Lesson 3 – Data Analysis to Propose Network Function

Course:  Biology, Genetics, Biotechnology, Environmental Science

Unit:  Genetics and Heredity


See Standards Addressed for all NGSS and WA State (Science, Math and Literacy).  In addition to the aligned objectives linked above, for this lesson, here is a breakdown of:

What Students Learn:

  • Cellular networks allow cells to respond dynamically to stimuli.
  • A response to a stimulus occurs by changing the relative amount or function of individual nodes in a cellular network.
  • A stimulus affecting one node can cause a change in many other nodes because they are all interconnected in the network.
  • Some nodes have bigger system-wide affect than others.
  • Understanding relative importance of nodes allows greater understanding of how to perturb and use the system.
  • Multiple data sets from various experimental techniques are needed to show network relationships.

What Students Do:

  • Students analyze three different data sets to determine the bacteriorhodopsin network and to determine the importance of compiling multiple sets of data.







Pacing Guide

Instructional Activities: (Two 50-minute periods)

Note: This lesson should be done while the Lesson 2 samples are incubating. Students will get their data for Lesson 2 at the beginning of Lesson 4 (unless your equipment limitations require a different schedule – see Advanced Prep for Module document for timing).


Purposes of each element in the lesson
Introductory PowerPoint: Background and review to provide context. Students don’t need to memorize details and do not need to be tested later, but they DO need to understand enough of the context to make sense of the data. A mode of providing the info other than PowerPoint or material for students to reference may be better.  (Printable script/description)
Jigsaw Data Analysis: Students will jigsaw the three data sets (Homology, Gene Expression/Microarray and Metabolism) and when completed will have created a model for how the protein Bacteriorhodopsin is created and regulated in Halo using light.  (See 'Extension' for an activity involving microarray interpretation.)  See 'Resources' for additional teacher information.
Class Discussion of Jigsaw: Teacher will lead discussion on the answer to overarching questions:
          How do Halobacterium cells control the amount of BR expressed in response to light? What is the gene and protein network that regulates the expression of BR?
Teacher should also focus on how this network is a well-understood example of how an environmental change can set off a cascade of events which can change the phenotype (in this case color) of an organism.