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NIDA. (2015, January 5). Check This Out! Learn.Genetics: Addiction Science Learning Tools. Retrieved from

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The NIDA Blog Team
January 5 2015
Animated mice in a terrarium.

Making learning fun has become a bit of a cliché.

If you are seriously interested, or even just a teeny tiny bit interested, in learning about the brain and addiction, then it’s time for you to discover the Genetic Science Learning Center (GSLC) at the University of Utah and its website Learn.Genetics.

First of all, Learn.Genetics is fun and very interactive.  Of course, we are partial to the section NIDA funded, The Science of Addiction: Genetics and the Brain.  But the whole site is awesome.

Students, Teacher, Parents….You—should just explore and find out how these cool animations break down the complicated science in a way that is not just totally cool, but educational (sorry, you can’t help but learn!).

Some of our favorites:

Make a Mad, Mad, Mad Neuron: Work with Dr. Dendristein (get it?) to learn about all of the parts of a neuron while building a neuron circuit for the mad scientist. 

Drugs of Abuse: Watch mini-videos featuring animated explanations of common drugs including information about their origin, how they are used, and their effects on the brain and body.

Mouse Party: Take a look inside the brains of cartoon mice on drugs to learn about the chemical interactions that occur in the brain and make the user to feel “high.”

Meth Mouse: Watch how methamphetamine affects the dopamine synapses in the brain.

PI: Pedigree Investigator, On the Case of Nicotine Addiction:  Imagine you are an investigator looking for genes that influence nicotine addiction.

Check out these and the other fun features on Learn.Genetics, then tell us in comments: Which activity was your favorite?