From Proteins to Climate Change: Biotech in Action

A comprehensive high school biology curriculum that teaches the central dogma of molecular biology through a series of explorations with hands-on activities.

NSF logoSupported by National Science Foundation grant MCB1410164 awarded to Dr. Michael Sussman.

Come to a teacher workshop at the NSTA Regional Conference in Milwaukee, November 9-11, 2017

Use the most plentiful protein on the planet—RuBisCO—to teach the DNA→RNA→protein pathway of molecular biology that also makes a connection to the global climate through attention to the carbon fixation pathways. The curriculum is concise and an excellent way to teach about current research methods in plant biology that cross over to animal and medical fields. It also provides insight into potential science careers.  The curriculum is flexible so that you can use all or part of it to teach what works for you.  Special student credit is available.

    Highlights of full curriculum:
  • Uses light and dark grown radish seedlings.
  • Conduct standard quantitative measurements.
  • Extract DNA. Run a DNA gel.
  • Amplify using PCR.
  • Prep samples and run BigDye sequencing reaction
  • Send samples to UW Biotech Center for Sanger sequencing.
  • Conduct sequencing activity and analyze results.
  • Teach RNA transcription/translation.
  • Use microarray activity to understand gene expression.
  • Purify RuBisCO protein.
  • Run a protein gel and analyze results.
  • Conduct mass spectrometry activities.
  • Use bioinformatics databases.
CO2+Calvin cycles