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    Lesson
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    Sequence Similarity: An inquiry based and "under the hood" approach for incorporating molecular sequence alignment in introductory undergraduate biology courses
    Introductory bioinformatics exercises often walk students through the use of computational tools, but often provide little understanding of what a computational tool does "under the hood." A solid understanding of how a bioinformatics...
    BLAST multiple sequence alignment phylogram Zika virus Algorithm Scoring Matrix
    Lesson
    302

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    177

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    A Close-Up Look at PCR
    The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a fundamental laboratory technique that allows for the amplification of many copies of a desired DNA target sequence. Despite its prevalence, undergraduate students often have poor comprehension about the...
    PCR DNA replication
    Lesson
    4980

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    207

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    Investigating Cell Signaling with Gene Expression Datasets
    Modern molecular biology is a data- and computationally-intensive field with few instructional resources for introducing undergraduate students to the requisite skills and techniques for analyzing large data sets. This Lesson helps students: (i)...
    genomics transcription signaling
    Lesson
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    143

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    The Leaky Neuron: Understanding synaptic integration using an analogy involving leaky cups
    Students have difficulty understanding synaptic integration in neural circuits, and how spatial and temporal summation combine in a target neuron to reach threshold.  This Lesson uses small cups of water to represent excitatory postsynaptic...

    Courses: NeurobiologyNeurobiology

    neuron physiology spatial summation synaptic integration temporal summation threshold
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    30

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    How to Design a Classroom Activity that Integrates 3D Print Models with Active Learning
    Student exploration of relevant physical models can deepen knowledge of course material. In this guide we describe a method by which instructors can integrate 3D printing technology with an established teaching strategy, the classroom jigsaw, to...
    active learning 3D print models classroom jigsaw
    Lesson
    1161

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    200

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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,...
    prokaryotes gene regulation attenuation feedback inhibition repressible operon trp operon
    Lesson
    1720

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    197

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    Using Place-Based Economically Relevant Organisms to Improve Student Understanding of the Roles of Carbon Dioxide, Sunlight, and Nutrients in Photosynthetic Organisms
    Biology students require broad preparation for diverse careers including agriculture, natural resource management, and laboratory research. Concurrent with this need, employers are seeking applicants who have the scientific skills that allow them...
    energy photosynthesis biomass
    Lesson
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    165

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    Understanding Protein Domains: A Modular Approach
    An understanding of protein structure, function, and interaction is central to biochemistry. One angle into this topic is to engage students in considering protein domains as modules that develop form and execute function semi-independently. Here,...
    Protein Structure
    Lesson
    1085

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    691

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    Building Trees: Introducing evolutionary concepts by exploring Crassulaceae phylogeny and biogeography
    Teaching evolutionary theory is foundational for all biological sciences and a key aspect of overall science literacy. The conceptual framework for understanding evolution relies on thinking clearly about evolutionary trees (phylogenetics) and how...
    Evolution phylogenetics Tree thinking biogeography
    Lesson
    979

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    263

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    A simple way for students to visualize cellular respiration: adapting the board game MousetrapTM to model complexity
    Lecture-based introductory biology courses are typically content-heavy as instructors strive to provide students with foundational knowledge in a broad range of topics.  One topic traditionally covered is cellular respiration, the series of...
    ATP Glycolysis Cellular Respiration Electron Transport Chain Krebs Cycle
    Lesson
    1286

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    435

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    Meiosis: A Play in Three Acts, Starring DNA Sequence
    Meiosis is well known for being a sticky topic that appears repeatedly in biology curricula. We observe that a typical undergraduate biology major cannot correctly identify haploid and diploid cells or explain how and why chromosomes pair before...
    recombination meiosis DNA sequence Crossingover chromosome structure Holliday junction homology
    Lesson
    908

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    203

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    Discovering Cellular Respiration with Computational Modeling and Simulations
    Cellular respiration, a common topic among introductory and cellular biology curricula, is a complex biological process that exemplifies core biological concepts, including systems, pathways and transformation of energy, and structure and function...
    Cellular Mechanisms Cellular Respiration Fermentation
    Lesson
    1859

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    574

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    An active-learning lesson that targets student understanding of population growth in ecology
    Effective teaching and learning of population ecology requires integration of quantitative literacy skills. To facilitate student learning in population ecology and provide students with the opportunity to develop and apply quantitative skills, we...
    population growth exponential growth logistic growth population ecology growth rate Density Abundance carrying capacity linear growth
    Lesson
    299

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    156

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    Promoting Climate Change Literacy for Non-majors: Implementation of an atmospheric carbon dioxide modeling activity as an inquiry-based classroom activity
    Students who are directly involved in scientific activities develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of both scientific knowledge and the scientific process. This understanding is critically important in scientific areas like climate change...
    modeling Excel quantitative climate change Environmental Biology atmospheric carbon dioxide
    Lesson
    384

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    221

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    Grow the Gradient: An interactive countercurrent multiplier game
    The countercurrent multiplier of the loop of Henle in a mammalian kidney is a challenging concept for instructors to teach and for students to learn. We developed an interactive game to support student learning of this dynamic process with a team...
    countercurrent multiplier excretory system kidney loop of Henle membrane transport