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ERIC Number: EJ1061858
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8175
Doing That Thing That Scientists Do: A Discovery-Driven Module on Protein Purification and Characterization for the Undergraduate Biochemistry Laboratory Classroom
Garrett, Teresa A.; Osmundson, Joseph; Isaacson, Marisa; Herrera, Jennifer
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v43 n3 p145-153 May-Jun 2015
In traditional introductory biochemistry laboratory classes students learn techniques for protein purification and analysis by following provided, established, step-by-step procedures. Students are exposed to a variety of biochemical techniques but are often not developing procedures or collecting new, original data. In this laboratory module, students develop research skills through work on an original research project and gain confidence in their ability to design and execute an experiment while faculty can enhance their scholarly pursuits through the acquisition of original data in the classroom laboratory. Students are prepared for a 6-8 week discovery-driven project on the purification of the "Escherichia coli" cytidylate kinase (CMP kinase) through in class problems and other laboratory exercises on bioinformatics and protein structure analysis. After a minimal amount of guidance on how to perform the CMP kinase "in vitro" enzyme assay, SDS-PAGE, and the basics of protein purification, students, working in groups of three to four, develop a protein purification protocol based on the scientific literature and investigate some aspect of CMP kinase that interests them. Through this process, students learn how to implement a new but perhaps previously worked out procedure to answer their research question. In addition, they learn the importance of keeping a clear and thorough laboratory notebook and how to interpret their data and use that data to inform the next set of experiments. Following this module, students had increased confidence in their ability to do basic biochemistry techniques and reported that the "self-directed" nature of this lab increased their engagement in the project.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A