Gene Regulation

Gene Regulation
Time to complete course: 43 min.

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About Gene Regulation Virtual Lab Simulation

Welcome to the future of medicine! In this simulation, you will learn the gene regulation principle that won the Nobel Prize for Physiology 2012. With the gene regulation technique develop by Sir Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka, your mission is to try to treat Amy, who is visually impaired, to try to help her regain her sight.

Learn the basics of stem cells

In order to help treat Amy, you will prepare induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) from a fibroblast cells sample taken from the girl. The iPS cells will then be differentiated to retinal-pigmented epithelial cells for transplantation. In this simulation, 3D-animations will allow you to take a closer look at the machinery involved in gene regulation. You will learn about the basics of stem cells and what it takes to create one.

Transform fibroblast cells into iPS cells

You will have to determine which transcription factors are essential in maintaining a stem cell’s features based on what you have learned in the previous mission. After determining the genes, you will use a retroviral infection technique to transform mature fibroblast into iPS cells. After incubation, you will examine which set of transcription factors is capable of inducing the fibroblast into stem cells (iPS).

Analyze gene expression

By now you will have an idea of which transcription factor is capable of transforming fibroblast cells into iPS cells. The next step is to confirm your findings by analyzing the gene expression in mRNA and protein level. You will perform reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) and Western blot to investigate the mRNA and protein level, respectively. Finally, you will have to decide which set of transcription factors can be used to transform fibroblast cells into iPS effectively. Will you able to help the doctor in treating Amy?

Get Started Now

Open your eyes to the vast potential of gene regulation, where you can reprogram cells into any cell that fits your needs. Will you able to help the doctor in restoring the sight of a visually impaired girl?

Techniques in Lab

  • Microscopy
  • RT-PCR
  • Western blot

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

  • Explain how gene expression can be regulated
  • Describe the different levels of gene regulation (mRNA and protein)
  • Measure mRNA levels (RT-PCR), protein expression (Western blotting)

Simulation Features

Length – 43 minutes
Languages – English, Spanish

Examples of Related Standards

University

Life Science related 1st year onwards

Screenshots of Gene Regulation Virtual Lab Simulation

Collaborators

Dr. Mette Voldby Larsen

Dr. Mette Voldby Larsen

Institute of Systems Biology
Denmark Technical University
Dr. Jose MG Izarzugaza

Dr. Jose MG Izarzugaza

Center for Biological Sequence Analysis
Technical University of Denmark

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