Genetically Modified Rice and the distinctive ways they resist Drought and enhance yield

Genetically Modified Rice and the distinctive ways they resist Drought and enhance yield. Genetically Modified Rice and the distinctive ways they resist Drought and enhance yield. Biology 440 (1132)                    Biology Seminar             Fall 2016


Instructor:      Dr. T. Kamps

Class time:     Wednesday, 9:55 am – 10:45 pm

Room:                        S318

Office:                        S337A

Phone:            201-200-3056


Office Hours:    

M       11:15 am – 12:15 pm

T & R  8:50 pm – 9:20 pm

W       11:00 am – 1:00 pm and 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Additional times by appointment


Prerequisites:   Senior Standing (97 credits), including 5 Biology major courses beyond Biol. 130/131 (with grades of C or better).

Course Description: This is the capstone course in Biology Department degree programs at NJCU.  Capstone courses give students the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge they have acquired throughout their studies, and to apply the learning they have achieved in the study of their major.  Biology Seminar is designed to develop and assess the ability of Senior Biology majors to identify and summarize current progress in biological research and to communicate their understanding in written and oral format.

Course Objectives:


  • Students will be able to identify a topic of current importance in biological research;
  • Students will be able to prepare and deliver an oral presentation on that topic, using multimedia content (e.g. PowerPoint slides);
  • Students will be able to discuss aspects of effective oral presentations;
  • Students will provide constructive feedback to others on their topics, paper organization and presentations;
  • Students will be able to write a paper on their topic, with proper in-text citations and bibliography.


Course Requirements:

  • You must choose a topic of interest to you that is of current importance in biological research. The process of topic selection will be done in consultation with the instructor. Your topic will be from a theme of either Biology and Global Warming, or Biotechnology. It cannot be a direct review of human diseases.


  • You must collect information from library and internet sources to prepare a 20 minute oral presentation and a 10 page (not including graphics) essay on the same topic. Your primary information sources must be primary research articles appearing in a respectable scientific journal, or symposium, but may not be from a textbook or internet site. These primary references will provide information about your topic, as well as a bibliography of published works that will be the target of further research. Supporting general knowledge information can be obtained from properly cited textbooks, encyclopedias, internet sites (not Wikipedia), and periodicals. Most of your information should come from recent peer-reviewed scientific journals (<5 years old).
  • You must prepare and deliver a 20-25 minute oral presentation, supported by multimedia materials. You are to describe your subject, its background, and its current and future importance. You may also express your opinion about your topic, although it should be a limited portion of your talk. You will be allowed a maximum of 20 minutes for the formal presentation, leaving 5 minutes afterwards to answer questions.
  • You must review your presentation with the instructor at least one week before you presentation or you will not be allowed to present.
  • You must attend, evaluate, and participate in discussions of other students’ presentations. If you are unable to attend one of the talks you will be required to make it up by attending one of the other seminar classes.


  • You must prepare and submit an original research paper on your topic. There will be several assignments due prior to your paper. These will include submitting a outline of your topic, a list of the sources you will use in your paper, and a preliminary abstract for your paper. The purpose of these assignments is to help you get an early and solid start on your work, leaving plenty of time to generate a well-written paper. These assignments will allow me to help you keep on track, ensure a good approach to writing, and hopefully make the actual writing of the paper easier. Due dates are listed below.


Your review must accurately document the sources of the material you discuss. Each time you describe an individual’s experimental results, paraphrase an individual’s ideas, or refer to a concept wholly associated with a particular individual, you must credit that individual. The proper citation of your sources is essential in preparing a research paper. Papers without proper documentation will be returned without a grade for revision. (Specific instructions will follow).  Please read the NJCU Academic Integrity Policy:


Evaluation: Grades will be determined on the following basis:

  • Oral presentation                        40%  (10% deduction for using buffer date)
  • Participation/assignments 20%
  • Written paper                         40%

10 points will be deducted per week for late papers.


Attendance: Attendance is mandatory. Students are expected to attend each presentation and to participate by asking questions, performing peer evaluations and providing constructive feedback.





Tentative Schedule:


Date                            Activity


9/7                               Introduction/Choosing a topic


9/14                             How to write a review paper /Assessment Rubric

                                    Preliminary topics due – meet for peer review


9/21                             Proper citations and academic integrity

                                    Preliminary bibliography, including summary of search

                                    strategies, due


9/28                            How to prepare and deliver an oral presentation/Assessment


Final topics due – meet for peer review


10/5                             Preliminary Outline due– meet for peer review

                                    Final Bibliography due


10/12                           Final Outline Due – meet for peer review


10/19                           PowerPoint presentations due

                                    Abstracts due


10/26                           Presentations—Group I


11/2                             Presentations—Group II


11/9                             Presentations—Group III


11/16                           Buffer Date

                                    All Papers due today


11/23                           Presentations—Group IV


11/30                           Presentations—Group V


12/7                             Buffer Date



Description of preliminary assignments:


  1. Topic – submit the topic on which you intend to write your paper.  Please keep      in mind that you need to keep your topic narrow enough to adequately           describe in a ten-page paper (not including graphics).

Topic theme will be under the umbrella of Global Warming and Biology, or Biotechnology.

  1. Bibliography- submit the names of the main primary research papers that you     will be including in your paper. Make sure that they are papers for which      you can actually access the text, not just the abstract.  Include a summary     of your search strategies.
  2. Outline- submit an outline of your paper.  We will discuss both outline format        and topics with each other in class.
  3. Abstract- submit a 150 – 200 word summary of your paper.


Tips for PowerPoint presentation and paper:


Presentation should include:


  • a concise background on the topic;
  • a description of the central biological questions being addressed;
  • appropriate figures with readable text font.


You must explain, not read, your presentation;

Your paper should:


  • be in the form of a review. It should not include sections on methods, results or discussion. Use published review articles as a guide;


  • be thorough and complete, double-spaced, 12 pt font;


  • be approximately 10 pages (not including graphics) with a minimum of 5 primary references;


  • be spell and grammar checked ->don’t let spell-check auto-correct scientific terms;


  • be written using references that are peer-reviewed primary research articles, review articles by experts, books or book chapters by experts in the field. Do not use newspaper articles or websites (you may use these to help you build general understanding but they cannot be considered reliable for accurate information);


  • include a title page;


  • be organized by topics. Working from an outline is often helpful;


  • include graphics needed to illustrate your paper; these are to be of your own creation.


  • include a separate bibliography page;


  • be written in complete sentences, each with a clear subject and verb, the number and tense of which agree;


  • have sentences limited to one thought;


  • not use the passive voice (e.g. “Watson and Crick showed that DNA consisted of two molecules.” instead of “DNA was shown to consist of two molecules by Watson and Crick.”;


  • be word-processed, proofread and revised. If you have concerns about your writing (who doesn’t?), have someone else proofread your paper;


  • not include any writing in second voice (i.e. ‘you’ as the subject of sentences).


Guidelines for Citations of Scientific Publications in Biology Seminar Papers

Please note that any paper submitted without citations within the text will be returned for revision without a grade and considered late.


The proper acknowledgement of sources includes: 1) a citation within the text of the paper; and 2) a list of the sources for the information you cited. Use the CSE method of citation.


Citing information in the text:

1) Citation sequence method: Number your citations consecutively (i.e., from the beginning of your paper to its end), either superscripted or within parentheses or brackets.


Example: Modern scientific nomenclature really began with Linnaeus in botany1, but other disciplines2,3 were not many years behind in developing various systems4-7 for nomenclature and symbolization.


Then prepare a bibliography listing the sources for the numbered citations in the same order.

2) Name –year method: This method lists the source of information at the point of each citation. The author(s)* and the date (year), offset in parentheses or brackets, follow immediately after the cited information.


Example: By contrast, the several antisera that have been raised against Sp1, a defined RNA polymerase II transcription factor (Kadonaga 1986), stain exclusively the nucleus . .

For different numbers of Authors:

One author: (Field 2005)
Two authors: (Gass and Varonis 1984)
More than two authors: (Munro et al. 2006)

No author: If the author cannot be determined use the article title (for long titles use the first few words followed by …):
Top fields of study for international students are business and engineering, followed by physical and life sciences, math and computer science, and social sciences (Open Doors 2010).

No date: For online sources if the publication year cannot be determined use the year of access. For print sources use [date unknown]:(Smith [date unknown]).

Bibliographical citations are ordered alphabetically by the first author’s last names.

Citations in the bibliography listed at the end of the paper are done as follows:


C-S:  Author(s), chapter title, source (book title), editors (if any), publisher, city, date and pages.


Example: Sherman, C. The invisible Web: uncovering information sources search engines can’t see. Medford, N.J.: CyberAge Books, Information Today; 2001. 439 p.


N-Y:  Author(s), date, chapter title, source (book title), editors (if any), publisher, city, and pages.

Example:  Sherman, C. 2001. The invisible Web: uncovering information sources search engines can’t see. Medford, N.J.: CyberAge Books, Information Today; 439 p.


Periodical (Journal) articles:

C-S: Author(s), article title, source (periodical name), volume, pages and date.

Example:  Cox J, Engstrom RT. Influence of the spatial pattern of conserved lands on the persistence of a large population of red-cockaded woodpeckers. Biol Conserv. 2001; 100(1): 137-150.

N-Y: Author(s), date, article title, source (periodical name), volume, and pages.


Example: Cox J, Engstrom RT. 2001. Influence of the spatial pattern of conserved lands on the persistence of a large population of red-cockaded woodpeckers. Biol Conserv. 100(1): 137-150.


Online Articles:


C-S Example: Savage E, Ramsay M, White J, Beard S, Lawson H, Hunjan R, Brown D. Mumps outbreaks across England and Wales in 2004: observational study. BMJ [Internet]. 2005 [cited 2007 May 31]; 330(7500):1119-1120. Available from: doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7500.119


N-Y Example: Savage E, Ramsay M, White J, Beard S, Lawson H, Hunjan R, Brown D. 2005. Mumps outbreaks across England and Wales in 2004: observational study. BMJ [Internet]. [cited 2007 May 31]; 330(7500):1119-1120. Available from: doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7500.119





Include: Title of web site, place of publication and publisher, date of publication and           date of last update (if       relevant), date you accessed the information (date cited),URL        (Web address) of the site.

C-S Example: APSnet: plant pathology online [Internet]. St Paul (MN): American Phytopathological Association: c1994-2005 [cited 2005 Jun 20]. Available from:


N-Y Example:  APSnet: plant pathology online [Internet]. c1994-2005. St Paul (MN): American Phytopathological Association: [cited 2005 Jun 20]. Available from:


Additional Information:


STUDENTS REQUIRING ACCOMMODATIONS: Students who require consideration for reasonable accommodations should register with the Office of Specialized Services and Supplemental Instruction (OSS/SI). A registration form is available at the OSS/SI website at, by calling 201-200-2091, or by visiting the OSS/SI office in Karnoutsos Hall, Room 102.


VETERAN STUDENTS: Veterans of the armed services who require assistance may contact the Veteran’s Office by calling 201-200-2157 or visiting the office in Vodra Hall, Room 101. Additional information is available at


CREDIT-HOUR POLICY: New Jersey Administrative Code defines a semester credit-hour as 50 minutes of face-to-face class activity and 100 minutes of student preparation time, per week, for 15 weeks. To best prepare for exams and complete course assignments, students should dedicate a minimum of two hours outside of class to the course for each hour spent in class.


Please note these dates:


9/5                    Labor Day – University closed.

9/12                  Final day to drop a course for 100% of tuition (Online or Registrar’s Office).

9/13 – 11/1        Period to submit Pass/Fail forms (Registrar’s Office)

10/3                  Final day to withdraw from courses for a 50% refund of tuition with a “W” grade (Registrar’s Office).

10/18                Deadline: Incomplete grades for 2016 Spring and Summer classes become “F” grades.

11/1                  Final day to withdraw from a course with a “W” grade (Registrar’s Office).

11/24 – 26         Thanksgiving recess. No classes.#10

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Genetically Modified Rice and the distinctive ways they resist Drought and enhance yield

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