Cybertory Virtual Molecular Biology Laboratory
a web-based educational platform
Our simulation-based exercises provide many of the educational benefits of practical, problem-oriented experiments in "wet-labs", but on a more economical and scalable basis. These are not simply animations or tutorials, but detailed simulations in which reactions are sensitive to contamination, enzyme degradation, buffer pH, and reagent concentrations.
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Instructors can register for a free account through our Course Management System
Because exercises are not built in to the software, developing a new exercise is a matter of adding the necessary gene sequences and enzymes, and working out an experimental protocol. Protocols can be simplified by providing pre-mixed solutions and a precisely configured laboratory environment, or made more difficult by requiring users to mix solutions, change equipment settings, or optimize parameters. More complicated experiments generally require troubleshooting, such as using positive and negative controls. Experimental results are produced in authentic formats, and can be analyzed with standard bioinformatics tools.
The software supports a wide range of exercises targeted to learners from grade school through graduate school, and in fields as diverse as criminal justice, geneology, and health care. The free demonstration exercises on this website illustrate the breadth of applications, and there are more exercises on our open-source companion site (cybertory.org). These exercises are currently in use by universities and individuals around the world.
Both the open source and Virtual Lab platforms are available to third-party exercise developers. Please contact us if you are interested in developing simlation based exercises to accompany your course or textbook.
We are developing services to make it easier to use these teaching materials in classrooms and on-line courses, including student evaluation and course management. To learn more about these services, please sign up for a free account on our course management system.