Research with Humans and Animals

This is when I learned research with humans does not necessarily mean some crazy Frankenstein experiment.

“A living individual person about whom an investigator conducting research obtains data through intervention or interaction with the individual or identifiable private information.”

It could be something as simple as testing if sports drinks actually have an effect on athletes, or if energy drinks really help you stay awake.  If research with humans is going to be done an IRB form must be submitted before doing research with humans.

IRB Review Criteria

  • There must be a benefit.
  • The protocol must minimize the risks.
  • There must be an equitable selection of subjects.
  • Participation must be informed and voluntary. No unfair inducements such as large cash payments.
  • Privacy and confidentiality of subjects and data must be protected.

Research with animals, while I cannot say I like that research is done with animals I understand it has helped save lives with vaccines and advances in technology.  It is comforting to know there ethical ways to use animals for research just as there are for humans.

The 3 R’s of Animal Research

  • Replacement: Replacing conscious, living vertebrates with cell or tissue cultures, computer models, and/or less-developed animal species.
  • Refinement: Using any technique or procedure that decreases the suffering, or enriches the life of an animal used in research.
  • Reduction: Using the fewest number of animals possible in a research project to gain statistically significant results.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Animals and Humans

Faculty: Dr. Jeffery Morrissette

On Being a Scientist, 3rd Edition Research with Humans and Animals

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Research with Human Subjects_Morrissette

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – The Science and Ethics of Animal Research_Morrissette


I learned a lot about biology and biosafety in this discussion since I have not been in a biology class or lab.  I honestly thought it was going to be quite boring but it was really interesting.  I never knew there was a difference between a chemical fume hood and a biological safety cabinet, to me they both look the same.  I learned the difference between biowaste and trash and how to dispose of them.  Did you know there are also proper procedures for the autoclave?  When I saw a student use it there did not appear to be any particular procedures, maybe I was not fully paying attention since it was not equipment I used and knew little about.


Faculty:  Dr. Julie Zwiesler-Vollick

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Basics of Biosafety_ZV

Midterm Presentation

At this time I had discussed my senior project with both Dr. Scott Schneider and Dr. Valentina Tobos.  I knew Dr. Scott was going to be my adviser since we had previously discussed what type of physics project I was interested in doing at the 2013 Midwest Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.  On January 18, 2013 at that time I stated I was interested in a project in astrophysics.  When Dr. Scott and I discussed my project this time, I knew I wanted a project in theoretical astrophysics, and that I would like to study the formation and evolution of galaxies after graduation.  We discussed many project ideas he had but I did not find them particularly interesting.  At this time I stated what I was interested in, and we discussed what I would be capable of doing as an undergraduate. After some time we came up with the idea of obtaining an understanding of galaxy rotation curves and the use of genetic algorithms while accounting for dark matter.  I did not have a strong understanding of the project at this time, but it sounded interesting!

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Faculty: Dr. Shannon Timmons, student presentations.

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 Midterm Presentation CLR

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Midterm Presentation Evaluation Rubric

PSC 3001 Midterm Presentation Evaluation_Cere Rettig

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Senior Project Proposal Requirements

Physics Research Capabilities and Physics Research Safety

It was a cold snowy winter day and we were meeting in the optics lab instead of our normal classroom.  Physics research safety was discussed in depth, more specifically laser safety.  Then we moved into the next room which is the confocal  microscope laboratory then proceeded into the next room which is the laser laboratory.  Here we were able to see Dr. Changgong Zhou use some of the lasers, one which I had already used in a contemporary physics lab.

Caution Laser beam

Faculty:  Dr. Changgong Zhou

Conflicts of Interest and Disclosure

The term conflict of interest I was vaguely familiar with before this discussion.  I had an idea of what it meant but I was not sure how it applied to research.  This showed me how there is a lot to think about before beginning a research project, that it may not be a simple decision.  While it may appear to be exactly what you are looking for you have to keep in mind your: personal, intellectual, financial, and professional interests to decide if this is truly the best opportunity.


Conflict of Interest

Faculty: Dr. Shannon Timmons

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Conflicts of Interest and Disclosure

On Being a Scientist, 3rd Edition Conflicts of Interest and Disclosure

Professional Ethics

Professional ethics is a topic that is incredibly important for any undergraduate degree.  I know many students, myself included, often wonder why there is this LTU Honor Code we must have on everything we submit to our professors.  Well, someone must have thought they would be clever enough to “beat the system” and not put in as much effort as others and come out with a fantastic grade.  While discussing professional ethics it was made more clear that perhaps the circumstances a person is in can and often will influence their behavior.  This does not make it alright for someone to not be ethical but, it makes you think a bit differently to see how someone else may be thinking.

Professional Ethics

Faculty: Dr. Shannon Timmons

On Being a Scientist, 3rd Edition Professional Ethics

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Professional Ethics

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Assignment 2

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – CLR Assignment 2

More Evidence of Stem Cell Errors _ The Scientist Magazine®

Undergraduate Learning Goals and Sustainability

Having and understanding of the undergraduate learning goals that LTU has for its students is important because it helps give understanding on why our flow charts are made the way they are. In Introduction to Senior Projects in Science the learning goals that are emphasized are Sustainability and Professional Ethics. At this time the main focus is on sustainability: what we are required to know, what sustainability is, what is means to have a sustainable society, the three unifying themes of sustainability and most importantly understanding if our project is sustainable. While we all strive for sustainable projects is not always achievable in obtaining desirable results, so some projects may not be sustainable. At this point, while I did not know a lot of the details for my project or what specifically it would be on, I did know it would most likely be sustainable.


Faculty: Dr. Julie Zwiesler-Vollick

PSC 3001 Spring 2014 – Sustainability

LTU Physics Flow Chart