Biology of Social Issues Research Essay # 1 Alzheimer’s disease

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Assignment: This is the first research essay for the semester. You are to conduct library or online research in order to identify three recent news articles or scientific reports (not included in assigned class readings) that bear upon a chosen topic relevant to course material. Acceptable articles or reports come from either (1) a professional society or governmental organization (examples include the American Medical Association [AMA], the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA], and the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]); (2) a popular science magazine such as Science News, New Scientist, Nature News or Science Daily News; or (3) an established, reputable news organization, such as The New York Times or Atlantic Monthly. Blogs are not primary news sources, but are instead personal interpretations of news articles and thus are not acceptable sources. Wikipedia and similar sites are also excluded because they are user-generated. If you have any question about whether your source is acceptable, please consult a TA before using that source. Each essay will consist of two parts: (1) A brief annotated summary of the articles or reports. To produce an annotated summary, provide full citation information for each article (including complete date, title, author, source (name of publication or organization) and URL (if online), plus two or three sentences that summarize the main point of each article, and (2) A brief (one or two paragraph) discussion on the topic in which you summarize what already seems to be known about the topic, and then reflect on what remains to be learned. Topics: You can choose any ONE topic that is relevant to material presented in class. For Gerald Downes’ section, some possible topics include (but are not limited to): spinal cord injury, concussion, CTE, traumatic brain injury, Shaken Baby Syndrome, Lou Gerhigs disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Prosthetic limbs, and stem cell therapy. Other topics may arise in class; anything we discuss in class is an option for your research essay. Length: Up to 1000 words total

Research Essay #1 Biology of Social Issues, Spring 2019 Assignment: This is the first research essay for the semester. You are to conduct library or online research in order to identify three recent news articles or scientific reports (not included in assigned class readings) that bear upon a chosen topic relevant to course material. Acceptable articles or reports come from either (1) a professional society or governmental organization (examples include the American Medical Association [AMA], the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA], and the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]); (2) a popular science magazine such as Science News, New Scientist, Nature News or Science Daily News; or (3) an established, reputable news organization, such as The New York Times or Atlantic Monthly. Blogs are not primary news sources, but are instead personal interpretations of news articles and thus are not acceptable sources. Wikipedia and similar sites are also excluded because they are user-generated. If you have any question about whether your source is acceptable, please consult a TA before using that source. Each essay will consist of two parts: (1) A brief annotated summary of the articles or reports. To produce an annotated summary, provide full citation information for each article (including complete date, title, author, source (name of publication or organization) and URL (if online), plus two or three sentences that summarize the main point of each article, and (2) A brief (one or two paragraph) discussion on the topic in which you summarize what already seems to be known about the topic, and then reflect on what remains to be learned. Topics: You can choose any ONE topic that is relevant to material presented in class. For Gerald Downes’ section, some possible topics include (but are not limited to): spinal cord injury, concussion, CTE, traumatic brain injury, Shaken Baby Syndrome, Lou Gerhigs disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Prosthetic limbs, and stem cell therapy. Other topics may arise in class; anything we discuss in class is an option for your research essay. Length: Up to 1000 words total How to submit: Through the ‘Research Essay #1’ link on the MOODLE course website. Essay 1 deadline: Friday February 15 Note: Late essays will have 5 points detracted per day late. Similarity Scores: Upon submission, similarity scores are provided. Scores exceeding 20% will attract additional scrutiny A few words about plagiarism We are sorry to bring up an unpleasant topic, but our hope is that a little information now will avoid any misunderstandings later. Plagiarism can be broadly defined as presenting someone else’s work or writing as your own. Some instances are very easy to identify – for example, copying another student’s exam answers or purchasing a pre-written term paper online. However, when writing a research paper that reviews published literature, there can be some confusion about the proper way to cite someone’s work and avoid concerns about plagiarism. The purpose of this handout is to clarify these issues. • When writing a paper that reviews published literature, the most common and appropriate strategy is to summarize or paraphrase the research, and provide a citation to the original study. The citation should include the author’s name, the journal/paper name (e.g, The New York Times) and the date. URLs are also welcome. Correct: The herbicide atrazine is sprayed on a lot of crops and can end up in drinking water (Raloff, Science News, Feb 27, 2010). • Occasionally, an author’s words are so profound that you may want to use their exact working in your paper. In this case, large portions of text, such as a sentence or more, MUST be in quotes along with a citation. Copying sentences vertabim without using quotations is plagiarism. Correct: According to Raloff, “Each year, American farmers and turf managers apply some 34 million kg of atrazine.” (Science News, Feb 27, 2010)
Laura Barnes Part 1 Annotated Summary Barbet-Massin, Morgane, et al. "Can species distribution models really predict the expansion of invasive species?." PloS one 13.3 (2018): e0193085. This article is a peer-reviewed article on the UMass library research database and it discusses Species Distribution Models, which are used to predict how bad of a threat an invasive species is to biodiversity in an ecosystem. It also explains the threat that invasive species have to the global economy due to control issues. Chynoweth, Mark W., et al. "Biology and impacts of Pacific Island invasive species. 9. Capra hircus, the feral goat (Mammalia: Bovidae)." Pacific science 67.2 (2013): 141-156. This is another peer-reviewed article found on the UMass library research database. This piece follows a specific invasive species (the Feral Goat) to give an example of what they are and what they do to an ecosystem. Januchowski‐Hartley, Stephanie R., Vanessa M. Adams, and Virgilio Hermoso. "The need for spatially explicit quantification of benefits in invasive‐species management." Conservation Biology 32.2 (2018): 287-293. This is another peer-reviewed article that talks about the future approaches to the issue invasive species are causing. They discuss solutions such as systematic reviews, species distribution models, and more. Laura Barnes Part 2 Discussion An invasive species is a species that’s alien to a specific ecosystem and is likely to cause harm either environmentally or economically to native species. Essentially, it’s whenever species don’t fit in the ecology. For example, the asian carp fish is native to Eastern Russia and China, but was brought to North America and Europe for sport fishing and eating. This disrupted the entire ecosystem it was introduced to because it took food from the other fish that had already been living there. It also quite literally “stirred” up the ecosystem because of the way it swam. It made the water murky which created conditions that made it impossible for other species to survive. This is just one example of how invasive species can cause disruption and harm to ecological communities. Another major case of invasive species begins when domestic goats, Capra hircus, were brought to the oceanic islands (somewhere that they do not fit) and caused distress to plants through the “trampling” and “consumption” (Chynoweth, 141) by the goats. The lack of these plants caused a trophic cascade because the species that were native to the oceanic islands could no longer use it to survive, whether it be by eating the plants for nutrition, using the plants for protection to hide from predators, etc. The trampling also caused an increase in fires because the native plants held a lot of water which had naturally slowed down forest fires. Strategies for invasive species cases like this one, “include taking no action, eradication, annual control in perpetuity, or occasional control in perpetuity” (Chynoweth 149). Taking no action is pretty self explanatory--it means we let Earth take its course without further involvement. Eradication means completely taking out the species that is not native. Annual control in perpetuity means that there is consistently a restriction made by a law that denies non-native species to a new area, Laura Barnes and occasional control in perpetuity means that this happens, but inconsistently. What was mainly done in this real life example was eradication. So far, scientists have found these strategies to be the most helpful when managing invasive species, along with Species Distribution Models. Species Distribution Models model what the native species look like with and without the invasive species. It looks at these species all throughout time and is a good predictor of what would happen when a given species non-native to the area were to invade the area based on whether or not we attempt management. This tool shows us the harm an invasive species has done in the past, is currently doing, and could possibly do in the future to biodiversity and species distribution. However, there have been some concerns on how effective this model is. One issue with the Species Distribution Model is that, “until the latest stage of invasion, an invasive species is not yet at equilibrium with its environment” (Barbet-Massin 2). This means that it may not be accurate because the model’s definition invasive species is not exactly the same as what we think (the idea of when a species becomes an invasive species is different). Despite this issue, however, they are still being used to learn more about invasive species and the prevention and repair management. One limitation for the future of invasive species management is the lack of knowledge and measurement of spatially variable assets. Spatially variable assets capture the benefits from management of invasive species, and since we don’t have this data, we don’t know exactly whether or not the the results (benefits) of invasive species management look the same across locations and different assets. To move forward, we really need this data. Without it, it makes it much more difficult to advance our knowledge of how to correctly handle a specific invasive Laura Barnes species in a specific location. One approach scientists are considering to avoid this is to, “carry out systematic reviews of ecological and environmental science literature on invasive species management” (Januchowski 292). This will take more time, but it’s our next step to advance our knowledge to better our actions when dealing with invasive species. Another future step managing invasive species includes, like I mentioned earlier, species distribution models are also being used and will continue to be used (and bettered) to contribute information on the impacts of invasive species and our impacts on managing them. The final future step to be taken that I will mention is the idea that our knowledge of how to manage invasive species need to come from many different perspectives of people who specialize in a few different topics. Managing invasive species will become most efficient when spatial optimization analyzers, ecologists, social scientists, and indigenous and local people all come together to come up with more strategic and cost-efficient plans.
Siena Small Jeff Podos Biology 105 April 25th, 2018 Fossil Fuel Use Part 1: Annotated Summary “Climate Change Causes: A Blanket around the Earth.” ​NASA​, NASA, 10 Aug. 2017, climate.nasa.gov/causes/. This source offers information about how greenhouse gases, such as fossil fuel emissions, contribute to global warming. The article then goes on to detail the components of global warming like rising sea levels and the role of human activity in the changing climate. “Fossil Fuel.” ​ScienceDaily​, ScienceDaily, ​www.sciencedaily.com/terms/fossil_fuel.htm​. This source provides concise information on what fossil fuels are and how they are formed, as well as the basic effects of burning these materials. Additionally, the report gives insight on how the impacts of burning fossil fuels are a result of human action. Greenstone, Michael. “If We Dig Out All Our Fossil Fuels, Here's How Hot We Can Expect It to Get.” ​The New York Times​, The New York Times, 8 Apr. 2015, www.nytimes.com/2015/04/09/upshot/if-we-dig-out-all-our-fossil-fuels-heres-how-hot-w e-can-expect-it-to-get.html. This source details how fossil fuel emissions have affected temperatures worldwide since the start of their use during the Industrial Revolution. The author also gives significant attention to the potential solutions to the issue of the negative impacts of fossil fuel emissions. Part 2: Discussion Fossil fuels are materials such as oil, gas, and coal, which are formed from the remnants of dead organisms as they have been compressed under the earth’s surface for millions of years. They are made up mainly of hydrocarbons and can be burned to create energy, which in turn releases carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. Fossil fuels are commonly used in industrial production and transportation; for example, coal was burned to heat water on steam engines, and the trend of utilizing fossil fuels for power has only continued (“Climate Change Causes”). While there are some positive effects of using fossil fuels for industrial purposes, as these materials are more efficient to burn than things such as wood, the effects of fossil fuel use on our planet are detrimental in their contribution to global warming and climate change. The release of carbon dioxide from the action of burning these fossil fuels “​is the largest source of emissions of carbon dioxide” and​ adds to the layer of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, and these trapped gases only increase the temperatures on the planet ​(“Fossil Fuel”).​ Major environmental issues follow from the continued use of fossil fuels, among with other activities that cause global warming, specifically in terms of rising sea levels, which will soon result in island nations like the Maldives being underwater, caused largely by the melting of ice in the sea. As well, researchers have come to the conclusion that there is a more than 95% chance that the rising temperatures on our planet are a result of human activities which began in the Industrial Revolution, with the beginning of the use of fossil fuels (“Climate Change Causes”). The solution to the effects of fossil fuels is to find more sustainable alternatives; the main alternatives so far are nuclear, wind, and solar power, with hydroelectricity, power created through the force of water, and biofuels, which are made from plants specifically farmed to be made into fuel, also standing as options (Greenstone). None of these options, however, have proved as effective or cost efficient as fossil fuel, some even being too dangerous to utilize, and most are still in the process of being fully implemented. Several things remain to be known about fossil fuel usage, mainly falling into the categories of what to do about the use of fossil fuel and how to convince the nations of the world to take effective action against these global issues. Most researchers suggest limiting fossil fuel emissions, and three different methods have been suggested to do so; none of these methods, though, are currently practicable or worth implementing. First, the countries of the world could establish a global price on carbon, establishing costs to reflect the damage caused by climate change and in this way creating “a level playing field for all energy resources.” Society is a long way off from establishing a market such as this though, and the projected numbers are said to be too low to reflect the actual damages. Another option would be to utilize the alternatives to fossil fuel mentioned earlier, but again these methods are still much less effective and more costly than fracking and using fossil fuels. Lastly, the third option would be to continue the use of fossil fuels but to capture the released carbon using machines that will take in and store the byproduct; these machines still require much further research, however, and likely will still cost more than simply using fossil fuels (Greenstone). While there are potential solutions to the issue of fossil fuel use, none of them are currently viable, and so the question of how best to resolve this issue still remains. Additionally, there is the added difficulty of getting the entire world to agree to actively attempt at decreasing the effects of global warming. Efforts have been made, such as the Paris Climate Agreement, to determine a general consensus on what actions should be taken, but there still remains the question of how much of the fossil fuels we should let remain beneath earth’s surface, on top of many other issues about how best to resolve the issue of climate change (Greenstone).

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School: UT Austin

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