Visualising DNA, RNA & Proteins Jalview School Workbook Resources

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Visualising DNA, RNA & Proteins Jalview School Workbook

Visualising DNA, RNA and proteins workbook is aimed at 16-18-year-old High School/Secondary School students studying Higher, Advanced Higher or A level biology. It contains easy-to-use, hands-on exercises that students could run for themselves.

The exercises require only a desktop or laptop computer with a web browser and internet access.

The workbook contains 4 practical web-based bioinformatic projects:
  Project 1 views DNA and RNA sequences and their 3D structures.
  Project 2 views protein sequences and their 3D structures.
  Project 3 compares the sequence of human myoglobin protein with myoglobin sequences from other animals; then the student views the coding DNA sequence, and codons, alongside the protein.
  Project 4 views exons and introns in the HBB gene, which is involved in sickle cell anaemia. The genetic mutations linked to this disease is identified by viewing the coding DNA and its protein product in a split-screen viewer.

All the materials needed to run a practical class in school or at home are available in a single webpage on the Jalview website at

This webpage contains the links to open the workbook, launch JalviewJS and run the exercises, as well as additional resources such as videos and database identifiers.

Getting started involved just three steps: (1) Open the schools webpage on the Jalview website; (2) Click on the ‘View the School Workbook’ link to open the booklet in an adjacent window, or download the pdf depending on the browser; (3) Follow the instructions in the workbook. The links in Section 2 on the webpage start the exercises by launching JalviewJS and loading the sequences.

What is Jalview?

Jalview  is a free-to-use computer software developed at the University of Dundee. It is designed to assist research scientists to visualise and analyse DNA, RNA and proteins. It uses an interactive multi-window interface for viewing sequences, alignments, annotations and three-dimensional structures. Jalview can read files directly from public biological databases and has a number of analysis tools for aligning sequences, producing trees, measuring similarities and comparing structures.

  • Who is this workbook for: Secondary school biology pupils (aged 16-18 years old)

  • Knowledge required: Moderate computer literacy

  • Equipment needed: A desktop or laptop computer with a web browser and internet access

For more information go to

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Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.

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