Biology - Science for Life - With Physiology by C. Belk, V. Maier

By C. Belk, V. Maier

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Extra resources for Biology - Science for Life - With Physiology

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For basic research that helps us understand how cells and genes function, the model systems are easily grown and manipulated organisms, such as certain species of bacteria, nematodes, and fruit flies, or even isolated cells from larger organisms that reproduce in dishes in the laboratory. In the case of research on human health and disease, model systems are typically other mammals, including human cells. Mammals are especially useful as model organisms in medical research because they are closely related to us.

For example, a researcher might put all of the volunteers’ names in a hat, draw out half, and designate the people drawn as the experimental group and the remaining people as the control group. As a result, each group should be a rough cross-section of the population in the study. In the echinacea tea experiment just described, members of both the experimental and control groups were female employees of a nursing home who sought relief from their colds at their employer’s clinic. The volunteers were randomly assigned into either the experimental or control group as they came into the clinic.

Scientists can use model systems when testing hypotheses that would raise ethical or practical problems when tested on people. For basic research that helps us understand how cells and genes function, the model systems are easily grown and manipulated organisms, such as certain species of bacteria, nematodes, and fruit flies, or even isolated cells from larger organisms that reproduce in dishes in the laboratory. In the case of research on human health and disease, model systems are typically other mammals, including human cells.

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