Sandra Porter, Austin Community College and Digital World Biology LLC, Seattle, WA
Our bioinformatics course at Austin Community College focuses on basic concepts and techniques. Students learn how to search databases, use molecular models, apply sequence analysis tools, and characterize genetic variation. Although bioinformatics provides us with interesting real-life examples to study, our abilities are limited when it comes to finding student projects that include opportunities to make new discoveries. We don’t have a lab and we’re not able to generate our own data, so we rely ... Read more
Todd M. Smith and Sandra G. Porter, Digital World Biology LLC, Seattle WA.
CRISPR/Cas9 is a hot topic. CRISPR/Cas9 is not only revolutionizing the field of gene editing, aspects of this system can be used to teach fundamental concepts in immunology and evolution. In terms of immunology, CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) and restriction/methylation systems protect bacteria from phage. CRISPR sequences are in essence an adaptive immune system for prokaryotes, storing information from previously encountered invaders.
Molecular models provide insights in the ... Read more
Todd M. Smith [1,2], Sandra Porter [1,2], Linnea Fletcher [2,3]
1. Digital World Biology (DWB), 2. Bio-Link, 3. Austin Community College (ACC)
Students graduating from college in the 21st century need to be skilled in using a computer. Through several experiences including Austin Community College’s (ACC’s) interactions with industry, DWB’s experience, and combined participation in efforts such as the Network for Integrating Bioinformatics into Life Sciences Education (NIBLSE), it is clear students need to be more aware of how computing is used in the life sciences and the role that ... Read more
TM. Smith, SG. Porter. Digital World Biology® LLC, Seattle, WA. @finchtalk, @moleculeworld
It is impossible to grasp fundamental concepts of genetic variation without understanding the relationship between sequence, structure, and function. In response to nearly two hundred interviews with KI12 and college teachers and students, we created the Molecule WorldTM iPad and iPhone apps to display 3D-data from multiple structure databases (MMDB, PDB, and PubChem). Molecule World employs a novel rendering engine that allows us to convey depth, and uniquely highlight chemical properties and ... Read more
Todd M. Smith, Sandra, G. Porter, Ditigal World Biology LLC. Seattle WA.
It is impossible to grasp fundamental concepts in biology without understanding the relationship between sequence, structure, and function. Modern data collection technologies are creating enormous data resources that can be used to help students’ understand these relationships, but currently are underutilized. This is due to the fact that easy-to-use tools that meet teachers’ needs for clear instruction and data visualization are not yet commonplace. Filling the gap between the embarrassment of data riches and ... Read more
TM. Smith, SG. Porter. Digital World Biology® LLC, Seattle, WA. @finchtalk, @digitalbio
From plant and animal breeding to genetic modifications to creating new kinds of energy resources, it is impossible to design improvements without understanding the relationship between molecular sequences and their structure and function. As we contemplate new ways to produce food and energy, understanding molecular structures is critical to both target development and follow on manufacturing processes. Additionally, to have large-scale benefit, our emerging scientists, the technical workforce, and ... Read more
Todd M. Smith and Sandra G. Porter, Digital World Biology®, Seattle, WA
Modern data collection technologies are creating enormous data resources that are underutilized in science education and research. We often present graphs showing exponential growth of one kind of database or another, but how often do we stop to ask the questions: how many people are using these data? And how are they using it? Without efforts toward improving general use, data resources will not be valued, which can negatively impact the value of future data collection endeavors.
New approaches are required to ... Read more