Biology and Technology in the Real World
•recognize and explain how the scientific method is used to solve problems
•make observations and discriminate between scientific and pseudo scientific 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
1. Select one of the topics listed below (a-e).
2. Find at least three reliable information sources related to your chosen topic. You are encouraged to use the UMUC library in your search: http://libguides.umuc.edu/science.
3. Write a paper with title page, introduction, several paragraphs addressing the questions, conclusion and references. You must write in your own words and paraphrase information from the selected information sources, addressing each of the questions for your chosen topic. Your paper should consist of less than 10% direct quotes. Your paper should be 750-1500 words, excluding references and title page. Use APA style for references: https://www.umuc.edu/library/libhow/apa_tutorial.cfm
4. Submit your assignment to the Assignment folder by the due date listed in the course schedule.
Topics (select one)
a) Stem cells. Your friend has suffered 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 for each type. Explain how stems cells can be used to treat diseases and injury, with special focus on spinal cord injuries. Include information from at least one research study or clinical trial. Conclude with your own opinion.
d) Vaccines. Your friend is worried about the many vaccines that his newborn son is scheduled to receive and asks you for advice since you are taking a biology course. Start with an explanation of how vaccines work. Briefly contrast the traditional methods used to create vaccines with more recently used biotechnology techniques. Then list some of the diseases that babies and children in the US are routinely vaccinated against. How has vaccinations impacted the frequency of these diseases over the past 100 years? Why are some people worried about giving their children vaccines? Is there scientific evidence to support these concerns? Conclude with advice to your friend in regard to getting the recommended vaccines based on what you learned from reliable information sources.