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ERIC Number: EJ1120905
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Feb
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8555
Modeling Molecular Machinery
Hunter, Christine
Science Teacher, v82 n2 p49-57 Feb 2015
Imagine a microscopic world filled with tiny motors, ratchets, switches, and pumps controlled by complex signaling and feedback systems. Now imagine that these parts can assemble themselves. This is the world presented to students in the protein structure unit of a genetic engineering course. Students learn how protein folding gives rise to the molecular machines in cells and how misfolding can lead to disease. Students also explore how scientists use the engineering design process to treat these diseases using rational drug design. The protein structure unit presents new problems to students who have learned about engineering through structural or mechanical challenges, such as bridges, mousetrap cars, or egg drops. It also draws in students interested in the life sciences who might not consider a typical engineering course. The authors hope the course makes cell biology less abstract for both types of students. This article describes a series of hands-on activities, online simulations, and computer-modeling programs that help students visualize protein structure and better understand protein function.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A