biological principles-scientific method

Written Assignment: Trace the Scientific Method in a Primary Scientific Article

Addresses course outcomes 1 and 4:

· use knowledge of biological principles and the scientific method to ask and answer relevant questions about the human body

· weigh and make health-related decisions based on an understanding of the value and limits of scientific knowledge and the scientific method


A primary research article is an article in which authors conduct experiments and report their original findings, while a secondary research article reports or summarizes information presented from another source (for information of primary and secondary sources please go to Online Guide to Writing and Research).

For this assignment we will use a secondary article to trace the scientific method in a primary article.

Before starting this assignment, you might want to revisit the Scientific Method Tutorial in the Science Learning Center under the Content area.

Summary of Instructions:

Click on the associated link to read the Science Daily article (the peer-reviewed scholarly primary article is also provided. Use this article as needed for additional details).  Finally, write a paper that addresses the points outlined below.


**Laughing gas relieves symptoms in people with treatment-resistant depression. Researchers have found that a single, one-hour treatment that involves breathing in a mixture of oxygen and the anesthetic drug nitrous oxide — otherwise known as laughing gas — can significantly improve symptoms in people with treatment-resistant depression.


Journal Reference: Peter Nagele, Ben J. Palanca, Britt Gott, Frank Brown, Linda Barnes, Thomas Nguyen, Willa Xiong, Naji C. Salloum, Gemma D. Espejo, Christina N. Lessov-Schlaggar, Nisha Jain, Wayland W. L. Cheng, Helga Komen, Branden Yee, Jacob D. Bolzenius, Alvin Janski, Robert Gibbons, Charles F. Zorumski, Charles R. Conway. A phase 2 trial of inhaled nitrous oxide for treatment-resistant major depression. Science Translational Medicine, 2021; 13 (597): eabe1376 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abe1376 


Paper submission – upload to the appropriate assignment folder by the set deadline

1. Use the Science Daily article, and if also needed the scholarly article, to identify and describe the steps of the scientific method. Which observations do you think the scientists made leading up to this research study? Given your understanding of the experimental design, formulate a specific hypothesis that is being tested in this experiment. If a hypothesis is stated, please rewrite it IN YOUR OWN WORDS. Describe the experimental design including control and treatment group(s), and dependent and independent variables. Summarize the results and the conclusion (50 points)

2. Criticize the research described. Things to consider: Were the test subjects and treatments relevant and appropriate? Was the sample size large enough? Were the methods used appropriate? Can you think of a potential bias in a research study like this? What are the limitations of the conclusions made in this research study? Address at least two of these questions in your critique of the research study (20 points).

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