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ERIC Number: EJ1015204
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8175
"Recombinant Protein of the Day": Using Daily Student Presentations to Add Real-World Aspects to a Biotechnology Course
Shaffer, Justin F.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v41 n4 p269-272 Jul-Aug 2013
To provide a realistic view of the biotechnology industry for students, a novel course focusing on recombinant proteins and their importance in medicine, pharmaceuticals, industry, scientific research, and agriculture was developed. ''Designer Proteins and Society,'' an upper-division elective, was taught in the Fall 2012 semester to 16 junior, senior, and first-year master's students in the Department of Biology at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. A key learning objective of the course was for students to explain how recombinant proteins are used in medical, pharmaceutical, industrial, and scientific research applications and why they are so important to society. To meet this objective, the "Recombinant Protein of the Day" assignment was developed and implemented. This assignment provided students with opportunities to research the scientific and commercial literature and practice their oral presentation skills, all while taking ownership of a particular recombinant protein that they found particularly interesting. In the assignment, students were instructed to search the web to find any commercially available recombinant proteins and were given a worksheet that included a list of required information they were to research about their protein: the name and species isoform of the protein, a brief description of the biological function of the protein, number of amino acids, molecular weight, isoelectric point, a picture of the crystal structure (if available), how society uses this protein (e.g. as a therapeutic drug), the name of the manufacturer, when the protein was first produced, and any information about the production process (especially that concerning the expression system and purification methods). Once students acquired this information about their recombinant protein, they developed a single PowerPoint slide to use for a short (2-4 min) presentation. Daily presentation assignments such as ''Recombinant Protein of the Day'' may be useful in stimulating student interest, providing opportunities for students to develop oral presentation skills and in bringing real-world connections to classrooms in a student-centered manner. Assignments such as this could be easily modified to suit any course content (chemical reaction of the day, gene of the week, etc.) to motivate students to pursue personally relevant topics that may pique their interest and engage them in the learning process. (Contains 2 figures and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A