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Peer Review

MedlinePlus:Genes and Gene Therapy



Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jul 28, 2013 by Health Sciences

This material is a consumer-focused health topic listing within MedlinePlus resource. MedlinePlus is a service of the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health in the US. This collection of links and resources deals with the topic of genes and gene therapy.

It includes definitions and simple explanations with links to the National Human Genome Research Institute, the CDC and other reputable sites. It provides simple to understand information, but contains detail about the subjects.

Type of Material: The learning resource is a collection of overview, latest news, specific conditions, related issues, games, clinical trials, genetics, research, journal articles, dictionaries/glossaries, newsletters/print publications,organizations, Medline Plus Magazine, sites related to children and teenagers, and law/policy as the topics relate to genes and gene therapy.
Recommended Uses: This would be a good individual homework assignment, or the learners could access all of the websites to write papers on various topics included in the websites regarding genetics.
Technical Requirements: The technical requirements include a computer with Internet access, a web browser, Flash Player and Acrobat Reader software.
Identify Major Learning Goals: The learning goals are not stated. The implied learning goals are that after reviewing the learning resource the user would be able to:
  • Discuss the importance of genes in the makeup of human traits inherited from relatives.
  • Identify at least two learning resources on genes and gene therapy pertinent to children and teenagers.
  • Discuss at least two pertinent research initiative related to genes and gene therapy.
  • Discuss why law and policy are factors to consider in gene and gene therapy research.
Target Student Population: Although the author specified college level and graduate level students, lay persons with a college degree could benefit as well. It supplies a beginning point for exploration of the subject.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: No previous pre-requisite knowledge is required. The site contains links to be resources to enhance the user's understanding. However, the intermediate learner would benefit from basic biology knowledge.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: As with the majority of resources presented through the National Library of Medicine's MedlinePlus (, the materials presented through this health topic are quite credible and weighty. Staff at the National Library of Medicine evaluate these resources before inclusion in the MedlinePlus system. Each learning resource link is reviewed and updated on a regular basis. The last review and update dates are noted.
Concerns: None.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: These materials provide a rich learning experience for consumers and students. The sites to which it links are various and interesting. The animation in a game on the CDC website encourages the learner to move on through the material. It is a good, basic overview of genetics and the importance of genetics.
Concerns: None.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Well organized, easy, and intuitive to navigate. It was an attractive site, but it included links to sites that are equally or more attractive and colorful. Information is timely.
Concerns: In that this tool primarily links to resources outside the National Library of Medicine's control, functionality of external resources may prove advanced or challenging.

Other Issues and Comments: This resource is very useful for all individuals desiring a greater understanding of genes and gene therapy.