Part 1. Searching Techniques
The purpose of this exercise is to familiarize you with searching scientific literature to gain aIDitional information about particular topics. Formerly, this work was done exclusively in a library utilizing multi-volume, bound resources such as The Science Citation Index, Biological Abstracts, etc. Thankfully, it is much more convenient to conduct these searches at a computer terminal using the internet. Your assignment is to identify three key words associated with a cell physiology topic of your interest (some examples are provided below), and use an internet library resource to locate ten journal articles that aIDress this topic from the last 5 years. You must then construct a bibliography in which these ten literature references are listed in alphabetical order in a standard journal format. You may use any format of your choice, as long as it includes the title of the article. The chosen format must be a standard format found in the reference section of a journal article that is typically in use, and it must be consistent for each listing. One example of an acceptable format is:
Gardner, P.L., G.N.K. Mbuy, M.T. Knabb. (1994) Effects of the angiotensin II antagonist
losartan on herpes simplex virus-type 2 infection of cultured vero and cardiac neonatal
myocytes. Life Sci. 55(4): 283-289.
You must then choose one of these articles, download the abstract from the internet and print a hard copy. You may use any internet resource of your choice. PubMed is a particularly useful and convenient search engine. This tax-payer-funded resource is maintained by the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health. For simplicity, you may find the PubMed site aIDress through a Google search using “PubMed” as the search topic. The West Chester University library also provides some excellent journal article search engines. These may be accessed from the WCU Library main page.
You may use the biology department computer lab, the library computers, or your personal computer. Keep in mind that on-campus computers offer expanded access to full-text electronic resources, which may not be able to be retrieved while working from an off-campus computer.
Part 2. Dissecting a Research Paper
Research papers are typically hard to read! They contain a lot of jargon, are often written for specialists, and the information is typically very densely packed. It is essential that students gain experience in reading and deciphering the scientific literature. For this assignment you are required to choose one scientific journal article relevant to cell physiology from your bibliography above, obtain a compete hard copy of the article (you will probably have to get it from the library), and read it carefully (you may have to read it several times to really understand it). You should then print the entire abstract, and provide a sentence by sentence translation of the complete abstract in your own words. Take each sentence and explain simply what it means within the context of the whole paper. You may need to craft two or three sentences to explain just one sentence in the abstract. Another way to think of this is that you are required to provide a “translation” of the scientific language in the abstract into regular plain English. Make sure that you choose a research article NOT a Review Article.
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