Summary Critique Hoary Bat Paper

Submitted by jmalloldiaz on Thu, 10/04/2018 - 14:45

Based on the fact that female bats usually travel longer distances than males, there should be areas populated mostly by individuals of one sex or the other. If this is true, when the researchers collected samples in New Mexico it is possible that some individuals had already been travelling for a longer time than others, in which case the physiological mechanisms involved in migration may differ because some bats would be at the peak of their performance while others would be on their way to that optimal state. It is mentioned as well that the wintering ranges of the hoary bat are poorly documented, and there is no data in the paper referring to accurate distances travelled during migration, for which further studies with tracking devices should be performed.

Regarding the fatty acid transporter data, the researchers only studied the mRNA expression of these proteins, but the actual levels of the proteins that got translated were not measured. The study did not consider that if there is no need for upregulation the actual amount of proteins present may be significantly high despite having low levels of mRNA expression.

Methods Results

Submitted by cwcasey on Thu, 10/04/2018 - 13:58

Upon receiving Figure Two it was now time to compare the two figures and make note of any and all differences. I’ve noticed that the differences can be categorized into two categories, differences in the photographs and differences in the details. To start, there were multiple differences with the photographs. Picture A, the photo of the spider web itself, was taken at a different angle when replicated. Rather than the photo being taken from the side as in Figure One, the replicate was taken from a lower angle and focuses more on the bottom of the air duct. The scale used in Picture A of Figure One is more prevalent, the whole UCard is captured in the photo whereas the UCard in Figure Two is only half visible The second photographic difference is drawn form the picture of the environment in which the web is located. The replicate photo captures more of the background, it is brighter, and it appears to have been taken at a different angle thus capturing more of the alley way and its surrounding. The last photographic difference comes from the picture of the detailed map. In Figure One, there is a pin drop beinhd the Student Union building which helped guide the program to zoom in on the address. This pin drop is not located in the picture of the map within Figure Two.

    After the pictures themselves were reviewed for differences, I once again combed through Figure Two to draw out any differences within the finer details. For example, the images in Figure Two are much different than those in Figure One. The size of the circle in which the letters are placed is much larger than those in Figure One as well as the size of the lettering being larger. On the topic of the labels, the images in Figure Two are labeled differently than those in Figure One. You may notice that the labels for picture of the environment and the map are reversed in Figure Two when compared to Figure One. The last detail I noticed that was different was the red box used to highlight the location of the web within the environment. The box used for Figure Two has different dimensions thus making it more boxy and larger than that in Figure One.



Submitted by angelasalaza on Thu, 10/04/2018 - 13:52

For the methods project the owner required that a ten dollar bill was a necessary accessory to be able to accurately perform his experiment. This was interpreted as the controlled variable of the project instruction because no measurement or accuracy was required for the physical project. The instructor interpretted his location as isolated and calculated the distance between himself and the web through physical steps of his feet. The instructions directed that the web is located at Morrill four on a lower tier set of stairs. To find the accurate location of the map the owner instructed to use the entrance map as a frame of reference to prevent misunderstanding. Though his instructions intended to be specific as to what doors to follow there was inaccuracy in this project. There was no indication as to what was the correct set of doors when entering the building because of this the instructions had the inability to verify which door of Morrill four was to be the entrance. The instructions guided the participant to reach the lowest staircase of the door but did not specify whether the stairs lead to floor one, two, or three of the building and the distance between the web and the observer was not specified. The instructions did provide a specific requirement before taking the photo, though no distance was determined between camera and web. 

Methods Perfect Paragraph Part 2

Submitted by sbrownstein on Thu, 10/04/2018 - 12:42

After collecting the pictures of the web and its location, I was required to find a picture of a map that would show my reader where my spider web was found on campus. My first instinct was to use the map on the “My UMass” App. This App has a feature to navigate campus via a map system. By searching for the building I found the spider in, Morrill II, I was able to screenshot its exact location. I kept both the Morrill II and the Morrill III buildings in the map to show that the hallway the spider was found in was connected both buildings. As a result of collecting all of the pictures needed to create my multi-panel figure, I downloaded the program Inkscape. This program required that I also downloaded the program XQuartz. I uploaded all of my pictures onto the Inkscape canvas and began to experiment with some possible orientations. I decided that having my location pictures on the left side and the spider web pictures on the right side would be the most aesthetically pleasing. First, I selected the hallway and map picture and set them both to equal width measurements of 106.6 mm. This was to create a straight midline within the figure. The hallway picture was placed on top of the map picture on the left side. The heights of the two pictures were slightly different because I wanted the map picture to be emphasized, therefore setting the height to be around 10 mm taller. The midline was offset to the right by about 3 mm in order to emphasize the location pictures. I stacked the three spider web pictures on top of each other on the right side, aligning all of their widths to be around 103.7 mm. The heights of the three pictures varied in increasing order down the figure. I believed this format was the most logical and easy to comprehend.


Methods Introduction - Draft

Submitted by sbrownstein on Thu, 10/04/2018 - 12:41

One of the most important ways to credit a scientists work is through replication. Replicating a scientists’ work validates and reduces variability in experimental results. In this project, the process of replication was used to test observation and inference skills. The goal was to have a reader recreate a similar multi-panel scientific figure to the one that the writer had created, only using a description of the process used to develop it. The multi-panel figure contained at least three pictures: a close up picture of a spider web, a picture of the relative location and setting of the web, and a map of the area on campus that the spider web was found. Precise observations result in more accurate outcomes in an experiment. This project required proficient observation and writing skills in order to obtain a similar replicate of the original figure. A detailed procedure on how the pictures were taken and the development process of the figure were needed to obtain an accurate result. I chose the spiderweb I found in Morrill II because I believed it was a good location, it was a faint, complex web, and it obtained a spider on it. Choosing this web allowed me to give my reader an accessible location to find and take the same pictures and enabled me to elaborate on the fine details of the web itself and the process I used to create my figure. The groove in the wall I found my web gave me an opportunity to use the program, Inkscape, to enhance my figure inserting additional features such as arrows. Some of the controlled variables in this project include the location of the web, the types of pictures used in the figure, and some of the finalizing features on the figure. Every project must describe web that is on campus, consist of at least three pictures of the web and its location, and the finalized figure must include labels, be the sized to a sheet of paper, be 1200 pixels and be exported as a “png” file. Between detailed observations and specific controlled variables, the project should result in a similar replica of the original multi-panel scientific figure.


Figure Legend Draft

Submitted by cgualtieri on Thu, 10/04/2018 - 11:57

Figure 1. Original (1) and replicate (2) images made from following the methods section. (1.A & 2.A) The location of the spider web in relation to the Integrated Learning Center (ILC) and the Campus Center. (1.B & 2.B) The walkbridge connecting the ILC and Campus Center. (1.C & 2.C) White circle showing the precise location of the spider web on the walkbridge. (1.D & 2.D) Close up of the spider web woven into the grey metal bars of the walkbridge.


Introduction Draft V2

Submitted by mtracy on Thu, 10/04/2018 - 10:27


Writing lab reports is an important part of any biologists life and practice in writing all sections of such a report is crucial to being successful. An introduction to the topic, informing the reader of general background information on the experiment and why it was done is necessary. The methods of the experiment provide a blueprint, allowing for replicability, and thus the ability to confirm results or allow others to improve upon them. The results of the experiment must be concise, a statement of just facts. No interpretations, only laying out what resulted from the experiments. Finally, the discussion section reveals how one may interpret the results. Furthermore, this may be used to discuss what may be done to improve the experiment, or what may be done in the future.

To simulate a research report students were tasked with finding a spiderweb and photographing it. A multi-panel figure would then need to be created using the photographs and map images. In order to practice writing clear, accurate methods, the student had to write with the intention of another student following their methods, and then replicating the photographs and figures. This project demonstrated the need to be highly specific and precise with methods writing. Furthermore, comparison of figures only after both were created highlighted mistakes and areas where the methods could have been improved upon.

The ability to identify factors which need to be controlled for is another crucial skill when designing experiments and writing research report. When taking photographs of the spiderweb, there were a number of factors to control for in order to obtain similar pictures. This included things such as the time of day, amount of light, and weather needed to be accounted for. In addition to this, the object used for accurately representing scale had to be noted, as well as where it was held in relation to the spider web. Furthermore, distance from the spiderweb, and the angle at which the photograph was taken had to be taken into account.

Similar factors had to be controlled when describing the editing done to create the figure. The size the photographs were scaled to was noted, as well as their general arrangement. How labeling was implemented on the figure was to be controlled. This included the color, font sizes, and location of the labeling.

draft intro

Submitted by cdkelly on Thu, 10/04/2018 - 01:41

This project was conducted by the students in Writing in Biology 312 under the instruction of Dr. Steven Brewer. It consisted of each student collecting a series of images and putting together a figure while simultaneously writing a methods section detailing its construction. The objective was to create a replicable set of methods so that another student in the class could recreate the figure prior to seeing the original. Each figure was intended to show a spider web somewhere on the University of Massachusetts campus, its relative location, and a map marking its absolute location. By having another student in the class follow the set of methods detailing the synthesis of the figure, we could infer what portion of the methods needed improvement or more clarity. These inferences were based on observations of dimorphisms between the original figure and the replicate. This paper covers a specific set of methods and the resultant replicate figure.


Submitted by amdicicco on Thu, 10/04/2018 - 01:30

The photograph of the close-up spider webs placed in Panel A in the figures are not identical. In figure 1 a gift card was used for scale, but in Figure 2 a Ucard was used. In Figure 2 the Ucard was placed on the left side of the web, instead of near the bottom of the web like it was Figure 1. In addition, the spider web in Figure 2 was more zoomed out. In Figure 1 the bush appears darker than it does in Figure 1. Another observed difference in this panel is the web. In Figure 2 the web is more visible than it is in Figure 1. 


Submitted by amdicicco on Thu, 10/04/2018 - 01:30

In the formatting of Figure 1 and Figure 2 there were differences. One of the most prominent differences is in the sizing of the figure. Figure 1 is larger than Figure 2. The second Figure also featured a border around the Figure, while Figure 1 does not. The circular labels in the top left hand corners of each panel are different sizes between the figures. Within the circle labels, the text was also made to be a different size and font. In addition, to the overall formatting and creation of the figures there are also differences within the photographs and map. 


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