Bierema, Spring 2020
1. This assessment covers the HHMI Biointeractive video The Biology of Skin Color. Click
on the link, and either watch the video directly on the website or download it to watch
offline. Links are available on the right side of the webpage for downloading the video
and for downloading the transcript.
2. I recommend watching the video once to familiarize yourself with it. Then go through the
questions and watch the video again, thinking about how you will address the questions.
3. Feel free to use your notes while working on this assessment.
4. Point values are provided in the rubric.
5. Assessments are to be completed individually. Do not work with another individual or
share answers. Once this document is submitted to the corresponding D2L assignment
folder, it is automatically uploaded to Turnitin and checked for plagiarism, including
copying websites, the video, or your peers.
a. Turnitin produces a similarity score and we use that score to indicate which ones
to check further for plagiarism
b. There is not a set similarity percentage that indicates plagiarism. The similarity
will depend on the length of the answers and if the questions are restated.
6. Save this document as a Microsoft Word® document. If you do not have Microsoft
Word®, then please see the “Start Here” folder in D2L for information on how to obtain a
free copy of it from MSU.
7. Answer the questions directly in this document without deleting the questions.
8. Submit the Word document to the Assignment folder titled “Assessment #1.”
Part 1: The Investigation
1. Consider the research question: “Is there a connection in the intensity of UV radiation
and skin color?” What type of study did they perform to investigate this question
(observational study, modeling study, or experiment)?
2. Explain some of the key components of the study that explain your choice for question
#1. Make sure to include specific components (e.g., if there is a control and experimental
group, then what were they? If not, then how do you know?). Answer in 2-3 sentences.
3. Evaluate the study’s methods. For instance, what kinds of things were held constant (for
example, when we compared different models of the tube activity, each model developer
had access to the same materials)? What was the sample size and did it use replicates?
Consider different factors that we discussed during Week 2. Evaluate the methods; do
not just create a list. Answer in 3-4 sentences.
4. After they created the two maps (one for UV exposure and one for skin color), what was
the resulting conclusion? Make sure to consider this part of the study and not the entire
5. Describe a general pattern in the maps (i.e., the data) that support the conclusion that
you described for question #4. Then explain two specific examples that support it.
Bierema, Spring 2020
6. After viewing the entire video, what kinds of questions do you have? Develop one
testable, scientific research question that extends the research (don’t just replicate it).
Part 2: Data Analysis
7. The graph below summarizes the age at which people are diagnosed with melanoma,
the most serious form of skin cancer. Consider the claims made throughout the video.
Does this graph support or refute a claim in the video? Complete “a” and “b” below to
answer this question.
a. Describe the relevant claim in one sentence:
b. Do the data in the graph support or refute the claim? Explain your reasoning in 23 sentences.
Part 3: Controversies
8. Describe one scientific controversy mentioned in the video- either current or resolved.
Describe the specific evidence and define “scientific controversy” within your
explanation. Answer in 3-5 sentences.
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