Assignment One

You will be given a scientific article without its title and abstract in Session 5. Your assignment will be to write a title and an abstract for this paper (fewer than 250 words) to show that you have carefully read and understood it. You will base your writing on what you have learned about the titles and abstracts of the papers we will study during the first weeks of class. The title and abstract will be due in Session 8, and we will discuss everyone’s work during Session 9.

Assignment Two

At any time during the course, but no later than Session 9, you will choose a paper describing the use of RNAi for studying the function of genes in model organisms or in tissue culture. You may not choose a paper from the syllabus. You will have to conduct a database search (which we will discuss in the first class) for relevant research articles using keywords, select the paper you are most interested in and obtain a copy of it, either from the Internet or from the library. You should discuss your choice with us before you begin your written assignment. We will help you in the search and in obtaining a copy of the paper if you have problems. Your assignment will be to write a brief summary (1-2 pages) of the paper, stating the problem addressed, experiments designed to provide insights into the problem, key control experiments and conclusions drawn from the study. You will then have to prepare a brief (10 min) oral presentation based on your summary of the paper. This assignment is due by Session 12, when all the papers will be presented and discussed.

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