FEBS Education Platform

FEBS Congress 2021

The 45th FEBS Congress, “Molecules of life: Towards new horizons”

Online event, 3–8 July 2021

Late Breaking Abstracts on Education, training, and career planning

A guideline for 3D printing of macromolecular models on the cheap
M. Mihasan — Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Biology, Iasi, Romania.

The structure and function of biomolecules relationship is the hallmark of biochemistry, molecular biology and life sciences in general. Physical models of macromolecules give students the possibility to manipulate these structures in three dimensions, developing a sense of spatiality and a better understanding of key aspects such as atom size and shape, bond lengths and symmetry. Several molecular model systems were developed specifically to represent particular classes or groups of molecules and hence lack the flexibility of a universal solution. Three-dimensional (3D) printing could nevertheless provide such a universal solution, as it can be used to create physical models of biomolecular structures based on the teacher’s or demonstrator’s needs and requirements. Here, insulin was used as a model molecule and several depictions and printing parameters were tested in order to highlight the technical limitations of the approach. In the end, a set of settings that worked is provided which could serve as a starting point for anyone wishing to print its own custom macromolecular model on the cheap.

Molecular laboratory techniques used in research and medical practice: applied training course pre-test/post-test evaluation results
R. Şemsi, A. Sepici Dinçel — Gazi University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry, Ankara, Turkey

Constructing and meaning of knowledge occurs through individual’s own experiences. Laboratory studies, especially research, practice and inquiry-based laboratory practices are very important in this respect. Here in we aimed to determine the possible benefit of these educations and also we planned to define this study as a template for describing the timing, duration and structure of thse type of educations. This study was carried out during the Molecular Laboratory Techniques used in Research and Medical Practice course. Before the course, test questions consisting of 25 questions were prepared according to the difficulty of the subjects from the questions asked from the experts who will teach the subject. Preprepared test questions were divided into four main groups for later evaluation: DNA/RNA isolation, PCR-RTPCR, Gene Cloning and Western Blot techniques. Attendees were answered the same preprepared questions just before and after the education for data analysis. Also a survey was completed by attendees. The pretest mean score was determined as 7.73±2.49 (mean± sd) in the multiple-choice five-option test consisting of 25 questions. The overall result for the post-test were determined as 14.24±2.31. When the scores of the participants according to their education period were evaluated, it is observed that the overall scores were altered depending on experience. Molecular Laboratory Techniques Used in Research and Medical Practice: Applied Training Course was found to be beneficial for the participants. In addition, we observed that the pre-test and post-test application and evaluation of the results would be useful in order to determine the missing points during the course. Organisers could also evaluate themselves before going on new courses.

A congress as a motivating experience for learning of undergraduates
I.D. Román, A. Domingo, C. Menor, A.M. Bajo — Department of Systems Biology, University of Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain

Motivation is a very important factor of a student's performance. One of the aspects that best capture the interest of students, and the most abandoned, is the possibility of offering the practical application of what is learned, favouring experiences that make it possible. Therefore, we presented the proposal in which we focused on participatory techniques, more specifically, for the development of projects related to the professional interests of undergraduate students in Chemistry. With this purpose, we promoted the holding of the "Building Our Future" Congress for first-year Chemistry students, which took place in academic year 2019-2020. The Congress has been developed throughout a four-month period in the subject of Biology. The specific teaching objectives were: i) to strengthen the group, integrate, disinhibit, encourage; ii) to stimulate the exchange of experiences, ideas and opinions; iii) to develop divergent and creative thinking; iv) to promote quickly student participation, capturing their interest and involving them in the teaching/learning process; and v) to encourage the learning of diverse knowledge and their collective construction, among others. The students were distributed on various work teams, consisting of 5 students each. These groups chose a theme to develop their projects among which were: i) Support Centre for Research in Chemistry, ii) Centre for Applied Chemistry and iii) Biotechnology and Support Centre for Research in Medicine-Biology. The development of a “digital” portfolio by team was used i) to improve reflection on learning, ii) to stimulate student motivation, iii) to incorporate students into the evaluation and focus on executions and iv) to bring the learning achieved to the professional tasks of the discipline.This work was supported by a grant from UAHEV/1121.