Dr. Stuart Reichler’s Spring 2008 Bio
311D Bonus #1
Must be printed/typed and turned in at
the beginning of class on 15 February 2008
This assignment is optional and can be worth a
maximum of 2 points
added to your final grade.
As I mentioned in class, we will be
using articles from scientific journals to learn about inheritance,
evolution, plant and animal physiology, and ecology. So
I would like you to pick an article that you would like to study in
article should relate to one of the topics listed on the
syllabus. Your source
should be from a scientific journal and have been published no earlier
than 2004. You can certainly use a mainstream news source to get
ideas, but I want you to find an article of original research not a
report by a journalist. If you have any questions about the
appropriateness of your choice, please ask.
To help us grade this assignment, please follow this
Class (Bio 311D and include whether you are in the 2pm or 3pm class)
Article title, author’s name(s), journal title, volume, page number(s),
and the date of publication
Include a short description of the question(s) posed in the article,
how this article relates to one or more of the topics listed on the
the reason that this article would make for an interesting class.
I will present some of these articles in class, so
please include enough information
so that I can make an informed decision on what articles we want to
use for class. Make certain that your citation is correct.
Also, for class presentation, it would be helpful if the article has
sufficient figures to make a visually compelling presentation.
This assignment should not exceed 800 words.
This bonus will be graded on a
scale of 0-2 points that will be added to your final grade. This
is an optional bonus assignment. Your grade will be determined on
ability to find an appropriate article, your identification of the
question(s) being asked, and your rationale for choosing the
typed/word-processed paper should be printed and turned in during class
on February 15, 2008 at the
beginning of class. I will
subtract 0.5 points for each day late.
Finding an article: There
are several search engines that exclusively search scientific
journals. The one I most commonly use is the "Web of
Science". It can be found via the UT library website at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/indexes/titles.html?let=W.
If this link does not work, go to the UT library website and look under "Databases & Indexes to
Articles". Most of the articles found via the "Web of Science"
should be acceptable for this assignment. The main criteria are:
does the article pertain to inheritance,
evolution, plant and animal physiology, or ecology; is it from 2004 or
later; and is it written by the actual researcher(s)?
You may not understand everything in the article,
and that is ok. Most articles are broken down into these
sections: The 'abstract' contains a summary of the article
It can be helpful, but other times the summary is very dense. The
'introduction' has background information and the rationale for the
research. This is probably where you can find most of the
information for the assignment and enough background to comprehend the
basic concepts. The 'results' will include the actual data and
may be more detail that you need. The 'discussion' will recap the
results and give some context for what it means. The 'material
and methods' covers the actual manner in which the experiment was done,
and will probably not have much useful information for this
assignment. You do not need to understand everything in the
article, but just enough to decide whether the subject matter is
appropriate for class and if it is interesting. If you have
questions, please ask.