After a long hiatus, I’m going to be dedicating a lot of the next six months (Feb-August 2017) to this site. Major projects include getting the first chapters of the Intro Bio eText usable (scientific method & Central Dogma players), porting more things to Web platforms (both the ‘VocabuWary‘ and Chapter Review tools are trembling on the edge of readiness), and updating the 3D menagerie to consolidate the tricks I’ve learned and start to realize the vision of letting students operate the viewing of and almost touch the molecules of life.
If you’ve explored the site before, I wanted to provide some updates on things that are newly installed, things that work better, and the Big Thing that I hope to drop on Wed. or Thu. of this week
I’ve made a first stab at adding some lecture component materials (stuff I’ve already researched and collated; note that many of these could be used an in-class exercises or at-home student explorations). These are meant to be collections of inter actives (often simulations or explorations I’ve created), Web and literature resources, and sometimes Powerpoint/Keynotes files and movies from my own lectures.
Yesterday, I made a first pass at Opsin; this joins existing Flu and Cytosine/Uracil/Thymine modules; I also added a bit to the Blue eyes vs. Lactose intolerance set (where we deduce number and timing of origin of human mutations from gene sequence comparison). All are accessible from the link above.
Just a brief update to indicate that the opsin function and evolution module is up in its initial-release form here:
The heart of this module is interactive software that lets students ‘mutate’ the gene sequence for the human red-sensing opsin protein and discover how easily it becomes a green-sensing opsin… recapitulating the evolutionary ‘re-discovery’ of this ability in old-world primates.
Posted material doesn’t cover the critical step of gene duplication yet; provided references are primarily raw materials for investigating how mutation can lead to altered function. In this case, that means how a green-detecting opsin is simply a red-detecting opsin with some mistakes in it.
I’m trying out WordPress. This will allow me to better indicate recent updates, and spout off about a lot of things I spend too much time mumbling to myself about.
–In Software Explorations, ‘Information Flow‘ is an overview of the key concepts involving DNA, RNA, proteins: key features the actors need to play their roles
–The Hemoglobin series of 3D images first iteration is now complete; I’m starting work on accompanying tutorial/question pages