There will be one written assignment, due in the middle of the course. During the first session, students will be given a choice from a list of scientific papers about the topic of host-parasite interactions. The assignment will be a) to summarize the main findings of the paper and b) to suggest two or three further experiments that would either support or develop the main findings of the paper. Students should focus on describing proposed experiments and should include a short justification, a brief overview of the method as well as any controls needed. The word limit will be 1000 words.
Final Assignment: Oral Presentation
Each student should prepare a 10–15 minute presentation to describe a manuscript chosen from a list provided by the instructors. The manuscript will be related to the topics covered during class. Students are expected to lead a class discussion session focusing on the manuscript they selected using PowerPoint slides. The presentation should include a brief introduction, methods, key figures and tables, key control experiments, discussion and critical evaluation of the conclusions. The major focus will be on identifying and critiquing the key experiment(s) and control(s). Students should be able to present the essence of the paper in a structured and concise manner, and be able to answer questions from their peers and the instructors.
The presentation should use no more than 11–12 slides (including title). The first slide should include the paper title, authors and their affiliations, journal and year of publication. The next 2 slides should contain background information. Students should describe the most important knowledge in the field before the research was conducted and explain any key terms crucial for understanding the presentation. The following 1–2 slides should address the main techniques. The next 5–6 slides should present the most important results—the key figures and tables, the key control experiments, and their implications. Critical judgment should be expressed. The final slide should describe conclusions offered by the authors and students' evaluation of the validity of these conclusions.
For the discussion, students should point out the key experiment(s) and control(s) and present their own conclusion whether the results support the claims made in the manuscript completely, partially or not at all. The oral presentations will be on the final day of class.