pset1s - MIT Department of Biology 7.014 Introductory...

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MIT Department of Biology 7.014 Introductory Biology, Spring 2005 Solutions to 7.014 Problem Set 1 Question 1 Please read the following two articles, and answer the questions at the end Article I Fouad, Tamer. "Laptops can affect fertility in males, US researchers warn." (January 1, 2005). (full text at http://www.thedoctorslounge.net/fertilounge/articles/fertility_laptops) Please refer to article:
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Article II 2 Moore, Charles. "Hot Laptops A Male Reproductive Health Hazard - And Something You Can Do About It." Road Warrior , January 4, 2005. (full text with pictures at http://www.macopinion.com/columns/roadwarrior/05/01/04/ ) Please refer to article:
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Question 1 a) Do the articles above present the findings of the laptop study objectively? If yes, justify. If no, give examples of biased reporting and explain why you believe the reporting to be biased. (Feel free to underline or highlight passages in the text, as long as you clearly identify the meaning of your markings) The first article presents the findings objectively. The article describes procedure used in the study in great detail, and its report on the study’s conclusions is limited to those supported by the reported data. Article also relies heavily on direct quotes from the lead author of the study, ensuring a large degree of impartiality. The second article, on the other hand, overstates the reported results of the study to a large degree. For example, compare the quote highlighted in dark blue in the first article with the one highlighted in light blue in the second. While the first article merely reports elevated scrotum temperatures observed in the experiment, the second article makes a connection to reduced sperm production and fertility. This connection is not substantiated by data obtained in this experiment, or by an applicable previously reported experiment. Similarly, compare quotes highlighted in green and yellow. Notice the use of “may want to” in the first article vs “should” in the second, and the truncated quote in the second article with respect to the first. b) Look again at the second article. Does the Laptop Desk study answer the question of how likely is it that this device would help alleviate the problem of the elevated scrotum temperature associated with laptop use? Why or why not? Reporting of the Laptop Desk study talks only about measuring the temperatures on the device itself. It gives no indication that the study involved measuring how effective the product would be in alleviating the problem of the elevated scrotum temperature associated with laptop use. To determine that, one would need to conduct a study where the scrotum temperatures were measured when using the Laptop Desk in various configurations with and without a working laptop computer. c)
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pset1s - MIT Department of Biology 7.014 Introductory...

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