Research on Genetics

I. INTRODUCTION Genetic issues are important in all of our lives. During the past 50 years, our knowledge of genetics has exploded—growing from the discovery of the structure of DNA to the sequencing of all the genes that make up a human. Our deepening understanding of genetics will affect our medical practices, our societal norms, and our underlying ethical foundations. In this project, you will perform an in-depth study of one aspect of genetics with the goal of understanding the roles of genes and the environment, the scientific methods involved, and the impact of social and political views. II. RATIONALE A.

Upon completion of this project, the successful student will demonstrate: 1. a detailed understanding of one aspect of genetics; 2. an ability to effectively communicate complex scientific information; 3. effective personal time management, organization, and study skills. B. The specific learning objectives involve mastery of concepts presented throughout the course. They include a demonstration an understanding of: 1. the basic concepts of DNA, genes, gene expression, and heredity; 2. the methods of genetic analysis; 3. the impact of genetics on social and political beliefs. III. PROJECT FORMAT A. Research Topic 1.

You are free to select any topic related to genetics with the caveat that your topic must be approved by the instructor. 2. A list of approved topics is attached. 3. Your topic must be submitted for approval by Thursday, October 21. B. Required Paper Format 1. Your paper must be typed using Arial, Times New Roman, Helvetica, or Courier 12-point plain-faced font 3. 1-inch margins (top, bottom, left, and right) 4. Name and Paper Title as a header in the top margin on all pages 5. A title page containing the paper title and your name. 6. 2-3 pages of single-spaced text (the body of the paper). 7 A literature cited page. C.

Paper Content 1. The content of the paper will vary with the topic but should include: a. The genetic basis: what gene or genes are involved; b. Environmental factors: external factors that make the underlying genetics more difficult to understand or manipulate; c. A description of the scientific methods that are used to address the problem; d. A discussion of social, political, and/or ethical factors that enhance or diminish our ability to deal with the genetic problem. 2. Literature Quality a. You must cite at least three separate works of background literature. i.

The course textbook (Human Genetics by Lewis) will not count as one of these works (although you may cite it as an additional work). ii. Literature Quality will be assessed. Biology 162 Clark College Kibota 2 • Highest Quality Literature = peer-reviewed scientific journal articles. These articles have been evaluated by experts. • High-Quality Literature = information for public consumption on websites of government health organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the World Health Organization and from professional organizations such as the American Medical Association and the Genetics Society of America.

Information in these sources is based on the most up-to-date knowledge and has good depth of coverage. • Acceptable Literature = popular science magazines such as Discover, Scientific American, Science News, and American Scientist and websites from other verifiable entities such as WebMD. Information in these sources is reliable although the depth of coverage is sometimes quite shallow. • Marginally (or questionably) Acceptable Literature = popular news magazines such as Time and Newsweek and newspapers. Information in these sources is usually quite shallow and sometimes based on faulty information or reporting.

• Unacceptable Literature = websites of individuals whose qualifications cannot be verified. b. You must provide in-text citations following each bit of information that is not common knowledge. c. A full reference for each work receiving in-text citation must be provided in a Literature Cited section at the end of the paper. IV. GRADING A.

Team Work 1. The project may be performed individually or in pairs. Each partner will receive the same grade for the assignment. a. Projects performed in pairs are expected to have more depth of content and higher quality of writing than those performed individually. B

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