Skip to Content

The Mystery of the Massively Muscular Myostatin Bull


Author(s)

Ernest Ricks, Jr.
School of Science and Technology
Georgia Gwinnett College
ericksjr@ggc.edu
Shoshana D. Katzman
School of Science and Technology
Georgia Gwinnett College
skatzman@ggc.edu

Abstract

The central dogma of molecular biology is an essential topic in undergraduate biology, but transcription and translation are also some of the most difficult concepts for students to grasp, visualize, and apply to other biological concepts, e.g., phenotypical changes, genetic diseases, and mutations. This directed case study is designed to help students master this material by relating the story of a pair of undergraduates, “Arnold” and “Jack,” as they attempt to understand the biological mystery behind a bull expressing extreme muscle definition. The case makes use of the “flipped” approach by having students watch a set of videos before engaging the case in class so that they are prepared to explore the concepts of transcription, translation, and how various types of DNA mutations can have an effect on the generation of a protein. Originally written for introductory-level undergraduate biology classes, the case can easily be adapted for use in upper-level classes to address topics like gene expression, epigenetics, and biotechnology-based approaches.


Objectives

  • Apply knowledge of transcription and be able to generate mRNA from a given DNA strand.
  • Apply knowledge of translation and be able to generate a polypeptide sequence from a mRNA strand.
  • Identify DNA mutations that can alter protein structure and function.

Keywords

Transcription; translation; central dogma; muscle; double muscling; cows; myostatin; gene; mutation; genetic diseases; CRISPR; biotechnology; body building; muscle wasting

Topical Areas

N/A

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Directed, Flipped

Language

English

Subject Headings

Biology (General)  |   Biotechnology  |   Molecular Biology  |   Science (General)  |  


Date Posted

8/16/2020

Teaching Notes

Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

Answer Key

Answer keys for the cases in our collection are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Videos

The following video(s) are recommended for use in association with this case study.

Comments