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    Investigating Gene Expression and Cell Specialization in Axolotl Embryos
    The process of cell specialization is critical to the formation and function of tissues in animals and plants. Although gene expression, including the regulation of transcription, is taught in most introductory cell biology courses, the...
    Lesson
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    To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate
    To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is the question. Much of the recent trend in society against vaccination is that the general population does not understand 1) how vaccines work and 2) how one's vaccination status can influence others....
    Lesson
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    Using Immunocytochemistry and Fluorescence Microscopy Imaging to Explore the Mechanism of Action of Anti-Cancer Drugs on the Cell Cycle
    Understanding and visualizing the cell cycle and mitosis is an essential concept of cell biology. This multi-week lab module has students investigate the mechanism of action of anti-cancer drugs that disrupt activities associated with mitosis and...
    Lesson
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    Vitamin C for Colds? Writing LETTERS to Synthesize and Communicate Results from Multiple Studies
    Interpreting experimental results is a key part of evidence-based reasoning. However, it is challenging for students to synthesize data from multiple sources to reach their own conclusions. As experimental design is increasingly emphasized in...
    Lesson
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    Teaching Biodiversity with Museum Specimens in an Inquiry-Based Lab
    In response to the growth of biology datasets and broad efforts to digitize data, an increasingly important skill for science students is the management and analysis of large datasets. We designed an inquiry-based lab module to introduce students...
    Lesson
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    Using Gamification to Teach Undergraduate Students about Scientific Writing
    Despite its importance, scientific writing is often deprioritized in undergraduate biology classes. Reasons include assumed prior knowledge, lack of class time, tedious grading, and the complexity and challenges associated with quality writing. To...
    Lesson
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    Fruit Fly Genetics in a Day: A Guided Exploration to Help Many Large Sections of Beginning Students Uncover the Secrets of Sex-linked Inheritance
    Moving beyond the basic concepts of autosomal Mendelian inheritance to sex-linkage can be difficult for introductory biology students. Although crosses with Drosophila fruit flies have long been a mainstay of genetics units that teach these...

    Courses: GeneticsGenetics

    Lesson
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    The Avocado Lab: An Inquiry-Driven Exploration of an Enzymatic Browning Reaction
    Typical biochemistry labs exploring basic enzyme activity rely on costly, time-consuming protein purification and rarely explore enzyme function in situ. Further, complex purification procedures leave little room for novelty in experimental...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    DNA Detective: Genotype to Phenotype. A Bioinformatics Workshop for Middle School to College.
    Advances in high-throughput techniques have resulted in a rising demand for scientists with basic bioinformatics skills as well as workshops and curricula that teach students bioinformatics concepts. DNA Detective is a workshop we designed to...
    Lesson
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    Using CRISPR-Cas9 to teach the fundamentals of molecular biology and experimental design
    One of the challenges of inquiry-based research experiences is balancing the instruction on skills and techniques with data generation and analysis. This is especially true in technique heavy disciplines such as molecular biology, where emphasis...
    Lesson
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    Visits to the writing center and office hours provide students structured reflection and low-stakes feedback on scientific writing in an Introductory Biology course
    Effective written communication of scientific concepts is a critical, but difficult skill for undergraduate STEM majors to acquire. Oftentimes, the grades of lab reports are negatively impacted by sentence structure and the failure to adhere to...
    Lesson
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    Gotcha! Which fly trap is the best? An introduction to experimental data collection and analysis
    Collecting data from experimental observations is an important component of the scientific process; likewise, the analysis of the data is essential to understanding the observed trends and patterns from any experiment. Allowing students to...
    Lesson
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    Differential Gene Expression during Xenopus laevis Development
    In Developmental Biology classes, students are challenged with understanding how differential gene expression guides embryonic development. It can be difficult for students to realize that genes need to be turned on or off at the right time and...
    Science Behind the Lesson
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    The Science Behind the ACTN3 Polymorphism
    A common polymorphism in the alpha-actinin-3 (ACTN3) gene results in the lack of ACTN3 protein expression in fast twitch muscle fibers in ~16% of the human population (1). This genetic change has been linked with muscle performance in humans (2)...
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    The ACTN3 Polymorphism: Applications in Genetics and Physiology Teaching Laboratories
    Inquiry-based undergraduate laboratories provide the opportunity to engage students in a research experience that improves scientific thinking, but such activities can be difficult to develop and implement due to limited time and resources. We...
    Lesson
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    A CURE-based approach to teaching genomics using mitochondrial genomes
    There is an abundance (currently over 1016 DNA bases) of publicly available genetic sequence data and a dearth of trained genomicists to process and interpret it, necessitating more trained bioinformaticians with biological expertise. For...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    The Pipeline CURE: An Iterative Approach to Introduce All Students to Research Throughout a Biology Curriculum
    Participation in research provides personal and professional benefits for undergraduates. However, some students face institutional barriers that prevent their entry into research, particularly those from underrepresented groups who may stand to...
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    Training future faculty in 30 minutes a week: A modular framework to provide just-in-time professional development to graduate teaching assistants
    Despite increasing recognition of the need to train the teaching assistants (TAs) teaching the majority of STEM lab sections, very few programs report offering sustained teaching professional development opportunities. Here we present a year-long,...
    Lesson
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    A Short Laboratory Module to Help Infuse Metacognition during an Introductory Course-based Research Experience
    A core competency identified in Vision and Change for undergraduate biology students is the Ability to Apply the Process of Science. Here, we describe a three-week laboratory module for students in an Introductory Cell and Molecular Biology...
    Lesson
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    CRISPR/Cas9 in yeast: a multi-week laboratory exercise for undergraduate students
    Providing undergraduate life-science students with a course-based research experience that utilizes cutting-edge technology, is tractable for students, and is manageable as an instructor is a challenge. Here, I describe a multi-week lesson plan...