Instructor resources

A place to find resources for course instructors and materials developed and volunteered by participants.

ABO blood groups

Developed by: Donna Koslowsky

Modifications:

Cells and Organelles: ABO blood type

Campbell's Biology, 9 ed. Chapter 6

Introduction to cellular structure and function. This activity was developed to reinforce the protein targeting activity.  In this activity, students are asked to build their own flow chart in the movement of glycoproteins that contain the ABO antigens to the Plasma membrane.

 

Connection to Vision and Change

Core Concepts

2.  Structure and Function

Basic units of structure define the function of all living things.  Signal peptides and Signal tags as recognition units that can deliver proteins to specific compartments.  Protein modifications (glycosylation) as recognition units that can be very important in biological function.

3.  Information flow, exchange and storage:

Information stored within the proteins allows them to be delivered to the proper compartment for optimal function.  The utilization of biological information.

Core Competencies and Disciplinary Practice

3. ABILITY TO USE MODELING AND SIMULATION:

Biology focuses on the study of complex systems.

Development of problem-solving strategies.  Reading Flow Charts, critical thinking.

Learning Objectives:            

1.  Recognize and Describe function of organelles (ER and Golgi). 

2.  Describe how the endomembrane system regulates protein traffic and performs metabolic functions in the cell.

2.  Explain the advantages of compartmentalization (having organelles).

3.  Explain how the different organelles/membranes accumulate different proteins and other macromolecules allowing for different functions. 

 

Description

At the beginning of class, students are given a mini-lecture  on key aspects of  ABO bloodgroups.  They are then asked to refer to the flow chart previously given (see protein targeting activity), to develop their own flow chart to map the movement of either 1) the glycoproteins that carry the ABO antigens or 2 ) the enzymes responsible for adding the ABO antigens.

Referring to Flow Chart previously given. 

  Working in groups of four.  Two students do 1) proteins that carry the antigens and two students do 2) enzymes that add the antigens.

 1)  Create your own flow chart that indicates the cellular pathway from synthesis to final destination of a glycoprotein that carries an ABO antigen.

Be sure to indicate which targeting signals the protein must carry to get to its final destination and where in the pathway the oligosaccharide modifications are added.

2)  Create your own flow chart that indicates the cellular pathway from synthesis to final destination of the enzyme (glycotransferase) that adds the final monosaccharide (A or B antigen) to the Plasma membrane glycoprotein.  Again be sure to indicate which targeting signals the protein (enzyme) must carry.

Associated Questions

 

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Background info about ABO for instructors377.5 KB
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ABO blood group lecture slides and clicker questions238.71 KB

Active transport modeling

Membrane Transport Activity

Developed by:  Donna Koslowsky
Modifications:  Jon Stoltzfus

Learning Objective:

"Students will be able to describe how active transport can move molecules across a biological membrane."

Textbook: Campbell 9e; Chapter 7 Membrane Structure and Function

Connection to Vision and Change*
Core Concepts
2. STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION:
Biological systems are built using combinations of subunits that drive increasingly diverse and dynamic phyisiological responses in living organisms. Understanding the relationships between biological structure and function.

Core Competencies
1. ABILITY TO APPLY THE PROCESS OF SCIENCE and 2. ABILITY TO USE MODELING AND SIMULATION.
Developing problem-solving strategies.


*Vision and Change: A Call to Action. Washington, DC: AAAS; 2010.  www.visionandchange.org/VC_report.pdf. 

Description

Students were assigned homework that introduced Biological membranes.  This activity was designed to follow a short minilecture on primary active transport and the Na/K pump.  The students are asked to work in groups to draw a vesicle with the Na/K pump oriented with the ATP binding site on outside.  They are then asked to answer a series of clicker questions.

In our initial use of this activity, we did not have the students work together to draw out the vesicle; we found that they were not able to accurately visualize the experimental set-up so as to be able to answer the clicker questions.  Adding the step of having them draw/model the system should solve this problem.

Associated Questions

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Only slides for model activity and clicker questions195.96 KB
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Full lecture: includes both lecture slides and activity1.48 MB

Biomolecules diagram activity

Developed by: Jon Stoltzfus
Modifications: 

Campbell 9e; Chapter 5

Learning Objective:

Students will be able to summarize basic cellular functions of each class of biomolecules and relate their functions to their structures.

Connection to Vision and Change*
Core Concepts

2. Structure and Function:
Structural complexity, together with the information it provides, is built upon combinations of subunits that
drive increasingly diverse and dynamic physiological responses in living organisms.
 

*Vision and Change: A Call to Action. Washington, DC: AAAS; 2010. 

In this activity, students form groups and create a diagram about integrating information about weak interactions, functional groups, and the structure and function of a particular biomolecule.  At the beginning of the lecture, students are given the assignment and then the instructor provides them with an example.  Students are given a few minutes to begin working on their diagram.  The students are then told to stop and the lecture is presented.  They are told that during lecture they need to pay attention to the details that will help them finish their diagram.  They should also pay attention to the same concepts for the other types of biomolecules as well.  At the end of class students are given time to complete their diagrams.

This activity would benefit by some type of post activity evaluation. Perhaps a series of clicker questions showing diagrams of biomolecules and asking about the functional groups, bonds, and functions of the biomolecules would work for post activity formative assessment.  Another idea might be to collect the diagrams and project a few of them with a document projector.  The students could then evaluate the quality of each diagram based on specific criteria and use clickers to send in their evaluation.

Associated Questions

Functional group chemistry

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Biomolecule Diagram Activity.pptx686.3 KB

Cell Signaling in Cancer activity

Developed by: Jon Stoltzfus
Modifications:

Cell Signaling Activity: Role of Signaling in Cancer

Campbell's Biology, 9th ed. Chapter 11

****Note:  In this class, chaper 11 is is taught after chapters 16-18 which cover DNA replication, transcription, translation, and regulation of gene expression.****

Connection to Vision and Change*

Core Concepts

3. INFORMATION FLOW, EXCHANGE , AND STORAGE :

The growth and behavior of organisms are activated through the expression of genetic information in context.

Core Competencies and Disciplinary Practice

3. ABILITY TO USE MODELING AND SIMULATION:

Biology focuses on the study of complex systems.

*Vision and Change: A Call to Action. Washington, DC: AAAS; 2010.  http://visionandchange.org/files/2011/03/Revised-Vision-and-Change-Final-Report.pdf

Objectives

  • Identify basic signal transduction components in a model for control of cell cycle.
  • Based on the model, explain how different signals impact the cell cycle.
  • Identify potential proto-oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes in the model.
  • Use the model to predict changes in this signaling pathway that may lead to cancer.
  • Design interventions that will stop the growth of cancer cells.

Description

At the beginning of class, students are given a diagram depicting two signaling pathways, one which induces progression through the cell cycle, one which prevents progression through the cell cycle.  They are also presented with the objectives for the activity.  A series of brief (5-10 minute) mini-lectures are given on key aspects of signal transduction and cancer.  At the end of each mini-lecture, students identify relevant components in the diagram using clicker questions.  During the last part of the class period students answer clicker questions asking them to predict how a variety of changes in the pathway would impact the cell cycle and what types of changes could lead to cancer.  Finally, students are asked to design an intervention that would help treat cancer caused by some of these changes.  The students are then asked to share their ideas.  A final clicker question asks students choose interventions that might be useful in treating cancer.

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Handout for students to view signaling in cancer pathway203.23 KB
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Lecture slides and clicker questions for signaling in cancer activity2.6 MB

Cell Signaling: Flight or Fight pathway

Developed by: Donna Koslowsky

Modifications: 

Cell Signaling: Fight or Flight Response

Campbell's Biology, 9th ed. Chapter 11

***Note: In this course, chapter 11 is taught after chapters 16-18 which cover DNA replication, transcription, translation, and regulation of gene expression.***

Connection to Vision and Change

Core Concepts

3. INFORMATION FLOW, EXCHANGE , AND STORAGE :

The growth and behavior of organisms are activated through the expression of genetic information in context.

Core Competencies and Disciplinary Practice

3. ABILITY TO USE MODELING AND SIMULATION

Biology focuses on the study of complex systems.

Objectives

  • Identify basic signal transduction components in a model for control a basic metabolic response.
  • Based on the model, explain how different signals impact metabolism.
  • Identify the major steps in this cell signaling pathway.

Description

At the beginning of class, students are given a diagram depicting how adrenaline drives changes in two metabolic enzymes.  A brief (5-10 minute) mini-lecture is given on key aspects of signal transduction. The students then answer clicker questions asking them to both interpret the diagram and predict how a variety of changes in the pathway would impact metabolism.

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Handout for students to view epinephrine signaling pathway204.04 KB
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Slides and clicker questions for epinephrine signaling activity ONLY2.58 MB
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Full lecture including activity and clicker slides4.08 MB

Cell size calculations

Developed by: John Merrill
Modifications: Jon Stoltzfus

Surface to Volume Ratios

Campbell's Biology, 9th ed. Chapter 6.

Introduction to cellular structure and function. This activity was developed to reinforce the concept that metabolic requirements impose an upper limit to cell size. In addition, it reinforces the key concept of the plasma membrane as a selective barrier and the concept that the cell must exchange/interact with its environment. Use of the glucose transporter allows solid linkage to the chapter on membranes and membrane transport.

Connection to Vision and Change

Core Concepts

2.  Structure and Function

Basic units of structure define the function of all living things.  The plasma membrane as a selective barrier.  

Core Competencies and Disciplinary Practice

2. Ability to use quantitative reasoning.  Students should understand that biology is often analyzed through quantitative approaches.  Applying basic quantitative skills to a biological problem.

 

Learning Objectives:            

1.  Explain how metabolic requirements impact cell size. 

2.  Explain why the ratio of surface area to volume is critical.

 

Description

This exercise begins by having the students calculate the surface to volume ratios of cells with different diameters.  The final activity has them calculate the number of Glucose transporters needed to support metabolism for cells of a set size.  

The original activity was developed by John Merrill, with arbitrary numbers, mostly chosen for ease of calculations.  The final version was modified by Jon Stoltzfus using more realistic numbers. Jon also developed a Handout that has the students do a number of calculations that pose some interesting thought questions.  Both Powerpoints (JM and JS) are posted, so you can see how two different instructors use this activity.

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Handout with problems for students378.83 KB
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Calculation key for instructor659.47 KB
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Background information for instructor about numbers used4.43 MB
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Original lecture slides and clicker questions - JM1.99 MB
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Modified lecture slides and clicker questions - JS520.86 KB

Cellular respiration activity

Respiration Activity

Developed by: John Merrill, Donna Koslowsky
Modifications: 

This activity uses an approach that is repeated with the module on photosynthesis. 

Learning Objective:

"Students will be able to trace the major transfers and transformations of matter and energy that take place during the major processes and subprocesses of cellular respiration and fermentation."

Textbook: Campbell 9e; Chapter 9 Cell Respiration

Connection to Vision and Change*
Core Concepts

4. PATHWAYS AND TRANSFORMATIONS OF ENERGY AND MATTER:
Biological systems grow and change by processes based upon chemical transformation pathways and are governed by the laws of thermodynamics.
5. SYSTEMS:
Living systems are interconnected and interacting.
Core Competencies
3. ABILITY TO USE MODELING AND SIMULATION:
Biology focuses on the study of complex systems.
 

*Vision and Change: A Call to Action. Washington, DC: AAAS; 2010.  www.visionandchange.org/VC_report.pdf. 

Description

NOTE: There are 2 versions of this exercise provided here.  The first is the original idea that asks students to complete an unlabeled diagram, followed by clicker assessments.  The second is a more elaborate version that has students do much more in the way of building their own diagrams, and with additional clicker assessments.

Version 1.  Complete an unlabeled diagram.

This exercise would typically occur at the conclusion of lectures/discussions of key points on cellular respiration. Students receive a handout (see pdf below) and are asked to label inputs and outputs of a 4-box diagram, with the boxes intended to represent glycolysis, pyruvate oxidation, citric acid (Krebs) cycle, and the electron transport chain/oxidative phosphorylation. Students are encouraged to work in groups to complete the activity. Following completion, a series of clicker questions probes their learning and uncovers possible weaknesses therein.

Version 2.  Building student diagrams.

In this exercise students build and manipulate models that emphasize inputs and outputs of matter and energy. This is achieved by having students work with box and arrow diagrams. A classroom session might look like this:

Pre-class: reading, homework

In Class:

1. mini-lecture (e.g. glycolysis)

2. Activity: build a box/arrow diagram of glycolysis

3.  Formative Clicker Assessments

[repeat 1 - 3 for pyruvate oxidation, Krebs cycle, E.T.C./OxPhos].

4. Students build 4-box combined summary diagram.

5. Formative clicker assessments.

The sequence begins with a simple activity in which they draw and label a box for one subprocess (glycolysis), adding arrows for all inputs and outputs. They can then build additional parts of the model until the entire process is complete (e.g. cell respiration). Participation/accountability is monitored via closely coupled clicker questions, as these activites were originally designed for use in large enrollment classes unsuited to evaluation of individual drawings/models.

Associated Questions

Energy from glucose

Atoms in glucose

Weight loss

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Handout for students36.6 KB
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Single and multi process activity instructions and clicker questions2.35 MB
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All processes clicker questions2.36 MB

Genes to Proteins activity

From Genes to Proteins Description

Developed by: Jon Stoltfus
Modifications: 

Campbell's Biology 9e; Chapter 17

Learning Objective:

"Students will be able to use their mental model of transcription and translation to predict what protein will be made from a gene and how changes in the DNA sequence will alter that protein."

Connection to Vision and Change*
Core Concepts

2. Structure and Function:
Structural complexity, together with the information it provides, is built upon combinations of subunits that drive increasingly diverse and dynamic physiological responses in living organisms.

3. Information Flow, Exchange, and Storage:
The growth and behavior of organisms are activated through the expression of genetic information in context.

Core Competencies
3. ABILITY TO USE MODELING AND SIMULATION:
Biology focuses on the study of complex systems.
 

*Vision and Change: A Call to Action. Washington, DC: AAAS; 2010.  
http://visionandchange.org/files/2011/03/Revised-Vision-and-Change-Final-Report.pdf

Description

In this activity students are given a scenario in which they must determine what protein is produced from a gene and how a mutation impacts that protein.  There are four versions of the activity, each with different alternate splicing and mutations.  This allows discussion of how the same gene can produce different proteins and how mutation can have different impacts on the protein produced from the DNA.

Pre-class: reading and homework on transcription and translation introducing students to the basics of these processes.

There are two ways to structure a class using this activity:

In-Class Version 1 - Activity following complete lecture on the topics:
1. Lecture on transcription, RNA processing, translation, and mutations.
2. Activity: Students complete the worksheet.
3. Formative Clicker Assessments

In-Class Version 2 - Activity interspersed with mini-lectures on topics:
1. Mini lecture: Promoters and transcription.
2. Activity: Students determine template strand and unprocessed RNA produced.
3. Clickers: Formative assessments.
1. Mini lecture: RNA processing.
2. Activity: Students determine sequence of mature mRNA based on alternative splicing.
3. Clickers: Formative assessments.
1. Mini lecture: Translation.
2. Activity: Students determine protein produced from mature RNA.
3. Clickers: Formative assessments.
1. Mini lecture: Mutation.
2. Activity: Students determine how a mutation impacts their protein.
3. Clickers: Formative assessments.

Associated Questions

Central Dogma

Mutation

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Lecture slides and clicker questions relating to the activity1.32 MB
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Central Dogma handout V1205.99 KB
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Central Dogma handout V2206.01 KB
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Central Dogma handout V3204.65 KB
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Central Dogma handout V4202.64 KB
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Central Dogma KEY V150.58 KB
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Central Dogma KEY V250.45 KB
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Central Dogma KEY V350.93 KB
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Central Dogma KEY V450.59 KB

Membrane fluidity

Membrane Fluidity Activity

Developed by:  Donna Koslowsky and Jon Stoltzfus
Modifications:  

Learning Objective:

"Students will be able to describe the movement of the components of a cell membrane, explain how membrane fluidity is influenced by temperature and membrane composition, and predict how changes in environment and composition will influence fluidity."

Textbook: Campbell 9e; Chapter 7 Membrane Structure and Function

Connection to Vision and Change*
Core Concepts

2. STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION:
Biological systems are built using combinations of subunits that drive increasingly diverse and dynamic phyisiological responses in living organisms. Understanding the relationships between biological structure and function.

Core Competencies
1. ABILITY TO APPLY THE PROCESS OF SCIENCE and 2. ABILITY TO USE QUANTITATIVE REASONING.
Evaluation of experimental evidence.  Developing and interpreting graphs.


 
*Vision and Change: A Call to Action. Washington, DC: AAAS; 2010.  www.visionandchange.org/VC_report.pdf. 

Description

Students were assigned Mastering Biology activites that introduced Biological membranes.  The activity was designed to follow a short minilecture on membrane structure.  The students are then asked to work in groups to answer a number of questions prior to a series of clicker questions. In our initial use of this activity, we found that 3 - 5 minutes is plenty of time for the students to work together to answer the questions.  

 

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Questions and follow-up clicker sequence791.49 KB
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Background info about fluidity for instructors202.65 KB

Mitosis control

Separase Signaling Activity Description

Developed by: R. Phillis, J.Z. Barlow, and J. Fitzgerald
Modifications: Donna Koslowsky and Jon Stoltzfus

Campbell's Biology 9e; Chapter 12

Learning Objective:

"Students will be able to explain how cells ensure accurate distribution of genetic information during cell division, explain how cells control these processes, and predict how alterations in these processes impact the cell."

Connection to Vision and Change*

Core Concepts
3. INORMATION FLOW, EXCHANGE , AND STORAGE:
The growth and behavior of organisms are activated through the expression of genetic information in contex.


Core Competencies
3. ABILITY TO USE MODELING AND SIMULATION:
Biology focuses on the study of complex systems.
 

*Vision and Change: A Call to Action. Washington, DC: AAAS; 2010.  
http://visionandchange.org/files/2011/03/Revised-Vision-and-Change-Final-Report.pdf

Description

Based on the activity Randall Phillis, J. Zane Barlow, and Johanna Fitzgerald.[1]  It is designed to promote student reasoning about regulatory processes involved in mitosis.  Following a brief description of the importance of having a spindle fiber attached to every kinetochore students participate in a demonstration illustrating positive and negative signaling. Students then use the diagram depicting the regulation of separase activity to determine what is happening in normal cells so that sister chromatids do not separate until all kinetochores have a spindle fiber attached.  They then use the diagram to predict what will happen in various situations in which the signal transduction pathway is disrupted.

Classroom session flow example:

Pre-class: reading and homework on what happens in each phase of mitosis.


In-Class sequence:
1. Mini-lecture: phases of mitosis.
2. Discussion: what would happen if not all kinetochores had spindle fibers attached when anaphase begins?
3. Demonstration: positive and negative signaling.
4. Activity: Students work through separase diagram and ask quesitons.
5. Formative clicker assessments: what happens to mitosis in various situations.


References

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Mitosis control clicker questions only702.36 KB
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Full lecture: includes both lecture slides and activity3.02 MB

Photosynthesis activity

Photosynthesis Activities Description

Developed by: John Merrill
Modifications: 

This activity uses an approach that is repeated with the module on respiration. 

Learning Objective:

"Students will be able to trace the major transfers and transformations of matter and energy that take place during the major processes and subprocesses of cellular respiration, fermentation, and photosynthesis"

Connection to Vision and Change*

Core Concepts
4. PATHWAYS AND TRANSFORMATIONS OF ENERGY AND MATTER:

Biological systems grow and change by processes based upon chemical transformation pathways and are governed by the laws of thermodynamics.
5. SYSTEMS:

Living systems are interconnected and interacting.

Core Competencie
3. ABILITY TO USE MODELING AND SIMULATION:

Biology focuses on the study of complex systems. 

Textbook: Campbell 9e; Chapter 10 Photosynthesis

*Vision and Change: A Call to Action. Washington, DC: AAAS; 2010.  www.visionandchange.org/VC_report.pdf.

Description

This exercise would typically occur at the conclusion of lectures/discussions of key points on photosynthesis. Students receive a handout (see pdf below) and in step one are asked to label inputs and outputs of a box and arrow diagram, with the boxes intended to represent the light reactions and the Calvin cycle. Students are encouraged to work in groups to complete the activity. In step two, students add arrows to indicate ADP and NADP+ (low energy states of energy management molecules).

In step three, students are tasked with redrawing the entire diagram, but with photosystems I and II each in its own box. The intention is to have them grapple with how to accomodate the electron transport chain and accompanying ATP production. Ideally, they realize the need for perhaps another box, although other ways of accounting are likely. Step three diagrams are intended to be turned in for instructor reference, not grading, with a followup clicker question to have accountability and assessment.

Associated Questions

Maple tree mass gain

Root cell

 

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Student handout54.6 KB
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Class instructions and clicker questions345.5 KB

Post transcriptional regulation activity

Developed by: Donna Koslowsky

Modifications:

Post-transcriptional Regulation: Iron-Response Element

Campbell's Biology, 9 ed, Chapter 18

Regulation of Gene Expression. Mechanisms of Post-Transcriptional Regulation. This section in Campbell Biology lists a number of ways that cells can regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. The students however, have a difficult time visualizing how some of these mechanisms may work.  This activity was designed to help them visualize an important aspect of post-transcriptional control: regulating protein levels by both regulating translation and by regulating mRNA half-life.    

Connection to Vision and Change

Core Concepts

3. INFORMATION FLOW, EXCHANGE , AND STORAGE :

The growth and behavior of organisms are activated through the expression of genetic information in context.

Core Competencies and Disciplinary Practice

3. ABILITY TO USE MODELING AND SIMULATION: 

Biology focuses on the study of complex systems.

Objectives

  • Identify and describe several different ways that gene expression can be controlled Post-transcriptionally.
  • Based on the model, explain how different iron conditions regulate translation and mRNA stability.

Description

At the beginning of class, students are given a Handout which describes each of the different molecules and elements involved in iron storage and transport in a eukaryotic cell and a Table.  A brief (5-10 minute) mini-lectures is given on key aspects of Post-transcriptional gene expression.  Students are then told to work together to complete the table given to them with the handout.  Completion of the Table is assessed by a series of clicker questions.  Clicker questions were designed to both link earlier key concepts to the current topic and to determine how well they understand the system.

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IRE handout for students 155.72 KB
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Activity and clicker slides ONLY146.99 KB
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Full lecture including activity and clicker slides3.01 MB

Protein targeting

Developed by: Donna Koslowsky, in collaboration with participants at the 2011 WVU Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education in Science and Math.

Modifications:

 

Cells and Organelles: Protein Targeting

Campbell's Biology, 9 ed. Chapter 6

Introduction to cellular structure and function. This activity has been used effectively after a general introduction to Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and eukaryotic organelles. 

This is the introduction of using Flow charts to determine the fate of proteins that must be delivered to a specific region/organelle.  Can be Linked to ABO activity, where the students are asked to build their own Flow Chart on how ABO antigens found on Plasma membrane proteins, are delivered to the plasma membrane.

 

Connection to Vision and Change*

Core Concepts

2.  Structure and Function

Basic units of structure define the function of all living things.  Signal peptides and Signal tags as recognition units that can deliver proteins to specific compartments.

3. Information flow, exchange and storage 

Information stored within the proteins allows them to be delivered to the proper compartment for optimal function.  The utilization of biological information.

Core Competencies and Disciplinary Practice

3. ABILITY TO USE MODELING AND SIMULATION:

Biology focuses on the study of complex systems.

Development of problem-solving strategies.  Reading Flow Charts, critical thinking.

*Vision and Change: A Call to Action. Washington, DC: AAAS; 2010.  http://visionandchange.org/files/2011/03/Revised-Vision-and-Change-Final-Report.pdf

 

Learning Objectives:            

1.  Recognize and Describe function of organelles (ER and Golgi). 

2.  Describe how the endomembrane system regulates protein traffic and performs metabolic functions in the cell.

2.  Explain the advantages of compartmentalization (having organelles).

3.  Explain how the different organelles accumulate different proteins and other macromolecules allowing for different functions. 

 

Description

At the beginning of class, students are given a flow chart that maps the movement of proteins within a eukaryotic cell dependent on the type of signals that the protein carries. They are also presented with a mini-lecture given on key aspects of the endomembrane system, protein targeting and the function of the lysosome.  In addition, they are presented with a genetic disease that results from the disruption of a specific protein targeting pathway.  At the end of the mini-lecture, students identify the relative components of the protein targeting flowchart using clicker questions.  Finally, they are asked to predict how mutations (functional changes) might impact protein targeting.

Associated Questions

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Flowchart for student handout90.23 KB
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Protein targeting problem slides and clicker questions2.12 MB

Weak interactions and functional groups clicker sequence

Weak Interactions and Functional Groups Activity

Developed by: Jon Stoltzfus
Modifications: 

Learning Objective:

"Students will be able to identify functional groups in various representations of biomolecules and predict how their properties influence the function of that biomolecule."

Textbook: Campbell 9e; Chapter 2 - 4: The Chemical Context of Life; Water and Life; and Carbon ahd the Molecular Diversity of Life

Connection to Vision and Change*
Core Concepts

1. Structure and Function:
Structural complexity, together with the information it provides, is built upon combinations of subunits that drive increasingly diverse and dynamic physiological responses in living organisms.

*Vision and Change: A Call to Action. Washington, DC: AAAS; 2010.  http://visionandchange.org/files/2011/03/Revised-Vision-and-Change-Final-Report.pdf

Description

The goal of this activity is to have students think about the similarities and differences in the sturcuture of three molecules with which the students are familiar, urushiol (poison ivy, aspirin, and ibuprofen). Students are asked to identifiy similarities and differences in the stuctures of these moleucles and then apply basic conepts from the lecture to these molecules as the lecutre proceeds.  In the end, the students are asked, based on the similarties between these three molecules and their functions, to make predictions about how the drugs (aspirin and ibuprofen) might act specrically with their target (the COX enzyme).

Associated Questions

Functional group chemistry

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Lecture slides with clicker questions1.5 MB