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New look for Action Potential Experiments

A new version of the Action Potential Experiments simulation is now available for users with Windows 7 or later, as well as Macs, tablets, or other mobile devices.

The original  simulation was published by the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium, and is still available from this link at the BioQUEST site. That version runs only on Windows XP and earlier, and Mac OS9. However, using video screen capture technology, Mark has created a new version that will run on any device.

Action Potential Experiments is a demonstration/simulation laboratory for neurophysiology based on the “sodium theory” as originally formulated and tested by A. L. Hodgkin and his colleagues. It includes simulations of the original experiments of Hodgkins and Huxley, and of the classic voltage clamp and patch clamp experiments, as well as an animated illustration of the “sodium theory” explanation of Nernst potentials for potassium and sodium ions. The student can perform simple ion concentration experiments to test the predictions of the theory.

Check it out at

ScienceCaseNet: Case Study/PBL Network

The Case It project is part of the Science Case Network (SCN), a community of educators using case studies and problem-based learning in science education. The network is funded by a National Science Foundation RCN-UBE grant.   From the SCN site:  The Science Case Network “supports an active community of science educators, learners, researchers, developers, and professional organizations interested in furthering the accessibility, development, and use of case studies and problem based learning (PBL) in science education.”

Visit the ScienceCaseNet site to join the community.


Collaborating Projects in the Science Case Network:


National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science:  Clearinghouse for Case Studies in Science

PBL Clearinghouse: A collection of problems and articles to assist educators in using problem-based learning.

CASES Online
More than fifty investigative lessons or “cases,” for K-12, undergraduate, and graduate science. Free registration enables you to download cases and support materials.

Investigative Case-Based Learning
Case modules developed by faculty participants in the Investigative Case-Based Learning workshops.


Case It awarded Science Prize

Case It!  has been awarded an AAAS Science Prize for Inquiry-based Instruction (IBI).  An essay describing the project was published in the July 27, 2012 issue of Science (“Engaging Students in Molecular Biology via Case-Based Learning“).

From the Science web site:  “The Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction (IBI) has been established to encourage innovation and excellence in education by recognizing outstanding, inquiry-based science and design-based engineering education modules. This type of education is a form of active learning wherein the instructor provides a question, or a challenge, and a general set of procedures that can be used to answer it. The students then produce an explanation or answer that is based on the evidence that they collect from appropriate resource materials or experimental processes that are, at least in part, of the students own proposal.”

More information is available in the press release from AAAS, and the editorial by Bruce Alberts, Editor in Chief of Science.


Transition to new Case It web site

We are excited to make this new web site for the Case It project available.   The new site has all of the features of the previous site, plus new communication tools to promote interaction among Case It users.  Features of the new site include:

  • Logging in – Users will need to register on this site and log in to post comments or forum messages (messages can be read without logging in).  Once you have registered, you can edit your profile to add a photo and other information.
  • Case It software download – Download the latest version as a zipped file that contains the software simulation plus all of the DNA or protein sequences necessary to run the cases included in the Resource Manual.  Registered users will be notified when there is an updated version available.  Note that an additional registration, separate from the site registration (which allows users to post comments and forum messages), is required to download the software.
  • Resource Manual – Includes case scenarios and instructions for analyzing cases.  You can access this page from the Cases menu.  An Instructor’s Manual, containing keys to the cases and other information about case development and class use, is available by contacting Mark Bergland.  For now, the format of the Resource Manual has not been changed, but our plans include reorganizing it so it is easier to print individual cases for class use.
  • Tutorials – The tutorials that were on the previous home page, with screen shots from the software, are still available; click here to access them.  New tutorials in video screencast format are available for many of the software features, and more are being developed.
  • News – Announcements about new cases, workshops, and more will be posted here.  Subscribe to the RSS feed to stay updated.
  • Forums – Discussion boards on various topics, such as questions about the software, classroom implementation, assessment, and ideas for new cases.  Anyone can read the forum messages, but you will need to register for the site to post a message.  Since this site is being made public on April 1, 2012, there may not be many messages posted yet, but do not hesitate to contribute your ideas and get the discussion going.
  • Groups – This feature will create an area, either public or private, to share information about a focused topic.  Groups will be used to structure follow up communication for workshop participants, but other users can set up groups.

We welcome your feedback about the new web site!  Send comments to Mark Bergland or post a message to the Forum.






Case It v6.06 released

A new version of the Case It simulation (Case It v6.06) with microarray cases was released on January 28, 2012.  The latest update was added on February 8.  See the version history for information about each release.

Case It v6.06 includes SNP and expression microarray features, along with associated cases in cardiac disease, HIV resistance, breast cancer, prostate cancer, pharmacogenomics, and melanoma.  New video tutorials in screencast format are available.   We are in the process of converting all of the tutorials to video screencast format

The Student version of the Resource Manual has been updated to include the new case descriptions.  Contact Mark Bergland to access the Instructor’s version of the manual, with keys to the cases and additional background information.

This release has not been thoroughly class tested, so please let us know if you encounter any difficulties.