How is DNA decoded to make proteins? How do mutations in DNA benefit or disadvantage organisms?
In this activity, students must carefully follow instructions to construct an adorable bee made from pipecleaners. By decoding 2D information and translating it into a 3D form, this activity helps students to model the biological process of protein synthesis. Each class will produce 4 visually distinct bees that students explain by tracing back to differences in the instructions they were given, therefore tying phenotype to genotype. A group discussion will help students identify the different types of DNA mutation and lead to hypotheses about what constitutes a positive, negative or neutral mutation.
In this advanced version of Lost In Translation, students receive a more complete picture of protein synthesis – learning about transcription of DNA into RNA, RNA processing and the triplet code used during translation to match 3 nucleotides to a single amino acid.