The new version of Case It v6.06 is now available for downloading at

The Case It Project features:

  • An open-ended Case IT simulation which reads nucleotide or amino acid sequence files, and includes methods for analyzing DNA (restriction digestion and mapping, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), DNA electrophoresis, Southern blotting and dot blotting, microarray analysis) and proteins (protein electrophoresis, Western blotting, ELISA).
  • Related cases that guide students through the analysis steps and then provide focused questions to prompt interpretation and application of the results.  Some cases are linked to expanded problem spaces that facilitate open-ended investigation of the molecular biology underlying the case, with an emphasis on bioinformatics approaches.

The new version includes SNP and expression microarray features with associated cases in cardiac disease, HIV resistance, breast cancer, prostate cancer, pharmacogenomics and melanoma.  

New video tutorials in screencast format are available at the Case It:

The Student version of the Resource Manual has been updated to include the new case descriptions.  They are still working on updating the Teachers version.

Each case description includes the case scenario and instructions for analyzing the case, as well as background information and discussion questions.  The cases can be presented to students using this format, having them read the background information and perhaps do some additional research, then carry out the analysis, interpret the results and discuss the significance and the issues raised.  Alternatively, instructors can edit the cases to add or omit information as appropriate for the backgrounds of students and the course objectives.  Students may be required to:

– focus on the ethical and social issues raised by the analysis and the decision-making process involved.

– take on a particular role, e.g. genetic counselor or family member, and present the case interpretation from that perspective.

– develop hypotheses about the results, based on the background information about the molecular biology in the case, before running the analysis

– start with the case analysis and results, and carry out their own research to obtain information necessary to interpret the case.

In addition to using these cases and sequences, instructors may develop their own cases using DNA sequences obtained from GenBank or elsewhere (see “Building your own case study” below).  Sequences, restriction enzyme sites, probes, primers and antibodies all are editable text files.  Case development also can be assigned to students in more advanced biology courses.  The student-designed cases then can be subjected to peer review via poster presentations, etc. and used by students in introductory courses.

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