p53: Molecule of the Year – Suggestions for independent learning

In 1993 the protein p53 was awarded Molecule of the Year by the magazine Science. It was the time that scientists began to understand that complex cellular regulation mechanisms control the expression of the human genome. The human protein p53 is 393 amino acids long; the abbreviation stands for p for protein and 53 for it’s molecular mass (53 kilodalton). The protein regulates the cell cycle because it is capable of stopping the cell cycle temporarily to allow the repair of DNA damages. If repair mechanisms fail, p53 induces apoptosis (programmed cell death). This mechanism prevents genetic damage to be passed to further generations.

The main focus of the activities this week is put on a) evaluating the quality of website content and b) biological principles of complex human cell cycle regulation processes.

Procedure

Research on the biological role of p53. In doing so, find and evaluate the quality of several websites first (Tutorials: in English: Evaluate website content, University of Edinburgh || in German: Bewerten von Internetquellen, Universität Hamburg) and choose two sources for your work.

Create a Concept Map to illustrate the biological role of p53 (tutorial here).Only include new content in your concept map and avoid basic knowledge you’ve already learned about p53 in class.

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