Viral DNA Integration

This Viral DNA Integration activity & project also includes:

How do reverse transcriptase inhibitors work? Young virologists examine the function of azidothymidine, a drug doctors use to treat HIV patients, during a hands-on modeling activity. Groups create a strand of DNA from an HIV RNA strand and incorporate the inhibitor into the process to create an explanation of why it slows the progression of the disease.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Get things started with an animation of the HIV life cycle
  • When pupils finish, show an animation of how AZT blocks reverse transcriptase and reduces the number of viral particles in a patient's body
Classroom Considerations
  • Print and laminate the nucleotides and attach Velcro to the tabs on the cards to help the class build their DNA sequences
  • Student should be in groups of two or three
Pros
  • Resource uses real HIV sequences for the activity
  • The learner-facing directions for the activity are written clearly and are easy to follow
Cons
  • None