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CURE Collection

Browse through the collection of CUREs that have been submitted by community members. You can use the faceted search at the right to narrow the view of the collection. You can also use the free text search at any time.Contribute a CURE to the Collection »


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Results 1 - 7 of 7 matches

Genomics Education Partnership
Laura Reed, The University of Alabama
The goal of the Genomics Education Partnership is to provide opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in genomics research. GEP is a collaboration between a growing number of primarily undergraduate institutions, the Biology Dept and Genome Center of Washington University in St. Louis, and the Biology Dept at the University of Alabama. Participating undergraduates learn to take raw sequence data to high quality finished sequence, and to annotate genes and other features, leading to analysis of a question in genomics and research publication. GEP organizes research projects and provides training/collaboration workshops for PUI faculty and teaching assistants.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Genetics, Evolution, Life Sciences, Computer Science, Life Sciences:Molecular Biology
Core Competencies: Planning and carrying out investigations, Using mathematics and computational thinking, Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Developing and using models
Nature of Research: Basic Research, Informatics/Computational Research
State: Missouri
Target Audience: Major, Introductory, Upper Division
CURE Duration: A full term, Multiple terms, A few class periods, Half a term

Analyzing datasets in ecology and evolution to teach the nature and process of science
Rebecca Price, University of Washington-Bothell Campus
This quarter-long project forms the basis of a third-year course for majors and nonmajors at the University of Washington, Bothell called Science Methods and Practice. Students use databases to identify novel research questions, and extract data to test their hypotheses. They frame the question with primary literature, address the questions with inferential statistics, and discuss the results with more primary literature. The product is a scientific paper; each step of the process is scaffolded and evaluated. Given time limitations, we avoid devoting time to data collection; instead, we sharpen students' ability to make sense of a large body of quantitative data, a situation they may rarely have encountered. We treat statistics with a strictly conceptual, pragmatic, and abbreviated approach; i.e., we ask students to know which basic test to choose to assess a linear relationship vs. a difference between two means. We stress the need for a normal distribution in order to use these tests, and how to interpret the results; we leave the rest for stats courses, and we do not teach the mathematics. This approach proves beneficial even to those who have already had a statistics course, because it is often the first time they make decisions about applying statistics to their own research questions. We incorporate peer review and collaborative work throughout the quarter. We form collaborative groups around the research questions they ask, enabling them to share primary literature they find, and preparing them well to review each other's writing. We encourage them to cite each other's work. They write formal peer reviews of each other's papers, and they submit their final paper with a letter-to-the-editor highlighting how their research has addressed previous feedback. A major advantage of this course is that an instructor can easily modify it to suit any area of expertise. Students have worked with data about how a snail's morphology changes in response to its environment (Price, 2012), how students understand genetic drift (Price et al. 2014), maximum body size in the fossil record (Payne et al. 2008), range shifts (Ettinger et al. 2011), and urban crop pollination (Waters and Clifford 2014).

Discipline: Environmental Science:Global Change and Climate, Environmental Science, Geoscience:Paleontology, Life Sciences:Evolution, Environmental Science:Ecosystems
Core Competencies: Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Planning and carrying out investigations, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Analyzing and interpreting data
Nature of Research: Basic Research
State: Washington
Target Audience: Major, Non-major, Upper Division
CURE Duration: A full term

Using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology as an educational tool to study primary cilia in mammalian cell culture
Jonathon Walsh, University of Georgia
This is a three semester-long "project lab", allowing undergraduate students to conduct real, novel research to address fundamental questions in cell biology. The project lab is a team-driven effort that involves one overarching scientific goal with each student being responsible for part of the project to reach that goal. All students will be trained in a common set of cutting-edge methods and techniques and each student will apply this towards studying the role of an individual gene involved in assembly and maintenance of cilia.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Genetics
Nature of Research: Wet Lab/Bench Research, Basic Research
State: Georgia
Target Audience: Major
CURE Duration: Multiple terms

MCC: Malate Dehydrogenase CUREs Community
Ellis Bell, University of San Diego
The Malate Dehydrogenase CUREs Community (MCC) project is designed to facilitate the adoption of effective, protein‐centric, Course Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) into teaching labs at a wide variety of undergraduate serving institutions. (Primarily Undergraduate Institutions, Research Intensive Universities and Community Colleges) MCC coordinates and conducts pedagogical research into two major features of CUREs:1) their duration (whole semester versus 5‐6 week modules incorporated into a lab class), and 2) the impact of scientific collaboration between institutions (a key aspect of much modern research). Using validated assessment tools we seek to establish their effects on student confidence, persistence in STEM, and ability to design research experiments and interprete data. To facilitate faculty adoption of CURE approaches the project provides a number of resources. These focus on a variety of research areas related to Malate Dehydrogenase including mechanisms of catalysis and regulation, adaptation and evolution, cofactor specificity, folding and stability and interactions in metabolons. Resources include biologics, experimental protocols and assessment tools. The project also coordinates interactions between courses at different institutions to allow incorporation of scientific collaboration into CUREs. These collaborations also facilitate the use of more sophisticated experimental approaches and broaden the experimental scope of the CUREs.

Discipline: Chemistry:Biochemistry, Life Sciences:Cell Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Molecular Biology, Genetics
Core Competencies: Planning and carrying out investigations, Using mathematics and computational thinking, Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Developing and using models, Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Basic Research, Wet Lab/Bench Research, Informatics/Computational Research
Target Audience: Upper Division, Major, Introductory, Non-major
CURE Duration: A few class periods, A full term, Half a term

Population & Community Ecology
Cascade Sorte, University of California-Irvine
Students in a Population and Community Ecology class participate in coastal marine research focused on understanding factors determining population sizes and community interactions, particularly in the context of species that appear to be shifting their ranges with climate change. Students participate in all aspects of the research from making observations and collecting data in the field to defining questions, stating hypothesis, designing and completing statistical analysis, and interpreting and presenting results. The outcomes are a research proposal, research paper, and poster presentation. All are intended to be at a level appropriate for use as a writing sample or presentation at undergraduate conferences. Results are incorporated into the ongoing research project led by the course instructor and graduate student teaching assistant.

Discipline: Environmental Science:Oceans and Coastal Resources, Environmental Science, Life Sciences:Ecology, Life Sciences, Environmental Science:Global Change and Climate, Ecosystems
Core Competencies: Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Analyzing and interpreting data
Nature of Research: Basic Research, Field Research, Applied Research
State: California
Target Audience: Upper Division, Major, Non-major
CURE Duration: A full term

Cell Signaling
Greg Clark, The University of Texas at Austin
A recent exciting discovery in plants is that ATP is released into the extracellular matrix where it plays a major role in regulating growth and development. Extracellular ATP (eATP) has been confirmed to act as a hormone in animal cells, where it rapidly induces an increase in cytoplasmic calcium levels, a change that commonly leads to the activation of signaling pathways that greatly influence cell activities in both plants and animals. There is a biphasic growth response to applied ATP in growing plant cells and tissues suggesting that eATP functions like a hormone in plants as it does in animals. Students in this CURE carry out novel experiments on how eATP controls plant growth. They learn methods of experimental design, data gathering, data interpretation, and data presentation, and they learn principles of stimulus-response coupling that apply equally well to animals and plants. Students use the model plant, Arabidopsis. They to do their experiments on extracellular ATP signaling in root hairs, an agriculturally important model system for studying plant growth. Specifically, this CURE addresses the question of what are the early signaling steps that mediate the effects of eATP on the polarized growth of single-celled root hairs, structures that are crucial for plants' absorption of water and nutrients from the soil. Their experiments constitute a novel test of the signaling steps required for eATP-mediated changes in root hair growth.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Genetics, Life Sciences, Plant Biology, Cell Biology
Core Competencies: Using mathematics and computational thinking, Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Developing and using models, Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data
Nature of Research: Wet Lab/Bench Research, Basic Research
State: Texas
Target Audience: Introductory
CURE Duration: Multiple terms

CREARE: Coral Response to Environment Authentic Research Experience
Juan Ramirez Lugo, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras Campus
There is growing body of evidence to support that students who directly experience authentic scientific research are more likely to continue onto advanced degrees and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). In an effort to introduce more students to the benefits of scientific research we have drawn on an ongoing research project aimed at understanding how Corals Respond to the Environment (CRE) to develop an interdisciplinary laboratory course based on Authentic Research Experiences (ARE). A small cohort of undergraduate students enrolled in a semester-long course, entitled CREARE, perform biochemical experiments in the laboratory, analyze environmental data by R statistical software and prepared a report modeled after a research manuscript to present their work. The impact of CREARE on student learning gains and attitudes towards science is being measured, as is the impact of CREARE on participants' career choices and retention in STEM. This multidisciplinary research program addresses the impact of climate change on the health of a critically endangered coral species, ultimately leading to a better stewardship of this invaluable resource. Furthermore, CREARE offers a unique experience for students, one that may serve as a model for the development of more research-based courses, leading to improved retention in our STEM departments.

Discipline: Statistics, Life Sciences:Molecular Biology, Environmental Science, Oceans and Coastal Resources, Life Sciences, Environmental Science:Global Change and Climate
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Using mathematics and computational thinking, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Wet Lab/Bench Research, Field Research
Target Audience: Non-major, Major
CURE Duration: A full term