P730: Development of polymerase chain reaction experiments that fit within a single undergraduate biochemistry laboratory session

Author: Jodi Kreiling, University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA

Co-Author: Richard Lomneth, Ericka Crawford, Brittney Tweedy, and John Riley III, University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA

Date: 8/6/14

Time: 9:55 AM10:15 AM

Room: LOH 174

Related Symposium: S54

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a standard method for producing and analyzing DNA, and an important part of the biochemistry laboratory curriculum. Traditional PCR methods require long cycle times (denaturation, annealing and extension), which do not fit within a typical laboratory period (~3.5 h) when combined with gel electrophoresis of the DNA. Our goal was to develop a rapid and reliable PCR protocol that allowed amplification and gel analysis within a single student laboratory period and still produce reliable student DNA amplification. To accomplish this, we investigated relatively new DNA polymerases referred to as Hotstart enzymes that reportedly allow shortened PCR cycle times without losing amplification signal. These enzymes were tested using both conventional and rapid thermocyclers at various cycle times. Surprisingly, the conventional thermocycler found in most biochemistry laboratories was capable of reliably producing the amplified DNA products in a fraction of the standard protocol time simply by upgrading to Hotstart enzymes. Ultimately, PCR runs and product analysis using gel electrophoresis can be reliably completed in less than 3 hours by undergraduate students with only a minor increase to standard laboratory PCR expenses.

P566: Development of an online biochemistry lecture-only course for students entering health science fields

Author: Jodi Kreiling, University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA


Date: 8/5/14

Time: 2:45 PM3:05 PM

Room: HON 148

Related Symposium: S37

As the number of online lecture courses continues to expand around the nation, the natural sciences are still trying to figure out how to offer a quality online course in an online format. Many problems arise in offering a course of sufficient rigor with adequate assessments when the classroom is taken out of the equation. We have developed an online Biochemistry lecture course for students entering into allied health professions, such as physician assistant, ultrasound/radiography, and clinical laboratory programs. This course has been in development over the past academic year and was offered for the first time in Summer 2014. Course development will be outlined, including lecture preparation, preparing a course site, developing assessment tools, and security issues. Course evaluations and assessment feedback will be shared. Strategies for improving the course, the student experience, and the professor time commitment will be discussed.