Visualizing the Invisible

Using 3D Models to Help Students See Structure-Function Relationships of Macromolecules

Amino Acids and Proteins
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Amino Acids

How amino acids interact and rotate.

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Protein Structure

Why protein structures have repeated elements. 

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Enzyme Regulation

How enzyme products regulate enzyme activity.

DNA, RNA and Proteins

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DNA vs RNA

Models and Activity

How the structures of DNA and RNA influence their functions. 

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DNA Topology

Models and Activity

Why packing DNA affects its structure.

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Interpreting DNA

Models and Activity

How proteins bind to specific DNA sequences.

Models without Activities 

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tRNA

A tRNA molecule perfect for showing RNA loops, anticodons, and translation.

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Flagella

A flagella base with snap-in flagellin monomers. Great for quaternary structure!

Spacefill helix

Spacefill helix

Models 

Full-color space-fill alpha-helix. With scaled water molecule.

Want to make your own models?

We get it. Check out our peer-reviewed publication on making your own models. Here or here.

Class Incorporation Timeline

Tired of teaching or learning about complex structures from flat images? Try models!

Models in the Class

When does incorporation make the most sense?

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Print Models

- 6 weeks 

Allow time for printing, shipping, and troubleshooting

Arrange Models

- 2 weeks

Add magnets and make sets. Deposit a set in the library or learning center.

Prepare

- 1 week

Try activity, incorporate slides, notify students, and print handouts

Check

- 1 day

Gather models & handouts.

Review activity

Quiz

+ 1 week

Determine how effective it was!

The Biochemicals Team

Karin van Dijk

Team Leader

DNA module topic developer

Rebecca Roston

3D printing expert

Protein module topic developer

Brian Couch

Assessment expert

Module editor

Tomas Helikar

Computer model expert

Module editor

Michelle Howell

3D printing expert

3D model/activity developer

Christine Booth

Computer model expert

3D model outreach

Sharmin Sikich

Biochemistry education expert

Small class specialist

And you?

The team is recruiting talent now!

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Our effort is funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation to improve biochemistry education.