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Michael S. Hudecki
Research Professor Emeritus
Department of Biological Sciences
University at Buffalo
A Case Study of Memory Loss in Mice 

This discussion case explores the scientific process involved in implementing an animal model in the study of Alzheimer’s disease. Students read a short paragraph describing a study in which the brains of “trained” mice were injected with beta-amyloid fragments, which subsequently caused them to forget their tasks. The paragraph is a very short New York Times story reporting on an experimental study originally published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Based on the short description provided, students are asked to identify relevant components of the scientific method (problem, method, results, and conclusions). The case is suitable for a wide variety of science majors and non-majors courses.

Can a Genetic Disease Be Cured?: A Mother's Dilemma

In this discussion case, parents must decide whether or not to enroll their sons in an experimental treatment program designed to alleviate the symptoms of muscular dystrophy. The case explores the genetics and physiology of the disease as well as the issues involved with pharmaceutical research. The case has been used in both majors’ and non-majors’ biology courses, where it is introduced during a unit on the cardiovascular and muscular systems.