AP Biology Project: All about that Lab Life

Driving Question: How are local labs solving cellular mysteries?

Big idea: Our current unit concerns cells and the processes that keep them running. These topics are widely referred to as “Cell Biology” and researchers working in this field aim to uncover the secrets of cells and the molecules within them. Their work forms the foundation for medical breakthroughs and new forms of treatment that can improve life as we know it! In this project, you will act as a science journalist specializing in cell biology as you get to know a local lab and their important research in order to share their story with the world.

Helpful update: Blog post on “How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists”

General Project Workflow:

  1. Select a local lab that studies some aspect of cell biology (see links below).
  2. Conduct interviews with lab members and do background research on the science behind their work.
  3. Assemble a list of references (Must include at least one “review” and one “primary research” article).
  4. Strive to understand the lab’s questions, experimental techniques, and results on a deeper level.
  5. Write an article profiling the lab and their research, citing your sources properly.
  6. Present your profile to the class using powerpoint/google-slides.

Links to find local cell biology labs:

Duke Department of Cell Biology

Duke Graduate Program in Cell and Molecular Biology

UNC Chapel Hill Biology Department (also see developmental/genetics and molecular bio/plant bio sections)

Wake Forest Biology Department

Due date 1: By Friday 11/13,  Select a local lab, and email members politely requesting an interview. Please carbon copy or “CC” Mr. Le on this email for credit.

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