make observations and discriminate between scientific and pseudoscientific explanations

Written Assignment: Biology and Technology in the Real World

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Addresses course outcomes 1-4:

  • recognize and explain how the scientific method is used to solve problems
  • make observations and discriminate between scientific and pseudoscientific explanations
  • weigh evidence and make decisions based on strengths and limitations of scientific knowledge and the scientific method
  • use knowledge of biological principles, the scientific method, and appropriate technologies to ask relevant questions, develop hypotheses, design and conduct experiments, interpret results, and draw conclusions

Find at least three information sources related to the topic. According to the grading rubric in the syllabus, these must be CREDIBLE sources. You may only use one Internet sources because many Internet sources are not credible. Government websites are usually reliable but you must find at least two other non Internet sources to use.  You may not use encylopedias such as Wikipedia.

 

Write a 750-1500 word paper, excluding references and title page. You must read the information sources that you find and summarize the information in your own words, addressing each of the questions and expectations for your chosen topic. Extensive quotes from the article are discouraged. You may only use one direct quote in your paper.

 

Topic

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Your friend had a spinal cord injury after a bad car accident. The medical team has decided that he is a good candidate for a clinical trial using stem cell therapy. Your friend has not had a biology course since high school, so you decide to write him a letter sharing your knowledge of stem cells. Include in your letter a description of the biology of stem cells and how these cells are unique from other cells. Contrast the different types of stem cells, including pros and cons of each. Explain how stems cells are can be used to treat diseases and injury, with special focus on spinal cord injuries. Conclude with your own opinion. The following website from NIH regarding stem cell research will be very helpful: http://stemcells.nih.gov/index.asp.

 
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