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ERIC Number: EJ890634
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2077-2327
Gene Concepts in Higher Education Cell and Molecular Biology Textbooks
Albuquerque, Pitombo Maiana; de Almeida, Ana Maria Rocha; El-Hani, Nino Charbel
Science Education International, v19 n2 p219-234 Jun 2008
Despite being a landmark of 20th century biology, the "classical molecular gene concept," according to which a gene is a stretch of DNA encoding a functional product, which may be a single polypeptide or RNA molecule, has been recently challenged by a series of findings (e.g., split genes, alternative splicing, overlapping and nested genes, mRNA edition, etc). The debates about the gene concept have important implications on biology teaching, and, thus, it is important to investigate whether and how these are addressed in this context. In this paper, we report results of an investigation relating to the treatment of genes in higher education cell and molecular biology textbooks. These results indicate that, despite several findings challenging time-honored ideas about genes, these ideas continue to be widely used in textbooks, even though the textbooks themselves discuss part of those findings. Textbooks also harbor a proliferation of meanings about genes that may make the concept look vague and confused, and even lead to ideas that are at odds with our current knowledge about genomes. (Contains 7 figures.)
International Council of Associations for Science Education. Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Education, Buca, Izmir 35150, Turkey. Tel: +90-532-4267927; Fax: +90-232-4204895; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
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