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DescriptionBIOL 479 Molecular Biology
Land, Spring 2023
Assignment 4: Genomic Information & Scientific Literature
16 points (~ 2.5 % of final grade), due Friday, March 31, 11:59 pm D2L.
The goals of this assignments are for you to:
• Practice finding useful scientific articles
• Become familiar with two types of scientific literature: Primary Research Articles
and Reviews
• Learn more about Genomics/ENCODE type data and how it is used
First, think of a biologic topic that interests you. Next, search for articles that use
Encode-type/genomics approaches to investigate this topic.
Where can you look?
• MavScholar: https://library.mnsu.edu/
• PubMed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
• Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/
What should your search terms be?
• Term(s) related your topic, ex. “breast cancer”; “Herpesviruses”…
• Term(s) related to a genomics tool, ex. “CLIP-seq”; “ChIP-seq”…
• More specific is better!
Click on article with an interesting title; published with the last 5 years (i.e. 2018 or more
recent). Determine if it is a review, or a primary research article. I want you to find ONE
OF EACH for this assignment (i.e. you need to find two papers, a review and a primary
research article, on the same topic). (Depending on the search tool, you can set filters
to help you)
How can you tell which is which?
Reviews – will usually tell you. In the abstract, look for the word “review”, ex, “This
review describes….” In the full text of the article, it will usually say review somewhere on
the front page.
Primary research article – these will typically have a materials and methods section.
The abstract will be more technical than a review, as will the text. When you read the
text, you will find evidence of the authors performing experiments. The figures will
contain specific data (ex. graphs, microscope images, etc).
What kinds of information do reviews provide?
Review articles are great for familiarizing someone with a topic. The author(s) will have
read a large number of primary research articles, and will compose a summary. They
will do this with a particular purpose goal; sometimes to support an argument/point of
view. Reviews will often contain excellent figures that summarize a process. These
figures are usually “cartoons” (i.e. drawn).
BIOL 479 Molecular Biology
Land, Spring 2023
What kinds of information do primary research articles provide?
Primary research articles will tell you about experiments that the author(s) performed.
These are detailed, and depending on how old the article is; cutting edge/novel. If you
want to know details about a specific topic, or how to perform an assay, you can find
this information in a primary research article. The introduction of a primary research
article is very focused “mini-review”, designed to give another expert enough
information to understand the article.
You found your two articles, now what?
• Download the full text pdf of each article (you will need to upload these to the
D2L folder).
• For the review:
a. What was the goal/purpose of the review?
i. Highlight in the pdf where you can find this information, and type it
into your assignment (1 point)
ii. Write the goal/purpose in your own words (minimum two
informative sentences) (2 points)
b. What genomics/ENCODE tool was used/described? What information
does it provide? (2 points)
c. Identify your favorite figure. What is it showing? How does it relate to the
goal/purpose of the paper? (minimum three informative sentences) (3
points)
• For the primary research article:
a. What was the goal/purpose of the article? (i.e. what are the authors
testing/describing?)
i. Highlight in the pdf where you can find this information, and type it
into your assignment (1 point)
ii. Write the purpose in your own words (minimum two informative
sentences) (2 points)
b. What genomics/ENCODE tool was used/described? What information
does it provide? (2 points)
c. Identify your favorite figure. What is it showing? How does it relate to the
goal/purpose of the paper? (minimum three informative sentences) (3
points)
Upload your typed up, well organized assignment (Don’t make me hunt for the
information! Use headings!), as well as the highlighted review and highlighted primary
research article to the Assignment 4 folder.
Note: If you pick an incorrect article (ex. too old, two reviews, not genomics/ENCODE
related…) I won’t grade that part.

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