Making My Own Medicine (Protein Synthesis)


Our capacity to build proteins in our body is an important component of our health. We make protein to serve important purposes in our lives. This lesson examines two very important protein synthesis processes. First, our bodies make Enzymes to help the chemical activities in our bodies. Enzymes speed up chemical reactions and lower the activation energy on chemical processes. Lactase in the enzyme we produce that allows us to process Lactose sugar in milk. This is an important enzyme, but many people have DNA allele patterns that do not allow them to make this protein. Second, antibodies are proteins that fight disease. Both vaccines and our natural response to being exposed to the virus rely on our bodies making proteins to make our own medicine.


This lesson is a standard protein synthesis lesson. However, the focus on this lesson is to understand how our ability to make protein is what allows us to maintain our own health. The lesson introduces students to the basics of protein synthesis, transcription, translation, codons, and anti-codons. Students will use a free online Augmented Reality software to experiment with making specific proteins based on DNA. The goal is help students understand how DNA determines what proteins our bodies can make. In the end, students will learn how proteins work and will develop a depth of understanding of how our body makes its own medicine by making proteins.


There are two versions an Augmented Reality Version and a Pen and Paper version. Both lessons are available below:




Lab Resources







Laboratory Materials (teachers Guide)




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