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ERIC Number: EJ829528
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Teaching Protein Purification and Characterization Techniques: A Student-Initiated, Project-Oriented Biochemistry Laboratory Course
MacDonald, Gina
Journal of Chemical Education, v85 n9 p1250-1252 Sep 2008
This report describes a biochemistry laboratory that is completely project-oriented. Upper-level biology and chemistry majors work in teams to purify a protein of their choice. After the student groups have completed literature searches, ordered reagents, and made buffers they continue to learn basic protein purification and biochemical techniques as needed during the semester. As the protein purifications progress the students encounter many common problems associated with attempting to reproduce published protein purifications. The students gain valuable problem-solving skills and work in a research group environment. The culmination of the course requires some characterization of the protein, a formal laboratory report, and a final presentation. Students characterize their proteins using activity assays or techniques such as infrared or circular dichroism to study protein structure or unfolding. Day-to-day laboratory experiences resemble an active undergraduate research laboratory. This laboratory is unstructured and works to integrate research and education and retain students in the sciences by exposing them to a completely open-ended, inquiry-based laboratory. (Contains 1 list, 1 table, 1 figure, and 1 note.)
Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society. Subscription Department, P.O. Box 1267, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-1267. Tel: 800-691-9846; Tel: 856-931-5825; Fax: 856-931-4115; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Students; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A