MAKING THE CONNECTION: DNA TO PROTEIN
UNIT GOALS: Students will demonstrate an understanding of the relationships that exist between DNA, genes, and proteins by:
GRADE LEVEL (K-16): High School
- constructing and implementing a laboratory protocol to extract DNA from the nucleus of an organism.
- describing the structure of the four different nucleotides (sugar, phosphate, base) and how they bond together to form DNA.
- using pedigrees to illustrate genes as pieces of DNA that cause genetic disorders.
- transcribing and translating DNA sequences into protein sequences.
- exploring amino acid sequences of normally functioning proteins and mutated proteins, linking the function of the protein to the amino acid sequence
GENERAL SUBJECT AREA(S): Biology (Grades 9-12)
MINIMUM TIME REQUIRED FOR THE UNIT: 2-3 weeks
CONCEPTS LEARNED ACROSS ALL UNIT MODULES:
STANDARDS ADDRESSED BY UNIT MODULES: AAAS Project 2061 Benchmarks
- Experimental design
- Data organization
- Data analysis
- Central Dogma of Genetics (DNA-RNA-protein) and the application to genetic disorders.
TECHNOLOGY NEEDED IN UNIT MODULES:
- Genes are segments of DNA molecules. Inserting, deleting, or substituting DNA segments can alter genes. An altered gene may be passed on to every cell that develops from it. The resulting features may help, harm, or have little or no effect on the offspring's success in its environment (5B, Grades 9-12, 4).
- The work of the cell is carried out by the many different types of molecules it assembles, mostly proteins. Protein molecules are long, usually folded chains made from 20 different kinds of amino-acid molecules. The function of each protein molecule depends on its specific sequence of amino acids and the shape the chain takes is a consequence of attractions between the chain's parts (5C, Grades 9-12, 3).
- The genetic information encoded in DNA molecules provides instructions for assembling protein molecules. The code used is virtually the same for all life forms. Before a cell divides, the instructions are duplicated so that each of the two new cells gets all the necessary information for carrying on (5C, Grades 9-12, 4).
TECHNOLOGY-ENHANCED INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES EMPLOYED:
- Internet Access, Inspiration software, Power Point software
TITLE OF EACH MODULE:
UNIT CULMINATING ACTIVITY:
- Technology-enhanced demonstration to explore the cells of the hand to identify where DNA is located (The Tech Museum).
- Technology-enhanced problem solving using Genetic Science Learning Center to trace the gene for a genetic disorder with a pedigree.
- Teleresearch: use of databases and web sites to explore genetic disorders.
- Telecollaboration: use of interpersonal exchange to communicate with subject matter experts such as Francis Crick and to ask questions of medical professionals.
- This unit is centered around action sequence. Students first must comprehend the individual parts of the genetic system (DNA, genes, protein) and be able to put these parts together by constructing relationships between the them. In the culminating activity, students will comprehend DNA, genes, and protein in a new way by studying a genetic disorder. Students will share their research with the class via electronic means (electronic portfolio, power point, concept mapping using Inspiration, web page, etc.). Once each individual in the class has been given the opportunity to share their work, we will compare and contrast the genetic bases for the diseases. The culminating activity will be assessed by a set rubric.
- Peter Petrossian
- EdGrid Team (Nicholas Eke, George Morse, Susan Ragan)