Sunday, September 29, 2019

This is How To Study Well

This Is How To Study Well

With the first round of exams creeping around the corner for many students, some may have forgotten or are wondering what's the best way to study their material and be able to recall the material effectively and accurately on exam day. Preparing for any exam is stressful and students may face a mental burn out and call it quits by the fifth hour into the library study session. Others enter into a sense of security by being able to retrieve the correct answer on their flashcard, but once they take the exam, memory retention and recall cues of these students betray their confidence and they may score less than desired. Studying well takes effort. It takes patience and the motivation to sometimes work hard for the answer and not give up and put flashcards in the "try again" pile. 

Any new material we learn goes through 3 memory processes: encoding, storing, and retrieval. Encoding the material is being able to understand what is said by one person in our short-term memory. Storing is being able to retain the information in your brain. Retrieval is being able to retrieve that material out from your long-term memory when cued. The underlying goal here is to potentiate material into our long-term memory through the method of memory consolidation. It is not enough to just passively look over one's notes and hope that the material sinks in, but actively rehearsing the material and using methods such as concept maps, mnemonics, flashcards, and practice exams aid the consolidation of information from your short term memory to your long term memory.

Elaborative rehearsal is by far the most effective way of encoding information into your long-term memory. The name itself suggests that you elaborate, you expand, you bring in new material with the material you have already learned to deepen your understanding of the material. If you want to study well, it takes effort and actively making new connections between your study material and a related material exercises your brain to think outside the box and induce better learning and retention. You can practice elaborative rehearsal by making a concept map of your study material and have all the main points in bubbles and connect them to smaller bubbles that provide examples, definitions, or even practice problems of the main point. Mnemonics, flashcards, and practice exams are also effective ways to study IF you are reorganizing and rewriting the material in your own words. Making those mental connections with the material and being able to clearly rephrase them helps consolidate what you know to what you learn. Be wary of these methods because students are often subject to feel safe thinking once they get the answer right on the practice exam or guess the right answer on the flashcards 3x, they put that back into the study pile along with undigested material. Instead, separate the flashcards you know by heart into one pile and do not mix with material you do not know into a separate pile. Do not study practice exams from other students because that is their knowledge of the material, not yours. Making your own mental connections is what will help you perform best on exams that use multiple choice to cue your memory retention or short-answer prompts to challenge your memory consolidation.

Five plus hours in the library will not do you justice on exam day. Periodically blocking 2 hours to study each day with these methods takes a relatively good amount of stress away from the studying process. Studying should be about studying smart, not easier or shorter. These methods are backed by neurological brain study on long-term memory potentiation. Over time, these methods should become more rewarding than looking over notes and calling it a day and it will show on your exam day performance.

Posted by "Katherine Tran" (3)

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Is Pet Cloning Acceptable?

Is Pet Cloning Acceptable?
Photo by Veterinary Practice News
Losing a beloved pet can be very heartbreaking as they are members of the family. Controversy arises when the advancing DNA technology allows mourning families to clone their dog or cat, so that they can relive cherished memories with their new cloned pet. Some believe that cloning shouldn’t be allowed since cloning animals for commercial purposes is ethically wrong, while others are for it in order to bring back their dearest pets. 

A company called ViaGen Pets is one of the only places in the world that permit pet cloning. It costs about $50,000 to clone a dog, while it costs $35,000 to clone a cat and there are no guarantees that the long cloning process is successful in producing viable embryos. The process of cloning first involves extracting tissue samples from the original pet while it’s still alive, or shortly after its death. The pet’s cells are transferred into a DNA-less oocyte from a donor animal. The new hybrid cell is then stimulated with an electric shock to make it divide and it is implanted into a surrogate, which will give birth to the cloned pet.

Barbara Streisand, a widely known celebrity, is one of individuals that support pet cloning as she cloned her dog Samantha after she died in 2017. Barbara had a Coton de Tulear and wanted to keep some part of her treasured dog with her. She turned to cloning and the lab managed to produce three clones of her original dog. Although cloned dogs may have the same appearance of the original, they will likely not have the exact same disposition or personality and certainly not the same soul.

Pet cloning leads to questions such as can human cloning be done for mourning families or can the technology be used to eventually create a type of designer human. In addition, pet cloning is only available for wealthier individuals due to the hefty price tag of such a process. It is best to halt cloning technology before it gets too out of hand. Society doesn’t need to clone pets, since there are so many beautiful dogs and cats in shelters that need homes. People should focus on how you can open your home to many different loyal, lovable animals throughout their short lifespans.

Posted by “Lauren Shone” (3)