There is also two parts to this discussion. I know that these discussions can be tedious to write but the knowledge gained from this is invaluable. Plus, there is a lot of information to cover within the weekly topics.
Part 1: Scientific and Non-Scientific Resources
Last week you looked at the web resources and the quality of the information that you can find on the web. This week, it is important to continue the lessons that you learned last week by comparing scientific and non-scientific sources of information and asking whether the information in those sources is scientifically sound. Meaning do they have a solid scientific foundation. You can use the article/site you found last week as one of your articles/sites, or you can find two new articles/sites. One should be from a scientific source such as: a scientific journal (e.g.; Science; Popular Science; Nature); a government web site (e.g.: National Cancer Institute; FDA; CDC); or a recognized national organization (e.g.; Cancer Research Foundation; Susan G. Komen Foundation; etc.). The non-scientific source and be from any non-scientific source… they should be easy to find, usually they are trying to sell you something at the end of their article.
Compare them. Think about the sources of their information. Are their sources of information credible? Did they employ the scientific method? Is their scientific foundation to be trusted?
For this week’s discussion you can either post the web links to your papers/sites or the PDFs of your papers/sites.
State the scientific question the two papers/sites are trying to answer.
State the methods the papers/sites showed to get to their conclusions.
State whether you believe the articles have a solid scientific foundation. Why? Why not?
Also, as an aside, just because information is from a non-scientific source doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a scientific foundation… they sometimes do. Critically evaluate both resources.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Part 2: Genetics
The sequence of nucleotides in genes determine the sequence of amino acids in proteins. Alterations in DNA sequence can lead to changes in amino acids which can have strong effects on protein structure and its function. For example, a single substitution of a nucleotide (or point mutation) in DNA results in drastic changes in protein function e.g. as seen in sickle cell anemia. Please respond to the following questions:
Consider the examples of sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis and explain how gene modification leads to change in protein function. (Note: provide the name of the affected gene for each disease and explain the effect of nucleotide changes. You can use your book or references from previous discussions – week#4)
Efforts to correct errors in gene function have been tried for the past few decades but most have not shown consistent positive outcomes in clinical applications. However, in the past 10 years, the discovery of CRISPR-CAS9 system appears to introduce new exciting ways to correct errors in genes and paves the way for new approaches in gene editing. For medical applications, provide a guide on how the CRISPR-Cas9 can be used to fix gene errors in cystic fibrosis or any other genetic disorders. You can use this reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4403038/