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My Dog is Broken!

A Case Study in Cell Signaling


Author(s)

Lynn Diener
Biology Department
Mount Mary College
dienerl@mtmary.edu

Abstract

Cell signaling is one of the more difficult concepts for students to understand in their study of cell biology. To help students better understand the process of cell signaling, from reception to cellular response, a fairly simple signal pathway is used as an example in this case study in which students read a series of instant messages and emails between two friends trying to determine what is causing erectile dysfunction in a prize winning dog. The case was developed for use in an introductory biology course, but could also be used in a cell biology course.


Objectives

  • Understand and apply important vocabulary in cellular communication.
  • Understand the importance of proteins and non-protein messengers in cellular communication.
  • Understand how drugs can be used to treat a condition controlled by a cell signaling pathway.
  • Understand how a cell signaling pathway can be blocked.
  • Be able to explain a visual representation of a cell signaling pathway.

Keywords

Cell signaling; signal transduction; signal amplification; cell membrane; phosphodiesterase; erectile dysfunction; ginseng; Viagra

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF

Type Methods

Directed

Language

English

Subject Headings

Cell Biology  |   Biology (General)  |  


Date Posted

01/22/08

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Comments


Amy Muzzarelli
amuzzarelli@elkrapids.k12.mi.us
Science
Elk Rapids High School
Elk Rapids, MI
04/14/2011
I can see my student's eyes glaze over when we start talking about cell signaling. The chorus of "ugh" fills my room. However, my kids LOVE this case study because of the humor in the problem. They are interested in understanding exactly how "male enhancement drugs" work, but are afraid to ask. This is a way for my students to giggle about cell signaling rather than groan about it.

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