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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education

Jianghong Yan, Shupeng Hu, Xiudan Xu, Dezhang Zhao, Mingjun Wu, Suxin Luo, Yong Xia
Medical laboratory technology major was set up to meet rapid development of science and medical research technology in 2013. Students majoring in medical laboratory had learnt a lot of techniques distributed among different specialized courses. But, they did not understand why they had to learn these techniques and how they were applied in a real-world research setting. In a one-month innovation experimental practice described herein, students had learnt to induce, purify and identify an unknown glycoprotein from whole cell lysate using conA-based affinity chromatography and mass spectrometry...
July 10, 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Sabine Reißer, Sebastian Prock, Hartmut Heinzmann, Anne S Ulrich
Protein ORIGAMI ( is a browser-based web application that allows the user to create straightforward 3D paper models of folded peptides for research, teaching and presentations. An amino acid sequence can be turned into α-helices, β-strands and random coils that can be printed out and folded into properly scaled models, with a color code denoting the biophysical characteristics of each amino acid residue (hydrophobicity, charge, etc.). These models provide an intuitive visual and tactile understanding of peptide interactions with other partners, such as helix-helix assembly, oligomerization, membrane binding, or pore formation...
July 8, 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Allison M Mercer, Jennifer E Lewis, Susan Sutheimer, Adele J Wolfson
Personal interviews were conducted with biochemistry faculty during which they were presented with student performances on a content survey. From these interviews, four themes that reflect faculty responses to the surveys emerged: awareness of student understanding, self-reflection on teaching practice, planned collaboration with colleagues, and emotional reactions. Here, we discuss these themes and their implications for creating conversation designed to promote reflection on biochemistry teaching. © 2018 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2018...
July 8, 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Lara K Goudsouzian, Patricia Riola, Karen Ruggles, Pranshu Gupta, Michelle A Mondoux
Multiple pedagogical approaches, such as experimental experiences or computer-based activities, have been shown to increase student learning and engagement. We have developed a laboratory module that includes both a traditional "live" experimental component and a student-designed "virtual" computer simulation component. This laboratory employs the mating pathway of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast) to demonstrate four fundamental cell and molecular biology concepts: cell signaling, cytoskeleton, cell cycle, and cell cycle checkpoints...
July 8, 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Paul A Craig
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 6, 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Charlene Williams, Susan Perlis, John Gaughan, Sangita Phadtare
Learner-centered pedagogical methods that are based on clinical application of basic science concepts through active learning and problem solving are shown to be effective for improving knowledge retention. As the clinical relevance of biochemistry is not always apparent to health-profession students, effective teaching of medical biochemistry should highlight the implications of biochemical concepts in pathology, minimize memorization, and make the concepts memorable for long-term retention. Here, we report the creation and successful implementation of a flipped jigsaw activity that was developed to stimulate interest in learning biochemistry among medical students...
May 6, 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Abdul A N Saqib, Khawar S Siddiqui
Determination of thermostability of enzymes is of prime importance for their successful industrial applications and, yet, the published data has often been incompletely analyzed to assess the suitability of enzymes. It is possible to determine meaningful thermostability parameters from the routinely acquired data through a straightforward method that is not only more informative but also provides a means to compare thermostability of enzymes from different sources. Here, we describe a simple, effective, and economical way to determine enzyme thermostability...
May 2, 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Shanshan Sha, Liqiu Jia, Yi Xin, Weili Yao, Yufang Ma
Here, we developed an integrated course based on two dimensional-electrophoresis and spectrometry mass (2DE-MS) technique for undergraduate students to help them learn proteomic techniques. The soluble proteins in wild type and gene knockout bacteria were separated by 2DE and the differently expressed proteins were identified by MS analysis. The proteomic data was finally confirmed by RT-PCR detection. The separated experiments of 2DE, MS, RNA isolation, RT-PCR, as well as essential bioinformatic analysis, were integrated into a one-week course, which provided students an opportunity to systematically understand the proteomic techniques and their applications in current scientific research...
May 2, 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
João H P M Santos, Emanuel V Capela, Isabel Boal-Palheiros, João A P Coutinho, Mara G Freire, Sónia P M Ventura
Aqueous biphasic systems (ABS) composed of polypropylene glycol and carbohydrates, two benign substances are proposed to separate two food colorants (E122 and E133). ABS are promising extractive platforms, particularly for biomolecules, due to their aqueous and mild nature (pH and temperature), reduced environmental impact and processing costs. Another major aspect considered, particularly useful in downstream processing, is the "tuning" ability for the extraction and purification of these systems by a proper choice of the ABS components...
April 25, 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Allan Ayella, Moriah R Beck
There is a growing movement to involve undergraduate students in authentic research experiences. A variety of studies have indicated the strength of this approach in developing scientific aptitude, confidence, critical thinking skills, and increasing the likelihood to become career scientists. Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) foster opportunities for students to carry out authentic research at both primarily undergraduate and large research institutions. Here, we describe a novel CURE-based biochemistry laboratory course to explore the consequences of mutagenesis of non-conserved amino acid sites in the structure and function of the lactate dehydrogenase enzyme and demonstrate how collaborations between institutions can facilitate real research experiences at any type of institution...
May 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Jeffrey A Lawton, Noelle A Prescott, Ping X Lawton
We have developed an integrated, project-oriented curriculum for undergraduate molecular biology and biochemistry laboratory courses spanning two semesters that is organized around the ldhA gene from the yogurt-fermenting bacterium Lactobacillus bulgaricus, which encodes the enzyme d-lactate dehydrogenase. The molecular biology module, which consists of nine experiments carried out over eleven sessions, begins with the isolation of genomic DNA from L. bulgaricus in yogurt and guides students through the process of cloning the ldhA gene into a prokaryotic expression vector, followed by mRNA isolation and characterization of recombinant gene expression levels using RT-PCR...
May 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Hong Seng Gan, Nicholas Yee Kwang Tee, Mohammad Raziun Bin Mamtaz, Kevin Xiao, Brandon Huey-Ping Cheong, Oi Wah Liew, Tuck Wah Ng
The appreciation and understanding of gas generation through processes is vital in biochemical education. In this work, an augmented reality tool is reported to depict the redox reaction between hydrogen peroxide and sodium hypochlorite solutions, two ubiquitous oxidizing agents, to create oxygen, a combustible gas. As it operates out of smartphones or tablets, students are able to conduct the exercise collaboratively, respond in a manner similar to an actual physical experiment, and able to depict the oxygen volume changes in relation to the volume of hydrogen peroxide of different concentrations used...
May 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Praveen Maurye, Arpita Basu, Jayanta Kumar Biswas, Tapas Kumar Bandyopadhyay, Malay Naskar
Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) is the most classical technique favored worldwide for resolution of macromolecules in many biochemistry laboratories due to its incessant advanced developments and wide modifications. These ever-growing advancements in the basic laboratory equipments lead to emergence of many expensive, complex, and tricky laboratory equipments. Practical courses of biochemistry at high school or undergraduate levels are often affected by these complications. Two dimensional gel electrophoresis technique (2D-PAGE) used for resolving thousands of proteins in a gel is a combination of isoelectric focusing (first dimension gel electrophoresis technique) and sodium-dodecylsulphate PAGE (second dimension gel electrophoresis technique or SDS-PAGE)...
May 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Jie Shen, Xiang Zhu, Kai Jin, Ya Li, YiTian Gu, Jiahong Huang, Yulan Qu, Xiaoyu Li
The development and evaluation of a 6-hours laboratory class, based on capillary electrophoresis (CE) and the detection of microbial contaminants, is described. It can be easily scaled up or down, to suit class sizes up to 188 and completed in a shorter time scale. CE uses narrow-bore fused-silica capillaries to separate a complex array of large and small molecules. A laboratory exercise has been devised to illustrate how CE-based genetic analysis system processes DNA fragment analysis to detect three microbial contaminants...
May 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Stephen R Burgin, Jennifer Oramous, Michael Kaminski, Linda Stocker, Mahmoud Moradi
Modeling is a practice of science that is underemphasized in biology classrooms in comparison to its central focus in the physical sciences. Visualizations of the submicroscopic world of molecules are becoming increasingly sophisticated with the evolution of new technologies. With this in mind, we introduced high school biology classrooms to a professional molecular modeling software program used by research biochemists to visualize proteins and other macromolecules. Analysis of surveys completed before and after the use of the program revealed significant student gains in their understandings of the nature of models...
May 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
William J Roesler, Kristine Dreaver-Charles
Successful learning of biochemistry requires students to engage with the material. In the past this often involved students writing out pathways by hand, and more recently directing students to online resources such as videos, songs, and animated slide presentations. However, even these latter resources do not really provide students an opportunity to engage with the material in an active fashion. As part of an online introductory metabolism course that was developed at our university, we created a series of twelve online interactive activities using Adobe Captivate 9...
May 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Rhianna K Pedwell, James A Fraser, Jack T H Wang, Jack K Clegg, Jy D Chartres, Susan L Rowland
Course-integrated Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) involve large numbers of students in real research. We describe a late-year microbiology CURE in which students use yeast to address a research question around beer brewing or synthesizing biofuel; the interdisciplinary student-designed project incorporates genetics, bioinformatics, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, and microbiology. Students perceived significant learning gains around multiple technical and "becoming a scientist" aspects of the project...
May 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Andres Fernandez-Reche, Eva S Cobos, Irene Luque, Javier Ruiz-Sanz, Jose C Martinez
In 1972 Christian B. Anfinsen received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "…his work on ribonuclease, especially concerning the connection between the amino acid sequence and the biologically active conformation." The understanding of this principle is crucial for physical biochemistry students, since protein folding studies, bio-computing sciences and protein design approaches are founded on such a well-demonstrated connection. Herein, we describe a detailed and easy-to-follow experiment to reproduce the most relevant assays carried out at Anfinsen's laboratory in the 60s...
May 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Nianhui Zhang, Dong Yu, Xiaofeng Zhu
The practice of RNA isolation in undergraduate experimental courses is rare because of the existence of robust, ubiquitous and stable ribonucleases. We reported here modifications to our original protocol for RNA isolation from plant tissues, including the recovery of nucleic acids by ethanol precipitation at 0 °C for 10 min and the assessment of RNA quality by visualizing the banding profile of the separated RNAs on a standard nondenaturing agarose gel to shorten the duration of the whole procedure and simplify the operation...
May 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Rabia Latif, Sadaf Mumtaz, Rafia Mumtaz, Aamir Hussain
Debate and role play for learning critical thinking and communication skills are being increasingly used in various undergraduate medical schools worldwide. We aim to compare students' views about effectiveness of two teaching strategies; debate and role play to exercise critical thinking and communication skills during problem-based learning (PBL). This is a comparative, cross-sectional, and questionnaire-based study. Our subjects were second year undergraduate female medical students enrolled in Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU), College of Medicine from September 2014-2016, divided into 10 small PBL groups (10-13 students/group/year)...
April 18, 2018: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
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