Monday, 15 July 2013

Topic of Research (Lynnette) -- Drugs & Genetics: Why do some people respond to drugs differently than others?

Topic Overview
Drugs & Genetics: Why Do Some People Respond to Drugs Differently than Others?

Time Required
Short (2-5 days)
Basic understanding of what genes, DNA, and proteins are.
Material Availability
Readily available
Very Low (under $20)
No issues


From 2005 to 2008, 48% of everyone in the U.S. was using at least one prescription drug, and 21% of people were taking three or more drugs. People are prescribed drugs all the time, but prescriptions can be dangerous because people can have different responses to drugs. These responses largely have to do with genetic mutations. Why are some genetic mutations associated with a different response to a drug? In this science project, you will explore an online drug and genetics database to identify how a genetic mutation can be associated with how a person's body processes, and responds to, a certain drug.


Determine why some gene mutations cause people to respond differently to a drug.


Teisha Rowland, PhD, Science Buddies
Sandra Slutz, PhD, Science Buddies

Hypothesis and Variables
If I find out why some people respond to drugs differently than others, then I can improve the way medication is dealt with in the world.

+ Drug

Independent Variable:
+ Genes

Dependent Variable:

+ Gene's response to the drug

Research Questions
What I need to know:
- Definitions
- Importance of research
- Any current research projects

- Computer with an internet connection
- PharmGKB online account
- lab notebook

Procedures - Find out the generic and trade names of a certain drug, the kind of chemical the drug is (draw the chemical structure), what other drugs it is related to, what medical condition the drug is used to treat, the drug's general effect on the body. Identify mutations in DNA that affect the response to the drug.

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