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Hemoglobin Proteins: A Case-Based Biology Lesson Plan

Hemoglobin Proteins: A Case-Based Biology Lesson Plan

Through this activity, students should come to the understanding that different variants of nucleotide sequence are present. This will allow them to see that some mutations in an organism's do not end up affecting protein synthesis. This will allow the facilitator to bring up the idea that some DNA is not essential for the final product. Students should discover that the sequences of mRNA (cDNA) are actually a lot smaller than the original DNA (gDNA). Hence, similar sequences from the gDNAs have been used to construct the final mRNA product. Upon analysis of the protein structure, they should see even more so, that the amino acid structure is basically the same. When comparing normal versus sickle protein structure they will see one amino acid change that sticks out. When they follow this back to the RNA, they will see that this nucleotide base substitution was crucial in determining the amino acid to be placed in the protein. Questions should also arise concerning the nature of the thalassemia patient's Hb.

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