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Bad Fish: Cell and Molecular Biology Edition


Author(s)

James A. Hewlett
Science and Technology Department
Finger Lakes Community College
hewletja@flcc.edu

Abstract

In this version, developed for classes in cell and molecular 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. This is the Cell & Molecular Biology Edition, which has a different set of questions than the General Biology Edition or the Human Anatomy & Physiology Edition, also in our collection.


Objectives

  • 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.
  • Understand how molecules interact with each other to affect function.
  • Explore the difference between reversible and irreversible binding of molecules.
  • Understand the concept of the dissociation constant (Kd) and its use in understanding the strength of a molecular interaction.
  • Use basic experimental observations to explain the mechanism of action of an unknown neurotoxin.
  • Explore the difference between competitive and noncompetitive inhibition in molecular interactions.

Keywords

Neurotoxin poisoning; toxin; tetrodotoxin; TTX; molecular interaction; ion channel; membrane transport / potential; action potential; neuron; nerve cell; nervous system; puffer fish; pitohui; songbird; Indonesia; Papua New Guinea

Educational Level

High school, Undergraduate lower division

Format

PDF

Type Methods

Directed, Jig-Saw

Language

English

Subject Headings

Cell Biology  |   Molecular Biology  |  


Date Posted

04/10/03

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