Brain/Nerve degeneration affects millions of Americans. They all impact a person’s everyday life, from the ability to move around freely to their memory and problem solving capabilities. All these diseases are progressive, as parts of the brain or spine will degenerate over time. These diseases are good candidates for targeting using Optides because they're associated with protein misfolding. The Project Violet team hopes to identify Optides that can bind to, and affect the folding of, certain proteins that are prone to misfolding in neurodegenerative diseases.
The storyboard/cartoon illustration demonstrates the research approach and potential of Optides for neurodegenerative diseases. In a step-by-step process, it shows what happens if a normal protein becomes misfolded (thereby causing disease) and how Optides may be able to help repair some of the damage. This story is illustrated in the first document in the files on the right ('Optides Story').
Activity #1 utilizes the students' creativity to have them come up with their own story board given some background and a few rules. After individuals/groups have done this, the class will come together to discuss and step through the actual story. NOTE: For younger students, skip Step 3 in the procedure.
Activity #2 has students display their understanding of the concept through a creative means of their choice, including (but not limited to) drama, art, or music.
* Idea Credit: Zachary Crook (Project Violet)
The following documents contain all the information necessary to learn about this activity:
1. Storyboard Activity #1
- This document contains instructions for the first storyboard activity. For younger students, skip step 3.
2. Storyboard Activity #2
- This document contains instructions for the second storyboard activity.
3. Storyboard Optide's Potential
- This document contains the actual storyboard as written by one of the Project Violet scientists to explain one of the applications they are researching for the use of Optides with brain degeneration
- This document gives a few vocabulary terms needed specifically for this activity
5. Neurodegenerative Diseases
- This document describes some of the neurodegenerative diseases that Project Violet is working on, and how they hope that Optides will play a role in helping with these diseases
- This document introduces the players involved in this 'story'
7. Rules & Guidelines
- This document gives a few rules/guidelines for students to come up with their own storyboard version
8. Facilitating Questions
- These questions and answers can be used by teachers or groups to facilitate discussion around the storyboard and topic
- This document contains blank boxes to fill in for the storyboard