In this activity, your students will use bioinformatics to examine the way DNA encodes the information needed by cells to make proteins. Bioinformatics is a computer-based discipline that sifts through very long sequences of nucleotides, searching for patterns that identify genes and allowing scientists to deduce the amino acid sequence of the encoded protein.
This hands-on enquiry driven exercise is a great activity to encourage your students to ask interesting questions. Initially, they will search through the nucleotide sequence to find the ß-Globin gene. As they explore the map of this gene, your students will discover features of eukaryotic genes such as triplet codons, reading frames, introns and extrons. Along the way, they will come to understand and appreciate the bioinformatics software that automates DNA sequence analysis.
This activity includes everything required:
The Student Maps can be used individually or by small teams of students.