Science Approach empowers learners to conduct inquiries with real imaging and other spatial data to support positive choices for themselves, their communities, and Earth.
New Neurons for You After All
In this Moodle-based e-lab, students replicate research conducted by Elizabeth Gould, Ph.D., on the effects of exercise and social living conditions on neurogenesis in rats. The components of this Moodle-based e-lab include: (1) a brief tutorial on the history of neurogenesis research and the methods used by scientists to identify newly born neurons; (2) an introduction to the experimental design employed to conduct the research; (3) a tutorial on how to identify BrdU-labeled cells in thin slices of rat hippocampal tissue; (4) a digital image analysis module in which students use ImageJ to count newly born neurons in research images and send the counts to an online database; (5) a statistical analysis module in which students use Rpad to check and graph their research results; and (6) a summary lesson in which students come to conclusions about the research they have conducted, propose an additional research hypothesis about neurogenesis that could be tested by a scientist, and write a brief essay about the societal implications of this research. Along the way, students receive feedback to help them understand and apply neurogenesis research.
The e-lab features two apps that have specific browser and Java requirements—the image analysis software ImageJA and the statistical analysis tool Rpad.
The Firefox browser is recommended to ensure that ImageJA and Rpad function properly. Make sure your browser is up to date.
Both ImageJA and Rpad use Java, and may not function properly if you do not have the most up-to-date version. (Mac users – Run your software updates. PC users – Check to see if your Java is up-to-date by visiting http://www.java.com/en/download/testjava.jsp.)