The relationship between genetics and obesity. Students will be examining this relationship between genetics and obesity by conducting an online investigation.

General Biology 101 w/ Lab                                                                                                              Name:


Semester Research Project


As we are conducting this course in an online model, we will not have traditional midterm and final exams to test our understanding of the material. Instead, students will complete this semester research project throughout the semester, investigating a topic of their choice. This assignment will require students to write a report and create a visual representation of the information being discussed.


Outlined below are all aspects of this assignment, including content requirements, topic options, and deadlines.


For this Final Project, students will…


·       Select a topic of their choice.


Throughout the semester, we have and will examine a large amount of information! This may be overwhelming for such a short term. Students are welcome to choose any of the following topics to examine in their final projects:


1.     The relationship between genetics and obesity. Students will be examining this relationship between genetics and obesity by conducting an online investigation. Using valid online resources, students will state whether there is a relationship between a person’s genes and the likelihood of developing obesity, then back up this statement with facts! Be sure to include:

§  Definition of obesity

§  Statistics of obesity rates in US/Worldwide

§  Any genetic component of obesity development

§  How does environment impact the onset of obesity?


2.     Are GMOs safe? By choosing this topic, students will conduct a full online investigation into whether genetically modified foods and organisms are safe for consumption and use within the human body. Be sure to consider GMOs included within food products, used in different prevention and treatments of diseases, and employed in other fields of science. After clearly stating whether these GMOs are safe, be sure to back up your statement with facts! Be sure to include:

§  What are GMOs? Include examples

§  How are GMOs used (in medicine, agriculture, etc.)?

§  Current legislation on the use and manufacturing of GMOs

§  Research and experiments examining the safety of GMOs


3.     Identify any pathogen (virus, bacteria, or prion) that has the capability to affect human health. Does the possible impact this pathogen has on human health warrant a plan for potential outbreak control on a global scale? In addition to addressing the question prompted above, students should include:

§  What domain and kingdom does this pathogen belong to (Domain Bacteria; Domain Archaea; Domain Eukarya)? Be sure to describe the structure of this pathogen as well.

§  What type of disease does this pathogen cause in humans?

§  How does this disease spread between infected humans (or between animals and humans if applicable)?

§  If you argue that this pathogen does warrant a plan for outbreak control on a global scale, what are potential ways in which you might stop the spread of this disease?


4.     Is Climate Change an environmental catastrophe that warrants immediate action on a global scale? In addition to addressing the topic question prompted above, students should include:

§  Background information regarding Climate Change (What is Climate Change? What are the drivers of Climate Change? How does Global Warming relate to Climate Change?)

§  What are the environmental effects resulting from Climate Change?

§  What are other potential effects that Climate Change may have on society?


5.     Genetic Disorders: Cystic Fibrosis. Students will conduct a thorough investigation into Cystic Fibrosis, a genetically linked disease. Using valid resources, students should provide:

§  History of Cystic Fibrosis

§  Impacts on human health

§  Inheritance pattern (autosomal or sex-linked, dominant, or recessive)

§  Treatments and management of Cystic Fibrosis

§  Statistics associated with Cystic Fibrosis


6.     Topic of your choice! If you have any other topic in which you would like to examine, email me! If I believe you can create a project with sufficient detail, you are more than welcome to!



·       Using valid online resources, construct a formal report including all information relating to the topic of choice.


When writing this report, students should be sure to follow the formatting requirements listed here:

                                    I.          Title page including title of paper, name, due date, and course number.

a.      The title page is not included in the overall assignment length requirement.

                                  II.          Length: 5-6 pages of text

a.      Feel free to write over five pages, I am interested to hear everyone’s various topics!

                                III.          Typed, double spaced (I will not be accepting any hand-written submissions).

a.      12-point Times New Roman or 12-point Arial font

b.     Normal sized margins (1-inch)

                                IV.          Reference/Works Cited Page must be included and formatted correctly (see next bullet).

                                  V.          Reference formatting:

a.      Students may use any referencing style which they are most comfortable with (APA, MLA, AMA, Vancouver, Harvard). You must state the referencing style you are using upon submission.

b.     There is no minimum number of references required, however, all information obtained outside of class lecture notes must be referenced correctly.

c.      Valid sources include scientific journals, online databases, government websites, your textbook (NOT WIKIPEDIA).

d.     Incorrectly or lack of referencing is plagiarism, which would result in a zero.













·       Create a visual representation of the information you have compiled!


This portion of the project allows students to tap into their creative and artistic abilities! Now that you have compiled a surplus of information regarding the topic of their choice, students will create a visual representation. Students are welcome to create any of the following to visually show this information:


                                              I.          PowerPoint presentation outlining the topic of their choice.

a.      Students are also welcomed to use Google Slides or Prezi.


                                            II.          Infographic of their topic of choice using Piktochart.

a.      Piktochart is an excellent online, free, resource you can use to create different electronic infographs, posters, flyers, etc.

b.     Students can access Piktochart using the following link:


                                          III.          A video examining the topic of your choice!

a.      Feel welcome to use your smartphones, cameras, or other devices to create a video outlining your selected topic!

b.     In previous semesters, students have created miniature ‘news reports’, documentaries, and even a ‘suspenseful movie trailer’ themed video of their research project.

                                                                                            i.     Students have also previously used TikTok to create multiple videos relating to their topics!


                                          IV.          A poster of their topic of choice!

a.      Feel welcome to use poster board and other artistic materials to create this visual representation of your topic!

b.     Students are also welcome to hand draw any figures or diagrams if they wish. Get creative hear!



·       Submit by December 15th, 2023.


All Research Projects must be submitted by December 15th at 11:59 PM. Students will submit their assignments though Blackboard. Upon submission, a SafeAssign report will be generated to review reports for any acts of plagiarism. Students who submit prior to December 10th, 11:59 PM will receive 5 extra credit points on this assignment!













Grading Rubric:


As stated in the course syllabus this Research Assignment be worth 20% of your final grade. Therefore, it is important you spend plenty of time and effort on this project! This assignment will be scored out of 100 points. The breakdown of awarded points is outlined below:

Aspects of Assignment


Possible Points

Written Report






Students are
expected to include all requested information outlined within the project directions.
Additional information regarding the topic is welcomed! Project is clear and
concise, includes logical progression of ideas, information is accurate and






Cover Page

Cover page
includes Title, Name, Due Date, Course Number


Length Requirement

Minimum 5 Pages
of Text. This does not include the cover page and references page.


Size 12. Double Spaced

Report printed in
Size 12 font: Times New Roman or Arial. Report is double spaced.



Report has been proofread
for grammar mistakes.



Students have
included a Reference/ Works Cited page that is properly formatted. In-text
citations included. Note: Lack of referencing is considered plagiarism and
will result in a “0” for the overall assignment grade.







Use of
PowerPoint, Prezi, Piktochart or another appropriate program




Visual is
detailed, clearly outlines important information from report, includes






Total Points



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