Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Aptamers in Education: Undergraduates Make Aptamers and Acquire 21st Century Skills Along the Way

Version 1 : Received: 28 June 2019 / Approved: 1 July 2019 / Online: 1 July 2019 (11:48:36 CEST)

How to cite: Stovall, G.; Huynh, V.; Engelman, S.; Ellington, A. Aptamers in Education: Undergraduates Make Aptamers and Acquire 21st Century Skills Along the Way. Preprints 2019, 2019070010 Stovall, G.; Huynh, V.; Engelman, S.; Ellington, A. Aptamers in Education: Undergraduates Make Aptamers and Acquire 21st Century Skills Along the Way. Preprints 2019, 2019070010

Abstract

Aptamers have a well-earned place in therapeutic, diagnostic, and sensor applications, and we now show that they provide an excellent foundation for education, as well. Within the context of the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) at The University of Texas at Austin, students have used aptamer selection and development technologies in a teaching laboratory to build technical and 21st century skills appropriate for research scientists. One of the unique aspects of this course-based undergraduate research experience is that students develop their own projects, and take ownership of their own science in what would otherwise be a traditional teaching lab setting. Of the many successes, this work includes the isolation and characterization of novel calf intestinal alkaline phosphatase (anti-CIAP) RNA aptamers by an undergraduate researcher. Further, preliminary survey data suggest that students who participate in the aptamer research experience express significant gains in their self-efficacy to conduct research, and their perceived ability to communicate scientific results, as well as organize and interpret data. This work will describe the use of aptamers in an educational setting, highlight the positive student outcomes of the aptamer research experience, and more particularly present the research findings relative to the anti-CIAP aptamer.

Subject Areas

aptamer; calf-intestinal alkaline phosphatase; course-based undergraduate research experience; in vitro selection; Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment; SELEX; CURE; Freshman Research Initiative; 21st Century Skills

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