Digital World Biology - Highlights from 2014
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We want to thank all of you for an amazing year!  

In 2014, we:
  • Released Molecule Worlda user-friendly iPad app for exploring molecular sequences and structures
  • Released our first iPad app for the classroom, the Molecule World DNA Binding Lab,
  • Helped provide professional development for teachers through partnerships with Bio-Link, Shoreline Community College, the Amgen Biotechnology Experience, NBC2, and Austin Community College. 
  • Made high school bioinformatics curriculum materials available on our web site.  We helped develop these materials through the NSF-funded bio-ITEST project ( Genetic Testing and Genetics Research). 

We're truly grateful for your help and support.  

We even managed to publish a few papers  and write a few articles on fun science and using bioinformatics tools to explore biology. We're taking this opportunity to share some of our favorites.
We made the bio-ITEST high school bioinformatics curriculum available at our web site ( Genetic Testing and Genetics Research) (NSF DRL-0833779).
On DNA Day, we explored structures of A, B, and Z DNA in Molecule World V1.  We had so much fun, we couldn't stop until we looked at nucleosomes and telomeres too.
Also in April, we released Molecule World V1 and shared a way to explore the structure of 23S ribosomal RNA.

In December, we released Molecule World V2, with a sequence viewer, rainbow coloring, and the ability to show or hide parts of a structure.  

Coming in 2015, Molecule World V2.1 will have even more fun features, including the ability to color a protein like your favorite team.
We introduced the Molecule World DNA Binding Lab, our first app designed specifically for the classroom.

The MW DNA Binding Lab gives students tools to explore models of nucleotides and DNA structures.  An activity identifying how proteins or anti-cancer drugs interact with DNA demonstrates how molecular modeling can be used as a tool for discovery.  Educators can get answer keys for the DNA Binding Lab worksheets and all the unknowns by signing up at our website for an instructor account.
An anti-cancer drug bound to the minor groove in double-stranded DNA.
Our experiences with teaching workshops through the Amgen Biotechnology Experience at Shoreline Community College and Austin Community College inspired the development of a workshop kit with powerpoint slides and Dina made a special web page for our teacher partners with resources from the workshop.
As fall approached, we started seeing lots of spiders outside and got interested in spider silk.  We found a paper on the question of whether Spiderman really could have used spider silk to stop a speeding train and we learned spider silk proteins have really interesting structures.
New articles on DNA sequencing with nanopores inspired us to investigate nanopore structures and the connections to concepts of size, scale, and engineering that are part of the Next Generation Science Standards.  
Fall brought sad news about the Ebola epidemic in Liberia and countries nearby.  We looked at a structure of antibodies from a human survivor bound to the Ebola receptor and considered how molecular models might be used to develop new drugs, such as Zmapp.  In the image below, the Ebola receptor proteins are brightly colored and the antibodies are dimmed. 
We released V2 of Molecule World and celebrated by using multiple bioinformatics tools to explore insulin.  Not only did we write about exploring the insulin structure in Molecule World, we wrote about using BLAST, making multiple alignments, creating phylogenetic trees, and doing a bit of fact checking.  

Unfortunately, we checked the genomes but forgot to check the URL in our article on whether plants really make insulin.  Here's the correct link to our story on "plant insulin".  

What's in store for 2015?

  • Look for Molecule World V2.1 in February
  • Look for other classroom apps
  • More teacher professional development workshops with Shoreline Community College & the Amgen Biotech Experience, and Austin Community College.
  • Look for more materials on BLAST and using programs like Cn3D, a molecular modeling program that works on Windows computers.

Thanks again for a wonderful year! 

The team at Digital World Biology
If you enjoy using our apps, please rate the apps or write a review!  

Rate or Review Molecule World

Rate or Review the Molecule World DNA Binding Lab

Thanks again from all of us!
Copyright © 2015 Digital World Biology, All rights reserved.

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