The Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) curriculum includes a series of cloning and protein purification experiments using red fluorescent protein (RFP). Fluorescent proteins have become a valuable tool in recent years among scientists in many different fields of biology. Often, these glowing proteins are linked to other proteins of interest to confirm protein expression, to identify where specific proteins exist in the cell, and to track cell movement. Green fluorescent protein (GFP) is perhaps the most well-known fluorescent protein. Isolated from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria, GFP is comprised of 238 amino acids that form 11 beta-sheets that roll in to a "beta-can," as seen in the image of GFP (right) from the European Bioinformatics Institute.
The Digital World Biology lesson "Exploring Fluorescent Proteins" supports the ABE curriculum as students explore the following questions:
- Is red fluorescent protein (RFP) related to its famous cousin, GFP?
- What other fluorescent proteins, if any, are closely related to GFP and/or RFP?
Can You Taste That?
PTC Tasting Ability Among Primates
How and why do some people like certain foods and not others?
The Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) program at Shoreline Community College supports a curriculum unit in which students use the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify the Taste receptor 2 member 38 (TAS3R38) gene. Students then use restriction digests and agarose gel electrophoresis to determine PTC "taster" or "non-taster" genotypes. The PTC tasting phenotype is tested using paper PTC taste test strips.
As extension of PTC tasting in humans, in this Digital World Biology activity, students learn how to use the bioinformatics tool BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool) to compare the TASR38 protein sequences from humans and non-human primates to answer the following research question:
Are primate species other than humans “tasters” or “non-tasters”?
Download lesson handouts and sequence files.
Molecular Structures to Support the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) Curriculum
The following structures can be used to supplement many of the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) lab activities, including those covered during the "Easy as ABC: Applications of Biotechnology in the Classroom" workshops. The "Easy as ABC" workshop series is a partnership between Shoreline Community College's Biotechnology Outreach program and Digital World Biology.
To view one of these structures in Molecule World:
1. View this page in your iPad.
2. Touch a link to a file to download it.
3. Choose "Open in Molecule World."