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Nancy M. Boury
Senior Lecturer
nan1@iastate.edu
Department of Animal Science
Iowa State University
Monday on the Metabolic Ward: Adventures in Glycolysis

This case is a variation of a longer case in our collection titled "Murder or Medical Mishap? Death on the Metabolic Ward," which has a "murder-mystery" aspect to it.  In both versions of the case, students assume the role of pre-med students participating in a summer internship. As interns, they diagnose several different genetic deficiencies of glycolytic pathway enzymes based on the biochemical activity of blood samples. In order to accurately interpret the blood test data, the students first complete a brief homework assignment before the case is presented. This assignment requires students to describe the reactants, products, and enzymes of the glycolytic pathway. The case reviews the process of glycolysis and its importance in the human body.  As the students work through the case, they are introduced to the physiological significance of isoenzymes and the regulation of glycolysis. The case is designed as a "clicker case" using personal response systems or "clickers" to engage students in a large classroom setting.  It is suitable for a second-semester general biology or anatomy and physiology course.


Murder or Medical Mishap?: Death on the Metabolic Ward

In this "clicker case," students assume the role of pre-med students participating in a summer internship. As interns, they diagnose several different genetic deficiencies of glycolytic pathway enzymes based on the biochemical activity of blood samples. In order to accurately interpret the blood test data, the students first complete a brief homework assignment before the case is presented. This assignment requires students to describe the reactants, products, and enzymes of the glycolytic pathway. The case reviews the process of glycolysis and its importance in the human body.  As the students work through the case, they are introduced to the physiological significance of isoenzymes and the regulation of glycolysis. The last part of the case is a mystery that reviews enzymatic defects and shows how misregulation of glycolysis can have lethal consequences. The case is designed as a "clicker case" using personal response systems (clickers) to engage students in a large classroom setting.  It is suitable for a second-semester general biology or anatomy and physiology course. A second, shorter version of the case without the "murder-mystery" element is also available in our collection under the title: "Monday on the Metabolic Ward: Adventures in Glycolysis."


The Curious Case of the Carbon Copy Kitty 

After the media coverage of Dolly the sheep and pet cloning, most students in a general biology or general genetics course will have heard of animal cloning, but it is also common for them to hold a number of misconceptions about the science of mammalian cloning, development, and genetics. This "clicker" case study combines the use of student personal response systems (clickers) with a PowerPoint presentation to help remove some of these misconceptions by presenting the story of a fictitious feline television star who is permanently incapacitated and cannot be replaced. A biotechnology company capitalizes on the need for an exact duplicate and offers to clone the original cat so that the TV viewing public "won't know the difference." Things do not go exactly as planned, however, and the television studio and biotech company end up in court. Students are asked to describe the science behind cloning as well as explain how a clone can be produced that is genetically but not phenotypically identical to the original animal.


You Poured it Where?: A Case Study in Invasive Species

This "clicker case" focuses on the invasive aquarium strain of Caulerpa taxifolia as a way of introducing students to issues about invasive species. Specifically, students learn to identify some of the traits that make a species potentially invasive and explore how individual decisions can have big impacts on the ecosystem. The case uses a story/handout that sets the stage combined with a New York Times article for further background. Students are then guided through a series of PowerPoint slides (5 MB) in class that provide additional information, prompts for small group discussion, and multiple-choice "clicker questions." The case is suitable for introductory biology and ecology courses.