- Article Link: be sure to provide a link to the article or attach a complete copy of the article for your classmates.
- Citation: give the complete citation for the article including title, author(s), date, publisher, etc.
- Scientific Method: give your opinion about whether the researchers carried out the steps of the scientific method.
- Validity of Hypothesis: give your opinion about the validity of the hypothesis. What led the author(s) to propose this particular hypothesis?
- Sections of the Article: give your opinion about whether the sections of the article fulfilled the characteristics described below. How did the authors demonstrate and evaluate their data? Briefly describe each section of the article.
- Design of Experiment: give your opinion about the effectiveness of the design of the experiment. Did the study effectively test the original hypothesis? Were the conclusions valid?
- Quality of Published Article: give your opinion about the overall quality of the published article.
Respond to 3 of your classmates’ original posts. Comment on information in the article that was chosen and whether you agree with the student’s evaluation of the experiment. Remember that each review was carefully prepared by a classmate and that all your comments should be well written, thoughtful, and courteous.
- Article Link:
Makhoul, J, et al. “Restless legs syndrome among multiple sclerosis patients in Lebanon.” ScienceDirect, 11 February 2020, www-sciencedirect-com.library.esc.edu/science/article/pii/S2211034820300730. Accessed 14 February 2020.
- Scientific Method:
The researchers for this particular experiment completed this study thoroughly through the scientific method, including observations, a hypothesis, an experiment and a conclusion.
- Validity of Hypothesis:
This author believes that restless leg syndrome is associated with multiple sclerosis patients in Lebanon and the spinal demyelination lesions found in the patients’ MRIs. Many people with multiple sclerosis complained of restless leg syndrome. I believe there may be some validity to this, but the research conducted did not prove that restless leg syndrome is an early sign for multiple sclerosis. The 15% of people experiencing restless leg syndrome when diagnosed with MS was concluded through confirmed cases, but with no medical follow ups afterwards. Many of the survey takers opted out before completion, resulting in an inaccurate number of “yes” cases within the experiment.
- Sections of the Article:
This article provided all the information needed to conduct an experiment through the scientific method. The observations were valid, stating that most research shows that spinal cord lesions can be related to restless leg syndrome. Research has also correlated fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis, which is a common side effect of restless leg syndrome. With these details, a hypothesis can be tested, which is that restless leg syndrome in people can be a sign for multiple sclerosis.
The experiment used a variety of statistical data and the conclusion had supporting evidence to it. The MS database of Lebanese association against Multiple Sclerosis was used. This enabled researchers to collect surveys over the phone, where people could choose to participate or not. There were 300 people with MS that were sent the questionnaire, but ultimately only 28 participants were confirmed to have restless legs syndrome. It is also shown that even though 46.4% of RLS & MS patients had spinal cord demyelination lesions on their MRIs, the participants with these lesions has a lower severity score on the JHRLSS (John Hopkins Restless Legs Severity Scale) than patients without lesions. This shows no relationship to the lesions on an MRI from MS causing RLS.
- Design of Experiment:
I thought the design of the experiment was fair. I did find it to lack great evidence. The participants that were chosen for the experiment were not greatly involved, and most opted out before anything could be resolved for sure. In a part of the article, it states that researchers asked participants to be examined by their personal neurologists as a follow up to see if there were any lesions on their MRI. Most did not respond and the rest were ruled out. With such low numbers and defaulting proof, the hypothesis cannot be fully supported. This resulted in the hypothesis being incorrect, proving in this experiment that there is no relationship between restless legs syndrome and multiple sclerosis.
- Quality of Published Article:
This article was organized, clear and precise. It entailed a lot of background information and statistics supporting the findings. I wish there was more of a concrete experiment, possibly where the participants followed up with their doctors and had MRI proof to show demyelination, along with other factors like onset of the RLS. These details could have led to more specific evidence as to whether restless legs syndrome is a predictor of multiple sclerosis.
student 2: Article Links: 1) https://www-sciencedirect-com.library.esc.edu/science/article/pii/S0006322311000771
Citations: 1) Smoler, J. Who’s Afraid of Anxiety Genetics?, Biological Psychiatry. Science Direct. (2011). https://www-sciencedirect-com.library.esc.edu/science/article/pii/S0006322311000771
2) Earst, C. A Deletion in Tropomyosin-Related Kinase B and the Development of Human Anxiety, Biological Psychiatry. Science Direct. (2011). https://www-sciencedirect-com.library.esc.edu/science/article/pii/S0006322310010644
Scientific Method: I believe that the researchers carried out most of the steps of the scientific method. They didn’t directly state their hypothesis but it seemed that they were suspecting to find a relationship between genetics and anxiety disorders. Observations and conclusions were clearly labeled and recorded along with the steps that were taken to complete the experiment.
Validity of Hypothesis: I am going to say that the hypothesis is somewhat valid. They did find that the deletion in Tropomyosin-Related Kinase B has a relationship with anxiety-related traits in humans but they did state towards the end of one of the articles that more work needs to be done to fully deem this as being valid
Sections of the Article: I think that if the two articles were combined, then they would be complete in having all sections.
Abstract: This section is mainly in the first article listed. It sums up the steps taken during the experiment and explains how they came to their conclusion.
Introduction: This is in the second article listed under “background”. It explains what tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) is and its relationship with psychiatric disorders. It explains that TrkB brain-derived neurotrophic factor system has been associated with psychiatric disorders, possibly anxiety.
Materials and Methods: This section is also located in the second article under methods. Here they explain that they used DNA sequencing and cloning to identify a mutation in TrkB. They then collected clinical samples from a Quebec population as adults who were randomly selected when they were in kindergarten. Anxiety-related traits were then measured with different questionnaires interviews.
Results: This was located in both articles. They stated that the deletion of the 11 base pair deletion in TrkB is significant because it associated with an increase in anxiety traits during childhood and showed a development of anxiety disorders in adulthood.
Discussion and Conclusion: The conclusion was written in the second article and stated that now the deletion has been identified it provides more support that the TrkB gene does have a relationship with anxiety-related traits in humans. The first article does discuss these results and states that more work and research needs to been done.
Literature Cited: The first article has a list of eight sited literature and the second article has a list of twenty. The list of cited literature on the first article is where I found the second article to get more information about the TrkB gene’s relationship to anxiety.
Design of Experiment: I think that the design of the experiment was okay. It briefly explained what they did and I do wish they did go into more detail because that’s the point of recording scientific work so someone else can repeat the work and do more extended research. The conclusion and the hypothesis seem valid I just, again, wish they went into more detail.
Quality of Published Article: The quality of the articles is okay. The first article did have a lot of information but I feel that it could have been written better, (as in easier to read) I found myself having to reread a lot of the lines. The second article was very blunt with its information which I liked but I wish it did give more specifics.
student 3: Article Link: https://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1008473
Citation: White MA, Darmon E, Lopez-Vernaza MA, Leach DRF (2020) DNA double strand break repair in Escherichia coli perturbs cell division and chromosome dynamics. PLoS Genet 16(1): e1008473. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008473
Scientific Method: The researchers from this article performed a series of experiments that each explored a specific aspect of their hypothesis. It seems that care was taken to ensure that the most accurate results were achieved, while maintaining that only one factor was tested at a time.
Validity of Hypothesis: The article is not perfectly clear as to exactly what the hypothesis is. It appears to be that the repair of broken DNA does not significantly alter the behavior of a replicating and dividing cell. Based upon the information provided in the introduction and abstract, I think that the hypothesis was valid.
Sections of the Article: The sections of the article were clearly marked and each provided different information. However, the order of the sections was unusual, as the methods and materials section was last, and the results were discussed first. This made the article a little difficult to follow, though all of the information was provided. The Introduction was did provide some information as to what the researchers were testing, but the hypothesis was not clearly stated. The Results section provided clear, relevant information for each of the parts of the experiment. The Discussion section had clearly marked subsections that gave detailed analysis of the results. The Methods and Materials section also provided good information on the processes used in the experiment, though much of the information was linked to tables or images. The final section was the citation section, and each of the articles used in the research was properly cited.
Design of the Experiment: I thought that the experiment seemed well designed and the conclusions accurate and appropriate.
Quality of Published Article: Overall, the article was of good quality. However, a better order of sections would have made it much easier to understand and follow.