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"Connecting Concepts: Animal Physiology/Signal Transduction" icon

Connecting Concepts: Animal Physiology/Signal Transduction

Description This tutorial/simulation consists of three topics. In topic 1, students examine generalized components and events of signal transduction, first using the metaphor of a pool game and then in the Fight-or-Flight response. Students will: 1) observe animations of signal transduction in the game of pool, in the organ systems of a student, and in a liver cell responding to adrenalin; and 2) identify components (receptor, intermediaries, target) and events (signal engagement, relay, and interaction with target) in each animation. In topic 2, students delve further into signal transduction with a journey into the olfactory neuron of a mosquito. They look at how lactic acid in human sweat triggers a cellular and behavioral mosquito response. Students: 1) step through an animation of the pathway; 2) reconstruct the sequence of events in the pathway; 3) conduct simulated experiments testing chemical inhibitors of the pathway and the behavior of mosquitoes with mutations in the pathway; and 4) identify molecular amplification and regulatory events. In topic 3, students use their knowledge of signal transduction to look at estrogen signaling and the potential role that dioxins play in disrupting this pathway in endometriosis. Students: 1) learn about the normal female reproductive cycle and symptoms of endometriosis; 2) step through an animation depicting estrogen signaling in a uterine cell; and 3)complete an investigation (based on actual studies) of the effects of dioxin on the pathway in which they interpret data from experiments, select a model that incorporates experimental results, and explain how dioxin could disrupt the reproductive cycle.

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Marty Zahn
Marty Zahn (Retired Faculty)
7 years ago

A highly interactive exercise that investigate themechanism and importance of signal transduction in cell activity. This is a vital and not easily understood concept.  Very well written and well organized. Requires students to draw conclusions from information presented.

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Requires Flash player

Time spent reviewing site: 1 hour