Computer Based Human Chromosome Tutorial Program

Ding Wen, Purdue University


Human chromosome analysis is a basic science with medical implication. Karyotyping is a method to study chromosomes, including the number of chromosomes, their lengths, the positions of centromeres, differences between sex chromosomes, and other physical characteristics. It is time consuming to train students and clinical technologists to recognize chromosomes because of the dynamic nature of G-band patterns in different metaphase spreads. High resolution G-bands are desirable because they provide detailed information for structural analysis. Due to the non-linearity between G-bands at different resolution levels, certain high resolution bands may appear visually disconnected with those at low resolutions, making the identification of detailed chromosome structure more difficult, even for experienced technologists. In response to the need for training students to identify human chromosomes at variable G-band resolution levels, we present in the thesis a virtual reality based interactive karyotyping program capable of manipulating G-band resolutions for human cytogenetics education. The program can generate different metaphase spreads ranging from short and well separated chromosomes at low G-band resolutions to long, curved, and overlapped chromosomes at high resolutions. Users can study chromosome characteristics from their descriptions with images, practice recognition of chromosomes with pair grouping and group karyotyping. Other features include a scoring system, helping strategies, and progress reports. The traditional "cut and paste" karyotyping method for chromosome separation was simulated. To simplify the practicing, a "simple clicking" karyotyping method was developed which is based on edge detection technique for outlining each chromosome. The program was developed to suit the needs for beginners and in-depth training of advanced students as well.




Yang, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Genetics|Computer Engineering|Biomedical engineering

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