New animated Genetics teaching program

a.w. day aday at
Wed Dec 15 10:46:14 EST 1993


Visual Genetics  -  an extremely large ( 50 hours of study material - 35 meg of data) comprehensive graphics-based resource for genetics/molecular biology courses. Equivalent in its present coverage to 65% or so of the material in a typical introductory text.

This program has been developed by faculty at a large Canadian university and the animated-lessons that are a key component of it (The Bio-Animate Series) are now in use in over 80 institutions in Canada, USA, and several other countries including Norway, Italy, Qatar, Spain and Argentina.

	Users of Visual Genetics click a button to enter one of 7 major topic areas (DNA structure and replication; Protein Synthesis; Chromosomes and Cell Division; Recombination and Mapping; Mutation, Repair and Gene Regulation;  Biotechnology and Molecular Techniques; Cell Biology ). Each topic area screen contains buttons to access either visual learning tools or problem-based self-testing tools.

1. Visual learning tools
 Over 65 colour animated-lessons from the Bio-Animate Series covering most of the fundamental processes of classical and molecular genetics. Each animation is a full screen, full colour lengthy, detailed and visually appealing lesson on a particular topic, eg DNA replication, or translation, at the same level as most introductory genetics texts. A typical animation lesson extends for about 150 -200 frames and requires about 15 min of study. The range of topics is extremely broad, eg mitosis, meiosis, DNA s

tructure, the Holliday model, nucleosomes, antibody diversity, mitotic recombination, tetrad analysis, PCR, attenuation, etc. Many animations are in 3D eg representations of meiosis, inversions, chiasma. The full set of animations provides about 20 hours of detailed teaching in a visually appealing and highly memorable way.

**************  See below for a full list of titles.	******************

	We use the animated-lessons in our own classes in several ways: 
i) as a back-up resource following lectures; 
ii) as the prime teaching tool in lectures eg its far simpler, quicker and more effective to teach enzyme action at the replication fork by projecting the animation in class, than to use diagrams on the overhead - the students can see what is happening on the lagging strand and have no problem then in uderstanding Okazaki fragments etc.
iii) for remedial teaching - ie for situations where you really should'nt have to teach mitosis yet again.
iv) for tutorials 
v) for coverage of extra topics (optional or required) we won't be covering in lecture. We would give a choice of such options with the statement that there will be a question on the exam where they can choose to answer such self-researched material.
vi) for courses we are giving local high school teachers to help them update their knowledge.

	Student response to this form of teaching has been highly enthusiastic and we as instructors have noticed a marked improvement in their grasp of fundamental processes. 

2. Problem-based learning and self-testing tools

  Multiple choice questions - just click on an answer.  There are 30 - 40 questions in each topic area for a total of over 200 questions

  Problem-solving questions - work out your own answer on the screen with the aid of built in word processing, calculator and resource files (Genetic code etc) - then call up a detailed explanation. 12 questions are included in each topic area for a total of 72 questions

  Drag-a-label diagrams - Drag the correct label to its position on a number of different diagrams.The diagrams include  Chromosome structure, Stages of cell division, Structural elements in DNA and mRNA, Antibody structure etc.

3. Other features

  Index to topics in each animation   	
  Glossary of terms - just click on an item to find the answer; or test your knowledge - click on the term and your definition and see if you are correct.

  Students can type in their own notes and save/load from floppy discs. 
  Alarm/time clock

4. Customizable to meet the specific needs of each teacher.

 Edit the default set of multiple choice questions or create an additional set (up to 240 questions).

 Edit the default set of problem-solving questions or create an additional set (up to 72 questions).

 Add extra material to the resource files

 Create notes to your students eg what to view this week, additional information and comments etc.

For IBM-compatible computers with VGA colour.  

Visual Genetics requires Windows 3.x. The animation-lessons (The Bio-Animate Series) can be run as a DOS program without Windows. We are currently exploring avenues to run the animations as Quicktime movies on Macs.   

PURCHASING. You may purchase individual titles @ $15 each, or complete chapters as below (at approx $12 each title) or the whole set (65 titles) at less than $10/title. Site license provides unlimited use for only 3 x base price. Contact us for full details. 



Chapter 1  - DNA Structure and Replication 	       			
 DNASTRUC.FLI     	E     	The Structure of DNA
 SEMICONS.FLI 		I     	Semiconservative Replication of DNA 
 CHROMREP.FLI 	  	I    	Replication at the Chromosomal Level 
 REPFORK.FLI 		I     	Enzyme Action at the Replication Fork
 REPLISOM.FLI 		A     	The Fixed Replisome Model of Replication

Chapter 2.  Protein Synthesis				      		
 AMINACID.FLI	 	E    	Structure and Properties of amino-acids.
 PROTFUNC.FLI 	  	E    	An Overview of Protein Synthesis 
 POLYCIST.FLI	  	I    	Coupled Transcription and Translation  
 PROMTERM.FLI	 	I   	Promoters and Terminators of Transcription
 TRANSRNA.FLI	  	I    	tRNA: Structure, Synthesis, Functions 
 RIBOSOME.FLI	 	I    	Ribosomes: Structure, Synthesis, Assembly 
 CAPNTAIL.FLI	 	I    	hn RNA processing. G caps and poly A tails
 SPLICING.FLI	 	I    	hn RNA processing and intron splicing.
 TRANSLTN.FLI	 	I     	Translation in Prokaryotes
 SIGNALSQ.FLI 		I   	Cotranslational  insertion of proteins
 WOBBLE.FLI	 	I    	The Wobble hypothesis.  

Chapter 3.  Chromosomes and Cell Division          			
CELL.FLI		I	Cell cycle controls (cdc2, MPF, cyclins etc)
MITOSIS2.FLI 		E   	Mitosis 
NEWMEIO.FLI		E    	Meiosis  
CHIASMA.FLI	 	I   	Bivalents and chiasma formation  
RECSYNAP.FLI		I   	The Synaptonemal Complex and Crossing Over
NUCLAMIN.FLI	 	I   	Nuclear Lamins - Role in Nuclear Structure
TRANSLOC.FLI		I	Chromosomal translocations
INVERSIO.FLI		I   	Chromosomal inversions effects on meiosis 
NUCLEOSM.FLI		I	DNA and chromosomes (nucleosomes, solenoids)
SCAFFOLD.FLI		I	Chromosome struc. in interphase & metaphase

Chapter 4  Recombination  and Mapping             			
MENDEL.FLI		E	Mendelian genetics
MAPPING1.FLI		E	Principles of mapping
MAPPING2.FLI		I	Mapping in 2 and 3-point crosses 
TETRAD.FLI		I	Tetrad analysis
MITXOVER.FLI		I 	Mitotic Crossing-over
BENZER.FLI		I	Fine struc. of genes - Benzer's rII analysis
BACTCONJ.FLI	 	I    	Conjugation in Bacteria
MOLREC.FLI		A   	Molecular Models of Recombination
GENECONV.FLI		A   	Gene Conversion
ANTIBODY.FLI		I	Mechanisms causing antibody diversity

Chapter 5   Mutation, Repair and Regulation	           		
MUTATION.FLI	 	E       Mutation, the genetic code, & phenotypes 
AMES.FLI		I   	Testing for chemical mutagens-The Ames Test
SPONMUTN.FLI		I   	The origin of spontaneous mutations.
TRANSPOS.FLI		I   	Transposons in prokaryotes  
ON.FLI		I   	The Lac Operon
ATTENUTN.FLI	 	A   	Attenuation at the Tryptophan Operon

Chapter 6  Biotechnological Techniques			  		
TECHNIQ.FLI		I	Techniques-isol./analyzing NA's + Proteins
DIRMUTAN.FLI	 	I    	Site directed mutation
BLOTTING.FLI 		I    	Southern, Northern and Western blotting.
CLONING1.FLI	 	I   	Recombinant DNA
CLONING2.FLI	 	I   	Genomic and cDNA Libraries
PCR.FLI			I   	The Polymerase Chain Reaction
DNASEQ.FLI	 	I   	Methods of Sequencing DNA
FINGERPR.FLI		I	DNA  Fingerprinting

Chapter  7  Topics in Cell Biology				  	
ELECTRAN.FLI	 	I   	Electron transport and proton pumping  
GPROTEIN.FLI 		I   	Hormonal activation of protein kinases 
MOTOPROT.FLI 		I   	Microtubule-associated motor proteins
OSMOSIS.FLI 	 	E      	Osmosis and osmotic pressures
ATOMSTRC.FLI 		E   	Structure of atoms, bonds & molecules
SKELMUSC.FLI		I   	Contraction in skeletal muscle
SPECTRIN.FLI	 	I   	The spectrin-based cytoskeleton  
SYNTRANS.FLI		I   	Signal transduction across the synapse. 
VOLTGATE.FLI	 	I   	The role of voltage-gated channels 
PHOTSYN1.FLI	 	A    	Photosynthesis  Part 1
PHOTSYN2.FLI 		A   	Photosynthesis. Part 2




Bio-Animate Productions,  
28 Askin St., London, Ontario, 
Canada.    N6C 1E3      
Tel 519-432-5800  FAX 519-661-2014
aday at

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