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ERIC Number: EJ937427
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9266
Introducing Experimental Design by Evaluating Efficacy of Herbal Remedies (Do Herbal Remedies Really Work?)
Smith, Robert A.; Pontiggia, Laura; Waterman, Carrie; Lichtenwalner, Meghan
Journal of Biological Education, v44 n4 p175-179 2010
This paper is based upon experiments developed as part of a Directed Research course designed to provide undergraduate biology students experience in the principles and processes of the scientific method used in biological research. The project involved the evaluation of herbal remedies used in many parts of the world in the treatment of diseases producing diarrhea as a major symptom. Methods used for testing the efficacy of these remedies vary greatly, and this provides an opportunity for inquiry in the classroom. The nematode "Caenorhabditis elegans" is used as the test organism. Survival of this worm is easily determined by assessing motility using a dissection microscope. The influence of two solvents commonly used for testing these treatments, M9 salt solution and purified water, on survival of worms is examined. The results were important to a graduate project evaluating the influence of these solvents on bioassay sensitivity testing partially purified extracts of the West African plant, "Anogeissus leiocarpus," used for treatment of diarrhea. Directed research projects allow undergraduate biology students to become engaged in science and develop a deeper understanding of science process skills. The experiments can be extended to examine other variables as directed research projects or modified to use as experimental case examples as part of a laboratory exercise. (Contains 2 figures and 5 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A