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Bad Fish: General Biology Edition


James A. Hewlett
Science and Technology Department
Finger Lakes Community College


In this version, developed for a course in general biology, the protagonist of the case, Dr. Westwood, survives an accidental poisoning-not once, but twice. Students read about each incident, applying what they learn in each part of the case to the later sections, and then design a drug to treat the neurotoxin poisoning described in the story. The case comes in three different versions, or editions. The General Biology Edition is designed for an introductory biology course. Its basic storyline and core objectives are carried over into a Human Anatomy & Physiology Edition and a Cell & Molecular Biology Edition, also in our collection, each of which has its own set of questions.

  • Apply basic principles of organic and inorganic chemistry to answer questions related to the case.
  • Apply the basic concepts of cell membrane structure and function to answer questions related to the case.
  • Explore the distribution of ions and charged molecules in the cellular environment.
  • Use knowledge of membranes and transport mechanisms to explore membrane potentials (resting and action potentials).
  • Use knowledge of membrane potentials to explore the structure and function of a neuron.
  • Be introduced to the concept of neurotoxins and their actions at the molecular level of cell function.
  • Use rational design to describe the mechanism of action of a drug that students design to treat neurotoxin poisoning.
Keywords: Neurotoxin poisoning; toxin; tetrodotoxin; TTX; dissociation constant; membrane transport; action potential.; molecular interaction; neuron; nerve cell; nervous system; puffer fish; pitohui; songbird; Indonesia, Papua New Guinea
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Directed, Jig-Saw
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Cell Biology   Physiology   Biochemistry  
Date Posted: 04/10/03
Date Modified: N/A
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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