Day 1: Review the basic terminology and basic concepts of The Genetic Code. Using the basic resources provided, study the process of transcribing a DNA sequence to mRNA, then translating mRNA sequence to a protein sequence. Students will have access to the materials described above.
Formative Assessment: DNA Online Quiz.
Assignment: More research on DNA Basics
Day 2: Formative Assessment: DNA / RNA/ Protein Quiz. Use this quiz to determine the readiness of the class for this project. Give the students some simple DNA sequences to translate into a protein sequence. Students will learn the major tests for validating the code:
- Letters must be A, C, G, or T only.
- The length of the code must be a multiple of three.
- The coding must begin with a start codon (ATG).
- The code must end with a stop codon (TAG, TAA, or TAG).
Teacher will observe the students as they work on these problems.
Programming Project #1: Given a Program Template, complete the code that will allow the user to enter a simple DNA sequence from the keyboard. Test the sequence for validity. If there is an error, indicate the reason for the error. If the sequence is valid, display the mRNA code, and the resulting protein sequence.
Day 3: Review the concept of opening, reading, and closing text files.
Programing Project #2: Given a Program Template, complete the code that will allow the user to select a text file that contains a DNA sequence. Test the sequence for validity. If the sequence is valid, display the mRNA code, and the resulting protein sequence. This program will use the basic structure of Programming Project #1. Output must be in a form that allows the user to easily compare the DNA, mRNA, and Protein sequences.
Day 4: Review the concept of mutations (SNP) in the DNA sequence and the effect of producing proteins based on this mutation.
Programming Project #3: Given a DNA sequence from a text file, randomly cause a mutation at a single location in the DNA sequence. Compare this to the original sequence to determine whether or not there is a change in the protein. Identify the mutation a silent, missense, or nonsense.
Programming Project #4: Have the use enter a specific DNA sequence, then find the starting location for all occurrences on this sequence for this given gene or indicate that it does not exist.