Using Undergraduate Molecular Biology Labs to Discover Targets of miRNAs in Humans
By Adam Idica, Jordan Thompson, Irene Munk Pedersen, and Pavan Kadandale
This resource is an easily adaptable lab module that can be used in existing undergraduate molecular biology lab courses to conduct authentic scientific research. Students use a variety of databases to identify likely candidate genes whose expression may be altered by a given miR, and then experimentally test their predictions in human cells. This inquiry-based module gives students a taste of real scientific research and excites them about the possibility that, even as a student, they have the potential to contribute to this cutting edge research.
This module was used in a large enrollment (100 students per quarter), upper division molecular biology lab course. The students meet for a common lecture by the instructor, and then are split into 5 lab sections of twenty students each. Each lab section is run by a graduate student TA, and the students work through the activities of the lab module in pairs. However, the module is easily adapted to a number of different contexts, since the technical complexity of the activities is not very high.
Idica, A., Thompson, J., Pedersen, I. M., Kadandale, P. (2019). Using Undergraduate Molecular Biology Labs to Discover Targets of miRNAs in Humans. Network for Integrating Bioinformatics into Life Sciences Education, QUBES Educational Resources. doi:10.25334/Q4XM9B