Purpose of this assignment: Every day we as a society are exposed to science.
Purpose of this assignment: Every day we as a society are exposed to science. With today’s constant stream of news and media, we have daily reports on a variety of important scientific matters relevant to local, regional, and national levels. The reports influence public perception of scientific advancements, opinions, and investments that greatly impact our society. Understanding the language of media and science is essential to evaluating information that you hear or read. The goal of this assignment is to explore media items with scientific themes in order to expand your knowledge of scientific information, learn to think scientifically, and connect your knowledge of science to local issues of community importance. Further, this assignment gives you an opportunity to practice being critical thinkers of the media and information you read. You should always ask, where did this information come from? What is the sample size? How long was the study? What measurement tools did they use? Did they only give you percentages? Who funded the study and who is reporting the study? Tasks for this assignment: Beginning with the second week of the quarter, you will be responsible for finding current public health, science, or any other news article regarding the content of this course (published within the last 3 months) and writing a response. Do not use articles your peers have already used. Your response should include the following: 1. Paragraph 1: Article title, source, and summary of the content. Your opinion of the article and why you chose it. 2. Paragraph 2: Go find the actual peer-reviewed article the study is written about. There should be a link within the news article on where they go to the data. Go find that source and read it as well. 3. Paragraph 3: Where did this information come from? What is the sample size of the study? How long was the study conducted? What measurement tools did they use? Did they only give you percentages? Who funded the study and who is reporting the study? What is the title of the actual study? 4. Paragraph Critical Thinking: What are the differences between the actual study and the news article. Do you agree or disagree, was the information accurate, was the article misleading/biased, describe the scientific stats and language used in the article? 5. Include the following information with your response- An APA citation for both articles, and live links to both articles so that your peers can review the actual articles for their responses to your post. After you have completed your assignment, you will need to post your news article to the discussion board with your brief summary and opinion. You will need to make sure and fully answer all of the questions. You will then need to read and respond to a minimum of 3 of your classmate’s articles. When responding to your classmate’s articles ask questions based on the above write-up. DO NOT just write “good article, yes I agree” You need to demonstrate that you have read the material and have critically thought about the content. Provide your opinion of the article. Do you agree or disagree? Do you think the language in the article is misleading? Do you think the facts are accurate? Where did the information/data come from? Original posts are due by Friday at 11:59 pm. Each assignment will be worth 10 points. NOTE: Spelling, writing structure, grammar, and professional style will be evaluated on these assignments. You will need to have posted and responded to your classmates by 11:59 pm on Sunday evening. To see example assignments keep scrolling! Example of an assignment that meets the criteria: I was interested in an article published in Science News dated June 7, 2021. The article is titled, “Food That Boosts Gut Microbes Could Be a New Way to Help Malnourished Kids. Malnourished Children Fed the New Food Did Better Than Those Who Got Traditional Supplements” (Erdmann). The article cites research conducted in the poorest areas of Bangladesh where children are undernourished, a type of malnutrition caused by not eating enough food or the right kinds of foods. It that can cause serious stunting and according to UNICEF, malnutrition caused the death of 5.2 million children under the age of 5 worldwide in 2019 alone. Half the children in the Bangladesh study were fed a food supplement that was full of nutrients and microbes that helped restore beneficial bacteria in their guts and the other half were fed a typical high caloric supplement. They found that the children who were fed the supplements with good gut bacteria gained more weight than their counterparts who were fed only high-calorie supplements. I chose this article because international health care, especially where it concerns children is an area that I care about deeply. I am encouraged by the potential promise of this research into gut microbes. News article: (Erdmann, 2021) Malnourished children fed food supplements with gut microbes gained more weight than children who were fed typical supplements. Researchers are now working with other nutrition experts and with WHO to expand the trial. Study: (Chen et al., 2021) Moderate acute malnutrition affects more than 30 million children throughout the world. Study in poverty-torn Bangladesh where microbiota was added to food supplements fed to children to test if adding good gut bacteria is associated with increased growth and development. Initial results of the three-month study showed promising outcomes. Larger trials are needed to test the results in different geographic regions. The research article cited by Science News is from The New England Journal of Medicine and is titled, “A Microbiota-Directed Food Intervention for Undernourished Children” (Chen, et al). This randomized, controlled feeding study had a sample size of 118 children ages 12-18 months old and took place over the course of three months: plus, an additional month of monitoring. The group was divided in half and the control group of 59 children was fed a typical high-calorie ready-to-use supplementary food (RUSF) while the intervention group of 59 were fed a supplement that contained specifically developed good gut bacteria, AKA, microbiota-directed complimentary food prototype (MDCF-2). The researchers took measurements at baseline and every two weeks. In addition, 4977 plasma proteins and bacterial taxa in fecal samples were measured. Researchers found the children fed the MDCF-2 group had better outcomes in all measurement areas. The authors qualify that larger trials in different geographic areas are needed to find if the MDCF-2 is an effective treatment for childhood undernutrition across the globe. The study was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a grant from the National Institutes of Health. The main difference between the news article and the study is that the Science News article gives just a very brief overview of the scientific study in simple layman’s language. The article did not use a lot of statistics, just generalizations of the results that appear accurate and do not seem to be a biased or misleading version of the study. Chen R. et al. (2021). A microbiota-food intervention for undernourished children. New England Journal of Medicine. Vol. 384, April 22, 2021, p. 1517. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2023294. Erdmann, J. (2021, June 4). Food that boosts gut microbes could be a new way to help malnourished kids. Science News. Retrieved from https://www.sciencenews.org/article/gut-microbe-food-malnourished-children

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