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The Mystery of the Seven Deaths

A Case Study in Cellular Respiration

By Michaela Gazdik Stofer

The Mystery of the Seven Deaths


 

Abstract

In this interrupted case study, students learn about the function of cellular respiration and the electron transport chain and what happens when that function is impaired. The case is loosely based on the real-life 1982 Chicago Tylenol murders where seven people died when Tylenol capsules were laced with cyanide. Students play the role of medical examiner as they analyze the autopsy results to determine the cause of the mysterious deaths of these seven victims. The case was originally used in a general biology course taken by both science majors and non-majors.

   

Date Posted

10/13/10

Overview

Objectives

  • Explain the overall purpose of cellular respiration.
  • Describe the intermediate metabolites of cellular respiration.
  • Explain the function and importance of the electron transport chain.
  • Describe the role of oxygen in cellular respiration.

Keywords

Cellular respiration; hypoxia; blood oxygen; metabolic pathway; metabolite; pyruvate, acetyl coenzyme A; NADH; cytochrome c oxidase; electron transport chain; adenosine triphosphate; ATP; product tampering; cyanide poisoning; Tylenol

  

Subject Headings

Biology (General)
Cell Biology
Molecular Biology
Physiology

EDUCATIONAL LEVEL

Undergraduate lower division

  

FORMAT

PDF

   

TOPICAL AREAS

N/A

   

LANGUAGE

English

   

TYPE/METHODS

Interrupted, Role-Play

 

 

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