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Peer Edit of Alyssa's Report

Created By: Maddy Kim
Just over one percent of the population suffers suffer from a very serious neurological disorder known as "Paranoid Schizophrenia". Schizophrenia is a syndrome caused by a combination of genetically obtained traits, environmental factors, and a disorganized breakdown of thought processes. People diagnosed with Schizophrenia usually experience auditory as well as visual hallucinations, and often have trouble distinguishing what's real and imaginary. 

Findings 1 (History and Understanding)
Schizophrenia has always been hard for people to understand. Even though the first official record of "Schizophrenia" by name was written less than 100 years ago, a description that matched the disorder was made in 1887, classified as a "discrete mental illness", and the same symptoms were described as far back as ancient Egypt, in the "Book of Hearts". *Clarify what the "Book of Hearts" is.  In Egyptian times, people with Schizophrenia were thought to be possessed by demons, and were locked away or committed to deadly procedures, such as drilling holes in patients heads to release the "evil spirits".[Anonymous 2010 1] Thankfully, we possess a much clearer understanding of this disorder, and treat it much differently. Today, scientists have discovered that Schizophrenia is linked to a variety of rare genetic mutations, and can be inherited from a  first or second-degree relative. Those with a parent or sibling that have Schizophrenia, have a ten percent chance of acquiring this disorder, while those with an identical twin have a forty-five to sixty percent chance of acquiring it.[Anonymous 2009 2] Though there have been links to obtaining this syndrome genetically, it is not caused by the genes themselves, "In fact, recent research has found that people with schizophrenia tend to have higher rates of rare genetic mutations. These genetic differences involve hundreds of different genes and probably disrupt brain development."[Anonymous 2009 1] In addition to genetic causes, environmental factors are also thought to play a role in developing this disorder. "Exposure to viruses or malnutrition before birth, problems during birth, and other not yet known psychosocial factors" [Anonymous 2009 3] may be included in the list of causes. Studies have also indicated that patients with Schizophrenia have slight differences in brain function and structure, such as larger fluid-filled cavities in the center of the brain, and significantly less "grey matter" (parts of the brain that are dormant or in-active) [Anonymous 2010 A 1] After death, scientists also found that the actual  brain tissue was slightly different from those without Schizophrenia, they suggested that these differences in cell tissue most likely occurred before birth. [Anonymous 20094] Theories presented have suggested that in the womb, things may go wrong during brain development, which would account for the brain differences. *If you can, list and describe the "things" that may go wrong during brain development.  It was also presented that the reason why the disorder might not hit until teens into the patient's thirties *Doesn't make sense. , is that the neurological and body stresses from puberty may trigger the defective genes into action.[Harrison 2008 1 2] Another theory suggests that Schizophrenia is caused by an interaction of infectious disease, such as viruses. Not only can viruses can attack parts of the brain and leave others intact, but they can also alter processes in the brain without killing it, and they can even lay dormant for many years, which would explain why the disorder doesn't usually go into action until late teens.[Harrison, 2008 A 1] Interestingly enough, this theory also states that patients who grow up  with cats around are slightly more prone to this disorder.  *Explain why people who grow up with cats are slightly more prone to Schizophrenia. [Harrison, 2008 A2] Many sufficient explanations have surfaced on the disorder, and advances are being made even today. 
*You may want to split this paragraph into two.  One can be on the history and the other can be on the understanding.  There seems to be too much information in one paragraph.

Findings 2 (Effects and Symptoms)
When people are effected with Schizophrenia, they experience a wide variety of symptoms and side effects. Some of these symptoms include auditory and visual hallucinations, delusions, loss of appetite and hygiene, depersonalization, depression, and social withdrawal.[Dryden-Edwards 2009 1] Hallucinations and delusions are of the most common symptoms. Hallucinations are when the patient will see or hear things that appear to be real perceptions to them, and hallucinations are beliefs based on insane or incomplete thoughts. Patients effected with hallucinations will often hear voices that are not actually there, and respond to them. Other times they see things that are not there, such as distorted figures or people. Delusions are a bit trickier; patients effected truly believe things that make no sense based on false or made-up information. They may feel like someone is trying to kill them, or follow them, in some cases they even believe people are trying to read their thoughts. Many Schizophrenics will experience disorganized thoughts or speech patterns, "and may become uninterested in daily activities, such as bathing, grooming, or dressing".[Anonymous 2012 1] In rarer cases, Schizophrenics may become violent and act out in a malicious manner. Patients will also often feel disconnected from their families and friends, and have a harder times experiencing joy or pleasure. *Make into two separate sentences, it was turning into a run-on sentence.  They go into a gloomy state of withdrawal and keep to themselves.[Anonymous 2012 2] They also tend to eat less healthy and have more issues with drugs and smoking, which can also be triggers for Schizophrenic episodes. *Explain what Schizophrenic episodes are.  When the patient experiences social withdrawal, their relationships with their family members becomes drastically affected, and they often become suspicious and hostile towards their loved ones.[Anonymous 2008 A 1] Suicide attempts are much more common in Schizophrenic patients, and they are more likely to take their lives.[Anonymous 2008 A 2] "Schizophrenics will tend to turn to drugs or alcohol to relieve their symptoms and self-medicate. This condition is known as dual diagnosis. Heavy smokers with schizophrenia who turn to smoking for the same purpose will in fact will reducing reduce the ability of their medication to work, as cigarette smoke is known to reduce the effectiveness of such medication"  -[Anonymous 2008 A 3]

Findings 3 (Cures and Current Research)
Today, there is no known cure for Schizophrenia, but very effective treatments, therapies and medication is are available, and new advancements in early-detection and prevention is showing promising results.[Cannon 2013 1] Currently patients are being treated with antipsychotic drugs, which block a certain kind of dopamine receptor. *Explain what a dopamine receptor is.  Blocking this receptor lessens the severity of the patients hallucinations, about seventy percent of people treated with antipsychotics show some improvement while ten to fifteen percent show drastic improvement. However, the side effects include weight gain and motor tension, and around four fifths of patients stop responding to the drugs within the course of treatment.[Cannon 2013 2] Once patients stop taking the medication, they have a seventy percent chance of total psychotic relapse within the next few years, and antipsychotics do not treat functional disabilities and therefore do not help their social of or occupational skills, making social withdrawal a side effect of Schizophrenia that cannot be restored. Although a complete cure does not exist, recovery is possible. Around twenty-five percent of patients recover within the first 10 years and live fairly normal lives or live independently.[Tracy 2012 1] "By utilizing multiple therapies and medication, recovery from schizophrenia is possible."[Tracy 2012 2] Another advancement in treatment options was obtained when scientists started investigating the a neurotransmitter called the glutamate receptor. *Explain what a glutamate recepetor is.  They believe that by changing this receptor, chemical reactions in the brain can be carried out normally.[Chandna 2007 1]. New information was surfaced when they discovered that the current treatment being used (blocking dopamine receptors), caused a number of side effects and was even linked to early onset Parkinson's disease.  *Explain what Parkinson's disease is.  [Chandna 2007 2] The research on the glutamate receptors provides hope for a future early onset cure for Schizophrenia. Another study suggested that taking a fish oil supplement before any symptoms of Schizophrenia may help prevent psychosis. "Researchers tested the efficacy efficiency of taking long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids for the prevention of psychotic disorders. The results show that taking Omega-3 not only reduces the risk psychotic disorders developing further but may also provide a viable strategy of prevention in young children with a predisposition for psychotic states."- [Anonymous 2013 B 1] It was found that Omega-3 fatty acids reduced the number of young adults who developed the disorder when distributed at random to an experimental and control group. [Anonymous 2013 B 2] Some say that medication is not the only way a mental illness should be treated, and fish oil is a better, more natural alternative. Natural or un-natural unnatural supplements are not the only way to recovery; support from family and friends, and an un-hostile environment is also necessary.

Findings 4 (Links to other disorders)
While Schizophrenia is a unique disorder itself, it's now being proven to be linked to a number of other things. The first links found genetically were between a number of other psychiatric disorders, specifically bipolar disorder.  *Describe bipolar disorder.  [Cookson 2009 1] It was also discovered that the genes most closely related to those of Schizophrenia, were the genes linked to the immune system, which would support the connection between viral infection and Schizophrenia, there have even been studies of people being more prone to getting this disorder if their mother had a viral illness while pregnant. [Cookson 2009 2] "One hypothesis says schizophrenia can be seen as a type of auto-immune disease, which develops in people who are genetically susceptible and whose immune system is triggered by infection or other environmental factors."-[Cookson 2009 3] Another link to Schizophrenia is not genetic, but physical. It was found that Schizophrenia was linked to violence. Until the early 1980's, it was believed that Schizophrenics were no more likely to be violent than the general population, but it is now accepted that people with this syndrome are significantly more likely to be violent. [Walsh, 2012 1 2] Drug use (cocaine, nicotine, amphetamines, PCP) was found to be an affecting component of Schizophrenia as well, it was proven to reduce the effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs, as well as worsen their symptoms. It was also found that patients taking drugs are less likely to follow their doctor's treatment plans. [Anonymous 2006 1] While the normal rate of the U.S. smoking population is around twenty-five to thirty percent, the number of Schizophrenic nicotine-dependent people is three times as high, and withdrawal from the drug can temporarily worsen their symptoms. [Anonymous 2006 2 4] Food can also effect Schizophrenia, patients commonly have low levels of omega-3 and B vitamins, certain foods that are rich in these nutrients have been known to help lessen the symptoms of Schizophrenia and nourish the brain.[Anonymous 2013 B] Foods that are suggested to be avoided are fatty or oily foods, lactose, and gluten, because antipsychotics cause the patients to gain weight and obesity should be avoided. It was also proven that ingesting lactose and gluten worsens the symptoms of Schizophrenia and also should be avoided. The diet a Schizophrenic person eats does not really affect them that drastically, but gluten is the most recommended to stay away from. Schizophrenia was found to be linked to more than just mental disorders, it was also found to be related to diabetes. Patients with Schizophrenia actually were found to be more prone to Type 2 diabetes, and have a higher risk of abnormal glucose metabolism.  *Explain what Type-2 Diabetes is.  [Anonymous 2009 C 1]
*You may want to split this paragraph into two.  One can be on the links to other disorders, and the other can be on what to avoid to prevent Schizophrenia.

Therefore Although, Schizophrenia is a disorder without a cure, but it has there is hope. Recovery is possible, we know how it works, and why it causes the things it does, and new advancements are being made constantly. With early detection, medication, and proper environment, we can beat Schizophrenia, and give the mentally ill a reason to recover.

*Wow, your essay was very well-written!  Besides a few clarification and explanations, it was a very good essay!  Good job Alyssa (:
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Peer Edit of Taylor's Report

Created By: Maddy Kim
Have you ever had a horrific pain in your head and it wouldnt wouldn't go away?! *Don't put an exclamation point, it looks informal.  That pain is called a migraine; that it usually effects your daily tasks and activities. There are two types of migraines*Make two different sentences. that They are caused from your surrondings, your hormornal changes, physical activty, but they can be stopped by medical resources. Migraines can come and go, but you should do as much as you can to prevent getting one, because they are not fun and time consuming, in a bad way.  *Fix last sentence, it doesn't flow.
  • What are migraines? A migraine is a painful, and excruciating head ache that will and can last for either several hours or days. (Anonymous c 2009, 1) A migraine is released or started,when large blood vessels combine together while chemicals are being released and an artery is enlarged and is located outside of the skull. is when a migraine is released or started. (Anonymous c 2009, 2) When you get your migraine, your pain is usually directed to one side of your head, but in other cases it can spread to the other side or you can have a whole throbbing head. There isn't just one main migraine that us humans get, There are two different types of migraines that us humans can get. The two different types of migraines are called the Common and Classic migraines. (Nikitina 2013, 1) A common migraine is a headache that will come out of no where and as time goes on it will just get worse and worse. Effects that come with this type of head ache are throwing up, becoming dizzy, having diarrhea, and an increase of having to go to the bathroom, loss of appetite, etc. The rate of this type of migraine is 75% which is more than getting a classic migraine. (Nikitina 2013, 1) Classic migraines are predictable , because they are usually caused when you are in an area that has a bright light or they you are seeing flashes of fast lights. (Nikitina 2013, 3) You will usually know and an hour ahead of time if your you're going to get a migraine because of the symptoms aura is expressing. *Doesn't make sense. (Negating 2013, 2) Aura is visual or sensory disturbances. (Anonymous b 2012, 1) Even though migraines can have an effect of on your body language or working aspect, it will not have a permeant permanent effect for the rest of your life. (Nikitina 2013, 5)
  • Researchers think there are different triggers that create the a persons' migraine. These triggers are the family history, the person's age, the gender, medical conditions and hormonal changes. If a migraine was has happened in the family, it is likely for others around you to pick up on that migraine so it is then passed around. Ages between 15-55 are more likely to receive a headache, and women usually suffer more than men. Because women have menstrual cycles, they usually have a pattern of getting headaches but it changes throughout the time that they are on their period or if they become pregnant. (Anonymous b, 2012 2) Other triggers are also changes like sound, movement, light and smell. (Neighmond 2012, 4) There are also other reasons or theories as to why you can get a migraine; like by drinking more water, having sinus infections, being stressed out , and eating certain foods. ( Anonymous d 2006,1) Sometimes if your you or one of your friends or family members massage your temple, it will reduce the pain in your head. (Anonymous d 2006, 1) If you can avoid chemicals like caffeine, sugar substitute, or flavor enhancer it can reduce your migraine. ( Anonymous d 2006, 2) To get rid of all your stress you can do an activity that is relaxing, like yoga. Stress is also usually a big part of getting a migraine. (Anonymous d 2006, 3) A big part of having all of the natural helpers to get the migraine to go away usually helps, but the biggest one is water. *Doesn't make sense. It rehydrates you because a migraine is usually telling you that you aren't drinking enough water, or in other cases, that you are dehydrated. (Anonymous d 2006, 5).
  • It is known by most researchers that women usually receive more migraines than men do. They usually get all of the symptoms that go with it, rather than men , because they most of the time don't. *Doesn't make sense. The effects are 3 times more to the women than they are to the men. *Doesn't make sense.  (Neighmond 2012, 1) Women's migraines are never the same the each time, they are always changing. (Margaret 2006 , 1) The reason why women get migraine more than men is the because of the hormonal changes ( Mayo 2013, 1). Estrogen and progesterone are what usually trigger for you to have your period or a hormornal change, but these chemicals usually tend to mess with the ones in your brain, causing a migraine. But if the estrogen levels either decrease or lower it will mess with it more and can make the migraines worse, but if the estrogen level is accurate then the migraine may get better. ( Mayo 2013, 2) Right before your period starts, your estrogen will drop, effecting the chances of having migraine, thats why it's common for you to get a migraine before your period and during. (Mayo 2013, 4) A women woman will usually go to the cabinets to grab a pill like IB profin to get rid of the head ache but there are also other ways like applying ice on your head where you have the pain. Or You can also do some relaxing exercises or stretches to release any of your stress. ( Mayo 2013, 5)
  • To try a and prevent your usual migraines before your period you can take preventive medication a couple of days before your period and a couple of weeks after your period has started. (Mayo 2013, 6) Birth control pills also will also help the estrogen so it doesn't release any head aches , but it isn't guaranteed that it will help every single time. (Mayo 2013, 7) Then as both women and men get older, they start to get very bad migraines. But it's more common for the women, which was stated, but this is because they are going through premenopause. This is where its the first year that they are very emotional and their period starts to go away. *Doesn't makes sense. During this year the hormone levels fall and rise several times, causing migraines. ( Mayo 2013, 10) Women can also get migraines because of how much they are on the computer. Studies show that 70% usually have reoccurring symptoms of migraines, daily. (Margret et. al. 2009 , 1)

  • Migraines can also happen when you are exercising especailly when your you're out in the hot sun. The trigger to release a migraine while you are working out isn't known, but extreme, fast work outs isn't aren't heathy. ( Blum 2013, 1) You should never start an intense workout before you "warm up" and after you are done you should " cool down" so you are paced through it, and you are able to catch your heart rate. (Blum 2013, 2) Most people aren't sure what to do to regulate their body while working out. ( Anonymous e 2013, 1) They say that should should "start gradually, then work your way up" just like life. ( Blum 2013, 3). Making sure that you are breathing correctly while working out is very important, because if you aren't breathing right, pressure can build up in your head. (Anonymous e 2013, 2) An example of breathing right would be if you were bench pressing, or lifting a bar. When you are doing a negative motion, as in bringing the bar to your chest, breathe in. Then when you do the positive motion, as in pushing the bar off your chest, you want to breathe out. ( Anonymous e 2013, 3) When your you're exercising and before you exercise it's important to drink plenty of water. Also if you drink a vitamin water or and and/or energy drink while you are working out with prevent a migraine. *Doesn't make sense. ( Blum 2013, 4 ) If you workout everyday you should be drinking at least 64- 128 oz per day. ( Anonymous 3 2013, 4) Taking pills like IB profin could also help prevent your migraine before, during, or after your workout. ( Blum 2013, 5) The trigger to a migraine when outside is usually because of the sun and dehydration. These two are not good when put together. ( Blum 2013, 6) But if your you're inside working out, you do not want to over do yourself, so if you know your body can't handle more, then it's telling you that you need to stop and your you're done. ( Anonymous e 2013, 5).  Even though your head will start to have horrible pain and you feel like you need to stop, exercising can help prevent more migraines down the road, rather than people who do no activity. ( Blum 2013, 7).  But if you get reoccurring head aches, most of the time while you are exercising, that could be a severe problem. You could have a neurological problem or an abnormal blood flow to your brain. *Explain more about neurological problems.  ( Blum 2013, 8)  

    There are several studies on what we can do to cancel out migraines, what do to do to get rid of them in the future, and testing the differences with using different medication. People have several attacks of these horrible migraines, and at least 18% of women and 6% of men get 1 migraine per year at the least. The money spent to help out people with medical migraines was very expensive, almost 19 billion dollars. ( Burton 2009, 1) As time goes on and as you get more and more migraines you end up needing more primary care for their brains. The recent migraines are usually because of the sructural changes in the brain. (Holroyd 2010, 2) They picked random participants that get random migraines, and they were each put to 1 of the 4 treatments. They were either set on preventive treatment, placebo, Behavioural migraine management plus placebo, or Behavioural migraine management plus preventive treatment. Then over a several period of time they would record the amount of migraines/ headaches they got daily. ( Holroyd 2010, 5) The results ended up being that they still had quite a few migraines but they weren't weekly, more like they were monthly and didn't last very long. (Holroyd 2010, 7) As you get older, your migraines can either decrease or increase but it is usually all upon you, unless you have a medical issue. Your stress, hormornal changes and your triggers you can control by several different ways. *Doesn't makes sense.  ( Anonymous a 2013, 1) But to make sure that eventually we won't suffer so much from these migraines and the basic symptoms that we already know, researchers want to keep up the studies and will evaluate in population studies and in clinical trials. Their main goal is to improve these things, without anything too big that could affect or harm anyone. ( Erwin 2010, 1) Melatonin is also found to help your migraines and let you get on with your daily lifestyle. But they still have to do a trial to see if there are any effects with this. (Gagnier 2013, 1) It is also stated that if you were to have a bad dream, it can cause a migraine. ( Greener 2013, 1) When you get an unpleasant dream it can cause stress in your dream, triggering a migraine. Participants of 37 had a record of 10 dreams each, 5 with migraines and 5 without. *Doesn't make sense.  ( Greener 2013, 2) But there was nothing you could do about this . ( Greener 2013, 3)

    In conclusion you can see the many side affects that migraines have. They will butt into your daily acticity activities and also ruin your daily lifestyle, making you grumpy or in a bad moodwhich Then you won't want to be around others. Make sure you keep an eye out for all of these things so you wont have to suffer from a migraine. Also if you do get migraines now, I hope that this information could help you and decrease the rate that you have of getting them. *It sounds informal if you write "I hope that this information..." (it talks about your personal opinion). Scientists are doing their best to get into more detail with how we can all together stop migraines and be able to
*You also need to fix all the spacing and indents for your paragraphs and in between your parentheses for your hyperlinks.
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Peer Edit of Garrett's Report

Created By: Maddy Kim

    Before I began this project, when I heard the term "Genetic Engineering" I thought of scientists in laboratories creating new species.  Thoughts of many men and women in an all white laboratory hunched over an object that was being manipulated and created filled my mind.  *Clarify what you meant about the "white laboratory" because it sounded like you were making a comment on the race of the scientists (that's what I thought haha).  However; as I started looking into genetically engineered crops, I realized it was much more than that.  Instead of men in a isolated lab, genetic engineering consists of so much more, specifically when focused on the modification of crops.  Here, it becomes something that can possibly change the world with the new advances today.  The improvements we are making now is opening up completely new opportunities.  Opportunities that, before genetic engineering, were never thought possible.  Now that we have genetic engineering, we have a kind of power that can help millions.  In the world of genetic engineering, the engineering of crops really stands out due to the controversy that surrounds it, the pros and cons of crop modification, the improvements of the genetically engineered crop, and how the newly improved crop assists mankind and benefits the world.


    The world's problems regarding crops is are more and more becoming more and more of a present-day and daunting issue.  We are currently producing children so fast that we are reaching a point that is unsustainable - a number that we simply cannot feed anymore.  On top of that, as salt gets in the soil, valuable farmland is lost.  This is the same farmland that grows everyday crops.  This is the same farmland that produces the very staples that are found on every dinner plate around the world, including the wheat used to bake healthy bread for a delicious sandwich to the sugar grown to manufacture mouth-watering candy!  We don't realize how much of our food is actually grown from soil.  In addition, we are not the only species that relies on crops.  The animals that are bred and raised for our own nutrition are fed from crops as well.  A real and significant concern is that as the population is skyrocketing, crop production is dropping to an all-time low.  As rain falls and the water evaporates, it leaves salt in the soil.  With all this salt in the soil, the crops that are planted hit the salt and will not grow. This is because salt dehydrates the plant and the water storage in all of the plant's cells shrivel up and die, ultimately killing the plants.  Genetically engineering crops is a great way to be sustainable in maintaining all of our crop production and in the end to turn our faults in to massive successes! 

    What is genetic engineering?  This is a common question because of the fact that a lot of people are very unfamiliar with the topic of it.  Genetic engineering is the process in which you can take genes from one organism and place them into another organism for various reasons.  Also, undesirable genes can be transferred out and substituted for more desirable genes if wanted.  If change is desired on a large scale, it will take a longer time.  As organisms are genetically engineered , not only does one gene have to be changed but you also have to breed that newly changed species that has been created.  This results in a snowball effect (Anonymous 2013, 1).  For genetically engineered crops however; there is no breeding involved.  So geneticists can now isolate, and manipulate the gene very quickly and accurately.  With a plants' asexual reproduction system, it now copies its genes onto its offspring.  The genetically engineered gene now carries on to the offspring, and so on.  This happens forever, until another change is introduced (Whitman 2000, 2).  Genetically engineering is a revolution in technology. This knowledge changes everything about farming.  Crops can be grown in locations that they were never grown in before and plants can be engineered to even grow out-of-season.  This allows crops to be grown anywhere in the world and whenever they are needed or wanted. With these new innovations, the world has the potential of limitless opportunities for mass producing food.
*I think this paragraph should come before the first one because it introduces genetic engineering.

    In many ways, genetic engineering is a massive controversy of whether or not it benefits mankind. For a very long time, people have argued that genetically engineering crops is bad and can wreck havoc on our lives and environment.  They profess that genetically engineering plants mostly benefits the farmer who is using the genetic modification for his own financial gain (McWilliams and Beachy 2013,1). European environmental organizations and public "get together groups" have been protesting genetically engineered crops. They are unhappy about the genetically engineered corn pollen and its effects on the monarch butterfly. This is one of the many controversial issues being debated today (Whitman 2000, 1). Genetic engineering is considered a "hot" topic that comes with much discussion and disagreement. Differing groups cannot make up their minds on whether or not to start fully putting time and money into new inventions. 
*Go more into depth about the genetically engineered corn pollen and the effects on the monarch butterfly.

    However, even with all the controversy, it seems that they benefits of crop engineering are obvious.  Many believe  that genetically engineering crops should be increased, due to the fact that it is so crucial to feeding the world.  Currently, there is enough food to feed the world, but as the population increases, our farmland decreases, so we need more options (Lathigra 2013,1)  One of the biggest advantages of genetically engineered crops is that the issue of salinity and drought - both major world obstacles to crop production - are addressed.  Increased levels of salinity in the soil, along with years of drought, create huge limitations on agricultural production world wide (Sacamoto 1999,1).  With all the advantages that genetically engineering crops provide, it is no wonder that continued funding and increased engineering is encouraged and supported. 

    Looking at all the things that a genetically engineered crop can provide, it is easy to see why genetically modifying a crop can change it in a good way.  One of the many improved plants is forage crops.  Forage crops "are critical to the livestock industry and sustainable agriculture worldwide."  The forage crops are on a seasonal schedule, so they don't grow all year.  The forage crops only grow during seasons where it is warm.  So with genetic engineering, the geneticists were able to implant the gene for cold growth (Yu-Wang and Brummer 2012,1).  Many crops have been modified simply, such as an increased resistance to pesticide or more nutritional value.  Another changed crop is corn.  Bacillis Thuringienisis is a bacteria that produces small crystals that are only poisonous to insect larvae.  Geneticists have implanted the Bacillis Thuringienisis gene into corn, so insect larvae isn't aren't interested in eating corn anymore.  Now corn is produced even quicker, due to the lack of insect larvae corn consumption (Whitman 2000,2).  These are just some of the ground-breaking ways crops are being adapted to solve problems that relate to the location and season they are grown, but also to the pests and threats they face.  There is a revolution happening in crop engineering and the technology scientists possess has the power to change most  crop growth production problems. *The last sentence doesn't makes sense.

    As mentioned above, some people would like genetically engineering crops to be in continue, while others fight for it to end.  Even with all the benefits, there are negatives as well.  One thing that frustrates farmers specifically is the pesticide resistance in crops.  The pesticide resistance gene has seeped into the ground and gone into the weeds in the farmland, so now farmers are complaining that they have to spray pesticides, such as Roundup, over the weed more than once because of the pesticide resistance in toe weeds (Hart 2013, 1).  This happens in field after field.  It is a problem in the gene flow that causes anything around it to have a similar gene.  The transgenes that come off the genetically engineered plant flow into the soil, and go into other plants around it.  Now this can be very good if growing one specific crop, because then all crops will have the desired gene.  But most farmers grow different crops within the same soil.  This is problematic, as you won't want the same gene in all of the different crops for various reasons (Gray 2013, 1).  There are definite pros and cons to genetically engineering crops.  Many scientists are working diligently to discover ways to keep the benefits and eliminate the problems that come from genetic engineering in order to benefit agriculture today.

    Out of necessity, most people have acknowledged the advantages of genetically engineered crops.  Currently, over half of the world's population are living in countries that have accepted genetically engineered crops.  The overregulation of the genetically engineered food isn't scientific evidence, like most people believe, but it is actually in response to a global campaign that puts aside the fears of these genetically engineered crops (Chassy 2013, 
1).  Currently, the population stands around 9 billion people, and that number is supposed to double in the next 50 years.  With all this growth, the world is starting to realize that genetic engineering is very helpful, and in the hard stretch ahead, it is necessary. The lack of crop growth due to various reasons is starting to become very clear that it is needed and important (Whitman 2000, 3).  The world is accepting the fact that we need genetic engineering to maintain crop production, especially in harsh climates.

    Not only does genetic engineering help us, but it can also improve the quantity of the crop.  Many plants have adapted to their own environment and their genes have changed to better equip them for life.  To improve quantity of the crop, you can take the gene of one plant and put in another.  For example, if there is one plant that only grows in hot, warm environments and another plant that grows in freezing, cold weather, scientists are now able to locate the hot growth gene and transfer that into the cold climate plant.  This results in the unique ability to grow a certain crop anywhere one pleases, all through the use of genetic engineering (Yang 2010,1).  The Bacillis Thuringienisis (the insect larvae killing bacteria) has been used in multiple crops. The Bacillis Thuringienisis creates small crystals on a crop and if an insect larvae eats it, the larvae will die.  This increases the quantity of the crop significantly by eliminating the pest.  Now, all of those eaten or infected crops are going to be clean, uninfected crops that can make money (Whitman 2000, 2).  With genetic engineering, crop production increases on an extreme level in multiple cases.  With all these new improvements, this can cure world hunger issues, allows mankind to produce disease free crops in most any environment and climate.  *Fix last sentence.

    In genetic engineering, there have been some major advances in technology.  The new developments and innovations only increase the success found in this field.  One of the new innovations is found through the genetic engineering of flowers.  For the most part, flowers are not grown to be edible, but rather for enjoyment.  In 2011, the United States spent over $31.1 billion dollars on decorative flowers.  One of the many things the geneticists are changing in flowers is their scent.  Over the last few years, geneticists have been manipulating genetic changes in flowers at the cost of the flowers scent.  Although flowers might now last a little longer or grow a little more quickly, they no longer smell as sweet.  Recently,  geneticists worked to enhance the flowers scent (Breyer 2012, 
1).  In addition, geneticists creating color change in flowers, producing flowers that have colors that are impossible for nature to create.  Blue is one of these colors.  Blue roses cannot be made because of genetic limitations in roses.  But after 20 years of research, Japan created blue roses by genetically inserting a delphinidin-producing gene from a blue pansy into roses.  They were such a hit in Japan, they sold for approximately $30 a blue rose (Breyer 2012, 2).  Another leap in flower engineering has been flowers that are grown with a decreased pollen count.  Sneeze-free blooms, for people with allergies, are being promised.  Researchers from Spain have now found a way to create flowers that don't spread allergens.  They genetically altered the bacteria for a plant disease that now increases the plant's hormones.  Then, they modified another gene that stops the production of pollen.  The researchers grew the new genetically engineered plants (Breyer 2012, 3). These new innovations are just a few examples of genetic engineering in areas other than edible crops. 


    Clearly, genetic engineering has made its own niche in the environment of science.  Although it's a major controversy whether genetic engineering should be applied to a large amount of our crops, it still has made many breakthroughs.  Looking at genetic engineering, we can clearly see all the ways that it can benefit us.  From the new increased quantity of the crop to the increased ability to grow crops anywhere, the options are almost limitless for what we can do with this new power.  But with a power as great as this, there are some disadvantages, which is the cause of an extensive controversy.  A lot of people have finally come to the conclusion that we need genetic engineering.  If we don't use it, then the results will be far worse than if we do.  With this logic in mind, the new innovations in genetically engineering crops are giant steps forward from the technology we previously had.  

Your report is really good besides a couple of sentences that don't really make sense.  But overall, it's very well-written! (:
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Created By: Olivia Park
Maddy's Spring Research Report
Q2: Report: (Required*)
Having dyslexia can be a nightmare.  Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty characterized by problems with reading and spelling words (Anonymous 2013a 7).  Despite having normal intellect, people dealing with dyslexia have difficulties with determining different words and letters; jumbles of words, letters, and sounds are impossible to make sense of (Shaw 2013 1).  Now imagine being a child with this disorder.  At school, there is a risk of being bullied and teased.  Students with dyslexia live their school days with fear of their self-esteem, emotional well-being, academics, and physical health suffering (Bailey 2013 1).  Approximately 10% of children have this disorder (Anonymous 2013a 7).  Although having the learning disability dyslexia may be very difficult especially for youths, Italian researchers have conducted a recent experiment discovering a new way to overcome this learning disability.  This new experiment is testing the effects of playing video games and how it improves reading skills in children.

Approximately five to ten percent of all school children in the United States have a learning disability, dyslexia being the most common type (Anonymous 2013b 1).  Dyslexia is characterized by the struggle of processing information or generating responses, but they have at least an average level of intelligence (Handler et. al. 2011 1).  People with dyslexia have trouble with phonological decoding, the ability to recognize that words are made up of smaller units of sound, verbal memory, the ability to remember a sequence of verbal information for a short amount of time, and visual attention, how quickly a person processes and recognizes familiar verbal information (Anonymous 2013a 5). The learning deficit in dyslexia does not depend on the material that is to be learned, it is based on the nature of the learning that characterizes the task (Vicari et. al 2005 1).  Since reading is a key element in learning, children with dyslexia may have difficulties with mastering basic skills and may have trouble with writing, speaking, spelling and math (Anonymous 2013b 2).  Symptoms in children can be very mild or severe and depend on the person.  Some symptoms may include a late talker, pronunciation problems, difficulty rhyming words, impaired ability to learn basics such as the alphabet, colors, and numbers, problems with handwriting, confusion of letters, trouble with connecting letters and their sounds, and even Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (Anonymous 2013b 3).  Experts still do not know the precise cause of this disability, but researchers have conducted recents studies and found that genetics can greatly impact whether or not your child will have dyslexia or not.  If you, as a parent, or your spouse has dyslexia, there is a very high chance that your child will also have the disability (Anonymous 2013b 5).

Traditional treatments and therapies to overcome this disability are time-consuming, too expensive, and usually don't make any improvements (Shaw 2013 1).  There is no definite cure for this disability yet, but an early intervention with your child may give them a confidence boost and source of encouragement needed to deal and try to overcome dyslexia in school.  It is also suggested that you visit your child's pediatrician who can rule out any physical issues such as vision or hearing problems that may also affect your child's learning.  The pediatrician may then refer you to a learning specialist, educational psychologist, or speech therapist for further help with your child (Anonymous 2013b 7).  Inside your child's classroom, additional assistance from the teacher or a learning specialist may provide additional help for your child (Anonymous 2013b 8).  Experts have not yet come up with a technique to officially overcome dyslexia, but Italian researchers have sprung up a new study that may lead to a new treatment for children.

Previous studies have shown that video games improve visual attention abilities, so Italian researchers conducted an experiment to investigate to see if video games had an effect on children with dyslexia; if they were proven correct, playing video games may be a new treatment to overcome dyslexia (Anonymous 2013a 9).  Dyslexic children suffer from what researchers call "attentional dysfunction" which makes it harder for dyslexic children to focus their attention and pick out information in a cluttered and busy environment, and since previous studies have shown that video games improve visual abilities, researchers tested to see if a video game would help dyslexic children. 

Video games, if used correctly, can be a great learning platform for kids.  Unlike television, film, books, or other visual media, video games are participatory.  Children interact with characters, step into others' shoes, solve problems, make decisions, and explore consequences (Salazar 2011 1).  Games create deep engagement, keep children entertained, and help them learn while they are playing!  Challenges, rewards, and goals keep people of all ages engaged.  Games relate to what is being taught by teachers in school, problem or project based learning, personalized learning, and 24/7 learning.  Instead of sitting inside a classroom for six to seven hours a day for five days out of the week, video games provide a entertaining, interactive, and fun base for learning for children (Salazar 2011 2).  "Action video games enhance many aspects of visual attention, mainly improving the extraction of information from the environment," stated Andrea Facoetti, Ph.D., of the University of Padua and the Scientific Institute Medea of Bosisio Parini in Italy and also the leader of the team who conducted the experiment testing whether action video games helped improve the reading skills of dyslexic children (Nauert 2013 2).

A new study from the University of Padua in Italy lead by Andrea Facoetti showed that children who played twelve hours of video games without any help or direction on how to play the game, achieved significant increases in reading abilities (Kuo 2013 2).  The study split a group of twenty dyslexic children from ages seven to twelve into two groups; ten children played fast paced mini-games from the Wii game Rayman Raving Rabbids known as action video games (AVG) and ten children played a much more relaxed, slower paced set of mini-games that were described as non-action video games (NAVG).  The AVG group's mini-games required quick reaction times that were known as "twitchers", while the NAVG group's mini-games did not require quick reaction times (Anonymous 2013a 3).  The children played for a total of twelve hours in nine eighty-minute sessions (Anonymous 2013a 4).

Before this experiment was tested, the children's reading skills, spatial attention skills, and their ability to decode words phonologically, their ability to connect letters and their sounds, were tested.  Their reading ability was measured as a ratio of the speed of the child reading the content, and their accuracy.  After the twelve hours of playing the video games, the children were then reassessed (Anonymous 2013a 10).

The children in the AVG group demonstrated increases in reading ability without decreases in accuracy.  These results were equivalent to one year's worth of spontaneous reading development!  This group also displayed improvements in attention skills from the session, which has direct effects on their reading abilities (Kuo 2013 3).  One of the skills that is essential to efficient learning and reading is the ability to quickly decipher information within the information given, and the children who played the action video game had a much more improved ability to do that skill in comparison to the kids who played the non-action video games (Omidi 2013 2).  Compared to the results of the NAVG group, the AVG group also showed significant improvements in phonological decoding and word text reading (Anonymous 2013a 11).  The children that played the non-action video games in the NAVG group did not do any better on the tasks than they did before playing (Shaw 2013 4).  Additionally, two months later without playing any video games, the children did just as well on a word recognition test as they did on the test they took immediately after playing the action video games.  The improvements in word recognition were relatively long-lasting (Shaw 2013 5)!  

Similar to reading, active video games require children to balance numerous types of sensory input while still focusing on a larger goal; the researchers believe that the video games may help improve the efficiency and use on certain brain pathways like the connection between visual comprehension and responding (Shaw 2013 6).  The researchers hypothesized that the children's attention spans expanded due to the due to the need to adapt to the rapid actions occurring on the screen (Kuo 2013 4).  Because they strengthened the kids' abilities to monitor central and peripheral objects on the screen in a chaotic environment on the screen, the action video game gave kids a necessary tool for tracking letters in written words (Bower 2013 3).

While the researchers were very pleased and excited for these new results and possibly new treatment for dyslexia, the team leader states, "These results are very important in order to understand the brain mechanisms underlying dyslexia, but they don't put us in a position to recommend playing video games without any control or supervision." (Kuo 2013 4).  Children still need to be monitored in terms of the content of video games and the time allotted for video game play.  Sedentary activities, such as watching television, internet browsing, and video games, are major contributors to the major obesity epidemic in America and is another reason why video game playing should be monitored.  These activities must be limited in order to allow more time spent participating in physical activities (Omidi 2013 4).

In addition, numerous amounts of improvements on this experiment are needed to prove this new theory as a new treatment for overcoming dyslexia.  This experimental study was very small.  The sample is too small to draw reliable conclusions from and also with such a small experimental group, the results may come down to chance (Anonymous 2013a 13).  Several unanswered questions also exist: 'What duration of any intervention would be required?', 'What kind of action video games should be played?', 'How would this be combined with, or supplement other educational programs for dyslexia?', and 'Would there be any detrimental effects in the longer term on other areas of the child's health or development?' (Anonymous 2013a 14).

Leading experts in the United Kingdom also believe that video games improving reading skills of dyslexic children are very unlikely (Anonymous 2012c 1).  An organization known as Dyslexia Action also said their opinion on the experiment.  The head of research Dr. John Rack stated, "It would be great if the problems of dyslexia would go away simply by playing the right sort of video games, but this is highly unlikely and the recent Italian study simply doesn't make the case that it can be done.  I am worried if a story like this is picked up and raises false hopes, or worse, serves to undermine the hard work being done using less glamorous methods, I can imagine children in schools and homes across the UK asking why they have to do this reading exercise if it works just as well to play video games.  Make no mistake, it doesn't work just as well." (Anonymous 12c 2).  Dorothy Bishop, the professor of Developmental Neuropsychology at Oxford University also expresses her opinion, "It's a classic example of a paper that is on the one hand highly newsworthy, but on the other hand, methodologically weak.  I'm usually not a betting person, but I'd be prepared to put money on the main effect failing to replicate if the study were repeated with improved methodology." (Anonymous 2012c 3).  We must be open to this new era of technology, but we can not let our enthusiasm override our data that must support it.  Before researchers release this new aspect of dyslexia treatment as a totally reliable treatment for dyslexia and children suffering from dyslexia get their hopes too high, experts must first perfect this experiment.

"Our study paves the way for new remediation programs, based on scientific results, that can reduce the dyslexia symptoms and even prevent dyslexia when applied to children at risk for dyslexia before they learn to read," Faocetti states.  Future experiments are going to be made to officially deem this treatment for dyslexic children one hundred percent reliable (Shaw 2013 7).  Because of this experiment, in the future, children may have a new treatment that is fun, fast, and reliable to treat their dyslexia.  This will change the way children improve their reading skills.
Although many questions have arisen and many improvements must be made in order to deem this treatment for dyslexia reliable, these new findings can possibly change the methods currently used for strengthening the reading skills in children suffering from dyslexia with a new and fun method (Omidi 2013 4).  Children should not spend hours at a time playing video games, but this study provides convincing evidence that playing action video games improves visual attention, which helps improve reading skills and reduce the amount of children that suffer from learning disabilities such as dyslexia (Shaw 2013 7).  Even if dyslexia may be a nightmare for children, thanks to the research team lead by Andrea Facoetti from the University of Padua, this new treatment opens several doors that may provide us with a new and entertaining way to overcome the learning disability, dyslexia, in children.

Wow!this was really good that i have nothing to say!
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Anonymous 2012c

Created By: Maddy Kim

Action Video Games and Dyslexia

Can playing Action Video Games (AVG) help to remediate dyslexia and improve reading and attentional skills?

[1] Leading experts in the UK think this is very unlikely but these are exactly the claims made last week in an Italian Study published in the journal Current Biology .

[2] Dyslexia Action's head of research Dr John Rack said: “It would be great if the problems of dyslexia would go away simply by playing the right sort of video games, but this is highly unlikely and the recent Italian Study simply doesn't make the case that it can be done. I am worried if a story like this is picked up and raises false hopes or, worse, serves to undermine the hard work being done using less glamorous methods, I can imagine children in schools and homes across the UK asking why they have to do this reading exercise if it works just as well to play video games. Make no mistake, it doesn't work just as well".

And it's not just Dyslexia Action who think this.

[3] Professor or Developmental Neuropsychology at Oxford University, Dorothy Bishop writes: “It's a classic example of a paper that is on the one hand highly newsworthy, but on the other, methodologically weak. I’m not usually a betting person, but I’d be prepared to put money on the main effect failing to replicate if the study were repeated with improved methodology”.

[4] Professor Charles Hulme from the Psychology Department at University College London says: “Based on my reading I would be hesitant to conclude there is any real effect here. The sample sizes are tiny, and the statistics are inappropriate”.

[5] Dr Rack explains further: "The claimed benefit from the AVGs was obtained in a group of only 10 children with dyslexia and the only benefit to their reading seems to be that they got faster, whilst maintaining the same levels of accuracy. In a follow-up, 6 of these children were tested again and the fact that there was not a significant drop in scores for this group of 6 is taken as evidence that the improvements were sustained. I am really quite shocked that any interpretation is given to this 'null finding' - failure to find a difference with such small numbers is in no way conclusive. Short-term benefit in terms of speed for those who played the Action Games really is no basis to suggest we think again about approaches to remediation, especially since we don’t yet know if that result would stand up in a study using larger groups.

We need to be open to the new possibilities that technology brings, and to new ideas that will help improve on the methods that we already know are effective. But we have to be wary of claims where the enthusiasm for the technologies runs ahead of the data".
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Anonymous 2013b

Created By: Maddy Kim

Helping Children with Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a type of learning disability. Before diagnosis, many children with dyslexia are poorly understood. Since dyslexia has nothing to do with a person's intelligence, parents of children with dyslexia are often perplexed when their child does poorly in school or struggles to read a simple book. Is the child lazy? Inattentive? Not as smart as he or she seems?

If your child has dyslexia, you have likely asked yourself these questions as you watched your child struggle to keep up with classmates. You may have also observed your child's frustration as his or her friends gain skills that are difficult for children with dyslexia to master. The good news is that today we know more than ever before about the condition and about ways to help children with dyslexia. You can make sure your child gets the help that's needed.

What Is Dyslexia?

[1] About 5% to 10% of all school children in the U.S. have learning disabilities. Dyslexia is the most common type. It leads to problems with reading and comprehension of written language. Since reading is a key element in learning, children with dyslexia can have trouble mastering basic skills and succeeding in school.

[2] Children with dyslexia have problems processing the information they see when looking at a word. Often a dyslexic child will have trouble connecting the sound made by a specific letter or deciphering the sounds of all the letters together that form a word. Given these challenges, children with dyslexia often also have trouble with writing, spelling, speaking, and math.

Signs and Symptoms of Dyslexia in Children

[3] Children with dyslexia can have mild to severe impairment. Signs of the condition vary widely from person to person. Young children with dyslexia may have the following signs and symptoms:

A late talker
Pronunciation problems
Difficulty rhyming words
Impaired ability to learn basics such as the alphabet, colors, and numbers
Problems with handwriting and other fine motor skills
Confusing letters such as "b" and "d" or the orders of letters within words
Trouble learning the connection between letters and their sounds
An estimated 25% of people with dyslexia also show signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

[4] In older children or adults with dyslexia, these other signs may appear:

Trouble with reading, writing, and spelling
Ongoing trouble with schoolwork
Difficulty learning a foreign language
Poor handwriting
Difficulty remembering numbers
Trouble following a sequence of directions and telling left from right

 Causes of Dyslexia

[5] Researchers have found that dyslexia is caused by a difference in the way the dyslexic brain processes information. Experts do not know precisely what causes dyslexia, but several recent studies now indicate that genetics plays a major role. If you or your partner has dyslexia, you are more likely to have children with dyslexia. Over the next few decades, we are likely to learn much more about dyslexia and how to treat it.

Complications of Dyslexia

[6] Children with dyslexia are at serious risk of developing emotional problems -- not because of the condition itself, but because of the daily frustration and sense of failure they meet in the school environment. One study of children with dyslexia found that most of the children observed were well adjusted in preschool. But they began to develop emotional problems during their early years in school, when their reading issues began to surface.

If children with dyslexia are not identified, they are likely to begin to fail in school, and may act out, or stop trying altogether. Teachers and parents may assume that these children are simply not trying and even punish them. The child may begin to internalize the message that he or she is stupid or bad. This can become a fixed part of his or her identity, undermining self-confidence. It is not surprising, then, that children with dyslexia are at higher risk for behavior problems and depression.

Fortunately, dyslexia is now far more likely to be identified than it was in the past, when the condition was not well understood. Today, if a child has trouble reading in the early grades, parents and teachers are likely to detect the problem and provide help for the child. There are many resources now available to children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.

How to Help Children with Dyslexia

[7] There is no cure for dyslexia. But early intervention can give children with dyslexia the encouragement and tools they need to manage in school and compensate for their disability. [8] If you suspect that your child has dyslexia or another learning disability, talk with your pediatrician as soon as possible. Your doctor can rule out any physical issues -- such as vision problems -- in your child. They may then refer you to a learning specialist, educational psychologist, or speech therapist. The first step will be to have your child evaluated so you can take the appropriate steps at school and at home.

[8] Most children with dyslexia can learn to read, and many can remain in a regular classroom, but they will need help to do so. Usually, learning specialists use a variety of techniques to work with children with dyslexia on an ongoing basis. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, children with dyslexia are allowed special accommodations in the classroom, such as additional time for tests and other types of support.
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