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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...
    Lesson
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    64

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    Understanding the Importance of Microtubules in Normal Cell Division: Chemotherapy Connection
    In introductory courses, students learn about microtubules as important structures but may not engage in a hands-on experience to localize microtubules themselves or to learn about their connection to cancer treatment. In this lesson, students...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    SCIENCE/Fiction: Modular Template for Class Design
    We present a modular scaffold for designing an introductory seminar using speculative fiction and science papers to welcome university undergraduates to the biology major. A list of twelve possible topics is included, such as Memory, Parasites,...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    Fostering Student to Student Collaboration Across Institutions in a Protein Centric CURE
    Collaboration is an essential component of research because it allows scientists to share expertise and tackle difficult scientific questions. While many undergraduate science courses include inquiry-based or authentic research projects,...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
    1869

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    An Interactive Protocol for In-Classroom DNA Extraction
    Using commonly available materials, this tool allows students to extract DNA, exploring DNA chemistry and the principles of experimental design and execution. We take a “Choose Your Own Adventure” approach encouraging students to...
    Lesson
    869

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    91

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    My Fish Tank: An Active Learning Activity for Bacterial Nitrogen Metabolism
    This active learning activity introduces students to the second part of the nitrogen cycle, nitrification. In terrestrial and aquatic environments, bacteria from the Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter genera oxidize ammonia first to nitrite (via a...
    Lesson
    3426

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    203

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    Fragile States: A Case Study Exploring Genetics, Molecular Biology, and Biochemistry Through the Lens of Fragile X Syndrome
    This case aims to strengthen students’ understanding of molecular biology concepts through study of Fragile X Syndrome (FXS). Students begin by learning the cause and phenotypes of FXS and related conditions. Students then apply genetics...
    Lesson
    1729

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    442

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    A Simple Method for Predicting a Molecule's Biological Properties From Its Polarity
    The distinction between very polar and less polar substances is a foundation of biochemistry, cell biology, and physiology; it surfaces in multiple concept inventories and elaborations of biological core concepts. However, in our experience, most...
    Lesson
    3253

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    218

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    Bringing Pasteur Back to Life: Studying the Biochemistry of Yeast Fermentation Through Discussion Groups and an At-Home Lab
    This hands-on, student-centered biochemistry lesson introduces beginner biochemistry students to the techniques of effectively reading and discussing primary literature, identifying fundamental biological concepts, and applying that knowledge to...
    Lesson
    1436

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    338

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    How to Find a Gene: Retrieving Information From Gene Databases
    A strong understanding of distinct gene components and the ability to retrieve relevant information from gene databases are necessary to answer a diverse set of biological questions. However, often there is a considerable gap between...
    Lesson
    2577

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    447

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    An Original-Design Board Game to Increase Student Comprehension of Cellular Respiration Pathways
    Cellular respiration is a daunting topic for many students in introductory biology courses. Students are challenged at conceptual and factual levels, since instruction covers multiple metabolic pathways occurring across different cellular...
    Lesson
    2396

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    176

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    Advancing Global Learning Through a Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) Module on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs)
    An increasingly interconnected world presents opportunities for globally relevant curricula in the classroom. Implementing collaborative online international learning (COIL) modules within medium-sized courses can take advantage of this...
    Lesson
    3216

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    219

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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...
    Lesson
    3472

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    186

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    Isolation and Functional Analysis of a Pancreatic Enzyme in an Introductory Student Lab
    Structure and function are correlated at all levels of biology. This topic is typically addressed early in an undergraduate class in general or molecular biology before students have gained much skill or knowledge in molecular biology. However, an...
    Lesson
    3088

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    248

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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...
    Lesson
    1917

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    365

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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...
    Review
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    184

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    Workshop Report: Summer 2020 Virtual CRISPR in the Classroom
    As innovations and developments in genome editing technologies using CRISPR-Cas systems progress, the need to disseminate relevant knowledge and build skills among the next generation of young scientists in undergraduate classrooms is vital. Our...
    Lesson
    2122

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    Sequences and Properties of Gluten Proteins From Different Grains: A Virtual-Friendly Protein Laboratory
    The COVID-19 pandemic has forced much university instruction into virtual modes. As a result, many laboratory courses have either dropped content altogether or replaced hands-on activities with simulations and “dry” labs. Our goal was...
    Lesson
    3308

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    Splicing it Together: Using Primary Data to Explore RNA Splicing and Gene Expression in Large-Lecture Introductory Biology
    At the heart of scientific ways of knowing is the systematic collection and analysis of data, which is then used to propose an explanation of how the world works. In this two-day module, students in a large-lecture course are immersed in a...
    Lesson
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    Electron Location, Location, Location: Understanding Biological Interactions
    Introductory Biology courses typically introduce the structure and function of biomolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids. To understand biomolecules fully, students require knowledge of fundamental chemistry concepts such as covalent...