Boost Biology With Bats! Explore Key Concepts in Genetics, Evolution and Ecology using Bats

scroll down for internet links pulled from pdf
Explore Key Concepts in Genetics, Evolution and Ecology using Bats

Genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology are exciting and progressive areas of science, underpinning biology. Groundbreaking advancements have been made in recent years, the human
genome project being one, DNA sequencing has unlocked a new vault in biology. This booklet
is designed to bridge the gap between the biology curriculum and what is currently going on in
molecular and evolutionary biology, within Professor Emma Teelings’ Bat Lab in UCD.

This material is an outcome of Science for Schools programme, during which teachers, Olivia
Derwin and Clare Lamont joined UCD’s Laboratory of Molecular Evolution and Mammalian
Phylogenetics aka Batlab. Olivia and Clare received diverse training in cutting-edge research
techniques, got familiar with laboratory skills, learnt how to understand and analyse genetic
data and participated in field trips. During the Science for Schools programme, the teachers
used bat research as a unique learning tool to explore key biological concepts in Comparative
Genomics, Evolution, Ecology and Ecosystems and Speciation.

This booklet is aimed at mixed ability Transition Year biology students and assumes only Junior
Certificate science prior knowledge. It should give students an insight into why we study molecular
biology and how this science is used on a daily basis in biological research. This booklet
is designed to act as a project workbook which students can complete throughout the year and
present as part of their T.Y. portfolio of work. It contains sufficient theory upon which end of
term examinations can be based and is designed so that students can use it for independent
learning. There are a number of class and individual projects in the booklet with links to useful
websites and videos.
Science for Schools web site:

PDF Contents
Overview 3
Why Study Bats? 4
Section 1. Genetics 7
1.1 Cells-the building blocks of all living organisms. 7
1.2 Structure of DNA. 13
1.3 Complementary Base Pairing-Tasks. 25
1.4. Isolating DNA From A Biological Sample. 29
1.5 DNA Replication. 32
1.6 What Are Genes? 33
1.7 The Genetic Code 36
1.8 Protein Synthesis - How are proteins made from a gene? 42
1.9. Genes, Variation, Speciation & Evolution. 48
Section 2. UCD Bat-Lab 55
2.1 Introduction to Bat Lab. 55
2.2 The Steps involved in DNA Analysis. Bat Lab UCD. 56
2.2.1 Extraction and Purification of DNA. 57
2.2.2 PCR - To amplify a gene or DNA sequence. 58
2.2.3 Gel Electrophoresis. 60
Section 3 Comparative Genomics and Phylogenetics 63
3.1 DNA Sequencing 63
3.2 Phylogenetics 69
3.3. Comparitive Biology and Its Uses 74
Section 4. Ecology and Ecosystems 76
4.1 All About Bats 76
4.2 Identification Of Bat Species Through Morphology 79
4.3 Methods Used To Record Bats. 82
4.4 What To Expect From A Bat Walk 83
4.5 Methods For Capturing Bats 84
4.6 The Implications Of Green Energies For Bats And Their Environment. 85
Conclusions 86
Acknowledgements 87
Bibliography 87
Useful weblinks 88

internet links and videos from pdf

  • This is a novel approach to understanding DNA Replication. Glen Wolkenfeld is a biology teacher in the U.S.-check out his “DNA Replication Rap”. YouTube:

  • Protein Synthesis Animation This is a very simple yet informative video which covers the whole process. Watch it a few times-it seriously helps you understand protein synthesis. Perhaps it will inspire you to create your own version!
  • Stated Clearly is a science education channel on YouTube. There are a number of really excellent short videos that cover Natural Selection, DNA, Genes and Evolution.
  • Need help? This video the “Tree of Life” will help you understand how all life is related. It sets the scene.
  • Bats Hunting Their Prey Great YouTube clip from the BBC. Watch microbats in action and learn how crucial echolocation is to their survival.

  • Bats and Their Evolution. Great YouTube clip as Professor Emma Teeling (UCD) gives some insight into bat evolution.

  • Paul Anderson-an award winning biology teacher in the United States has an amazing science channel on YouTube - Bozeman Science. This is the most amazing tutorial on many of the procedures used in the Bat Lab. Highly Recommend that you watch ‘Molecular Biology’
  • PGenome 10k Project – Unveiling animal diversity A project aimed at sequencing 10 000 vertebrate genomes to understand how the complex animal life evolved through changes in DNA. Watch a video presenting this genetic Noah’s Ark:

Useful weblinks

Genetics and Evolution
Bat Material


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Megabats and Microbats: Boost Biology With Bats! Explore Key Concepts in Genetics, Evolution and Ecology using Bats
Boost Biology With Bats! Explore Key Concepts in Genetics, Evolution and Ecology using Bats
Boost Biology With Bats Explore Key Concepts in Genetics, Evolution and Ecology using Bats
Megabats and Microbats
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