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ERIC Number: EJ899541
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8175
Evaluation of Software for Introducing Protein Structure: Visualization and Simulation
White, Brian; Kahriman, Azmin; Luberice, Lois; Idleh, Farhia
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v38 n5 p284-289 Sep-Oct 2010
Communicating an understanding of the forces and factors that determine a protein's structure is an important goal of many biology and biochemistry courses at a variety of levels. Many educators use computer software that allows visualization of these complex molecules for this purpose. Although visualization is in wide use and has been associated with student learning, it is quite challenging to develop visualizations that allow students to interactively observe the effects of altered amino acid sequence on protein structure. A software simulation, the protein investigator (PI), has been developed to specifically facilitate this type of exploration. When using the PI, students enter or edit an amino acid sequence; the software then simulates its folding in two dimensions using the major forces involved in protein structure. This study explores freshman undergraduate students' use of visualization and simulation when learning about protein structure. It also evaluates some of the learning outcomes from these two approaches. Our results show that simulation leads to similar learning outcomes as visualization. Because simulation allows a more interactive exploration, a combination of the two approaches may be an effective approach to introducing the basic principles of protein structure. (Contains 5 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts