|Most of our DNA is identical to DNA of others. However, there are inherited regions of our DNA that can vary from person to person. Variations in DNA sequence between individuals are termed "polymorphisms". As we will discover in this activity, sequences with the highest degree of polymorphism are very useful for DNA analysis in forensics cases and paternity testing. This activity is based on analyzing the inheritance of a class of DNA polymorphisms known as "Short Tandem Repeats", or simply STRs. STRs are short sequences of DNA, normally of length 2-5 base pairs, that are repeated numerous times in a head-tail manner, i.e. the 16 bp sequence of "gatagatagatagata" would represent 4 head-tail copies of the tetramer "gata". The polymorphisms in STRs are due to the different number of copies of the repeat element that can occur in a population of individuals.
Open access to the scientific literature means the removal of barriers (including price barriers) from accessing scholarly work. There are two parallel roads towards open access: Open Access articles and self-archiving. Open Access articles are immediately, freely available on their Web site, a model mostly funded by charges paid by the author (usually through a research grant). The alternative for a researcher is self-archiving (i.e., to publish in a traditional journal, where only subscribers have immediate access, but to make the article available on their personal and/or institutional Web sites (including so-called repositories or archives)), which is a practice allowed by many scholarly journals.
Open Access raises practical and policy questions for scholars, publishers, funders, and policymakers alike, including what the return on investment is when paying an article processing fee to publish in an Open Access articles, or whether investments into institutional repositories should be made and whether self-archiving should be made mandatory, as contemplated by some funders.