BUILDING THE LIFE MOLECULES: DNA AND RNA

L.M. Beltramini, A.P.U. de Ara, L.D.S. Abel, J.C.Q. Carvalho, O.H.P. Ramos, T.H.G. Oliveira, F. Moron, N.F. dos Santos

Resumo


The dissemination area of the Centro de Biotecnologia Molecular Estrutural (CBME) have beendeveloping a program of new tools to help teaching and learning of structural molecular biology areaat all levels, from elementary to graduate schools. In this way, we have developed a kit denotedBuilding the life molecules: DNA and RNA. The kit is composed by: (1) an interactive software calledThe Virtual Cells, used to facilitate the comprehension of the structures and functions of dierent typesof cells; (2) several small plastic elements with proper exibility that allows building DNA and RNAstructure models; (3)an Amino Acid Disk, with the amino acids structures, their abbreviation and thegenetic code; (4) a folder containing a historical about events on DNA discovery and instruction toused the tools. These tools contribute to the understanding of the cell structure, its dierent organellesand functions, specially the organization of the nucleus, nucleic acids and genetic code. The plasticelements and Amino Acid Disk permit the students to understand DNA and RNA molecule structure,as well as the semi conservative duplication of DNA, the transcription and translation processes.Such plastic components emphasize chemical connections and respect the real molecular structureparameters keeping size proportionality. The Amino Acid Disk is composed by superposed rotatingdisks, with openings allowing information on the amino acids can be observed. In the opposite facecontents a genetic code table. With this tool, teachers and students are able to simulate the synthesisof a given protein, after assembling the structure of RNAm and perceiving the molecular dynamic.The historical about events on DNA discovery helps one to better understand the development ofscience. We have evaluated this kit and its usefulness in learning. The data demonstrated it has highdidactic potential since of its easy handling. The development of this kit is part of a broad diusionproject of scientic knowledge, which CBME performs with the purpose of providing, in a playful way,the comprehension of the structure-function paradigm of biological macromolecules.

Palavras-chave


LIFE MOLECULES, chemical connections

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.16923/reb.v2i2.146

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