Sequence a Genome

Generate composite sequences of mitochondrial genomes

Staff and students in the DNALC computer lab

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.

In this course, 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.

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


  • Grades: strictly limited to students entering grade 11–12, and 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.
  • $635 per student
  • Available at:
    DNA Learning Center