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Yeast Cryptography

A Budding New Way to Keep Your Dough



Co Authors:

Brian K. Sato
Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
University of California, Irvine
bsato@uci.edu

Eduardo Cruz-Hinojoza
Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
University of California, Irvine

Duyen Dinh-Dang
Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
University of California, Irvine

Abstract:

This "clicker case" focuses on the use of molecular biology concepts and techniques to protect the property of a fictional bread company. Students will address questions as to how one can "mark" a yeast strain by embedding a particular DNA sequence into its genome and then examine the claims of a competing company that is allegedly using its own bread-making yeast to create a similar product. The focus of the case is on the experimental steps required to construct the desired yeast strain and then later extract a hidden genomic message. While the class is guided through the process, students will also have opportunities to independently design their own experiments, discuss the merits of different experimental strategies, and analyze data. The case is intended to generate active discussion between students and their instructor and to illustrate the real-world implications of molecular biology in today's society.

Objectives:
  • Describe the steps necessary to insert exogenous DNA into the yeast genome.
  • Explain the impact of blunt versus sticky end restriction digests on the cloning procedure.
  • Design a transformation experiment with the appropriate selection marker and selective media.
  • Define a negative control.
  • Describe how Sanger sequencing works and be able to translate sequencing data into a specific DNA sequence.
Keywords: Yeast; marker; DNA; cloning; transformation; data analysis; restriction endonucleases; encryption; patent; Saccharomyces; GFP tagging; bread
Topical Area: Legal issues, Scientific method
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF, PowerPoint
Type/Method: Analysis (Issues), Clicker, Discussion
Language: English
Subject Headings: Molecular Biology   Microbiology   Cell Biology   Biology (General)   Food Science / Technology  
Date Posted: 9/18/2018
Date Modified:
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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