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Large Molecule ~ Small Molecule Interactions


Department of Physical Sciences


Rhode Island College



          Research in Biotechnology

Summer, 2010

Informational Flyer

Project Overview


            Project Objectives

·         DNA and proteins can be isolated and studied at many levels of experimental sophistication.  This project studies the isolation of DNA, observation of melting dynamics of both native and perturbed DNA, the folding-unfolding behavior of proteins, and the kinetics and inhibition of enzymes. Ultimately, the isolated DNA samples will be crystallized and submitted for X-ray structure determination to be compared with the theoretical structures based on computer models.

·         Many techniques in genetic research and biotechnology are suitable for classroom use and enable students to carry out scientific inquiry in this field. To successfully incorporate these techniques into the classroom, teachers need both professional development and access to the necessary equipment and reagents. The materials purchased by this project supplement the complement of basic laboratory equipment that can be found in most high school laboratories.  Throughout the school year, participants will be provided with all of the equipment and reagents necessary to carry out the sequencing process in their classrooms.  This program is designed to form a collaboration of high school teachers and scientists from Rhode Island College. Participants in the workshop will be partnered with a scientist mentor at RIC to carry out a research project with the assistance of their mentor and to oversee the procedures, safety, and accuracy of the research as it progresses from laboratory to the classroom. 

Summer, 2008

Summer, 2009



Providence Journal (July, 2008)

Providence Journal (July, 2009)


What’s News at Rhode Island College

Research Presentations

Research Presentations

·              Exeter-West Greenwich High School

·              Mount Pleasant High School

·              Pilgrim High School

·              Scituate High School

·              Times2 Academy

·              Westerly High School


·              Davies Vocational High School

·              Exeter-West Greenwich High School

            Team Millar

             Team Savoie

·              Pilgrim High School

           Team Lobdell

             Team Dubois

·              Times2 Academy

·              Shea High School

·              South Kingstown High School

·              Warwick Veterans Memorial High School

·              Woonsocket High School


Activities & Links

DNA Isolation

·        Isolation of Wheat Germ DNA – From Princeton’s Microbiology Outreach Program

·        DNA Spooling (Sigma)

·        Isolating DNA from Fruits and Vegetables – From Princeton’s Microbiology Outreach Program

        DNA Melting

·        Using the SmartSpec UV Spectrophotometer

·        Using the CARY 100 UV-VIS Spectrophotometer

·        Melting Curve Analysis Using Excel

        Small Molecule Interactions

·        Overview of Current Research – John Williams, Rhode Island College

·        Drug Design Using a Play Station 3 Joey Salisbury, Rhode Island College


·        Virtual Lab: Agarose Gel Electrophoresis of Restriction FragmentsColorado State University

·        Electrophoresis SimulationRochester Institute of Technology

        Molecular Modeling

·        What is Molecular Modeling?  - From Colby College

·        Creating a polynucleotide with HyperChem – John Keller at University of Alaska at Fairbanks

·        DNA Dynamics with Jmol - An Interactive Animated Nonlinear Tutorial

·        Interactive DNA model using CHIME – Molecules in Motion

·        Interactive Concepts in Biochemistry:  A DNA Tutorial – by Rodney Boyer & Wiley Publishers

·        HyperChem Tutorial Handout


·        DNA Interactive – From the DNA Learning Center