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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education

Lisbeth Elvira de Vries, Michael May
This study presents an evaluation of virtual laboratory simulation for educational use in the AP Degree Programme in Chemical and Biotechnical Science at University College Copenhagen in Denmark. The purpose was to test if, and how, virtual laboratory simulation could be applied to a practically oriented education such as the education of laboratory technicians-the aim being to motivate students and improve the education with new teaching tools. The study investigated how specific virtual lab simulation cases (Labster-cases) may stimulate motivation, study intensity, and learning among laboratory technician students...
February 12, 2019: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Tyler Simpson, Yu-Chun Chiu, Michelle Richards-Babb, Jessica M Blythe, Kang-Mo Ku
Allelopathy plays crucial roles in invasive plant viability and agricultural production systems. However, there is no well-established hands-on learning activity to teach the concept of allelopathy. Nor is there an activity which allows students to gain knowledge about glucosinolates and their corresponding enzyme, myrosinase, which are present in almost all Brassica crops. Lettuce germination was counted by the students from three different treatments including water treated with Parafilm sealing, horseradish treated with Parafilm sealing, and horseradish treated without Parafilm sealing...
February 12, 2019: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Marta Hammerstad, Åsmund K Røhr, Hans-Petter Hersleth
Many laboratory courses consist of short and seemingly unconnected individual laboratory exercises. To increase the course consistency, relevance, and student engagement, we have developed a research-inspired and project-based module, "From Gene to Structure and Function". This 2.5-week full-day biochemistry and structural biology module covers protein expression, purification, structure solving, and characterization. The module is centered around the flavodoxin-like protein NrdI, involved in the activation of the bacterial ribonucleotide reductase enzyme system...
February 11, 2019: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Adele J Wolfson, Rodney Boyer
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 9, 2019: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Esra Açıkgül Fırat, Mustafa S Köksal
In this study, a 'biotechnology literacy test' was developed to determine the biotechnology literacy of prospective science teachers, and its validity and reliability were determined. For this purpose, 42 items were prepared by considering Bybee's scientific literacy classifications (nominal, functional, procedural, and multidimensional). The experts were asked to rate each item for content validity. As a result of the experts' evaluations, the content validity of the test was confirmed. The draft test was applied to 494 science prospective teachers...
February 8, 2019: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Ángel Luis García-Ponce, Beatriz Martínez-Poveda, Ángel Blanco-López, Miguel Ángel Medina, Ana R Quesada
The enzymatic determination of glucose in soft drinks, based on the glucose concentration measurement by means of the coupled reactions of glucose oxidase and peroxidase, has been implemented at the University of Malaga and optimized according to the Biochemistry and Chemistry undergraduate students' results and feedback throughout the last few years. This traditional and robust laboratory practical has been reformed, in the light of inquiry-based and interdisciplinary learning approaches, in order to optimize the students' formative achievements that now are not restricted to the learning of enzymology, but also integrates cross-curricular knowledge from chemistry and mathematics...
February 8, 2019: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Shelley A Phelan, Elizabeth Szabo
This sequence of labs was developed for an upper level undergraduate cell biology course at Fairfield University. The labs are based on the use of the K562 human erythroleukemia cell line, a model system that is exceptionally amenable to an undergraduate cell biology lab course due to its ease of maintenance and propagation and usefulness for studies of growth, death, and differentiation. The sequence of labs is conducted over a 6-week period, following a series of weekly cell biology labs covering basic cell and molecular biology techniques...
February 6, 2019: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Furong Gao, Jiao Li, Jie Xu, Song Jia, Lei Xu, Siguang Li, Guo-Tong Xu, Lixia Lu
Recently, Chinese medical education has exhibited a shifting trend from teacher-centered instruction to student-centered learning, which usually includes a self-directed learning process. Providing students with high-quality and appropriate supplemental resources is necessary for their self-directed learning. This study aimed to investigate the appropriateness of AccessMedicine, an online medical resource, for first-year medical students at Tongji University in China. In the randomized controlled trial, 42 students were stratified by gender and grade point average (GPA) and randomly assigned to either the control group or AccessMedicine group...
February 6, 2019: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Li Jiao, Li Xueli, Shi Xiujuan, Jia Song, Xu Jie, Lv Lixia, Yang Wenzhuo, Xu Lei
For medical students, we combine the laboratory practice with clinical applications by developing biochemical and molecular biology experiments. In this experiment, students first collect their own buccal epithelial cells by a noninvasive mouthwash method. Then, they extract genomic DNA and perform polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) gene using genomic DNA as a template. Finally, the polymorphism of ACE gene is observed by electrophoresis. Students not only learn the techniques but also acquire knowledge of the ACE gene polymorphism...
January 29, 2019: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Kevin T Militello, Josephine A Reinhardt
Next generation sequencing has revolutionized molecular biology and has provided a mechanism for rapid DNA and RNA sequence analysis. Yet, there are few resources to introduce next generation sequencing into the undergraduate biochemistry and molecular biology curriculum. Herein, we describe the design, execution, and assessment of a four-week laboratory for junior and senior undergraduate students that focuses on bacterial gene expression changes detected by RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). In the laboratory, students analyze a bacterial RNA-seq dataset in detail and answer questions relating to the impact of DNA methylation on bacterial gene expression...
January 25, 2019: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Babak Khorsand, Anahita Khammari, Niloofar Shirvanizadeh, Javad Zahiri, Seyed Shahriar Arab
Today smartphones are inseparable parts of modern life and are capable of performing many desktop computers' tasks such as scientific analysis with greater convenience. Here, we present OligoCOOL, which is an Android application for analyzing nucleic sequences. This application enables users to perform several common biomedical analyses for a given nucleotide sequence. OligoCOOL is a freely accessible Android app at, which can be a suitable tool for the experimental design in the laboratories...
January 25, 2019: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Ola Nordqvist, Henrik Aronsson
This manuscript presents a scoping review of Biotechnology Education Research (BTER) over the last 20 years. BTER during this period primarily focused on attitudes and knowledge, typically using research design methods suitable for addressing questions about frequencies, central tendencies, correlations, and so on. However, to guide the development of educational practices that will increase and sustain students' motivation and interest in science in general and biotechnology in particular, BTER will need to adopt research design methods that support the inference of causal relationships from observations...
January 25, 2019: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Jay N Pieczynski, Amber Deets, Alexis McDuffee, H Lynn Kee
Undergraduates learn that gene editing in diverse organisms is now possible. How targeted manipulation of genes and genomes is utilized in basic science and biomedicine to address biological questions is challenging for undergraduates to conceptualize. Thus, we developed a lab experience that would allow students to be actively engaged in the full process of design, implementation of a gene editing strategy, and interpretation of results within an 8-week lab period of a Genetics course. The laboratory experience combines two transformative biotechnology tools; the utilization of green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a diagnostic marker of gene expression and the fundamentals and specificity of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats-cas9 (CRISPR-cas9) gene editing in bacterial cells...
January 21, 2019: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Lorna Dsilva, Shubhi Mittal, Brian Koepnick, Jeff Flatten, Seth Cooper, Scott Horowitz
The computer game Foldit is currently widely used as a biology and biochemistry teaching aid. Herein, we introduce a new feature of Foldit called "custom contests" that allows educators to create puzzles that fit their curriculum. The effectiveness of the custom contests is demonstrated by the use of five distinct custom contests in an upper-level biochemistry class. The new custom contest feature can be implemented in classes ranging from middle school to graduate school to enable educators to best complement their current curriculum...
January 14, 2019: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Fuad Ameen
Microbiology as an academic discipline that does not have a long history, but the knowledge accumulated over the past three centuries is rather considerable, and courses in microbiology are commonly taught in colleges and universities throughout the world. In this article, many of the methods that can be used for teaching microbiology in a classroom and laboratory are discussed. In brief, these methods are limited only by the basic technical facilities to which one has access as well as one's own imagination and creativity...
January 12, 2019: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Amira Adlin Roslan, Saad Tayyab
A laboratory exercise on the interaction between the herbicide pendimethalin (PM) and goat serum albumin (GSA), a carrier protein present in mammalian blood circulation, is described. Fluorescence spectroscopy was used to study the binding reaction between PM and GSA. Titration of a constant amount of the protein (GSA) with increasing ligand (PM) concentrations produced a consecutive decrease in the protein's fluorescence. Treatment of the fluorescence quenching data according to the Stern-Volmer equation yielded the values of the Stern-Volmer constant (Ksv ) and bimolecular quenching rate constant (kq ), whereas values of the binding constant (Ka ) and number of binding sites (n) were obtained from the double logarithmic plot...
January 10, 2019: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Andreas Hofmann, Megan Cross, Malte A Karow, Jan H Straub, Christoph S Clemen, Ludwig Eichinger
The Java software jBar consists of a graphical user interface that allows the user to customize and assemble an included script for R. The scripted R pipeline calculates means and standard errors/deviations for replicates of numerical bivariate data and generates presentations in the form of bar graphs. A two-sided Student's t test is carried out against a user-selected reference and p-values are calculated. The user can enter the data conveniently through the built-in spreadsheet and configure the R pipeline in the graphical user interface...
January 10, 2019: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Daniel D Clark
A homologous pair of stereospecific NAD-dependent enzymes, (R)- and (S)-hydroxypropyl-coenzyme M dehydrogenase, are part of a bacterial pathway of short-chain alkene and epoxide metabolism. Their discovery and study, which spans multiple publications over more than a decade, is a data rich story that combines both classical and contemporary experimental biochemistry. A subset of the data for characterization of the recombinant enzymes was used as a case study to augment the teaching of enzyme kinetics and stereoselectivity in an undergraduate biochemistry course at California State University-Chico...
December 28, 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Gonzalo A Carrasco, Kathryn C Behling, Osvaldo J Lopez
We developed a hands-on course in molecular biology for undergraduate underrepresented in medicine (URM) students. To incentivize student preparation for team-based learning (TBL) activities, we implemented a novel grading schema that requires a minimum individual readiness assurance test (iRAT) score to share the team group readiness assurance test (gRAT) score. Fifty-one students participated in this 2-year study and were divided in teams of five or six students that worked throughout the course on a unique, hands-on project and also participated in TBL exercises...
December 27, 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Derek T McLachlin
This song alludes to the main sources of stored energy used by the brain in an extended fasting situation: first glycogen, then proteins (broken down to provide starting material for gluconeogenesis), then fatty acids. Notably for the song, because the brain does not directly take up fatty acids, the liver converts fatty acids to ketone bodies, which are then released into the bloodstream for the brain's benefit. The brain can absorb ketone bodies and convert them to acetyl-CoA, allowing ATP production through the Kreb's cycle and oxidative phosphorylation...
December 27, 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
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