It’s Tuesday, August 19, 2014, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!
HHMI: Virtual Transgenic Fly Lab
Age Range: 13-Adult (Grades 6-adult; children with parental supervision)
There’s an online virtual lab where you can experiment with flies. Eeeew!” It’s true! The Virtual Transgenic Fly Lab provides you with the virtual tools you’ll need to learn about the science and techniques used to make transgenic flies. What are transgenic flies? As the website explains:
“Transgenic organisms, which contain DNA that is inserted experimentally, are used to study many biological processes. In this lab, you will create a transgenic fly to study circadian rhythms. The fly glows only when a certain gene involved in circadian rhythms is activated. After making the glowing fly, you will use it to explore basic principles of circadian biology and genetics.”
When you get to the site, read the introduction that explains the basic steps and learning objectives. You’ll see the virtual lab on the left side of the page, where you can begin to conduct your experiment. You will be prompted by text in the gray tip window and light purple arrows that point the way.
As you begin the experiment, your lab “Notebook” will automatically open on the right side of the page showing detailed information as you progress through the experiment. You’ll see hyperlinks in the notes – click on them to learn more.
If some of the scientific terminology, tools, or concepts are unfamiliar, use the “Resources” tab on the menu to access a glossary that defines the words, as well as a photo-directory of the various equipment used in the lab.
There are quiz questions in each phase of the experiment and you can check your results by clicking on the “Quiz” tab on the menu.
This is a fascinating use of technology that replicates lab science experimentation.