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Perform a Dry Western Blot Virtual Lab

Perform a western blot experiment to ultimately provide data and knowledge to identify a promising treatment for breast cancer. Investigate the connection between blood vessel growth and cancer development, by understanding signal transduction.

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Perform a Dry Western Blot

About this Simulation

This short, targeted simulation is adapted from the full-length “Signal Transduction” simulation.

What is the western blot and what can it be used for? In this simulation, you will learn how tumor cells send signals to surrounding cells to help promote tumor growth, and how this signal is transmitted inside the cell. You will mainly apply the method of Western Blotting and SDS-PAGE to the case study of finding an effective treatment for breast cancer.

Analyze patient samples by western blotting

As a researcher in the R&D department of a big pharma company, your mission will be to test the hypothesis that increased blood vessel growth, also called angiogenesis, plays a role in breast cancer development. To investigate this idea, you will perform a western blot experiment to test for the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) expression in patient samples compared to healthy tissue samples.

Interpret the Western Blot results

Now that you have performed the western blot, you will be given the opportunity to learn how to interpret such results and detect the relevant information from it that you require to apply it to the case of breast treatment. You will be prompted to identify the key findings.

Report your findings

As expected when working as a part of any research group, you will be required to report your findings back to the head of the pharmaceutical research and decipher whether your western blot results validate the hypothesis you decided at the beginning after learning more about the research project.

Are you ready to contribute towards a major breakthrough in cancer treatment?

Learning Objectives

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

  • Explain how a Western Blot is performed

  • Explain how to interpret Western Blot results

  • Explain receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) cell signaling

  • Analyze dysregulated signal transduction in human cancer cells

  • Understand the connection between angiogenesis and tumor growth

  • Investigate the involvement of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) signaling in human breast cancer

Techniques in Lab

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

  • Western blotting
  • Inhibitor treatment
  • Histology
  • Cell culture

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