1887

Engaging Students in a Bioinformatics Activity to Introduce Gene Structure and Function

    Author: Barbara J. May1
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN 56321
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 06 May 2013
    • Supplemental materials available at http://jmbe.asm.org
    • Corresponding author. Mailing address: Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, PO Box 3000, Collegeville, MN 56321. Phone: 320-363-3173. Fax: 320-363-3202. E-mail: bmay@csbsju.edu.
    • ©2013 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2013 vol. 14 no. 1 107-109. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v14i1.496
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    Abstract:

    Bioinformatics spans many fields of biological research and plays a vital role in mining and analyzing data. Therefore, there is an ever-increasing need for students to understand not only what can be learned from this data, but also how to use basic bioinformatics tools. This activity is designed to provide secondary and undergraduate biology students to a hands-on activity meant to explore and understand gene structure with the use of basic bioinformatic tools. Students are provided an “unknown” sequence from which they are asked to use a free online gene finder program to identify the gene. Students then predict the putative function of this gene with the use of additional online databases.

Key Concept Ranking

Gene Expression and Regulation
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Transcription Start Site
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References & Citations

1. American Association for the Advancement of Science 2009 Vision and change in undergraduate biology education: a call to action American Association for the Advancement of Science Washing ton DC http://visionandchange.org/files/2011/03/VC-Brochure-V6-3.pdf.
2. Committee on Conceptual Framework for the New K-12 Science Education Standards and the National Research Council 2012 A framework for K-12 science education: practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas The National Academies Press Washington, DC http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13165.
3. Donovan MS, Bransford JD 2005 How students learn: science in the classroom The National Academies Press Washington, DC http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11102.
4. Kerfeld CA, Scott KM 2011 Using BLAST to teach E-value-tionary PloS Biol. 9. PLoSBiol 9 e1001014 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001014 http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1001014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001014
5. Kerfeld CA, Simons RW 2007 The undergraduate genomics research initiative PloS Biol. 5 PLoSBiol 5 e141 10.1371/journal.pbio.0050141 http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.0050141. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0050141
6. Keseler IM, et al 2011 EcoCyc: a comprehensive database of Escherichia colibiology Nucleic Acids Res 39 D583 D590 10.1093/nar/gkq1143 3013716 http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkq1143
7. Rutherford K, et al 2000 Artemis: sequence visualization and annotation Bioinformatics 16 944 945 10.1093/bioinformatics/16.10.944 11120685 http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/16.10.944
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v14i1.496
2013-05-06
2017-11-21

Abstract:

Bioinformatics spans many fields of biological research and plays a vital role in mining and analyzing data. Therefore, there is an ever-increasing need for students to understand not only what can be learned from this data, but also how to use basic bioinformatics tools. This activity is designed to provide secondary and undergraduate biology students to a hands-on activity meant to explore and understand gene structure with the use of basic bioinformatic tools. Students are provided an “unknown” sequence from which they are asked to use a free online gene finder program to identify the gene. Students then predict the putative function of this gene with the use of additional online databases.

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Figures

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FIGURE 1

Upper-level microbiology class evaluation of the bioinformatics activity.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2013 vol. 14 no. 1 107-109. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v14i1.496
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FIGURE 2

Learning gains by students upon completion of the bioinformatics activity. Complete questions are provided in Appendix 4 .

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2013 vol. 14 no. 1 107-109. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v14i1.496
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