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Mnemonics


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Trof

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 02:47 AM

I will start this as a universal thread for discussing helpfull teaching menmonics for molecular biology.
I created some for myself, when I was a student, but unfortunatelly they are usually not in english Posted Image
This is what I have to deal with so far:

The direction of DNA/RNA strand (5' -> 3')
This is one of the first things to deal with, it goes illogically from the higher number to the lower number. I didn't find any real english mnemonic for this, but I kind of translated a czech one.

There is a czech idiom translated like "It goes from ten to five" meaning something is going bad/worse. Since in my student years I got general idea, that everything goes worse, it's only logical that even the DNA goes "from ten to five" in this case from "five to three" Posted Image

The direction of amino acid strand (N -> C)
The same problem, this time with letters. I think it may be possible to apply the above rule as the C is earlier in the alphabet than N.
But in czech I though of a mnemonic, using czech word KONEC, which means "end". This clearly shows that on the very end of "end" there is C (and also it contains preceding N).
I would be grateful for any ideas about this particular one, I'm going to teach it tomorrow. Some english word with such meaning or maybe something that is used in english schools and I don't know about.
(I've seen the CORN mnemonics for numbering the carbons in amino acid, but that is just oposite of what I need since the direction is reversed)

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#2 Curtis

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:54 PM

'N sync?

starts with N, ends with C

#3 Trof

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:53 AM

Thanks Curtis, but ideal mnemonic would also have some kind of connection to the topic or the thing it's describing, if I could find such, that would be great.
I already told students to think of some, and the best idea will get small unimportant plus for their credit evaluation ;)

Our country has a serious deficiency in lighthouses. I assume the main reason is that we have no sea.

I never trust anything that can't be doubted.

'Normal' is a dryer setting. - Elizabeth Moon


#4 hobglobin

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 07:05 AM

what is 'N sync?

wikipedia knows several like these (mostly for beginners):
Dumb Kids Prefer Candy Over Fancy Green Salad (Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species)

Idiotic Penguins Make Antarctica Too Cold (Interphase, Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase, Cytokinesis)

Harry He Likes Beer Bottle Cold, Not Over Frothy. Nelly's Nanny Might, Although Silly Person, She Climbs Around Kinky Caves; for the first 20 Elements of the Periodic Table. (Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, Beryllium, Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Fluorine, Neon, Sodium, Magnesium, Aluminium, Silicon, Phosphorus, Sulphur, Chlorine, Argon, Potassium, Calcium.)

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...except casandra's that belong to the funniest, most interesting and imaginative (or over-imaginative?) ones, I suppose.

That is....if she posts at all.


#5 Curtis

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 10:18 AM

She Climbs Around Kinky Caves;


Posted Image i like that

#6 pito

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:32 AM

what is 'N sync?

wikipedia knows several like these (mostly for beginners):
Dumb Kids Prefer Candy Over Fancy Green Salad (Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species)

Idiotic Penguins Make Antarctica Too Cold (Interphase, Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase, Cytokinesis)

Harry He Likes Beer Bottle Cold, Not Over Frothy. Nelly's Nanny Might, Although Silly Person, She Climbs Around Kinky Caves; for the first 20 Elements of the Periodic Table. (Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, Beryllium, Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Fluorine, Neon, Sodium, Magnesium, Aluminium, Silicon, Phosphorus, Sulphur, Chlorine, Argon, Potassium, Calcium.)


Perhaps a weird question: but whats the point for learning (just) 20 elements of the periodic table?

Edited by pito, 08 January 2013 - 08:32 AM.

If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.


#7 bob1

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:49 AM

I will start this as a universal thread for discussing helpfull teaching menmonics for molecular biology.
I created some for myself, when I was a student, but unfortunatelly they are usually not in english Posted Image
This is what I have to deal with so far:

The direction of DNA/RNA strand (5' -> 3')
This is one of the first things to deal with, it goes illogically from the higher number to the lower number. I didn't find any real english mnemonic for this, but I kind of translated a czech one.

There is a czech idiom translated like "It goes from ten to five" meaning something is going bad/worse. Since in my student years I got general idea, that everything goes worse, it's only logical that even the DNA goes "from ten to five" in this case from "five to three" Posted Image

The direction of amino acid strand (N -> C)
The same problem, this time with letters. I think it may be possible to apply the above rule as the C is earlier in the alphabet than N.
But in czech I though of a mnemonic, using czech word KONEC, which means "end". This clearly shows that on the very end of "end" there is C (and also it contains preceding N).
I would be grateful for any ideas about this particular one, I'm going to teach it tomorrow. Some english word with such meaning or maybe something that is used in english schools and I don't know about.
(I've seen the CORN mnemonics for numbering the carbons in amino acid, but that is just oposite of what I need since the direction is reversed)

I know this is late - but I remember it by amiNo-aCid, N terminus is first, C comes second...


Harry He Likes Beer Bottle Cold, Not Over Frothy. Nelly's Nanny Might, Although Silly Person, She Climbs Around Kinky Caves; for the first 20 Elements of the Periodic Table. (Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, Beryllium, Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Fluorine, Neon, Sodium, Magnesium, Aluminium, Silicon, Phosphorus, Sulphur, Chlorine, Argon, Potassium, Calcium.)


Perhaps a weird question: but whats the point for learning (just) 20 elements of the periodic table?

I don't know, but they made us do it in school, perhaps because these are some of the most common elements that people come across, excluding the transition metals like gold, sliver and copper. I think it would be much better if they taught them in the periods, with the reactivities being similar down a column, as the periodic table was designed to do.

#8 pito

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:19 AM

I don't know, but they made us do it in school, perhaps because these are some of the most common elements that people come across, excluding the transition metals like gold, sliver and copper. I think it would be much better if they taught them in the periods, with the reactivities being similar down a column, as the periodic table was designed to do.


Strange, altough, I can imagine they made you do it. But I dont really see the value in it.

If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.





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