Posted: February 25th, 2022
Instructions Step 2: Innovations in Biology and Technology – Writing Assignment (9%) 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 Write a paper about your chosen topic. Your paper should consist of a title page, introduction, several paragraphs addressing the questions for your chosen topic, conclusion, and references. The outline you wrote in step 1 should be your starting point, but you can make edits to the topics and details you include, and the organization of the content. Take advantage of any feedback received. Your paper should be 750-1500 words, excluding references and the title page. Use a minimum of three (3) reliable information sources. These may or may not be the same resources that you found in step 1 of this assignment. The majority of your paper should be written in your own words, your own writing style and structure, fully paraphrasing information from the selected information sources (just changing a few words in a sentence is not enough). Your paper should consist of less than 10% direct quotes. Quotation marks must be used at the start and end of a direct quote, followed by an in-text citation. When paraphrasing, you should also use text citations to acknowledge the source. A list of references in APA format should be included at the end. Please visit the UMGC Citing and Writing page for citation, writing, and academic integrity help: https://sites.umgc.edu/library/libhow/gethelp-citing.cfm Submit your paper to the Assignment folder by the due date listed in the course schedule. The originality of your assignment will be checked with Turnitin. Please review the originality report (https://libguides.umgc.edu/turnitin-students), and if needed, submit a revised assignment before the submission deadline. Please review the grading rubric, and ask your professor if you have questions about this assignment. Topic selection (use the topic you selected for step 1 of this assignment, included here as a reminder): a) 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, including the COVID 19 mRNA vaccines. Explain how the mRNA vaccines work based on your knowledge of the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology. What are some of the diseases that infants and children in the US are routinely vaccinated against? How have vaccinations impacted the frequency of these diseases over the past 100 years? Why are some people worried about giving their children vaccines? Why do some people believe that the MRR vaccine can cause autism? 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. b) Personal Genomics. Services like 23andMe and Ancestry have made it possible – even popular – for the average person to obtain in-depth information about their genome, including details like food allergies, drug sensitivities, and disease risks. There are even add-on sites that will take this information and generate elaborate reports, such as Promethease. Describe how this data is obtained, and what it actually includes. Start your explanation with a basic description of DNA and how genes control our traits (the Central Dogma). Use information from the course readings, at least one service provider (e.g., 23&Me, Ancestry), and additional information resources. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this easy, rapid, and affordable access to genomic data? What are the social implications, in terms of benefits and risks? Is Genome Privacy (restricting access to an individual’s private genomic data) a potential issue, and if so, how? If you, or someone you know, have had your own genome analyzed, discuss the thought process that led you (or them) to do so, and share how you felt when you found your results. If you haven’t, discuss why or why you would not want to have this information. c) Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) has been the most recent breakthrough discovery in bioengineering that enables scientists to edit DNA. Because you have studied biology in this course, you have volunteered at your niece’s Middle School Science Club to monitor a student debate about CRISPR. The students will be watching the following video before the discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=252&v=2pp17E4E-O8 You need to be prepared in case there are any questions. Please research and write an answer to each of the following questions: What is “CRISPR”? What role does Cas9 play in the CRISPR process? How does the CRISPR-Cas9 system snip and replace any DNA sequence? What are the potential benefits and drawbacks of gene editing? Include specific examples. Do you believe that the inherent risks of modifying DNA is worth the rewards? Explain. Do you believe that it is ethical to genetically engineer animals and humans? Explain. d) Bioprinting. Your father has been on a waitlist for a new kidney for several years, but no match has been found. You hear about bioprinting on the news and decide to do some research so you can tell him about it. Start with an explanation of what bioprinting is, and how the process works. Relate it to what you have learned about cells, tissues, and organs. What are the benefits of bioprinting? What are the current challenges? What are stem cells and how can they be used for bioprinting? What is bioink and how is it used for bioprinting? Include a least two examples of current research in this field, and conclude with predictions for the future. Finally, do you believe that your father could benefit from this technology in his lifetime? e) Human-caused global climate change is the biggest environmental challenge we are faced with today. Your aunt is a climate skeptic and you have decided to use your understanding of science to explain to her why the earth’s climate is changing, describe the major biological effects of climate change, and discuss how technology can be a solution to this problem. You should start with a brief description of the greenhouse effect and how carbon dioxide is a natural part of the carbon cycle. Then explain how our use of fossil fuels is disrupting the carbon cycle and enhancing the greenhouse effect. You may want to look ahead to the Week 7 readings for this information. What are the major ecological effects associated with climate change? What are the human health concerns associated with climate change? Describe at least one example of each. And finally, what can we do to reduce our impact on the climate through technological innovation? Include a description of a minimum of two technological solutions.
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