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ERIC Number: EJ934680
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8175
Teaching Argumentation and Scientific Discourse Using the Ribosomal Peptidyl Transferase Reaction
Johnson, R. Jeremy
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v39 n3 p185-190 May-Jun 2011
Argumentation and discourse are two integral parts of scientific investigation that are often overlooked in undergraduate science education. To address this limitation, the story of peptide bond formation by the ribosome can be used to illustrate the importance of evidence, claims, arguments, and counterarguments in scientific discourse. With the determination of the first structure of the large ribosomal subunit bound to a transition state inhibitor came an initial hypothesis about the role of the ribosome in peptide bond formation. This initial hypothesis was based on a few central assumptions about the transition state mimic and acid-base catalysis by serine proteases. The initial proposed mechanism started a flurry of scientific discourse in experimental articles and commentaries that tested the validity of the initial proposed mechanism. Using this civil argumentation as a guide, class discussions, assignments, and a debate were designed that allow students to analyze and question the claims and evidence about the mechanism of peptide bond synthesis. In the end, students develop a sense of critical skepticism, and an understanding of scientific discourse, while learning about the current consensus mechanism for peptide bond synthesis. (Contains 3 figures and 2 tables.)
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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