Sequence a Genome

Generate composite sequences of mitochondrial genomes

Students at doing lab work with pipettes and laptop computers.

Sequence a Genome is offered in-person at the Cold Spring Harbor Dolan DNALC.

In-Person Sequence a Genome

Cold Spring Harbor location only

A genome is the DNA that holds the code of an organism—a “blueprint” of its parts and controls to make them work. In 2003, scientists published the first complete sequence of the human genome, more than 3 billion DNA nucleotides in length! This global effort—kicked-off at Cold Spring Harbor—took more than 10 years to complete and cost about $3 billion dollars. Today, we can sequence an entire human genome in a matter of hours, for less than $1000 dollars.

We will use small, affordable Nanopore DNA sequencers—which plug into a computer through a USB drive—to do real-time DNA sequencing. Students will generate complete, composite sequences of their own mitochondrial genomes and the class will "adopt" an organism to sequence as a research project. They will make use of bioinformatics and data science to assemble the genome sequences and explore what DNA reveals about humans and other living things. The class will also explore genomics applications, ethics, and the revolutionary effects of high throughput sequencing in health, agriculture, and other fields.

Students who wish to develop their work into an independent science research project may be invited to continue on with optional virtual activities in the fall following the camp.

Prerequisites: Completion of DNA Science and one other DNALC advanced camp (Genome Science or DNA Barcoding). Similar experience (molecular biology lab experience and/or coding experience) will be considered.


  • Grades: strictly limited to students entering grades 11–12 who have taken DNA Science and one other DNALC advanced camp (Similar experience will be considered, documentation required)
  • Monday to Thursday 9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Friday 9:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
  • $675 per student
  • Available at:
    DNA Learning Center