Weekly Reflection for Week of January 30- February 03

How did you do on the work?
I felt like I did pretty well on the work this week. For the first portion of the week, we focused on the history of DNA and the experiments that led to its ultimate discovery. The remainder of the week was focused on the transitions from DNA to RNA to protein. The information on the history of DNA was pretty easy to grasp, we learned a lot of it in advanced bio. I really liked the DNA Family Relationship Analysis. It was cool to analyze the results of the STR and try to determine if Jeff was in fact a biological child of Mr. and Mrs. H. Once I figured out how to read the STR, that was much easier! So far, this unit seems to be much easier to grasp than the energy unit.
What do you think you understand well?
I think I definitely understand the history of DNA and the experiments conducted which ultimately led to the discovery of the structure of DNA. Frederick Griffith discovered that bacteria could give other bacteria heritable traits, even if they were dead. Oswald Avery, Maclyn McCarty, and Colin MacLeod discovered that only the bacteria exposed to the S-strain DNA were transformed. Alfred Hershey and Martha Chase discovered that DNA was the molecule of heredity. Erwin Chargaff discovered that all species have different amounts of adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine in their DNA as well as the fact that in all species, the amount of guanine equals the amount of cytosine and the amount of thymine equals the amount of adenine. All of this information was really easy for me to understand as was the Meselson- Stahl Experiment packet. It was nice to do it in a group though because everyone had a lot of questions on different parts and it was nice to be able to bounce them off of each other.
Where do you think you could improve?
I definitely think I could improve my understanding of transcription and translation. The initiation, elongation, and termination were each pretty confusing for me for some reason. While I was watching the vodcasts and taking notes, I was pretty sure that the information was confusing me, but when I went to fill out the WSQ questions, it was very clear that I was confused.
What strategies will you use to improve?
The one thing that helped me get a little bit better understanding of initiation, elongation, and termination of both transcription and translation was drawing out each of the different parts. I think going over the drawings with the people in my group during our discos will help me understand them even more.
How does the work we are doing fit into the context/ narrative of the course?
This whole unit is super important in the overall narrative of the course since DNA is found in all living things. Even a small change in the sequence can change what protein is produced, so everything involving the order of nitrogen bases is crucial to DNA structure and function.

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