Third online Meeting 21.02.-24.02.2022

Report about third online meeting 21.02.-24.02.2022

Caused by the ongoing high risk pandemic situation in Europe Erasmus team decided to conduct another online meeting to use the elongation time of the project meaningful and to improve the aims of the project. Third online meeting was led by the Austrian team.

Topic of the meeting was to improve teaching unit DNA methylation with a hands on made model. Complicated details of epigenetic regulation by DNA CpG methylation process on the molecular level should be didacticly reduced by building an easy model about the process. The idea from Austrian mentors was to build the model out of cupboard. The model should follow all known scientific results and should come real molecular processes as close as possible. Therefor the model should show the structure of DNA including specific basepairs, the methylation of DNA by CpG methylase and the restriction of DNA by enzyme ClaI.

21.02.2022 – Workshop ; Building the Model 

At the first meeting, the participants were fairly divided into small international groups. Each group was guided by two Austrian mentors through the workshop. The aim of the Austrian mentors was to assist the other groups in building the model and to explain the process of methylation on molecular level to their audit. Working together we managed to achieve solid results.

22.02.2022 – Discussion of the Model 

In workshop 2 the models build during workshop 1 were presented by each constructor and compared. There were several optional explanations about epigenetics with the model. In addition three alternative models build by inspired students during the day were discussed and compared in their scientific advantages and disadvantages. Finally, behaviour of restriction fragments after ClaI cutting of methylated and unmethylated DNA in a gel electrophoresis were discussed.

24.02.2022 – Lecture of Expert

On the third day of our online meeting, we were lucky enough to hear a lecture on epigenetics given by expert PhD Michael Eckerstorfer from the Federal Environment Agency of Vienna. He informed the participants of the meeting about the biological background, current research and risk assessment of environmental hazards on humans health in present and in the future.