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Integrating Lecture, Laboratory, and Literature using Case Studies . Ann T.S. Taylor Chemistry Department Wabash College Crawfordsville, IN 47933. What are your non-content course goals?. The Context: Che 361. Required course for Chemistry majors Most Chem minors also take the course

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Integrating lecture laboratory and literature using case studies

Integrating Lecture, Laboratory, and Literature using Case Studies

Ann T.S. Taylor

Chemistry Department

Wabash College

Crawfordsville, IN 47933

The context che 361
The Context: Che 361 Studies

  • Required course for Chemistry majors

  • Most Chem minors also take the course

  • Organic II prerequisite

  • Typical enrollment: 24-30 students, 8-12 per lab section

  • Three 50 minute class periods and one three hour lab per week

Che 361 biochemistry non content goals
Che 361: Biochemistry Studies non-content goals

  • Cooperative learning strategies

  • Transferrence and connections

  • Application, not only memorization

  • Cultivate intellectual curiosity

  • Requires critical thinking skills

  • Oral and written communication skills

  • Use bioinformatic and modeling tools

Common features my cases
Common features my cases Studies

  • A short real-life story

  • Reading review and primary literature articles

  • Short in-class small group activities which connect the case and lecture

  • Laboratory activities that directly relate to the case

  • Computational activity

The case of the tainted tacos

The Case of the Tainted Tacos Studies

A Case Study on Genetically Modified Foods which integrates laboratory, lecture, and literature

Unit goals
Unit goals Studies

Students should be able to:

  • Explain transcription and translation

  • Design PCR probes for a sequence of interest

  • Understand how transgenic organisms are made

  • Reinforce principles of enzymology, protein structure, and membrane transport

  • Resolve conflicting data sets

  • Understand the broader ethical implications of using GM foods

The case of the tainted tacos1

The Case of the Tainted Tacos Studies

The Setup Story

Questions generated by story
Questions generated by story Studies

  • How are GM foods made?

  • How do GM foods “work”?

  • Are GM foods safe for the environment?

  • Could weeds become resistant to herbicides?

  • Are GM foods safe for humans?

  • Do farmers really benefit from using GM products?

  • Should I eat GM foods? Do I already eat GM foods?

Case teaching strategies
Case teaching strategies Studies

  • Common study areas

  • Specialization

  • Jigsawing

Questions all groups study
Questions all groups study Studies

  • What are the most common genetic modifications of foods

  • How genetic modifications are made

  • How genetic modifications can be detected, and how these methods work

  • Design the primers that are used in the lab

Specialist groups
Specialist groups Studies


  • Study the economic impact of GM foods and how RoundUp Ready products work


  • Study the mechanism of Bt products and their impact upon other insects


  • Look at methods to predict allergenicity

Linking literature
Linking Literature Studies

  • Guided reading questions

  • Small group problems

  • Literature searches

Example farmers
Example: Farmers Studies

Read three papers, then answer questions such as:

  • Why do farmers use genetically modified plants?

  • When do farmers benefit economically from using GM crops?

  • Why does RoundUp (glyphosate) affect plants but not animals?

  • How does glyphosate affect EPSPS, both structurally and kinetically?

  • Describe in detail how weeds that are resistant to RoundUp differ from wildtype (normal) plants.

Economic impact of gm crops

Goals: Studies

Better pest management

Increase yield

Reduce pesticide use

More flexibility


Only profitable when infestation cost is greater than tech cost

Unknown effect on soil ecology

Development of “superweeds”

Economic impact of GM crops

Integrating technology
Integrating technology Studies

  • Presentations

  • Research techniques with guided directions

  • Tools and tutorials from the internet

Computational analysis of cry9 for allergenicity
Computational analysis of Cry9 for allergenicity Studies

  • Does it have homology to known allergens?

    • BLAST search of allergen database

    • STGSST (422-428) is identical to a sequence in aAspergillus fumigatus allergen

  • Is the homology in a hydrophilic region?

    • No—from a computational tool discussed in one of the papers

Linking lab
Linking lab Studies

Do an experiment related to the issue!

  • Sources:

    • Adapt an existing lab

    • Adapt a “real world” technique

    • Adapt an experiment from one of the papers

    • Adapt a published teaching lab (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, Journal of College Science Teaching, Journal of Chemical Education)

  • Work on the case during lecture and lab

Typical lab results
Typical lab results Studies

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10






  • Lane 1, Arrowhead Mills corn meal; lane 2, Kroger corn meal; lane 3, Quaker white corn meal; lane 4, Cotton Pickin’ corn muffin mix; lane 5, Jiffy corn muffin mix; lane 6,Gold Medal corn muffin mix; lane 7, Aunt Jemima corn bread mix; lane 8, Martha White corn muffin mix; lane 9, non-transgenic corn seed; lane 10, Pioneer YieldGard corn seed.

Other examples
Other examples Studies

  • Olestra case


    • extract & digest lipids from potato chips

  • Drug discovery

    • HIV protease kinetic analysis

    • structure exploration

    • Drug discovery lab (BAMBED(2005) 33: 16 – 21)

References Studies

  • Case study:

    • Advanced version:

    • GOB version:

    • Also published in JCST (2005) 34(2):

  • Lab experiments:

    • Taylor, J Chem Ed (2005) 82 (4): 597-598.

    • Brinegar & Levee BAMBED (2004) 32: 35-38.


Case study collections
Case study collections Studies

  • (requires password)



  • K. Cornely, Cases in Biochemistry, John Wiley & Sons, 1999; also at