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6 Reflections

DA opens the TV programme by stating that ‘monkeys and apes have the richest social life of all mammals’. I have explored the importance of colour vision in the interactions between individuals and discussed how gestural and vocal communication add considerably to this richness. But ultimately, it is their ability to be innovative, to discover new ways of obtaining foods, to learn from one another (so-called cultural learning), to form friendships, alliances and coalitions between individ
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3.5 Communication

Compared with many other mammals, primates have a rich repertoire of communication skills, which I'll be looking at in more detail in this section.

Activity 4

Identify the instances of communication that you have observed in the T
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1 The anthropoids

As you work through this unit you will come across boxes, like this one, which give you advice about the study skills that you will be developing as you progress through the unit. To avoid breaking up the flow of the text, they will usually appear at the start or end of the sections.

In this unit you'
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Introduction

In this unit we will focus on the Anthropoidea, a suborder of primates that includes monkeys, apes and humans. We will concentrate our attention here primarily on monkeys. Colour vision, a large brain and intelligence are of great importance in the lives of anthropoids, enabling them to eat foods inaccessible to many other animals and to exploit social situations. In this unit, we will be looking at characteristics of primates that differ, or are enhanced, in anthropoids and discussing these
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4 Germline gene therapy

Now that in vitro fertilization – bringing eggs and sperm together outside the prospective mother's body – is an established technology, the possibility exists that genes could be altered in eggs or sperm, or in a very early embryo. The obvious advantages of germline gene therapy are that the cells are accessible (because they are outside the body), so gene delivery is less of a problem than it tends to be with somatic cells; and the inserted gene (or genes) would be present
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should understand:

  • some of the types of disease that might be treatable by gene therapy

  • the basic principals of genetic manipulation

  • the differences between somatic and germline gene therapy and some of the problems involved in these potential treatments

  • how genetics may be used in the design of drugs.


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Introduction

This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course Human genetics and health issues (SK195)

Following on from the advances made in diagnosing disorders using genetic testing, this unit looks at the possibilities for genetic therapies. Two approaches to gene therapy are discussed: correcting genes involved in causing illness; and using genes to treat disorders. Before
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence. This content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:


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6 Promoting science promotion: the move from deficit to dialogue

This unit has tried to distinguish between institutional science outreach events and independent alternatives by recognising some of their characteristics and evaluating the extent to which they fulfil (and even create) a political mandate for PEST (Public Engagement in Science and Technology). Although institutional events sometimes involve the deficit style of ‘top-down’ transmission of facts, the examples provided in this unit suggest that they are increasingly imaginative and unusual.
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5 Public learning agendas

So far, this unit has argued that public engagement with science can be through both institutionalised events and independent contributions – hopefully, something for everyone. But to what extent will this be a consistent move towards dialogue and understanding, as requested by the UK and EU policies mentioned in Section 2?

Reading 2 suggests a move towards genuine interaction is possible if there is enough political motivation to enhance community learning of science and technology
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2.4 ‘Go Use’ science promotion events

Science shops, created in the Netherlands in the 1960s and now spread throughout Europe, first emerged in the UK in 1988 (at Queen's University, Belfast). They act as a demand-driven link between a university or independent research facility and the community (usually via citizen groups, such as pressure groups, social groups, consumers and residents associations), putting one in touch with the other upon request. They carry out scientific research on practical, scientific problems at the loc
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2.2 ‘Go See’ science promotion events

Every year, the BA (British Association for the Advancement of Science) runs a week-long Festival of Science in a different town or city, claiming it to be the largest public celebration of science in the country. The events are diverse in topic and character. The 2004 Festival in Exeter, for example, included a Presidential lecture on the responsibility of scientists, an exhibition on climate change, and an excursion to a nearby car park to test geometry by chalking lines on the ground. Fest
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1.2 Defining science promotion

A basic definition of science promotion would be useful here: in the context of this unit it means putting forward the benefits of science by motivating and engaging non-scientists. You may be aware of the sociological argument that science is open to social influences and constraints, and it is worth bearing this in mind when thinking about whether the benefits of science are necessarily the same for everyone. Likewise, you will need to remember that the public is not a homogeneous mass with
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1.1 The political climate

You may have read a lot about recent political moves to involve the public in science policy making. Some commentators, such as Alan Irwin and Brian Wynne, are in favour of it, while others, such as Lewis Wolpert or Richard Dawkins, are circumspect or even hostile to involving the public in science. However, it is generally agreed that increasing public engagement with science is important and worthwhile, with tangible societal value (in other words it has value for experts, policy makers and
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • have an awareness of the issues surrounding public understanding of science;

  • engage with some of the debates surrounding this topic.


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Introduction

For many years, the view that dominated the science–public realm was that if only ‘the public’ were educated more, they would better appreciate the intrinsic value of science in their lives. Moreover, under this approach, people were too often seen as ‘empty vessels’ waiting to be filled with scientific knowledge that was transmitted one-way from experts to citizens – an idea that you will recognise as the ‘deficit model’ of how ‘the public’ understands science. With a few
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5 Summary

Domesticated organisms evolve in artificial environments under artificial selection, and opportunistic or enforced hybridisation often occurs between species that would not normally interbreed. Natural selection cannot be eliminated and continues to operate. At least two different forms of dwarfism are common in domesticated livestock and humans, but only the rarer midget type of dwarfism occurs in wild lineages. Domesticated mammals and birds have distinctive patterns of skin pigmentation th
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4.1 Introduction

Domestication of dogs and of most other livestock took place so long ago that reconstructing the course of events is extremely difficult. Written records and illustrations describing the origins of many modern breeds are also sparse until the 19th century. We can only guess at what the domesticators were aiming to produce and how and when domesticated traits appeared in the species subjected to artificial selection. However, a little-known experiment on the domestication of red foxes (Vulp
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3.1 The origins of domesticated dogs

Archaeologists and biologists agree that dogs (Canis familiaris) were the first species to become domesticated. Francis Galton, Darwin's younger cousin, suggested at the end of the 19th century that domestication began when humans captured and raised wolf puppies. The resulting adults ate scraps of human food, assisted in hunting and acted as guard dogs around camps. Among the evidence in support of this hypothesis is the observation that tribal people all over the world take wild anim
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