The language of academic Biology (and Science in general) as it is written in literature is important for you to learn and understand. It is the way that material will be presented to you in college. Articles will be posted for each unit and you will be expected to Review them (kinda as you did for your summer reading assignment). You are not expected to judge how well the experiments were conducted as these articles feature the work of some of the best scientific minds in the country! Now, if you do think there was something not so uh... scientific, bring it up! These articles are also a way for you to appreciate that what you learn in class is EXACTLY what is being researched and worked upon in the labs world over. In that manner your AP course is very comprehensive in giving you a bird's eye view of Biology!

Use the following process when you Review an Article for AP Bio:

1) Read once and then read over - look at the pictures in color preferably and go through the legends. Its completely okay if you cannot understand certain parts or if some of the details overwhelm you. Get the big picture. I don't encourage you to email me about clarifications on articles - you will need to do a lot of independent reading, thinking and analyses in college and this prepares you for it. However, come and see me in school if you want help.

2) As you read through, write quick notes to summarize the major scientific observations and experiments used as evidence for those observations.

3) Connect the concepts learned in class to the observations in the article - this is why you are doing the review in the first place! So, focus on this part.

4) Apply the concepts from the summer reading review as best as it fits to this article:

-Article Critical Review Guidelines:

  • What is the thesis-or main argument-of the article? (If the author wanted you to get one idea from the article, what would it be?)

  • How does the author support his/her argument? What evidence (experimental, statistical,...) does she use to prove her point? Do you find that evidence convincing? Why or why not? Does any of the author's information (or conclusions) conflict with other books you've read, courses you've taken or just previous assumptions you had of the subject?

  • How does the author structure her argument? Does the argument (if opinion based articles are presented) make sense? Does it persuade you? Why or why not?

  • What did you have trouble understanding in this article and why - be specific?

  • How has this article helped you understand the subject? Would you recommend the article to another reader? Why/why not?

Please make sure you have Adobe Acrobat Reader or some way to view the .pdf documents.

Articles: (Scroll down - we start in Unit 8)

Unit 1: Chemistry (molecules) of life
Chapter 5: Proteins Rule - Sci Am 2002 and New Food Pyramid Sci Am 2002; Summary of articles: The Human Genome Project completed and sequenced the genome but there is a lot that is not known. The answers may lie in the PROTEOME - what is it and why is it important. Atkins or Richard Simmons? - the macromolecules get analyzed for their merits and demerits as the FDA designs the NEW FOOD PYRAMID.

Unit 2: Cell and Energetics
Chapter 9 - Mitochondria in Giardia? Sci Am 2004 Where did Mitochondria come from and do Giardia (intestinal parasites) have them and why do we care?

Chapter 11 - Cell communication - telephone game anyone? Sci Am 2000. Applications of this chapter in diseases and drug industry.

Unit 3: Genes and Molecular Biology
Chapter 15 - Why the Y chromosome is weird? Sci Am 2001 - Find out what it is about the Y chromosome that makes it a very unique chromosome and how it evolved.

Chapter 17 - Cellular Chamber of Doom Sci Am 2000 Many process depend on protein death using the Proteasome and yet we live in fear of these cellular chambers of doom - find out why....

Chapter 18 - Are Viruses Alive? Sci Am 2004 - Fascinating article challenging and re-examining this age-old question - a must read.....Bacteria can talk - no, really - check this out - quorum sensing is HOT!.

Chapter 19: Untangling the roots of cancer Sci Am 2003 - how does cancer arise - this article has a really nice picture showing the 4 different ways that cancerous cells arise in the body (not just through oncogene/tumor suppressor gene changes). What are the treatment appproaches being tested for future therapies....Article 2 - Eukaryotic genome organization and its hidden mysteries -all about the so called 'junk' DNA!

Chapter 20: Bioethics Articles: GM (gnetically modified) Foods, Q and A on GM foods, Transgenic Animals, Stem Cells - fantastic article, Cloning - First Human Cloned!, The Future of Society - I Clone, Gene patents, Gene therapy! Animal research - Wasteful and meaningless?, Spare parts for vital organs - the organ business article; Human Genome Project - the future and the past. These are all thought provoking articles that you may use for the bioethics oral in class debates! Also check other articles in Unit 7 - Physiology for debate topic articles.

Chapter 21: Molecular Architects Of Design Sci Am 1994 - Into the making of mutant flies and frogs? You will need to know what molecules control the embryonic development of all organisms.

Unit 4: Evolution

1) Richard Dawkins - famed author and scientist presents this controversial Sci Am article - God's Utility Function!
2) Darwin and his influence on modern thought - 2000 Sci Am
3) Regulating evolution - how are molecular switches involved in evolution? Sci Am 2008

Unit 5: Diversity - no articles assigned

Unit 6: Plants -

1) Color of plants in other worlds - have you thought of how the color of light may influence plants on other planets where life may exist? Read about this and more...
2) Edible vaccines - genetic engineering might deliver insulin in a banana and more.

Unit 7: Physiology: Following articles discuss human advancements in the medical field that may be used to enhance life - they are controversial!

1) Article 1 - Muscle Doping, Aritcle 2 - Muscle, Genes and Athletic Performance - Both are articles on enhancing human performance using genetic manipulation - is it ethical? 2) Regrowing your limbs - Is this possible - read about the future of this medical advancement.3) Your bionic future - the name says it all!

Unit 8:Ecology (not all articles may be assigned)
Chapter 51- Tweaking the Genetics of Behavior- A bit controversial - so a little more background! This is a Scientific American article that was authored by a highly reputed scientist (see about the author on Pg 67). It is based on actual advancements in Biological research and then the author has a prediction of where the research will lead. It is almost seemless in the way he transitions from the present day to the future - so you need to literally take a highlighter and mark what scientific advancements have already been made (the 20th/21st century ones) and which ones are likely to happen (extrapolations - 22nd century). Your review should summarize the article in a couple of paragraphs on the first page- in this summary state clearly the research (evidence) that the author uses that is already underway/completed as of today (ex. figuring out the sequences of the human genome) to make his claims. Distinguish this from the claims he makes based on future wor/projections of the present. Next, connect this article to the concepts in chp 51 - esp. of nature vs. nurture. Lastly, look up in 'Science News' or do a google search to find more recent advancements that link genes with behavior (or dispute the association) and use it in your review - provide the References you looked up. I expect reviews to be in essay format - typed up and about 2 pg in length. Work on making everything flow well ----

Chapter 50 - Red Tides; Sci Am 1994. About the infamous dinoflagellates that cause RED TIDES and what we have done as humans to exacerbate this growing ecological problem.

Chapter 52 - Human Population Grows Up! Sci Am 2007; link to guiding questions; Article 2 - Fertility Decline In Developing Countries Sci Am Article 1993 (no review - only for reference)

Chapter 55/21 - Sowing a Gene Revolution Sci Am 2007. 'Green' revolution is a thing of the past now its the gene revolution - what is it and what are the benefits and issues surrounding it? World Hunger Article (reference)