FINAL APPLIED LAB PROJECT (1 CREDIT LAB COMPONENT)
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
This is the culminating lab assessment in BIOL 103. It is designed to assess your ability to apply the principles of the scientific method.

The Effect of low pH on Enzyme Activity

Design an experiment in which you will test the effect of an acidic fluid on enzymatic activity. Recall: enzymes are proteins! To complete this project, it may be useful for you to first review the Scientific Method Tutorial, information about pH and enzymes in the text book and course modules, Lab 1 (Introduction to Science) and Lab 4 (Enzymes). As you review Lab 4, you will be reminded that there are several factors that impact enzymatic activity: pH, temperature, and amount of reagent. It is OK to use the same enzyme/substrate/method as you did in lab 4 (but modify the treatment), or you can search on-line to find a different enzyme/substrate/method for measuring enzyme activity for your project (include all references).

As you design your experiment for this project, please remember that you are trying to examine how an acidic fluid will modify the outcome of an enzymatic reaction. To successfully complete this project, you will need to identify the question(s) being asked in your experiment and the hypothesis that you are testing. In your experimental design, you must clearly explain what you are doing. That means that you will need to identify the enzyme, the substrate, the acidic fluid used as treatment, the control treatment and the method of measuring enzyme activity, as well as explain your experimental protocol. You must also thoroughly explain how the acidic fluid impacted enzyme activity based on the results from your own experiment as well as knowledge of enzymes and pH from the text book, modules, lab manual and potentially additional information sources.

Hint: Keep in mind that the acid will change the environmental conditions of the experiment (for example, a low pH value could change the shape of the active site on the enzyme protein), without directly participating in the reaction.

Lab Materials

You may need all or some of the following, depending on your experimental design:

Materials from your lab kit:

pH paper
hydrogen peroxide solution (you can purchase this at a pharmacy if you have used up the bottle that came with the lab kit)
plastic beakers or cups
vinegar
yeast (can be purchased at grocery store if more is needed)
balloons
plastic bottle
marker for labeling of beakers
Cell phone/digital camera – pictures required
You may choose to use additional materials (different acidic fluids and/or different organisms and/or different substrate if you chose an enzyme other than catalase).

Outline:

Include the following in your outline:

Name of enzyme you will use
Name of organism (if applicable)
The substrate and products in the chemical reaction
Method for measuring enzyme activity
Treatment: acidic fluid(s), pH, length of exposure, how you will treat your samples
The control(s) in the experiment
Hypothesis
How you will present your data (table and/or type of graph)
Anything else you would like to get feedback on before you start your experiment
Write a lab report that includes the following:

1. Title page: descriptive title, your name, course name, semester

2. Introduction: general background information about enzymes and specific information about your chosen enzyme, the question(s) that you are asking and a clear hypothesis for your experiment (20 points).

3. Design an experiment. Provide a detailed description of the materials and methods used to conduct the experiment. Identify control and experimental samples, as well as independent and dependent variables. Also include the methods used for data collection and analysis (20 points).

4. Conduct the experiment and record your results. Take picture of results. What did you observe? Present your data in table and/or graph format. Remember to label everything and include the unit of measure with all numbers (20 points)

5. Use your knowledge of enzymes and pH to interpret and discuss your results. It may be necessary for you to refer to the text book and course modules, lab manual and/or use additional information resources. What effect does the acidic treatment have on enzyme activity? Did you get the expected results? Explain. (20 points)

6. State a specific and accurate conclusion. Is your hypothesis supported by the results? Looking back, how could you have improved your experiment? (10 points)

7. Include a list of references to all information sources used in APA format (5 points).

Avoid Plagiarism

It is very important to write with your own words. If you do copy one or two sentences directly (use sparingly), use quotation marks (“) around the copied text, followed by an in-text reference. All information sources need to be included in the reference list and as in-text references. Plagiarism will be reported to the proper UMUC authority. Guidance on how to avoid plagiarism can be found here: .umuc.edu/students/academic-integrity/ai-tutorial/academic-integrity-tutorial.html”>https://www.umuc.edu/students/academic-integrity/ai-tutorial/academic-integrity-tutorial.html

Submission

Submit your final applied lab project in the assignment folder by the due date specified in the course schedule.

Grading

Your Outline will be graded based on the following criteria (100 points total):

WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT: BIOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY IN THE REAL WORLD
This assignment 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
1. Select one of the topics listed below (a-e).

2. Find at least three reliable information sources related to your chosen topic. You are encouraged to use the UMUC library in your search: .umuc.edu/science”>http://libguides.umuc.edu/science.

3. Write a paper with title page, introduction, several paragraphs addressing the questions, conclusion and references. You must write in your own words and paraphrase information from the selected information sources, addressing each of the questions for your chosen topic. Your paper should consist of less than 10% direct quotes. Your paper should be 750-1500 words, excluding references and title page. Use APA style for references: .umuc.edu/library/libhow/apa_tutorial.cfm”>https://www.umuc.edu/library/libhow/apa_tutorial.cfm

4. Submit your assignment to the Assignment folder by the due date listed in the course schedule.

Topics (select one)

a) Stem cells. Your friend has suffered a spinal cord injury after a bad car accident. The medical team has decided that he is a good candidate for a clinical trial using stem cell therapy. Your friend has not had a biology course since high school, so you decide to write him a letter sharing your knowledge of stem cells. Include in your letter a description of the biology of stem cells and how these cells are unique from other cells. Contrast the different types of stem cells, including pros and cons for each type. Explain how stems cells can be used to treat diseases and injury, with special focus on spinal cord injuries. Include information from at least one research study or clinical trial. Conclude with your own opinion.

b) Genetically modified organisms (GMOs). A friend tells you that she avoids foods containing GMOs because they are unhealthy. You decide to use the knowledge gained from your biology class and some additional research to form your own opinion on GMOs. Answer the following questions backed up by reliable information sources. What is the purpose of genetically engineering of crop plants? Include at least two specific examples of commonly grown GMO crops. How are GMOs created? Use the provided course materials and make a connection to the central dogma of molecular biology in your explanation. Which foods in your supermarket contain GMOs? Are foods that contain GMOs safe for human consumption? What types of regulations exist for these foods? Clearly explain your reasoning for each answer in your paper and conclude whether or not you agree with your friend.

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:.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=252&v=2pp17E4E-O8″>https://www.com/watch?time_continue=252&v=2pp17E4E-O8and 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 animal DNA is worth the rewards? Explain. Do you believe that it is ethical to genetically engineer humans and/or animals? Explain.

d) 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. Then list some of the diseases that babies and children in the US are routinely vaccinated against. How has vaccinations impacted the frequency of these diseases over the past 100 years? Why are some people worried about giving their children vaccines? 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.

e) Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) and tar sands (oil sands). With society’s dependence on nonrenewable fossil fuels, the oil & gas industry is turning to hydraulic fracturing and tar (oil) sands to extract natural gas and oil. A friend asks you “What’s all this controversy in the news about fracking and tar sands?” Briefly explain to your friend how hydraulic fracturing and tar (oil) sands are used to obtain these fossil fuels. Then, in more detail, describe the environmental problems that may result from these processes and why they are controversial. Issues that should be addressed involves water, air and soil pollution with special focus on global climate change, effects on human health, and effects on other species and natural ecosystems. Finally, give your opinions on possible solutions to these environmental problems, with your reasoning backed by information from reliable information sources.

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