Biology is interesting, but we are not often are asked to research—and delve into—a topic that you feel passionate about. The goal of this project is to explore genetic diversity and physiology in a way that allows you to design your own experimental approach, and pursue individual research.
In place of a final exam (yay!), you are going to create a thorough presentation on a disease (some guidance is provided below). A few of the tasks will be asked to do along the way will help you learn, reinforce, and execute important research and presentation skills that will serve you well at Andover and beyond. Specifically, you will practice doing the following:
- Brainstorm and narrow down a topic
- Conduct preliminary research to write an outline of your presentation
- Use creditable sources to support your project
- Summarize, paraphrase, and organize (complex) information from various sources
- Practice giving and receiving feedback from peers
- Designing a poster presentation
- Citing sources
As a whole, your poster presentation must address the following questions:
- Detail the molecular mechanisms leading to physiologic dysfunction or variation in individuals with the disease or genetic difference. In order to do this effectively, you will need to compare and contrast the dysfunction within the context of the typical physiologic system, or within the context of the wild-type.
- What treatments are currently used to treat individuals with this disease? Detail the molecular basis for their function (i.e., – how they work at the molecular level). For variations, how does this impact daily life? What are the hypotheses for how this trait evolved?
- For diseases, describe ongoing research efforts that seek to improve current therapies. Detail at least one “cutting edge” therapy in development that aims to improve our ability to treat individuals with this disease. For variations, detail and describe your experimental process, including all relevant statistics and data.
Listed here are a few research categories to pick from --- choose a category that interests you; then, find a specific disease within that category to research!
Genetic variations: hitchhiker thumb, “super tasting,” eye color, and more!
Diabetes, urogenital, blood, and endocrine diseases
Chronic respiratory diseases
Cardiovascular and circulatory diseases
You will be provided a specific PowerPoint template later to organize your information and presentation. Your poster must include the following sections:
- A brief introduction
- Molecular mechanisms
- Treatments and molecular basis for their function
- Ongoing research
- Works cited and acknowledgements
On the day of the presentation, you will have 5 minutes to present your findings to an audience of interested and knowledge-seeking peers and teachers!
You have approximately THREE weeks to do all of the above! Below is a rough outline of when each assignment will be due. It is your responsibility to meet each deadline on time!
- Thursday, 1/31: [15 points] A brief proposal (1-3 substantial paragraph(s)) on the specific disease, trait, or experiment you wish to research or conduct. (Posted on Canvas)
- Friday, 2/1: [10 points] Email or otherwise contact me for a 10 minute appointment to discuss your project proposal.
- Monday, 2/4: [ 20points] A complete list of sources (formatted in APA) and a short paragraph each (3-4 sentences) explaining how that source if appropriate/useful to your research
- Friday, 2/8: [25 points] FIRST rough draft outline of your poster
- Friday, 2/15: [30 points] SECOND draft of your poster (1st peer-editing activity)
- Friday, 2/22: [50 points] THIRD draft of your poster (2nd peer-editing activity)
ALL STUDENTS WILL BE PRESENTING DURING ASSESSMENT WEEK (WEEK OF THE 25TH)!
THE FINAL PRESENTATION IS 50 POINTS!
- Me! Come to conference period, email me, questions, etc.
- OWH Library guides: http://owhlguides.andover.edu/
- OWHLGuide for just Biology 100: http://owhlguides.andover.edu/bio100
- The librarians are a great resource as well – approach them for help!
3. Useful websites: