Regeneration biology is a multidisciplinary field uncovering the mechanisms by which some organisms are able to regenerate tissues and organs. This field plays a paramount role in the areas of tissue engineering, wound healing, organ transplantation and organ regeneration.
Notably, research evidence in regeneration biology comes from all over – including amphibians like axolotls and reptiles like lizards. Thus, educators teaching regeneration biology must assimilate and present research from diverse fields and organisms. At the same time, the breadth of this subject makes it challenging to learn for students too. Here, we list five ways to teach regenerative biology that will make this topic exciting for your students.
When it comes to teaching biology through specific animal species, it is best to preface hands-on training with interactive models. Such models allow students to interact with animals and explore their physiology without harming them.
Take Labster’s regeneration biology simulation, for example. In our interactive simulation, students virtually work with axolotls. They learn about the cell types that form the blastema that then helps in wound healing and organ regeneration. The students also use fluorescent protein markers to identify the cell types that help in regeneration in axolotls. To make things more interesting, the students also learn to apply their understanding of axolotl biology to human tissue regeneration.
Games and activities help evoke creativity and logical thinking among students. At the same time, they serve as excellent team building and collaborative learning tools.
There are many ways in which you could make regenerative biology a fun, collaborative activity with games and activities. For example, you could divide your students into groups and ask them to select one animal species capable of regeneration. The groups will then have to explore the animal-specific regeneration phenomena in detail and present their findings to the class. You could also show time-lapse videos of organ regeneration in various animals to raise your students’ curiosity about the subject.
Technology is the Swiss knife of education – it can pique curiosity, enhance learning, impart training, and create memorable experiences. Specifically, technologies like animation, simulation and virtual reality allow students to gain virtual laboratory experience while elaborately showcasing biological phenomena.
For example, in Labster’s regeneration biology simulation, students virtually dissect an axolotl and observe it under a microscope as its limb regenerates. In real life, the regeneration process could take up to weeks. But in our simulation, students are able to visualize it within minutes. At the same time, the students learn about fluorescence microscopy and generation of mutant organisms through detailed, interactive animations.
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The field of regeneration biology is so multidisciplinary that myriad careers depend on it. Communicating this to your students can excite them to learn this subject more sincerely and passionately.
For example, you can talk about how tissue engineers borrow biological mechanisms from animals that have regeneration capabilities. Discuss how regenerative medicine researchers are exploring the possibility of human limb regeneration following cues from other animal species. Tell your students how neuroscientists are relying on evidence from axolotls to achieve spinal cord regeneration in humans.
Regeneration biology has highly impactful real-world applications that can help the field of medicine. Learning about these applications can motivate students to pursue regeneration biology or one of its affiliated fields for in-depth study.
For example, tell your students how scientists are regenerating tissues in a petri dish to aid pathophysiological and toxicological studies. Talk to them about how the knowledge of regeneration biology is swiftly transforming the way we look at wound healing. Discuss how regeneration biology could one day help treat neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Regeneration biology can revolutionize the field of medicine in the coming years. Students who wish to pursue this field must learn to gather knowledge from various animal species to understand tissue regeneration. The five methods we have listed here can help educate your students about regeneration biology in an exciting manner.
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