Presented at the 1999 American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting

GCAT Abstract

Genomic methods are changing every aspect of biology, but most teachers find the methods abstract, expensive and daunting. We propose the formation of the Genome Consortium for Active Teaching (GCAT) that will enable teachers and undergraduates to conduct collaborative experiments using the powerful genomic method of DNA microarrays, or DNA chips.

Dr. Patrick Brown (Stanford) produces DNA chips where all 6500 genes of S. cerevisiae are spotted on microscope slides. Chips are probed with fluorescently labeled cDNA produced from mRNA isolated from cells grown under different conditions (Spellman et al., 1998. Mol. Biol. Cell. 9: 3273). For example, one might want to examine differential gene expression triggered by anaerobic (beer) vs. aerobic (bread) growth. cDNA from cells in each growth condition is tagged with green or red fluorophores. Genes transcribed under both conditions appear yellow while those differentially expressed are green or red. With DNA chips, undergraduates will gain insight into organismal gene regulation.

Dr. Brown has agreed to produce 144 DNA chips for GCAT and Axon Instruments has agreed to read the first year of GCAT chips free of charge. We propose forming GCAT as a mechanism to encourage the introduction of genomic methods into the undergraduate curriculum.

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If you have any questions or would like to participate, contact Dr. A. Malcolm Campbell

Dr. A. Malcolm Campbell
Biology Department
Davidson College
P. O. Box 1719
Davidson, NC 28036-1719

phone: (704) 892-2692
fax: (704) 892-2512

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