The topic of this video module is how to classify animals based on how closely related they are. The main learning objective is that students will learn how to make phylogenetic trees based on both physical characteristics and on DNA sequence. Students will also learn why the objective and quantitative nature of DNA sequencing is preferable when it come to classifying animals based on how closely related they are. Knowledge prerequisites to this lesson include that students have some understanding of what DNA is and that they have a familiarity with the base-pairing rules and with writing a DNA sequence.
Build a gene network! The lac operon is a set of genes which are responsible for the metabolism of lactose in some bacterial cells. Explore the effects of mutations within the lac operon by adding or removing genes from the DNA.
Discover what controls how fast tiny molecular motors in our body pull through a single strand of DNA. How hard can the motor pull in a tug of war with the optical tweezers? Discover what helps it pull harder. Do all molecular motors behave the same?
Did you ever imagine that you can use light to move a microscopic plastic bead? Explore the forces on the bead or slow time to see the interaction with the laser's electric field. Use the optical tweezers to manipulate a single strand of DNA and explore the physics of tiny molecular motors. Can you get the DNA completely straight or stop the molecular motor?
This activity lets learners participate in the process of reconstructing a phylogenetic tree and introduces them to several core bioinformatics concepts, particularly in relation to evolution. Groups of learners (at least 10) repeat a secret message (five to seven similar-sounding words) like the game "Telephone". In this version of the game, however, learners write and then code what they hear, creating a model of a phylogenetic tree and using a species distance matrix. This resource includes background information about phylogenetic trees, maximum parsimony, and matrix theory (see page 6-7 of PDF).
- Computer Science
- Information Science
- Life Science
- Material Type:
- Lesson Plan
- ComPADRE Digital Library
- Brian Mason Scientific and Technical Trust
- Computer Science Unplugged
- Google Inc.
- Jim Becker
- Katrin Becker
- Truman State University
- Date Added:
Explore stretching just a single strand of DNA using optical tweezers or fluid flow. Experiment with the forces involved and measure the relationship between the stretched DNA length and the force required to keep it stretched. Is DNA more like a rope or like a spring?