1887

Making Heads or Tails: Planarian Stem Cells in the Classroom

    Authors: Melissa C. Srougi1,*, Jackie Thomas-Swanik3, John D. Chan4, Jonathan S. Marchant4, Susan Carson1,2
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Biotechnology Program, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695; 2: Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695; 3: Wake Technical Community College, Raleigh, NC 27603; 4: Department of Pharmacology and The Stem Cell Institute, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN 55455
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 01 May 2014
    • Supplemental materials available at http://jmbe.asm.org
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Biotechnology Program, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695. Tel: 919-513-3155. Fax: 919-515-4231. E-mail: melissa_srougi@ncsu.edu.
    • ©2014 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2014 vol. 15 no. 1 18-25. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v15i1.692
MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.
  • HTML
    59.61 Kb
  • XML
  • PDF
    958.16 Kb

    Abstract:

    Stem cells hold great promise in the treatment of diseases ranging from cancer to dementia. However, as rapidly as the field of stem cell biology has emerged, heated political debate has followed, scrutinizing the ethical implications of stem cell use. It is therefore imperative to promote scientific literacy by educating students about stem cell biology. Yet, there is a definite lack of material to engage students in this subject at the basic science level. Therefore, we have developed and implemented a hands-on introductory laboratory module that introduces students to stem cell biology and can be easily incorporated into existing curricula. Students learn about stem cell biology using an planarian model system in which they down-regulate two genes important in stem cell differentiation using RNA interference and then observe the regenerative phenotype. The module was piloted at the high school, community college, and university levels. Here, we report that introductory biology students enrolled at a community college were able to demonstrate gains in learning after completion of a one-hour lecture and four 45-minute laboratory sessions over the course of three weeks. These gains in learning outcomes were objectively evaluated both before and after its execution using a student quiz and experimental results. Furthermore, students’ self-assessments revealed increases in perceived knowledge as well as a general interest in stem cells. Therefore, these data suggest that this module is a simple, useful way to engage and to teach students about stem cell biology.

Key Concept Ranking

DNA Replication
0.41410324
0.41410324

References & Citations

1. Bloom BS1956Taxonomy of educational objectives: the classification of educational goalsHandbook 1. Cognitive Domain. LongmanNew York, NY
2. Burnett JC, Rossi JJ, Tiemann K2011Current progress of siRNA/shRNA therapeutics in clinical trialsBiotechnol J611301146217445023388104
3. Chan JD, Marchant JS2011Pharmacological and functional genetic assays to manipulate regeneration of the planarian Dugesia japonicaJ. Vis. Exp54pii305810.3791/3058 http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/3058
4. Emmert EA, Biosafety ASMTCoL2013Biosafety guidelines for handling microorganisms in the teaching laboratory: development and rationaleJ Microbiol Biol Educ14788310.1128/jmbe.v14i1.531238583563706168 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v14i1.531
5. Evans MJ, Kaufman MH1981Establishment in culture of pluripotential cells from mouse embryosNature29215415610.1038/292154a07242681 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/292154a0
6. Gurley KA, Rink JC, Alvarado A Sanchez2008Beta-catenin defines head versus tail identity during planarian regeneration and homeostasisScience31932332710.1126/science.1150029 http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1150029
7. Handberg-Thorsager M, Fernandez E, Salo E2008Stem cells and regeneration in planariansFront Biosci136374639410.2741/316018508666 http://dx.doi.org/10.2741/3160
8. Hynes RO2008US policies on human embryonic stem cellsNat Rev Mol Cell Biol999399710.1038/nrm252818843274 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrm2528
9. Jones DL, Wagers AJ2008No place like home: anatomy and function of the stem cell nicheNat Rev Mol Cell Biol9112110.1038/nrm2319 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrm2319
10. Mannini L, et al2004Djeyes absent (Djeya) controls prototypic planarian eye regeneration by cooperating with the transcription factor Djsix-1Dev Biol26934635910.1016/j.ydbio.2004.01.04215110705 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2004.01.042
11. Martin GR1981Isolation of a pluripotent cell line from early mouse embryos cultured in medium conditioned by teratocarcinoma stem cellsProc Natl Acad Sci USA787634763810.1073/pnas.78.12.76346950406349323 http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.78.12.7634
12. Newmark PA, Reddien PW, Cebria F, Alvarado A Sanchez2003Ingestion of bacterially expressed double-stranded RNA inhibits gene expression in planariansProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A100Suppl 1118611186510.1073/pnas.183420510012917490304099 http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1834205100
13. Oviedo NJ, Nicolas CL, Adams DS, Levin M2008Establishing and maintaining a colony of planariansCSH Protoc2008pdb.prot5053
14. Oviedo NJ, Nicolas CL, Adams DS, Levin M2008Planarians: a versatile and powerful model system for molecular studies of regeneration, adult stem cell regulation, aging, and behaviorCSH Protoc2008pdb.emo101
15. Petersen CP, Reddien PW2008Smedbetacatenin-1 is required for anteroposterior blastema polarity in planarian regenerationScience31932733010.1126/science.1149943 http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1149943
16. Seymour E, Wiese DJ, Hunter A, Daffinrud SM2000Creating a better mousetrap: on-line student assessment of their learning gains National Meetings of the American Chemical Society SymposiumBureau of Sociological Research, University of ColoradoBoulder, CO
17. Sylvester KG, Longaker MT2004Stem cells: review and updateArch Surg139939910.1001/archsurg.139.1.9314718284 http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archsurg.139.1.93
18. Tanner K, Chatman LS, Allen D2003Approaches to cell biology teaching: cooperative learning in the science classroom—beyond students working in groupsCell Biol Educ22010.1187/cbe.03-03-0010 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.03-03-0010
19. Weissman IL2002Stem cells—scientific, medical, and political issuesNew Engl J Med3461576157910.1056/NEJMsb020693 http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMsb020693
20. Zhang D, Chan JD, Nogi T, Marchant JS2011Opposing roles of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels in neuronal control of regenerative patterningJ Neurosci31159831599510.1523/JNEUROSCI.3029-11.2011220494413380623 http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3029-11.2011
jmbe.v15i1.692.citations
jmbe/15/1
content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v15i1.692
Loading

Citations loading...

Supplemental Material

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v15i1.692
2014-05-01
2017-09-26

Abstract:

Stem cells hold great promise in the treatment of diseases ranging from cancer to dementia. However, as rapidly as the field of stem cell biology has emerged, heated political debate has followed, scrutinizing the ethical implications of stem cell use. It is therefore imperative to promote scientific literacy by educating students about stem cell biology. Yet, there is a definite lack of material to engage students in this subject at the basic science level. Therefore, we have developed and implemented a hands-on introductory laboratory module that introduces students to stem cell biology and can be easily incorporated into existing curricula. Students learn about stem cell biology using an planarian model system in which they down-regulate two genes important in stem cell differentiation using RNA interference and then observe the regenerative phenotype. The module was piloted at the high school, community college, and university levels. Here, we report that introductory biology students enrolled at a community college were able to demonstrate gains in learning after completion of a one-hour lecture and four 45-minute laboratory sessions over the course of three weeks. These gains in learning outcomes were objectively evaluated both before and after its execution using a student quiz and experimental results. Furthermore, students’ self-assessments revealed increases in perceived knowledge as well as a general interest in stem cells. Therefore, these data suggest that this module is a simple, useful way to engage and to teach students about stem cell biology.

Highlighted Text: Show | Hide
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/deliver/fulltext/jmbe/15/1/jmbe-15-18.xml.a.html?itemId=/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v15i1.692&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah

Figures

Image of FIGURE 1.

Click to view

FIGURE 1.

Overview of experimental plan.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2014 vol. 15 no. 1 18-25. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v15i1.692
Download as Powerpoint
Image of FIGURE 2.

Click to view

FIGURE 2.

Trunk fragment regeneration assay. Images were taken 7 days after excision. A) Image of a planarian fed a control dsRNAi construct. B) Reduced eyespots formed by RNAi. C) Bipolar planarian produced by RNAi. Note the formation of a secondary head structure and posterior eyespots. In A–C, the original anterior end of the worms is oriented to the bottom. Arrow indicates site of excision and double arrow denotes reduced eyespots. Representative students’ images of planarian with an observed phenotype are shown.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2014 vol. 15 no. 1 18-25. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v15i1.692
Download as Powerpoint
Image of FIGURE 3.

Click to view

FIGURE 3.

Students demonstrated gains in learning after taking the Stem Cells Module. Questions from the pre- and post- quiz were grouped based on learning outcomes they primarily addressed. Shown are average student results from both Wake Technical Community College (WTCC) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH).

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2014 vol. 15 no. 1 18-25. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v15i1.692
Download as Powerpoint
Image of FIGURE 4.

Click to view

FIGURE 4.

Student self-assessment of learning gains. Ratings from the A) pre- and B) post- questionnaires for each semester were scored and averaged. Students were asked to rate their current levels of competence or knowledge for each conceptual or technical skill listed on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neither agree nor disagree, 4 = agree, and 5 = strongly agree.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2014 vol. 15 no. 1 18-25. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v15i1.692
Download as Powerpoint

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Please check the format of the address you have entered.
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error