For this discussion, first locate a news article that references a recently published research study, not a demographic report such as a census. Then locate the original research study discussed by the news article.
For your initial post, compare/contrast the news article with the actual research. Did the news accurately portray the results of the research article?
· Post working links to both the news article and research study to your discussion or attach them to your post.
How well do you think the news article represented the original research? In addition, include any other comments you want to contribute to the discourse.
I have attached an example below of what the teacher is requiring. Don’t use this article as it is an example that the instructor provided.
As an example for the Week 8 Discussion Assignment, I’ve included a news article and the research article that it’s based on, along with an example of how to write-up the assignment discussion.
Advice for picking your articles:
News article: Don’t use a news source focused on the field of science, for example, Science Daily; these often contain brief summaries of the research based on materials provided to them by the researchers. Instead, look for something in the mainstream news.
Research article: As mentioned in the syllabus, for the research article do NOT use news releases/press releases for the institutions that sponsored the research, statistical/demographic reports (such as a Census Report), or fact sheets. If your news article relied on one of these types of sources, you need to find a different news article. The research article should look similar to the articles used for the class papers; there should be an abstract and sections of the paper should include methods, results, and a discussion.
In your assignment, summarize the issue that was researched, and compare and contrast the news article with the actual research.
Answer the question: Did the news accurately portray what the actual research said?
Remember to attach, or include links to, both articles. They must be the complete articles. Do not provide a link that only leads to the research study’s abstract. verify that the links work when you complete the assignment. .
The goal of this assignment is to examine how accurate the news is in relaying research data. I often see students post 2 news articles on the same topic; you can’t complete this assignment with 2 news articles – keep in mind what the goal of this assignment is.
An example of how to complete this assignment is below.
News/Research on a new technique for detecting cancer
News story title: Chocolate And Fizzy Drinks Could Be Used As Cancer Detectors Because Malignant Tumours Feed Off Sugar
– Click here for the link to this article. If the link does not work, the complete URL is available at the bottom of this post (within the reference for the article).
Research article title: In Vivo Imaging Of Glucose Uptake And Metabolism In Tumors
– This article is attached to this post.
The issue being discussed here centers around cancer detection. The first line of the news article states “Chocolate, fizzy drinks and other sugar-laden foods could soon be used to detect cancer” (McDermott, 2013, para 1), and a picture of a woman happily eating a chocolate bar is included at the top of the article. Is this an accurate reflection of the research? The answer is no.
According to the research article, the researchers developed a new way to distinguish tumors in living creatures through a technique titled glucose chemical exchange saturation transfer (glucoCEST). In the study, mice were injected with a glucose solution, and an MRI scanner was used to examine how the glucose was used in the bodies of the mice. Because cancer cells and healthy cells use sugar differently, seeing how cells respond to the glucose can help distinguish between tumors and healthy cells. The research determined that this glucoCEST was accurate in detecting certain types of colorectal tumors in the mice (Walker-Samuel, et al., 2013).
The news article does contain some of the underlying facts of the research: sugar is used differently by cancer cells, and tracking the body’s use of sugar through MRI imaging can distinguish tumors in the body. However, it is misleading about the research in a few ways. First, human trials were not conducted; the research was with mice. In addition, this was with a specific type of cancer in the mice. Second, candy and soda play no role in this technique. With the mice, a prepared glucose solution was injected. With human trials, a prepared glucose solution would also be used by participants, and participants would also need to fast before drinking the solution. It’s important to note here that the author of the news article interviewed and quoted one of the research article’s authors. The quote is “I certainly didn’t believe it as possible to fine tune an MRI scanner to pick up glucose movement even 18 months ago. But our research proves it can be done….It can be done after consuming a sweet drink, like a cola or a fruit juice, or food. We can detect cancer using the same sugar content found in half a standard sized chocolate bar” (McDermott, 2013, para 10). The news piece seems to twist the quote to create the headline for this story. However, the quote is not saying that cola, fruit juice, and chocolate can be used for glucoCEST. Instead, the researcher is saying that an MRI can detect glucose movement from sweet drinks such as soda and juice (but this does not equate to the tumor detection) and that with human trials the glucose solution people would need to drink for the test would have the same amount of sugar as half a chocolate bar (similar sugar levels/not that a chocolate bar can be used in place of the glucose solution).
Did the news accurately portray what the actual research said?
While some of the underlying facts of the research were included, there was enough spin on the information to lead me to conclude that the news article did not accurately portray what the actual research said.
McDermott, N. (2013, July 7). Chocolate and fizzy drinks could be used as cancer detectors because malignant tumours feed off sugar. The Daily Mail. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2357929/Chocolate-fizzy-drinks-used-cancer-detectors-malignant-tumours-feed-sugar.html.
Walker-Samuel, S., Ramasawmy, R., Torrealdea, F., Rega, M, Rajkumar, V., Johnson, S. P., Richardson, S.,…Golay, X. (2013). In vivo imaging of glucose uptake and metabolism in tumors. Nature Medicine, 19(8), 1067-1073. doi:10.1038/nm.3252
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