Physiology In The News Discussion

Physiology In The News Discussion


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1. To become more familiar with some new information about physiology (including genetics, biochemistry, medicine, etc.) current events reported daily in popular media and develop an understanding of how it connects with our text.

2. To develop an introduction or boxed text section in a style and with similar content as shown by examples in the lecture text.

3. To practice using science as it is presented in the media and sharing this information with peers.


You may use newspapers which are dated within one year of the first day of this term. On-line versions of these media are also acceptable. You are looking for a newspaper article addressing an area of physiology which is not covered or has limited coverage in the text. New discoveries, diseases, and ethics issues are some examples of the article topics students have successfully used in the past. Remember this is a physiology course; please use articles with a clear connection to physiology topics. If you have questions about the appropriateness of an article, please discuss it with your instructor.

The article should report on a physiology topic or research. The article may be focused on a single research finding or it can be a generalized summary. The article should be less than one year old and provided to your instructor when the report is submitted. A URL should be included in the Heading if using a web-based newspaper.

Method and Product:

Using a newspaper article with a topic focused on some aspect of physiology, develop an introduction to one of the chapters or a boxed text section (for example: Running Problems, Clinical Focus, Emerging Concepts, Biotechnology, or Try It) for your text. Put yourself in the place of an editor of the next edition of the text. You want to add topics which are current and/or of interest to the reader. The topic you choose should be one that fits into the text and part of your assignment involves finding a good location for your section. Make it interesting! Including quotes from or information about the scientists has been a good tactic for students.

Assessment: You may earn a maximum of 25 points for this writing assignment. The assignment due date is the last class prior to Thanksgiving (either Tuesday November 26 or Wednesday November 27 depending on which lecture section you are enrolled.). Late assignments will not be accepted. The points are assigned as follows:

1. Grammar and Style: (2 points) You should demonstrate effective and appropriate writing. Does each paragraph have a topic sentence? Is the style flowing and easily read? Is it obvious you reviewed your writing before submitting it? Do nouns and verbs agree? Are spelling errors kept to a minimum?

2. Did you follow the format? (3 points): Your report should be typed. It should as long or as short as you think is required to adequately explain the topic. Make sure you include where in the text you would insert your writing. Some topics may fit in several places. Choose the text sections which best fit the angle you took with your topic. It is often helpful to reference other areas of the text (page XX) if another area of the text supports your writing.

The two major areas I will focus on when evaluating your format: are Heading (see below) and Style. Use the heading guideline below and write in a style which fits into your text (not too informal). Deviation from this format will result in a loss of points.

Heading: Line 1: Your name. Line 2: Chapter where you would place your article. Line 3: Source (name of newspaper or URL ) Line 4: Date of publication, section, page number, or date you visited the of web site. Line 5: Title of article

3. How well did you use the information in the article? (5 points): You should find and focus on the major concepts or topics in the newspaper article. Do not summarize, but rather use the information in the article to introduce your writing, provide background information for the reader and/or make connections with the text. You may bring in information from other articles or sources.

4. How well did you place the article? (5 points). A major part of the writing assignment is identifying the chapter of the text where your writing fits within the text. Make sure to include where you recommend placing your writing in the heading. It should be placed so that it supports or expands on the material before and after it.

5. How much value did you add to the text? (10 points) You should be looking for topics or research that you find interesting. Your job is to find and use information that students will want to read and will help them gain an insight into an area of biology. Ask yourself: Is this topic interesting? Does the article bring a new slant on material covered in the text? If available in the article, did I include quotes from the scientists? Did I address any competing ideas or theories? Did I help the student make a connection with text material and the “real world”?


The assignment has maximum number of 25 points to be earned. Points will be deducted for omitting any of the items above and points may be deducted if the summary is not written in clearly, with correct spelling, punctuation (no contractions, except direct quotes) and well-constructed, complete sentences. Late assignments will not be accepted.

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