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How Do Fibers Form?

Summary

A hands-on activity in which students construct models of sickle-cell hemoglobin fibers inside red blood cells to illustrate how changes in the structure of a protein can affect cell shape. Students are then asked to relate these changes to disease symptoms.

Appropriate for: high school biology (all levels), introductory college biology.

This hands-on activity serves as an extension to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute short film The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection in Humans. Students will construct models of sickle cell hemoglobin inside red blood cells to illustrate how changes in the structure of a protein can affect cell shape.

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