Engineering, 2013, 5, 255-258 Published Online October 2013 (
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. ENG
Structural Bioinformatics of Protein & DNA, as Early
Stimulation in Basic Education of Rural and Indigenous
Communities of Oax aca
Susana Lozano-Muniz1,2, Maria del Carmen Urzua-Hernandez2,3
1Biotechnology Institute, Universidad del Papaloapan, Tuxtepec, Mexico
2International Foundation for Biotechnology Research & Early Stimulation in the Culture of Health,
Nutrition, Sport, Art, Science, Technology & Society A.C., San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec, Mexico
3Facultad de Quimica, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Ciudad de México, Mexico
Received June 2013
As stated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, children have the right to go to school for free, to play, and to
have the same opportunity to develop and to learn to be responsible and useful [1]. Young children are curious by na-
ture and they have passion for learning [2]. An environment that encourages scientific thinking is what gives young
children the time, space and materials to exercise their curiosity [3]. The aim of this paper is to present a methodology
for the development of educational environments based on digital technology, internet and free programs available on
the web, for the use and application of structural bioinformatics protein and DNA, for early stimulation in basic educa-
tion at rural and indigenous communities in state of Oaxaca, conducted in On Line Learning & Training OLL & T.
The course is divided into 4 sections: 1) Introduction to the topic of protein and DNA structure; 2) Search in protein
data bank; 3) Download RasTop program and use it as bioinformatics tool; 4) Emulation of building a viral molecule.
Workshops were given to children in elementary, middle and high school at the Universidad Del Papaloapan during the
National Week of Science and Technology, every year in Oaxaca since 2007 to 2012 and in Monterrey 2010 at the Un-
iversidad Autonoma de Nuevo León. Conclusions: positive impact was achieved in basic education in the area of natu-
ral sciences by analyzing the molecular basis of protein and deoxyribonucleic acid, theoretically and practically, as a
support for teache r s.
Keywords: TICs; Childhood; Improvement; Achievement
1. Introduction
Mexico has important advances in the education system,
by the annual implementation of the test called The Na-
tional Assessment of Academic Achievement in Schools
test (for its acronym in Spanish ENLACE). This test re-
cognizes work strategies that allow the child to have bet-
ter (intellectual, social and physical ability). Fo r example,
nowadays, the use of the computer as a basic tool from
an early age begins to stimulate the child’s mind as it
activates his imagination and attention span; for this rea-
son it is important to basically outline the material re-
sources available to the School. Activities that can be
made through the Information & Communication Tech-
nology (TICs) in education are, in general, motivating to
the students for their interactivity, by the use of visuals,
colors and three dimensional figures and hearing, among
other advantages. We used National Institute of Statistics,
Geography and Informatics for its acronym in Spanish
(INEGI) data to make a situation analysis of social, edu-
cational and technology issues available on the Mexican
population [4]. The cons ensus of popula tion and housing
unit of measurement for thousands of inhabitants in 2010
registered a value of 112,337 [5].
Child Population: According INEGI [6] the percen-
tage of th e population aged 0 to 14 years in 1940 Tabas-
co is the entity that registered the highest value with
48.6% of its population in this age range, while the
record of Federal District is 34.5%, lower with all entities
in an increasing trend was observed up to 1970 years, in
which the maximum value in all of them emphasizing
Tabasco, Zacatecas and the highest values of 50.6 and
49.7% respectively.
1.1. Infant Mortality
To compare the states for 1990 the mortality rate and
percentage of population in rural areas, considering these
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. ENG
as less than 2500 inhabitants, there is a direct relationship
between both indicators to percentile higher rates of rural
population are more higher, infant mortality being great-
er the difference in extreme values of each of these indi-
cators, to display the changing values in the entities we
see a general decrease in mortality of children under one
year or less marked decreases in the percentage rural
populat ion since t he 19 90-2005 period [7].
1.2. Educational Backwardness and Rural
The percentage of women over 14 who have not com-
pleted the 9 grades of compulsory basic education is ex-
pressed and localized mainly in the states with the high-
est proportion of people in rural areas. In recent decades
the gradual depletion of the educational lag kept a close
relation to the decline in mortality rates of children under
one year.
The schooling offers women a new larger social net-
work, reference groups and greater identification with the
modern world of health institutions, educational gap re-
duction between women could be related to an increased
interest in health services. That is possible with greater
approval preventive behaviors and new remedies which
contribute to increased survival of less than one year.
Reducing the educational gap between women could be
related to an increased interest in health services, allow-
ing greater approval of preventive behaviors and new
medicines also contributing to increased survival of chil-
dren less than one year [8].
2. Material and Methodology.
The co urse is divided into 4 sections:
2.1. Introduction to the Topic of Protein and DNA
1) The first questions the teacher asks the students are:
If the student heard about proteins? Which proteins they
know? Which Food has proteins? Why they believe the
human body requires protein? What happens when pro-
teins are ingested? Why it is necessary to take in food?
After analyzing the questions and possible answers, (is
introduced to the subject of the proteins by PowerPoint
presentation and bibliographic search in information net-
works. The subject of the proteins by PowerPoint pres-
entation and bibliographic search in information net-
works are introduced.)
2) They are taught by figures such as this formed the
primary, secondary, tertiary (is at this time which ex-
plains the issue of DNA) and quaternary structure. For
example, what is a linear sequence of aa, an alpha helix,
a beta folded parallel, one anti-parallel beta-sheet, a bar-
rel, a sequence of folded beta/alpha-beta helix folded
alpha helix sequence/corner/alpha helix, one beta se-
quence folded/corner/alpha helix-beta-sheet, beta barrels
a sequence, a sequence of alpha helices, beta pleated se-
quence, a sequence of alpha helices/beta fold, are shown
examples of quaternary structure of proteins, viral capsid,
membrane proteins, the relationship in size from water
molecules, aa, proteins, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA),
alpha helices, enzymes, antibodies, viruses, bacteria,
globule red and white blood cell. Teacher explains that
although proteins appear differently represented, they are
the same protein, or it can be similar, then the students
see the proteins in structure of bones, ribbons, spheres
(balls), globular, etc. After that continues with the fol-
lowing o bje c t ives of t he w orkshop [9].
2.2. Search in Protein Data Bank
The Protein Data Bank (PDB) is one of the most useful
bioinformatics resources, this contains almost 84.966
three-dimensional structures of proteins. It is important
to note that each of these files contains the coordinates in
the space of all atoms in the protein (excluding hydro-
gens in many cases). If we consider that a protein has
many tens or even hundreds of waste, and that each of
them has about 10 atoms, how many numerical data are
required to form one of these files? Access is and each file has a four-character
identifier, often a number followed by three letters. The
teacher taught the children to access this bioinformatics
tool to search for proteins, to view them on line in Jmo
online, download protein information, and change the
display of this protein in various forms of representation
in Jmol online [10].
2.3. Download RasTop Program & Use It as
Bioinformatics Tool
RasTop is a program that unlike Jmol, KING, and Web-
Mol, requires downloading and installing before use. The
current version is 2.2 and you can get it for free at RasTop is the heir
of a previous program called RasMol, can still be found
at In our course, the stu-
dents are taught how to download and install the program.
Either way the program was previously installed, the
students seek the appropriate icon and open the se-
quences downloaded from the PDB in order to read the
structure, for this select File / Open and select the PDB
structure files are available and explore the different
menus an d buttons [11].
2.4. Emulation of Building a Viral Molecule
The students printed an icosahedron, cut it and pasted the
folds forming a three-dimensional structural protein of a
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. ENG
virus, afte r analy zing t he vi ral st ruct ural pr otei n PDB [12].
3. Results
Workshops were given to children in elementary, middle
and high school at the University of Papaloapan in Tux-
tepec Oaxaca during the National Week of Science and
Technology, every year since 2007-2012 and in UANL
in Monterrey on 2010.
4. Discussions
As stated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child,
children have the right to go to school for free, to play,
and to have the same opportunity to develop and to learn
to be responsible and useful. Infant mortality is relevant-
ly as an indicator of parental education levels, which has
relation with the lack of health prevention measures, and
/or they can’t have a good job or to pay for health re-
sources, and in a rural places, they usually don’t have
appropriate health systems, so with this kind of workwe
try to support basic education in rural and indigenous
areas. Using this methodology in Early Learning in
Science and Technology, we will be able to stimulate and
intervene in the evolutionary development of children
enrolled in primary education, promote the scientific
development within the natural sciences area, positively
impact their curiosity to lear n and to use the Internet tool
available online. Basic educational teachers who accom-
pany their students are impressed by that information
available online. They taught both teachers and students
to visit the websites of protein databases. The workshop
is offered to students from rural and indigenous com-
munities in Oaxaca Tuxtepec, since 2007 to 2012 as in a
cosmopolitan city like Monterrey in 2010, during the
National Week of Science and Technology and observe
the following: that when students come from rural and
indigenous communities are interested to learn about
computer use as an innovation, and they are alert and
focus at class, because the teachers have indoctrinated
them to pay attention to instructor of the workshop, or do
not have access to this technological tool or as a teacher
usually do not know how to use it. In a city like Mon ter-
rey, they have frequent access to these tools whether at
home, school or cyber. It was also observed that these
pupils from cosmopolitan cities, have two possibilities,
one of which is familiarity with technological tools are
more knowledgeable and question incurred with respect
to the information provided in the workshop so that one
has to constantly prepare in the field to respond to these
questions or otherwise students may be constantly dis-
tracted, changed the screen saver to turn the computer on,
or some other settings the same as the wallpaper, font,
color, etc., during the time that the instructor tries to give
his workshop, that is, the slightest slip of the instructor
students are distracted doing what they most like to do on
your computer, and even trying to access your email ac-
count, chat or social network.
5. Conclusion
Early stimulation is a set of action s to promote the phys-
ical, mental and social aspects of any child, and even
helps to prevent child psychomotor retardation, cures and
rehabilitates motor impairment, sensory deficits, intel-
lectual disabilities, and language disord ers. This supports
the integration of these children to society, replacing the
burden of feeling useless for the joy of becoming a useful
individual and reducing the feeling of aggression, indif-
ference or rejection, and stimulating solidarity, coopera-
tion and hope. Educational backwardness and poverty are
the main factors that exist in the rural states, which affect
the child population, and lead to a high index of infant
mortality, relevant as an indicator of parental education
levels, which have relation to the lack of health preven-
tion measures, and /or they can’t have a good job to pay
for health resources, and in a rural placesthey usually
don’t have appropriate health systems, so with this kind
of work we try to support basic education in rural and
indigenous areas..
6. Acknowledgements
We thank to CONACYT SEP SEB project No. 81936
and the support from International Foundation for Bio-
technology Research & Early Stimulation in the Culture
of Health, Nutrition, Sport, Art, Science, Technology &
Society A.C.
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Copyright © 2013 SciRes. ENG
[5] INEGI, “Poblacion, Hogares y Vivienda,” 2013.
[6] INEGI, “Poblacion Infantile,” 2013.
[7] INEGI, “Mortalidad Infantil y Localidades Rurales,” 2013.
[8] NEGI, “Rezago Educativo y Localidades Rurales,” 2013.
[9] Introduction to the Topic of Protein and DNA Structure”.!/InternatFound4BiotechRes
[10] Protein Data Bank.
[11] Rastop.
[12] Icosaedro.