Amherst Artificial Life Form Given Synthetic DNA

You will need to pick a recent news article related to biology, and critical review of that article. I do not need to see the article in advance, but you should think through the paper and decide which article will benefit you most. You will need to summarize the article, provide some background, and give your opinions about the contents of the article. Due date: July 10th.

Summary: Tell your audience (me) the main points of the news story. What is the headline, and what are the key points to the story?

Background: For the background you will need to dig a little deeper into the topic. For example, if you evaluate a story about a scientist working on the molecular genetics of an extinct organism, you will need to explain a little about the methods they are using, and the extinct organism. It is likely that some of that information will be in the article, but I expect you to do some research into the necessary background to make sure your paper tells the entire story.

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Opinions/analysis: For this section, you are free to analyze the article in whatever way makes the most sense. You are expected to emphasize the science, as it is explained in the article. I would recommend asking and answering questions that apply to your article, such as: Is there a hypothesis mentioned in the news story? Were experiments described? Was the hypothesis supported or refuted? Is the story reporting on a correlation? If so, is a hypothetical explanation for the correlation given? Does it seem reasonable? Is the story title misleading in any way? How might the information in the story be useful? Is any of the information surprising? Can you think of a different explanation for the facts reported in the story? In essence, I want you to tell your audience if your article does a “good” job reporting on the science. You could even “grade” the reporting in terms of the accuracy of the information it presents.

Grading: A total of 10 points will be awarded for your paper. 3 categories will be used to determine the presentation grade for each group:

1) The depth of knowledge displayed about your article (3pts).

3) Appropriateness and depth of background (4pts).

4) Appropriateness and depth of your opinions/analysis (3pts).

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