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CDC Case Study Lab Disease Biology 140

Go to the following web address:


Click on:

One of the Data and Statistics by Topic

Student responsibility:

Your job as a research scientist is to visit the above link to explain, define, and present statistics for a particular disease. You will compose a report following the below guidelines. You will give an introduction of the disease, and why it is a problem. Document your materials and methods of retrieval of information. Then explain your results from the information collected. Finally, write your conclusion/discussion to explain your research.

Laboratory Write-Up:

Laboratory reports will be written on an individual basis, and will follow a basic journal article format: Introduction/Objective, Materials and Methods, Results and Discussion. Be sure to include citations where appropriate. Laboratory write-ups must be turned in by the beginning of the following laboratory session to avoid a late penalty.


1. All lab reports must meet the basic requirements: be word-processed, and include citations where appropriate. Reports should be double-spaced, while figure or table legends should be single-spaced. Pages should be numbered (top right corner).

2. Reports should be stapled. Do not use paper clips. Loose pages, or pages with no name, will not be graded.

3. Units: Be sure to include any relevant units in both the text write-up and in figures or tables.

4. Verb tense: Use past tense when reporting your own current findings, and the present tense when discussing the published work of others. Therefore, the Introduction will be written in the present tense, while the Materials and Methods, and Results and Discussion sections will be written in the past tense. This is in keeping with scientific tradition where published data is considered to be part of the existing theoretical framework, while new data (your experiments) are not yet considered established knowledge.

Report Format:

Each lab report will include the following sections: Introduction/Objective, Materials and Methods, Results, and Discussion.

1. Introduction/Objective: This section should provide a general background, so that the reader can understand the question being addressed in the experiment. This is the time to orient the reader to the problem with a short review of the current literature, and then explain the reasons for the particular experiment. This should lead the reader to the objective or purpose (objective) of the experiment being conducted.

2. Materials and Methods: In this section, you should describe how the experiment was performed, including equipment and supplies used. Be specific. Include names of materials, equipment, and reagents, along with equipment settings or reagent doses used in each portion of the experiment. Include any other information which is necessary for successful completion of the experiment. For example, include incubation times and temperatures, description of experimental diets, descriptions of controls, etc. This section should be in paragraph form; do not give a numbered outline.

If you are using a procedure or protocol that has been previously used and described by another investigator, it is common practice to briefly describe the procedure or setup, and then reference the previously published work. This is particularly important if you are adding to, or changing, the previous protocol.

3. Results: This section should include a description of your results and any data obtained during your experiment. The Results section should begin with a descriptive text of the results from each experiment. This should be in paragraph form, and should only include the facts—save the interpretations and explanations for the Discussion section. As you proceed through your data, include figures, tables, or drawings of your data, referring to each diagram in the text. Place each figure or table as close as possible to where you refer to it in the text. Do not put all your figures and tables at the end of the report. Be specific in the results text. In general, the reader should be able to read through the results text and be able to understand the main findings. Do not show calculations in the text or figure legends—only show final results. Include calculations in a Calculations subsection at the end of the Results section. Make sure to include units in all calculations, and for all values given in the Results text.

For each figure (or table), include a legend. This should include the figure (or table) number, a title, and a short description. Figures should be sequentially numbered using Arabic numbers, and the title should be a sentence, ending with a period. Figure legends are placed below the figure, while table legends are place above the table. Table legends should be sequentially numbered using Arabic numbers. Following the figure or table title, include a brief description of how the data was obtained. Also point out any unique features that you specifically want the reader to notice. If several figures use the same procedure, you may refer back to the previous figure, rather than repeat the protocol information. Whenever possible, data in figures and tables should be prepared using a computer; pen and pencil drawings are to be avoided. Be sure to include labels for axes, symbols, etc, and include any relevant units.

4. Discussion/Conclusion: In this section, give a brief summary of the results of your experiment, and then address why these results are important. This is where you should interpret your results, and provide an explanation of how they integrate with the theoretical aspects of the experiment. Do your results support your original hypothesis (objective)? Why or why not? How do these results fit with the broader picture that you began with in the Introduction? Address any technical issues that may have affected your results. Also, describe any unexpected results, and how they modify your original hypothesis. Make sure you use specific figure numbers if you refer to figures in the Results section.

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