BRAF: from gene to cancer therapy

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This film tells the story of how DNA sequencing was used to identify the gene BRAF. Clinical researcher Ultan McDermott tells the story of how scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute discovered a specific mutation in the BRAF gene, which is found in around half of malignant melanoma cases. He describes how this has enabled scientists to develop a new drug that specifically targets cancer cells with this mutation, with dramatic effects on the disease. 

The activity allows students to take on the role of researcher, identifying faulty genes and developing targeted drugs.

Curriculum links include:

  • The structure of DNA
  • Genome sequencing
  • Using DNA to identify heritable condition, and the use of this information in personalised medicine
  • How DNA controls phenotype
  • Genetic screening – ethical considerations

This resource is part of the Post 16 genetics and genomics collection of resources.

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