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Linking DNA structure and sequencing using model based learning

By Cas Kramer, Ruth Barber, Annette Cashmore, Raymond Dalgleish, Nicola Suter-Giorgini and Christopher J.R. Willmott


This paper was presented at the Science Learning and Teaching Conference 2007, Keele University, 19-20 June 2007 and published in the proceedings. The published version is also available at is the iconic status of DNA in modern life that we are used to seeing the double helix depicted in sculptures and paintings. In 2003 a set of UK postage stamps celebrated 50 years since the discovery of this structure, and in the same year DNA even graced the two pound coin. For students of biological disciplines, however, it is important that their understanding of this pivotal molecule runs rather deeper than this. Experience shows that some of the fundamental principles involved in the molecular biology of DNA are actually quite difficult for students to grasp when taught via either conventional lectures or practical classes. Successful acquisition of such knowledge is, however, crucial for the comprehension of more complex DNA processes.\ud This workshop will offer the opportunity to participate in two interlinked ‘hands-on’ tutorials that have been designed to increase students’ understanding of both DNA structure and the importance of this structural knowledge in strategically significant technologies such as DNA sequencing. We also offer an evaluation of the exercise when piloted with second year undergraduates at the University of Leicester

Topics: DNA, models, visualisation, spatial thinking, DNA structure, DNA sequencing
Publisher: The Higher Education Academy Subject Centres for Bioscience and Materials and Physical Sciences
Year: 2007
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