You are to complete an assignment of 1500 words (+/- 10%), describing a biochemical
method used by researchers to study one of following topics listed below.
You may choose one of the following two topics:
1. Characterisation of any protein encoded by the Dengue virus
2. Characterisation of the peptide glucagon
There are two parts to assignment:
Part A ? Use databases to identify three (3) journal articles that describes the use of a biochemical
method to research one of the above listed topics. There are five tasks associated with Part A (see below) and is worth 3 marks. This section should be approx. 500 words.
Your task for Part A is to use an online database to identify three (3) different journal articles, each no more than 5 years old, describing research on your chosen topics and complete tasks 1-5 below. The tasks for part A can be listed in dot form - you do not need to structure this part in essay format.
Tasks for Part A:
1. Look at the list of databases available to CSU students and decide which may have relevant articles. Describe why you chose those particular databases.
2. List the types of keywords you used in the database to search for your articles
3. Describe the search strategy you used to link your keywords to find appropriate journals. For example: ?insulin? AND 'ELISA'
4. Once you have chosen your three research articles, list the citations using APA referencing.
5. Determine whether the articles are available in print or an electronic copy. To do this, follow the advice on the CSU library web page entitled 'To find a journal or article'. The SmartSearch option is particularly useful and easy to use, when searching for electronic copies of articles. If one or more of the articles you have identified is not available in any form (print or online), you will need to perform additional database searches to identify three (3)
articles which are available.
To complete part B, you will now need to access the full text of these three (3) articles. If the article you want is only available in print, you will need to visit the library and photocopy the article.
Instructions: Part B - Write an essay describing a biochemical
method that was used in one of the research articles. Part B is worth 12 marks and should be approximately 1000 words.
Using the journal articles you located in Part A, together with other texts or journal articles you may locate, write an essay describing how scientists have used a particular biochemical
method to discover something new within their field of interest. You are required to include in your essay:
1. Introduction- Use the journal articles and other resources you have found to help you write a general introduction about the topic (approx 150 words).
2. Description of an experimental method - now look at the 'materials and methods' section of these journal articles and choose a single biochemical
method used in one of the articles. Explain how this method works generally, and then how it was used in that particular study to better understand the topic of interest. Experimental methods
commonly used may include (but are not limited to):
> Western/Southern/Northern Blot analysis, including electrophoresis
> Enzyme assays etc - do not just regurgitate details given in the article. You will need to demonstrate understanding of how the method works. For example, you could describe how electrophoresis works, or what is involved in an enzyme assay. You may find biochemistry textbooks give you additional support in writing this part of your essay. This is the major focus of the assignment and therefore should be approximately 600 words in length.
3. Results. Summarise what key measurements were obtained using the method. For example, an author may have used an enzyme assay to determine the Km or Vmax of a given enzyme. Approx 100 word length for this section would be appropriate.
4. Discussion. Summarise how the results obtained helped to further understanding in that area of research. Approx 100 words.
5. Reference list- Ensure you follow the APA referencing system exactly, particularly with regard to how you format different resources in the reference list and how you format your in-text citations. (see http://www.csu.edu.au/division/studserv/learning/pdfs/apa.pdf). This section does not count towards the word count.
Biochemistry is an experimental science. This assignment is designed for you to collect and synthesise information on the experimental tools of biochemistry. This assignment is also designed to help further develop your information literacy skills.
Part A (/3)
> Demonstrated use of databases / appropriate keywords, strategy (1)
> At least 3 peer reviewed journals used and appropriately referenced (1)
> Determined whether articles are in print / electronic form (1)
Part B (/12)
> Assignment is an appropriate length and formatting adhered to (1)
> Use of effective writing (good grammar, spelling, coherent writing, clear explanations, paragraphs used in a clear way to support reading comprehension, absence of typographical errors, correct capitalisation, correct use of quotations). (1)
> Ability to address the assigned topic (Comprehensive and concise coverage of topic - details indicate the topic was sufficiently researched & quality information is presented & is free of factual error and irrelevant material).(2)
> Logical flow of information. (Introduction, main body text, final conclusion, appropriate use of sub-headings, inclusion of relevant and labelled figures and tables, logical progression of information presented) (2)
> Shows understanding of the experimental technique used in the literature (5)
> Referencing (1)
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