I highly recommend both the DNA From The Beginning (DNAFTB) site as well as DNA Interactive (DNAi). DNAFTB is a treasure trove of material, with simple animations used to convey difficult molecular concepts and video interviews with the key players in the history of molecular biology. Be sure to check out the “gallery” section of each module to find photographs of the founders of the field, always useful to put a face with the name for your students. DNAi takes things to the next level, and features more sophisticated animations, and more interviews with the scientists who unraveled the secrets of DNA. Here you’ll find myDNAi which gives you access to a wealth of teaching tools, and a teacher’s guide with lesson plans.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press also provides some very useful helpful sites for teaching, most based on books used in courses. Bioinformatics has supplemental material from that popular textbook, along with problem sets for students. Gastrulation is a must for teachers of Developmental Biology, as the site provides both images and movies of this key period for embryos. Binding and Kinetics has a set of simulations used to convey key concepts for students. Downloadable figures are also available for Evolution, Epigenetics, A Genetic Switch, Genes & Signals, Protein: Protein Interactions and DNA Replication and Human Disease. You’ll also find free downloadable versions of previous editions of The RNA World and DNA Replication.