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Gene Expression

Gene Expression - Decoding the Flu 1 Learning Objectives 1...

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Decoding the Flu 1
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Learning Objectives 1. Distinguish among the functions of DNA, mRNA, tRNA, and proteins. 2. Explain how cells use information stored in DNA to make protein. 3. Predict the protein coded for by a given DNA molecule. 4. Predict how a change in a molecule of DNA of will potentially change the function of a protein. 2
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Jason was excited! He had landed a summer internship at the National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases (NCPDCID). It didn’t pay, but it helped boost his resume before applying to medical school, and his boss had let him tag along on a CDC research trip to rural Mexico. 3 Jason’s excitement changed to concern, though, when the research team accidentally contracted one of the flu viruses they had been studying. Other than Dr. Phillips, the research team leader, Jason was the only team member who was not sick!
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Earlier that morning, Dr. Phillips told Jason she had a job for him. “Normally, I would give this to a senior staffer, but they’re all sick. We think there may be a problem with the flu virus the team has caught. Here’s some background. I’ll be right back with your assignment.” Hand out the Background information about Influenza 4
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Based on the Flu Fact Sheet, which of the following statements is true? A. Two important proteins on the surface of the Influenza virus are hemagglutinin and neuraminidase. B. New subtypes of Influenza usually arise due to major changes in the surface proteins of Influenza. C. The flu vaccine contains two types of live A virus and one type of live B virus. D. Worldwide, there are 500,000-1 million deaths due to the flu annually. 5 Clicker Question  1
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Dr. Phillips came back a few minutes later. “Here is the situation. The team appears to have contracted an atypical flu virus. For starters, the symptoms are worse than usual and even healthy adults are getting severely ill. “Also, none of the team’s vaccinations seem to have protected them from the virus. 6 “We’re worried that we are dealing with a new strain of influenza we haven’t seen before. We need to figure out how this virus is different.”
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“Flu viruses often vary in the structure of their HA gene. I want you to compare the HA protein made by viruses the team was examining with a typical flu virus. Because we don’t have power, you will have to do this the old fashioned way with pencil and paper. I will get you the nucleotide sequence for a typical HA gene. You can start by finding the coding region for the gene.” Dr. Phillips left the tent. “Wait!” Jason called after her. “How do I do that?!” It was too late; Dr. Phillips was already gone. Jason hadn’t thought about DNA and proteins since intro biology. He pulled the biology textbook he had brought with him to prepare for MCATs out of his backpack. He’d better relearn how DNA is used to make proteins quickly.
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