For this week’s assignment, I want you to delve into the scientific literature again.  Only this time, I want you to focus on what we’re learning about nutrition and healthy aging.

This is a very active area of research at the moment.  There are some things that we already know quite a lot about – like the importance of calcium in preventing osteoporosis and selecting unsaturated fats for heart health.  And there are some areas that we’re really just starting to understand – like nutrition for a healthy brain or cancer prevention.

Looking into the recent scientific literature will give you a chance to see what researchers are really just starting to come up with.

Look back at the instructions for  Finding Scientific Research Articles  if you need a reminder.

If you have access to scientific journal articles through another school, feel free to use that database instead.

There are a couple of different ways to approach this assignment:

— You may search for a specific topic you want to learn more about that hasn’t been covered deeply in your textbook – like nutrition and Alzheimer’s disease or nutrition and eyesight.

— Alternatively, you may just search for “nutrition AND aging” or some similar phrase.  Then just scan through the titles of the articles you get and pick one that sounds interesting.

The above topics are just suggestions, feel free to pick anything you find interesting, as long as it meets the following criteria:

1. It relates to nutrition and healthy aging.

2. It is a scientific article published in a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal.

3. It was published within the last three years.

Once you’ve selected an article that sound interesting, read through it and prepare to answer the questions below.

Remember the suggestions I gave for reading scientific papers:

Here are a few tips for reading a scientific paper that might keep you from getting lost in the details:

1. Begin by reading the Abstract and Introduction sections carefully.

2. Skim the Materials and Methods section very lightly.

3. Skim the Results section.  Look for key differences between groups.

Don’t get bogged down in the statistical jargon.  At this level, it’s okay if you don’t fully understand everything.

4. Read the Discussion section carefully.

For this assignment, submit a Word file or PDF that contains the following information about your chosen article:

 

1. Full bibliographic citation for the article.  Use the following format (APA style):

Last, F. M. (Year Published). Article title. Journal NameVolume(Issue), pp. Page(s). doi:# or Retrieved from URL

 

Example:

Poiger, U. G. (1996). Rock ‘n’ roll, female sexuality, and the Cold War Battle over German Identities. The Journal of Modern History68(3), 577. doi:10.1086/245343

If there are three authors or less, list all three.  If there are more than three authors, list the first three and indicate the rest by typing:  et al.   (This is a Latin abbreviation that means “and others”.)

 

2. Brief summary of what the authors found.

This must be in your own words.  If you copy directly from any part of the article itself, you will receive zero points.

 

3. Discuss the findings and how they fit in with what you’re learning in this course.

Some things to consider in your discussion:

–What do you find personally interesting about the paper?

–Does this paper support or contradict anything you’ve learned about nutrition?

–Does this paper raise any questions?  What would you like to see the authors do next?

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