The field of epigenetics is progressing rapidly and becoming indispensable to the study of fundamental gene regulation. Recent advances are redefining our understanding of core components that regulate gene expression during development and in human diseases. Scientific knowledge on the importance of epigenetic regulation is now well known and accepted, and it is not surprising to see epigenetics being introduced into many biology curricula at the high school and college levels. Yet the core concepts of epigenetic regulation are differently perceived by the academic communities. Therefore, it is critical that fundamental concepts of epigenetic regulation are taught to the next generation in a simple yet precise manner to avoid any misconceptions. To that end, this article starts by distilling the extensive scientific literature on epigenetic control of gene regulation into a simple primer on the core fundamental concepts. Next and more importantly, it provides suggestions for student-friendly classroom practices and activities that are centered on these core concepts to ensure that students both recognize and retain knowledge on the importance of epigenetic control in eukaryotic gene regulation.
Teaching Epigenetic Regulation of Gene Expression Is Critical in 21st-Century Science Education: Key Concepts & Teaching Strategies
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Ishwariya Venkatesh, Khadijah Makky; Teaching Epigenetic Regulation of Gene Expression Is Critical in 21st-Century Science Education: Key Concepts & Teaching Strategies. The American Biology Teacher 1 August 2020; 82 (6): 372–380. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2020.82.6.372
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