Interactive Displays of Molecular Structures on WWW Pages

Will McClure
Department of Biological Sciences
Carnegie Mellon University
TEL Fair October 2, 1998

Summary: This project involves the development of WWW pages that allow the student to see and to manipulate images of molecules in various structural displays. The interactive images of molecular structures are rendered on a (Netscape) browser page using the Chemscape Chime plug-in (installed in all of the CMU computer cluster Macs and PCs).

1. The Chime display pages have been used for the past two years in upper level biochemistry courses as tutorials and as one-page visual introductions to research papers dealing with structure-function topics.

Home pages for these courses (with links to the Chime displays):
Physical Biochemistry (03-438) Spring term, 1998.
Advanced Biochemistry (03-740) Fall term, 1998.

2. In the past year, I have written similar pages for students in some of our freshman and sophomore courses. The pages linked below use the Chime plug-in to display a selection of biological molecules and macromolecules. They are designed to complement standard introductory texts where more explanation is provided, but where interactive 3-D images of the molecules are not available.

Examples of one-page stucture displays:
Building Blocks of Life for Modern/Cell Biology.
Protein Structure for Modern/Cell Biology.
DNA Structure for Biochemistry I & Molecular Biology.

Glucose Structure in large format for a lecture demo.

3. I have also developed several different types of "practice quizzes" on molecular topics. The quizzes use JavaScript to provide immediate grading and scoring. In some cases, specific feedback is also provided to incorrect answers.

Two examples of the quizzes:
True-False Quiz on Functional Groups for Modern/Cell Biology.
Amino Acid Identification Quiz for Biochemistry I.

[Answers to the first six questions in each quiz are available in a pop-up window.]

The pages listed above were selected from these index pages:
Molecular Models for Biochemistry at CMU
Molecules for Modern/Cell Biology
CMU Biology Quiz List is the current listing of similar quizzes of this type.
Additional TEL projects in this Department are linked fromTELFair98@Biological Sciences.
Carnegie Mellon TELab is the home page for the Technology Enhanced Learning Laboratory at CMU.