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BRCA1 and Breast Cancer

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Shockwave Flash
Average Rating
4.9 out of 5 stars from 9 ratings.
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Description This two-part animation explains the role of the BRCA1 protein in DNA repair and the development of breast cancer. BRCA1 is a tumor suppressor, and mutations in the BRCA1 gene can lead to breast cancer and other forms of cancer. Part 1 of the animation, “The function of BRCA1,” provides an overview of how the BRCA1 protein functions in healthy cells to detect and repair DNA damage. Part 2, “Mutations in BRCA1 Can Cause Cancer,” explains how individuals who inherit a single mutated copy of BRCA1 are at an increased risk of cancer, and how cancer develops when the second copy of BRCA1 becomes mutated. Animation is closed captioned. Run times of each animation part: approximately 1 minute 15 seconds.
Type of Resource Animation, Tutorial
Format Shockwave Flash - SWF
Technical Note This is a FlashTM animation. The animation should load directly from the URL.
Dina Kovarik, Northwest Association for Biomedical Research
Jeanne Chowning, Northwest Assocation for Biomedical Research
Sandra Porter, Digital World Biology
Development Date November 18, 2010
Grade/Age Levels High School lower division (Grades 9-10)
High School upper division (Grades 11-12)
Undergraduate lower division (Grades 13-14)
Undergraduate upper division (Grades 15-16)
Informal Education
National Science
Educational Standards
Molecular basis of heredity (9-12), The cell (9-12)
Learning Time <=1 hour
Language English
Type of Review Reviewed By LifeSciTRC Board
Review Date October 31, 2012
Funding Source National Science Foundation
Suggested Use

This short animation is a great introduction into molecular biology, genetics and mutation. It contains core concepts of structure and function, information exchange and systems and the core competency of science and society. It would be a good lead into discussion on any of these topics.

Cynthia Motzny, Roosevelt University

This animation is simple, but very clear. It briefly reviews the Central Dogma and the role of DNA and RNA and explains what a mutation is before explaining why a mutation in this gene can lead to cancer. It will be useful for my Pathophysiology class.

Karen Groh, Good Samaritan College of Nursing and Health Science

These animations are definitely basic, but they're clear and to the point. In addition to providing a good starting point for the importance of DNA repair in preventing the development of cancer, it can also be a good review of the Central Dogma of molecular biology, and it touches on concepts like heterozygous carriers, tumor suppressor genes and Knudsen's two-hit hypothesis.

Terri Holzen, Mount Mary University

As mentioned this is a very basic but nicely animated short video that indicates concepts of heterozygous genes, tumor suppressor genes, and mutation.  It is a good lead into cancer if a class only spends a day or two on the topic (e.g. a toxicology course).

Kristine Willett, University of Mississippi

I have used this animation in my undergraduate/graduate level Cancer biology class. Even though the content of the animation is very basic, it is a good starting point for students to think about the role that DNA repair plays in cancer formation.  It also is good for students to visualize the importance of many different factors in cancer progression. For the higher level class such as this, it is just a starting point that can be used for a greater discussion on BRAC1. 

Kelly Wentz-Hunter, Roosevelt University

This is a really nice animation that provides easy to understand information about the BRCA1 gene that would be appropriate and interesting to students in grades 9-12. This could serve as the starting point for the development of case studies in a class. Although the animation is close-captioned, it might be helpful to have students present the information to the class by describing the animation, or by narrating a screen cast.
Mary Eldredge-Sandbo, United Public School District #7

This is a really nice animation of the BRCA1 gene. Students will find this to be interesting and useful. The animation is close-captioned, and it might be helpful for students to narrate the animation in a screen cast or even to the class. Students could also use this information as a starting point to building a case study.
Mary Eldredge-Sandbo, United Public School District #7


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