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ERIC Number: EJ1160752
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8175
A Focus on Polarity: Investigating the Role of Orientation Cues in Mediating Student Performance on mRNA Synthesis Tasks in an Introductory Cell and Molecular Biology Course
Olimpo, Jeffrey T.; Quijas, Daniel A.; Quintana, Anita M.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v45 n6 p501-508 Nov 2017
The central dogma has served as a foundational model for information flow, exchange, and storage in the biological sciences for several decades. Despite its continued importance, however, recent research suggests that novices in the domain possess several misconceptions regarding the aforementioned processes, including those pertaining specifically to the formation of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) transcripts. In the present study, we sought to expand upon these observations through exploration of the influence of orientation cues on students' aptitude at synthesizing mRNAs from provided deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) template strands. Data indicated that participants (n = 45) were proficient at solving tasks of this nature when the DNA template strand and the mRNA molecule were represented in an antiparallel orientation. In contrast, participants' performance decreased significantly on items in which the mRNA was depicted in a parallel orientation relative to the DNA template strand. Furthermore, participants' Grade Point Average, self-reported confidence in understanding the transcriptional process, and spatial ability were found to mediate their performance on the mRNA synthesis tasks. Collectively, these data reaffirm the need for future research and pedagogical interventions designed to enhance students' comprehension of the central dogma in a manner that makes transparent its relevance to real-world scientific phenomena.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A