An update of recent CURE-related research, opportunities, and resources.
Open this newsletter on the CUREnet website.

CUREnet Quarterly - December 2019

Recent Publications

Crossing Floors: Developing an Interdisciplinary CURE between an Environmental Toxicology Course and an Analytical Chemistry Course
This study reports on student experiences in a collaborative CURE between an Analytical Chemistry and an Environmental Toxicology course. Students in both courses highlighted positive aspects of the CURE, demonstrated gains in project ownership, and showed an ability to connect ideas and techniques to broader research questions.

Flexible Implementation of the BASIL CURE
This article highlights the BASIL (Biochemistry Authentic Scientific Inquiry Lab) CURE, its history, and its curriculum over the past four years of implementation with different instructors at various institutions. The authors argue that the BASIL CURE can be easily implemented in a variety of different settings due to its flexible nature.

The Impact of Broadly Relevant Novel Discoveries on Student Project Ownership in a Traditional Lab Course Turned CURE
This paper compares students in a traditional lab course with students in a CURE to examine the impact of making broadly relevant discoveries. The study found that students enrolled in the CURE reported higher project ownership than students in the traditional lab and showed that student perceptions of collaboration and discovery/relevance were significantly related to project ownership.

CUREs from the Collection

Get the Lead Out: Impacts of Toxins from SuperFund Sites on Human Health, Ecology, and Socioeconomic Conditions, with an Evaluation of Environmental Racism in Regional Communities
Students in a community-college introductory Environmental Studies course extract soil samples from a SuperFund site. They analyze toxins through reagent chemical tests, read peer-reviewed articles to enhance and promote scientific literacy, to examine impacts of environmental toxins on human health and development, and to discuss equity and environmental racism.

Exploring the Structure-Function Relationship in RNA Biochemistry
Many RNA viruses bypass cellular antiviral responses by hijacking protein synthesis machinery to translate viral proteins for replication and packaging. They accomplish this task using structured regions within the RNA genome that directly bind to a subset of translation factors/ribosomal subunits. The goal of this research is to correlate structure to function using a series of mutations that are predicted to alter the RNA secondary structure. Students will design mutants based on a predicted wild type secondary structure and then test how mutations affect function. Key RNA structures determined by these studies would add to a growing body of knowledge about conserved RNA motifs that bind to and regulate cellular translation machinery. In addition to the research goals, students will also learn tools to effectively communicate their hypotheses, methods and conclusions to a lay audience and expert scientist.

Announcements and Opportunities

AR-CURE Synthetic Biology Workshop
The Arkansas (AR): CURE project is excited to announce a new synthetic biology faculty workshop from June 17-20, 2020, hosted by Ouachita Baptist University. The 3-day workshop will give faculty expertise to begin CUREs at their institution. This workshop is 100% funded and there are no costs associated with this workshop. Additionally, funds are available to offset a portion of travel expenses. Faculty from regional two-year undergraduate institutions, HBCUs, HSIs, and Tribal Colleges are strongly encouraged to apply. For more information and to apply, click here.

Funding your own CURE

Please visit the CUREnet site to learn more about how others have funded their CUREs and share your own experiences!

Voices from the CURE community

We are interested in collecting narratives from individuals who have implemented CUREs and are willing to share their experience and advice with the rest of the CUREnet community. If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming issue of CUREnet Quarterly, email Logan Gin.

Have news to share?

Use this page on the CUREnet website to submit publications, announcements, and job posts to be featured in the next CUREnet Quarterly newsletter.