CURE Collection

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Results 1 - 10 of 47 matches

Exploring the Structure-Function Relationship in RNA Biochemistry

Discipline: Life Sciences:Molecular Biology, Chemistry:Biochemistry
Core Competencies: Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Developing and using models, Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data, Using mathematics and computational thinking, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Basic Research
State: Colorado
Target Audience: Upper Division, Major
CURE Duration: Half a term
CUREnet Exemplary Collection This CURE has been identified as exemplary based on CUREnet's review criteria.
See the activity page for details.

A Bioinformatic Look at Iron Uptake in Insects
Emily Ragan, Metropolitan State University of Denver
Students will perform BLAST searches, make phylogenetic trees, identify putative orthologs, and investigate secondary structure elements of 5' untranslated regions (UTRs). The sequences used will be related to iron uptake in insects.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Molecular Biology, Chemistry:Biochemistry
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data
Nature of Research: Informatics/Computational Research
State: Colorado
Target Audience: Upper Division, Major
CURE Duration: Half a term
CUREnet Exemplary Collection This CURE has been identified as exemplary based on CUREnet's review criteria.
See the activity page for details.

Design2Data
Ashley Vater, University of California-Davis
The D2D program is centered around an undergraduate-friendly protocol workflow that follows the design-build-test-learn engineering framework. This protocol has served as the scaffold for a successful undergraduate training program and has been further developed into courses that range from a 10-week freshman seminar to a year-long, upper-division molecular biology course. The overarching research goal of this CURE probes the current predictive limitations of protein-modeling software by functionally characterizing single amino acid mutants in a robust model system. The most interesting outcomes of this project are dependent on large datasets, and, as such, the project is optimal for multi-institutional collaborations.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Planning and carrying out investigations, 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
Nature of Research: Basic Research, Wet Lab/Bench Research, Applied Research
Target Audience: Major, Upper Division, Introductory, Non-major
CURE Duration: Multiple terms, A full 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:Global Change and Climate, Ecosystems, Environmental Science, Oceans and Coastal Resources, Life Sciences:Ecology, Life Sciences
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Field Research, Basic Research, Applied Research
State: California
Target Audience: Upper Division, Non-major, Major
CURE Duration: A full term
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
Learn more about this review process.

Laser spectroscopy of atmospherically relevant molecules and clusters in helium nanodroplets
Paul Raston, James Madison University
Superfluid helium nanodroplets present an ideal medium for the study of chemical dynamics at the molecular level. Their low temperature, enormous heat conductivity, and weakly interacting nature allow for the investigation of various things, such as how molecular rotation is effected by a solvent, and how molecules interact with each other. These two topics will be addressed in the lab by (1) measuring the spectra of unexplored molecules in helium nanodroplets and determining their rotational constants; this data will then be used to test known models describing the interaction between the molecule and helium solvent, and (2) synthesizing and characterizing unexplored molecular clusters in an effort to better understand molecular solvation; students will solvate the "unexplored molecule" with an atmospherically relevant species (O2, N2, H2O), and investigate the resulting clusters with laser Stark spectroscopy.

Discipline: Chemistry:Physical Chemistry
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Using mathematics and computational thinking, Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Planning and carrying out investigations, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Developing and using models
Nature of Research: Basic Research
State: Virginia
Target Audience: Non-major, Major, Upper Division
CURE Duration: Multiple terms, A few class periods

DNA cloning and protein analysis of animal-heme peroxidase within collagen IV of the extracellular matrix
Isi Ero-Tolliver, Hampton University
This CURE is to expose undergraduate students to the process of DNA cloning to identify the critical amino acids of the animal-heme peroxidase,peroxidasin, responsible for catalyzing sulfilimine bond formation within collagen IV of the basement membrane. Students will bioengineer a variety of mutants through primer design and polymerase chain reactions that contain point mutations within the immunoglobulin domain of the peroxidasin.

Discipline: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Chemistry:Biochemistry
Core Competencies: Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Planning and carrying out investigations
Nature of Research: Basic Research, Wet Lab/Bench Research
State: Virginia
Target Audience: Major, Upper Division, Introductory
CURE Duration: Multiple terms, A full term

Investigating the effects of altered thyroid hormone levels on neural stem cell proliferation in the larval zebrafish hypothalamus.
Priyanjali Ghosh, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
The central nervous system of most vertebrate species consists of zones of neural stem cell (NSC) proliferation which retain the ability to undergo neuro/gliogenesis well into adulthood [1]. The two primary regions of adult neurogenesis in mammals are the ventricular and subventricular zones (V-SVZ) of the lateral ventricles and the subgranular zone (SGZ) of hippocampus [2–7]. Additionally, adult neurogenesis in the mammalian hypothalamus has also been reported [8–11]. Unlike mammals, neurogenesis is more abundant in reptiles, amphibians and fish [3, 12]. In fact, studies have identified 16 different regions of proliferation and neurogenesis in the adult zebrafish brain, and unlike mammalian species, neurogenesis occurs in all of these subdivisions in the zebrafish brain [2, 13, 14]. This makes the zebrafish a fantastic model organism for studying NSC proliferation and neuro/gliogenesis. Recent studies show that there are striking similarities and differences across all vertebrate species in the factors and mechanisms that regulate NSC proliferation and neuro/gliogenesis [1]. Thus, understanding these mechanisms is critical to understanding regenerative neurogenesis and to developing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. One such interesting factor known to regulate NSC behavior throughout vertebrate life is thyroid hormone (TH). Appropriate amounts of TH are necessary for proper brain development in all vertebrates and studies have shown that TH plays an important role in maintaining NSC proliferation and fate determination in the central nervous system [15]. However, studies performed in rats and mice to understand the effects of TH on NSC proliferation reveal contradictory results. For example, low levels of TH are shown to decrease the proliferative rates of NSC in SVZ of mice [16] whereas the opposite effect is observed in the rat SVZ [17]. Not only does this suggest that the effect of TH may vary between species, it encourages us to explore the role of TH in the zebrafish brain. Specifically, for this CURE course, we are interested in studying the role of TH on NSC proliferation in the zebrafish hypothalamus. Why the hypothalamus? For one, the hypothalamus is the most ancient and evolutionarily conserved part of the vertebrate brain [18]. Second, life-long hypothalamic neurogenesis has been documented in rodents, zebrafish, and likely humans [5, 11, 19]. Lastly, very little is known about the role of TH in regulating the NSC proliferation in the hypothalamus (including that of the zebrafish), making the goal of thus CURE course novel.

Discipline: Life Sciences
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data
Nature of Research: Basic Research, Wet Lab/Bench Research
State: Massachusetts
Target Audience: Major, Upper Division
CURE Duration: A full term

Characterising the prokaryotic ATPase-ome
Alice Robson, University of Bristol
Students work in teams of 3-4 trying to identify and characterise putative ATPase enzymes from prokaryotic organisms. Each student identifies a putative uncharacterised ATPase gene from a range of prokaryotes (archaea and bacteria), and uses bioinformatic methods to characterise the gene. They then work in teams in the lab to clone, express and purify their chosen proteins; finally they characterise the protein using spectrophotometric ATPase assays. The team presents a poster on their work, then each student individually writes a report in the style of a short paper. The student grade is based on three assessed pieces: the lab book (20%), poster presentation (10%, graded as a team), and the report (70%). This course is compulsory for year 3 of our MSci Biochemistry programme, and counts for 20 credit points (out of 120 for the year). The course has been running since 2017 with an intake of 20-30 students per year, all of whom have passed the course.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Microbiology, Chemistry:Biochemistry, Life Sciences:Molecular Biology, Life Sciences
Core Competencies: Planning and carrying out investigations, Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Basic Research, Informatics/Computational Research, Wet Lab/Bench Research
Target Audience: Major, Upper Division
CURE Duration: A full term, Multiple terms

BASIL (Biochemistry Authentic Scientific Inquiry Laboratory)
Arthur Sikora, Nova Southeastern University
This curriculum from the BASIL (Biochemistry Authentic Scientific Inquiry Laboratory) biochemistry consortium aims to get students to transition from thinking like students to thinking like scientists. Students will analyze proteins with known structure but unknown function using computational analyses and wet-lab techniques. BASIL is designed for undergraduate biochemistry lab courses, but can be adapted to first year (or even high school) settings, as well as upper-level undergraduate or graduate coursework. It is targeted to students in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, or related majors. Further details about the BASIL biochemistry consortium can be found on the BASIL blog, http://basiliuse.blogspot.com/ The curriculum is flexible and can be adapted to match the available facilities, the strengths of the instructor and the learning goals of a course and institution. These lessons are often used as part of upper-level laboratory coursework with at least one semester of biochemistry as a pre-requisite or co-requisite. The lab has been designed for classes ranging from 10-24 students (working in teams of two or three) per lab section. This lesson can be adapted to laboratory courses for introductory biology, cell and molecular biology, or advanced biology labs.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Molecular Biology, Computer Science, Chemistry:Biochemistry
Nature of Research: Wet Lab/Bench Research, Basic Research, Informatics/Computational Research
State: New York
Target Audience: Upper Division, Major
CURE Duration: Multiple terms, A full term

Genome to phenome: DNA-protein interactions involved in butterfly wing colored development
Michelle Borrero, University of Puerto Rico
We are interested in understanding the genomic mechanisms underlying morphological differences within species. We will use the wing color pattern of Heliconius erato as a model. We have developed a Course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) that will engage undergraduate biology majors in the identification and purification of transcription factors in butterfly wing development. Through this experience students will be able to use the knowledge and concepts from the literature to make and defend decisions, explain the role of DNA binding proteins in the genome to phenome relationship and recognize the application and utility of the techniques used in the research for their career development.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Cell Biology, Evolution, Molecular Biology, Life Sciences, Genetics
Core Competencies: Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data
Nature of Research: Basic Research
Target Audience: Major
CURE Duration: A full term