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Yeast Cryptography

A Budding New Way to Keep Your Dough


Author(s)

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 Areas

Legal issues, Scientific method

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF, PowerPoint

Type / Methods

Analysis (Issues), Clicker, Discussion

Language

English

Subject Headings

Molecular Biology  |   Microbiology  |   Cell Biology  |   Biology (General)  |   Food Science / Technology  |  


Date Posted

9/18/2018

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