This project was prepared as part of a BioQUEST faculty development workshop entitled BioQUEST 2004 Summer Workshop for Undergraduate Faculty: Systems Biology at Beloit College in June 2004. The BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium is committed to the reform of undergraduate biology instruction through an emphasis on engaging students in realistic scientific practices. This approach is sometimes characterized as an inquiry driven approach and is captured in BioQUEST's three P's (problem-posing, problem-solving, and peer-persuasion). As part of this workshop groups of faculty were encouraged to initiate innovative curricular projects. We are sharing these works in progress in the hope that they will stimulate further exploration, collaboration and development. Please see the following links for additional information:

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Bridges to Structure
Authors          Audiences          Overview           Materials          Resources           Future Directions



Peter Woodruff
Champlain - St. Lambert College

Joyce Cadwallader
Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College


Possible Audiences:

Undergraduate College students in a variety of structurally based classes like Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, Comparative Vertebrate Zoology, Anatomy and Physiology, Introductory Biology, etc.


Brief Overview:

This projectís goals are to investigate structural components at a variety of levels: molecularly, cellularlly (histologically),phylogenetically, organismally, etc. Traditionally the stuctural classes at many institutions have used primarily dissection and histology for comparison of different vertebrate classes. In this project, we began to develop exercises at the molecular level using gemonmic and proteomic information to form phylogenetic trees, started a chart of materials available at NCBI for use in comparison (phylogentically and visually) of characteristic proteins from specific organ systems, and initiated thinking about a project to start a pictorial archive of dissection activities and histological meassurements. With the signifcant movement to integrate more material within biology and other areas of science and mathematics, building bridges (exercises) amongst a number of levels seems relevant. In addition, adding more open-ended projects with greater manipulation of data and mathematical manipulation in these courses is very desirable.


Project Materials:

Phylogenetic Tree Constructor National Center for Biological Information Center for Comparative Genomes at Lawrence Livermore Center Biology Workbench. Visualization Tools like NIH Image (with measurement capability) and Cn3D at NCBI Measurement data sets (will start to accumulate)


Resources and References:

(See annotations on Workshop Site)

Brian White, Phylogenetic Tree Constructor

Biology Workbench

National Center for Biolotical Information

Center for Comparative Genomes.


Future Directions:

This project starts the development of investigative activities at molecular levels (Phylogenetic Tree Constructor and Biology Workbench) and at the organismal visualization activities (Photographical Archive of Organ System) and incorporating these activities into a course which previously had incorporated only two levels, dissection (organ system, organism level) and histology (static cellular). Referring to Peterís graphical representation of the application of a systems approoach to structure (see slide show), many other activities could and should be developed to explore more levels (Population, Community, Ecosystem, etc.of structure within this category of courses.



- Bridges.ppt