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University of Wisconsin–Madison


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.


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.

Highlights of the 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.

Student Lab Manual

Student Lab Manual

Click to download pdf


Teacher Resources Google Drive Folder

Click to access "view only" folder

Teachers Manual

Teacher's Manual 


Click to download pdf



We are open for business! We are happy to be back. During Phase 1, we will be operating at reduced capacity. We will make every effort to keep turnaround times short as we understand there are many projects that have been waiting. We appreciate your patience and business. The UW Biotechnology Center is following University guidelines regarding COVID-19.

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