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Cloning 2

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Cloning 2

Newspaper Article Essay: "In Layman's Terms"

Authors of modern scientific journalism convey information to target audiences in differing formats, depending solely on the level of education of the audience and how the issue might affect their lives. As a result, publications come in two models: new, original articles, or reports based on existing published material. The original articles appear in technical scientific journals and cover intricate scientific subject matters. Authors construct these articles specifically for individuals whom have a great understanding of science. The usage of complex vocabulary and discussion of technical concepts within these journal articles make good sense to those with strong science backgrounds, but not to the lay audience. On the other hand, the reports constructed from existing information are broadly based, pulling information from several sources and adapting it for target audiences. Such articles tackle general biomedical issues and convey the information to an audience that, for the most part, lack a high level of scientific knowledge. To make the information more understandable for the target audience, authors substitute in less complex vocabulary words, summarize difficult concepts, and often utilize attractive visual aids. Authors strive to communicate issues to audiences of varying levels of education. In order to accomplish this effectively, authors adapt their work in a format that expresses their concepts to audiences in pragmatic fashion. However, a disadvantage is that these adaptations can lead to misinterpretations of information.

Attached is a newspaper article I obtained through the web but was printed in the "Discoveries" section of The Dallas Morning News on September 14, 1998. It was written by Karin Jegalian and it focuses on cloning and its biological, practical, and ethical issues. Jegalian's primary aim is to highlight specific successful cloning projects and speculate about how those developments might affect not only the science community, but society as a whole. In order to convey this information, Jegalian uses articles from the journals Nature and Natural Medicine as the foundations for her article. However, to intelligibly present the article to a mass audience, Jegalian alters the information from the journal articles so that it would not be intimidating to readers. For example, she substitutes simple vocabulary for complex vocabulary. Also, without misrepresenting any material in the journals, she uses the articles as supports rather than reproducing them. Effectively, she combines certain parts of the material so that they would fit her article where support was necessary. As a result, her article, overall, proves more comprehensible.

Comparing Jegalian's newspaper article to the journal article taken from Nature Medicine, a difference can be seen in the usage of vocabulary and terms. The first article that Jegalian uses is a journal entry entitled, "Regenerating functional myocardium: Improved performance after skeletal myoblast transplantation." It is the published work of a team of researchers headed by Dr. Doris Taylor of Duke University Medical Center. The scientists theorize that the addition of skeletal muscle cells to the disease-damaged cardiac tissue can have a positive effect on cardiac function. According to Jegalian, the researchers construct a model of heart disease by damaging actual cardiac tissue and then inject the skeletal muscle cells to the test subjects. The test subjects for the experiment were rabbits with normal cardiac function. Jegalian describes the work of the researchers using simple terms. For instance, she writes that "The biologists mimicked heart disease by freezing heart tissue enough to cause damage." Words such as "freezing" and "heart tissue" are substituted for words like "discrete cryoinjury" and "myocardium" respectively. Further on in her article, Jegalian explains that the researchers inject muscle cells into the damaged parts of the rabbits' hearts, guessing that the muscle cells will replace the damaged parts of the heart and act like cardiac cells. To get a stronger, more accurate perspective on the research, Jegalian interviews Dr. Taylor, and adds some of her comments into the article. However, Jegalian only scratches the surface of the actual material covered in the article, leaving out much detail that the lay audience might find confusing and hard to understand. For example, the journal article refers to freezing of the hearts as "cryoinjury of adult rabbit myocardium" causing "cryoablation" which would illustrate "myocardial infarctions." Jegalian sums these ideas up as freezing the heart to pattern the effects of heart disease. The muscle cells Jegalian described are presented in the journal article as "myoblasts" harvested from the "hind limb soleus muscle." The actual hypothesis of the research team was that "the adult heart lacks reserve cardiocytes and ...

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