Biology 466 Unsolved Problems Fall 2010
a) The Clock and Wavefront Theory: Find the original paper that proposed it;
Report on the original paper; compare it to the recent Nature paper by François & others
1. Ruchita Pillai
B) Atherosclerosis What accumulates (cholesterol? & what else), where does it accumulate? Why does it accumulate there, when accumulates, why there
do similar accumulations occur inside smooth muscles. (the walls of arteries are mostly smooth muscle) Can excess cholesterol in your diet cause this to occur earlier?
2. Ashley Trudeau
3. Shalom Cherian
1. Bridget O'Brien
D) Jason Lieb's studies of chromatin structure
2. Alicia Ramsaran
3. Everett Fox
4. Lauren Bolger
1. Aarti Sarin
E) Neural projections: produced by concentration gradients of ephrin
2. Megan Karmalkar
3. Justin Crowder
1. Paul Dunbar
H) "Gene Therapy" for genetic diseases: Can transformation work?
Might there be better ways to compensate for genetic defects.
2. Jenny Shen
3. Greg Veintimilla
4. China Ohadugha
1. Mallorie Monleith
I) "Embryonic" stem cells: Who thinks they can really repair tissues? & Why?
2. Chwan Ko
3. Evan Wells
4. Maggie Burns
Has debate over morality resulted in not enough thought about practicality?
1. Afshin Humayun _
2. Modhu Elun _
3. Matt Abraham _
4. Josef Smith
5. Philip Ikoku
1. Natan Seidel
2. Eric Katz
3. Nick Wilkinson
4. Michael Savage
5. Michael Segal
Suggested Possible Strategies For Giving Group Reports on Unsolved Problems
One alternative strategy:
Begin by one member of the group summarizing the problem:
A somewhat different strategy: Stage a debate between members of the group.
Maybe how a problem was first noticed;
And/or what beliefs were previously held on the subject;
Mistaken hypotheses that have been proposed
Continue by another student reporting on currently the dominant paradigm;
Including summaries of whatever is now believed, including evidence
Concluded by the third student explaining why (or what aspects of) this paradigm is/are
inadequate; if appropriate, describing evidence that seems to contradict the paradigm
I realize that some groups have more than three members; but they could follow this basic strategy
And summarizing any alternative theories that may instead be the true explanation.
by having one member summarize the fundamental problem.
Then a second member describing historical development of theories & concepts about the problem
Then a third member describing whatever the current paradigm is
And a fourth member arguing that this paradigm may be mistaken, & for what reasons
With a fifth member summarizing a different paradigm, and the evidence supporting it;
OR with the fifth member listing experiments that need to be done, for the purpose either of confirming or disproving some of the alternative theories/paradigms.
You could start with one member summarizing background information and special vocabulary
Yet another way of subdividing the presentation
Followed by the second and third members of the group debating between two major theories,
Alternating from student to the other, and then back again:
Maybe 10-12 min. intro; then 5 min favoring theory X, followed by 5 min in favor of theory Y, followed
by 5 more minutes from the same person who favored X, with counterarguments; and then
5 more minutes of counter-argument by the person who favored theory Y.
And if there is a fourth student in this group, then that student could summarize the
arguments pro and con, which is more persuasive, and to what extent either solves the problem.
If there happens to be a fifth member of the group: list and explain experiments that could settle the issue
most conclusively ("If we had a special kind of microscope that could see X, then...")
Maybe there happen to be two major theories; then two students could argue in favor of one theory,
And the other two students could argue in favor of the other; probably best to alternate
#1) 10 min. in favor of theory X
General discussion of what methods or experiments are most needed for conclusive proof.
#2) 10 min. in favor of theory Y
#3) 10 min. in favor of theory X
#4) 10 min. in favor of theory Y
Maybe there happen to be three major theories, and 3 members of the group (or 4)
Then #1) 12 min. in favor of theory X
#2) 12 min. in favor of theory Y
#3) 12 min. in favor of theory Z
#4th member of the group, if there is one, could have taken 5 minutes at the beginning to summarize
the early history of the problem; and then take another 5 minutes at the end to list disagreements
and suggest what experiments are most needed, that could really solve the problem.