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    The Great Petunia Carnage of 2017: A Clicker Case Study Using Petunias to Describe the Effect of Genetic Modification on the Biochemistry of Flower Color and Phenotype in Plants
    In this single class period case study, students examine the difference between genotype and phenotype by studying the mechanisms by which commercially available petunias have been bred to have different phenotypes (flower colors). Students review...
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    Using Raw Sequence Data to Analyze Tumor Suppressor Mutations
    Learning to identify DNA sequence variants from raw sequencing data (electropherograms) is a basic molecular biology skill with applications to basic research and clinical practice. Yet learning to map DNA sequence variants to functional regions...
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    Student-Generated Analogies for Learning about Information Flow
    Using analogies is a standard practice for both teaching and communicating ideas in science. Here we upend the traditional lesson, where the instructor provides a fully constructed analogy and explains it, by having the students develop a complex...
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    Garden Variety Mutations: Using Primary Data to Understand the Central Dogma in Large-Lecture Introductory Biology
    The ability to interpret and create an argument from data is a crucial skill for budding scientists, yet one that is seldom practiced in introductory courses. During this argumentation module, students in a large lecture class will work in groups...
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    A Muscular Dystrophy Case Study Illustrating the Phenotypic Effects of Mutation
    Mutations in genes can lead to a variety of phenotypes, including various human diseases. Students often understand that a particular mutation in a single gene causes a disease phenotype, but it is more challenging to illustrate complex genetic...
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    Application of a Bacterial Experimental Evolution System to Visualize and Teach Evolution in Action: A Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience
    Concepts of evolution are typically taught through examples of extremely long timescales, which do not always resonate broadly. Here, we describe a course-based undergraduate research experience tailored for junior and senior undergraduate biology...
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    Metastatic Mastery: A Case and Game-Based Approach to Learning About Cancer Mechanisms
    Mechanisms that contribute to the development of cancer are numerous and complicated, though most can be traced to a set of mutations in cell cycle regulatory genes that throw the process of cell division off balance. Communication of these...
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    Escape Zoom!: Reviewing Introductory Evolution Content Using an Escape Room Format
    Reviewing and integrating key concepts and learning goals at the end of a biology course can be overwhelming to students and instructors alike. Often end-of-term review sessions in preparation for final exams are heavily based on memorization, and...
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    Teaching the Central Dogma Using a Case Study of Genetic Variation in Cystic Fibrosis
    The central dogma of biology is a foundational concept that is traditionally included in genetics curricula at all academic levels. Despite its ubiquitous presence throughout genetics education, students persistently struggle with both the...

    Courses: GeneticsGenetics

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    Follow the Sulfur: Using Yeast Mutants to Study a Metabolic Pathway
    Students are frequently overwhelmed by the complexity of metabolic pathways and they think they have "learned" the pathway when they have memorized the individual reactions.  This laboratory lesson helps students to understand the...
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    Mapping a Mutation to its Gene: The "Fly Lab" as a Modern Research Experience
    Although genetics is an invaluable part of the undergraduate biology curriculum, it can be intimidating to students as well as instructors: Students must reduce their reliance on memorization and dive deep into quantitative analysis, and...
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    A CRISPR/Cas Guide RNA Design In Silico Activity
    CRISPR biotechnologies inspired by the Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat RNA-guided nuclease adaptive bacterial immune system have revolutionized biology research and become ubiquitous tools for hypothesis and...
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    My Dog IS My Homework: Exploring Canine Genetics to Understand Genotype-Phenotype Relationships
    To facilitate understanding of the fundamental genetic concept of the genotype-phenotype relationship in our introductory biology students, we designed an engaging multi-week series of related lessons about canine genetics in which students...
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    Discovering Prokaryotic Gene Regulation with Simulations of the trp Operon
    The trp operon exemplifies important biological concepts, including the central dogma of molecular biology, feedback inhibition, and gene regulation. For this reason, regulation of the trp operon is a common theme in introductory biology,...
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    GMC: Genes, Mutations and Cancer - Group Concept Map Development
    It has been shown that active learning strategies used in the classroom can increase student learning and retention of information. We generated an active learning exercise that can be used in the classroom to explore the relationship between...
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    Linking Genotype to Phenotype: The Effect of a Mutation in Gibberellic Acid Production on Plant Germination
    Basic concepts in genetics and plant development are often taught in lecture courses without a lab component. This approach provides students with the content knowledge, but fails to make connections to research opportunities and real-world...
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    A clicker-based case study that untangles student thinking about the processes in the central dogma
    The central dogma of biology is a foundational concept that provides a scaffold to understand how genetic information flows in biological systems. Despite its importance, undergraduate students often poorly understand central dogma processes (DNA...
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    Predicting and classifying effects of insertion and deletion mutations on protein coding regions
    Mutations in genes can affect the encoded proteins in multiple ways, and some of these effects are counterintuitive. As for any other knowledge, students must create their own deep understanding of the Central Dogma. Students may not develop this...
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    Using computational molecular modeling software to demonstrate how DNA mutations cause phenotypes
    Students require a deep understanding of the central dogma before they can understand complex topics such as evolution and biochemical disorders. However, getting undergraduate biology students to apply higher-order thinking skills to the central...
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    Using Synthetic Biology and pClone Red for Authentic Research on Promoter Function: Genetics (analyzing mutant promoters)
    Students often memorize the definition of a transcriptional promoter but fail to fully understand the critical role promoters play in gene expression.  This laboratory lesson allows students to conduct original research by characterizing...