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20.109(F21): Laboratory Fundamentals of Biological Engineering
Drawing provided by Marissa A., 20.109 student in Sp21 term.  Schematic generated using BioRender.

Fall 2021 schedule        FYI        Assignments        Homework        Class data        Communication        Accessibility

       Module 1: Genomic instability                          Module 2: Drug discovery       


The goal for today is to pause from the science and focus on how you will communicate the results you are gathering and analyzing in the major assignments in this module.

Written major assignment
For the Data summary you will present your data from Mod1 using a format that will assist you in presenting the data clearly and concisely. In scientific writing it is important to relay information such that a broad audience is able to understand the purpose and implications of your research. To do this effectively, the message must be direct and accessible.

More specifically, the information will be organized into sections that introduce / describe / interpret the data using bullet points. The purpose of the bullet points is to focus your statements such that each phrase contains a specific message.

Please review assignment description (linked here).

Verbal major assignment
For the Research talk you will present your data from Mod1 verbally. In this assignment you will highlight the key points of your research in a brief presentation without visual aids. The goal is to describe the data using specific and clear language.

Though the focus of the exercises you complete today will be on the Data summary, it is good to start thinking about how you might describe your data such that the information is clear to a listener that does not have access to your figures!

Please review assignment description (linked here).


Part 1: Participate in Communication Lab workshop

Our communication instructor, Dr. Prerna Bhargava, will join us today for a discussion on writing figure titles and captions.

Part 2: Draft Data summary slide for γH2AX results

To get a headstart and further feedback from the Instructors, you will draft the slide that will present the γH2AX data for your Data summary today in class. With your partner, use the template below, the Instructor comments from your previous homework assignments, and the helpful hints from the Comm Lab workshop to craft a data slide with the required elements.

Individually you and your laboratory partner each crafted figures (with a title and caption) using the γH2AX data. In this exercise you will come together to decide how to best present these data for the Data summary!

Fa16 M1D7 data slide template format v2.png

Part 3: Participate in group paper discussion

To further help you in preparing your Data summary, we will discuss how similar data are presented in a publication from the Engelward laboratory.

Weingeist, D. M., et al. "Single-cell microarray enables high-throughput evaulation of DNA double-strand breaks and DNA repair inhibitors." Cell Cycle. (2013) 126:907-915.

From the Introduction

Consider the key components of an introduction:

  • What is the big picture?
  • Is the importance of this research clear?
  • Are you provided with the information you need to understand the research?
  • Do the authors include a preview of the key results?

From the Results

Carefully examine the figures. First, read the captions and use the information to 'interpret' the data presented within the image. Second, read the text within the results section that describes the figure.

  • Do you agree with the conclusion(s) reached by the authors?
  • What controls were included and are they appropriate for the experiment performed?
  • Are you convinced that the data are accurate and/or representative?

From the Discussion

Consider the following components of a discussion:

  • Are the results summarized?
  • Did the authors 'tie' the data together into a cohesive and well-interpreted story?
  • Do the authors overreach when interpreting the data?
  • Are the data linked back to the big picture from the introduction?

In your laboratory notebook, complete the following:

  • Based on your reading and the group discussion of the article, answer the questions above.

Navigation links

Next day: Image and analyze high-throughput genome damage assay

Previous day: Treat cells and perform high-throughput genome damage assay