Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Environmental influences play significant role on experiments

27.02.2003


It is natural to suppose that conducting the same tests, with the same strain of mice and the same protocols on identical equipment but in different labs will ensure similar results. A University of Alberta researcher and his team have found that assumption not to be true--fuelling the nature vs. nurture debate and shedding some light on the importance of environmental factors in experiments.



Dr. Douglas Wahlsten, from the Department of Psychology, is part of a research team that use mice who share the same genetic make-up to study the relationship among an animal’s genetics, environment, and behaviour.

In a recent study to determine which kinds of tests done in different laboratories--in Alberta and Oregon--give the same results--Wahlsten and the research team first taught the mice how to use a particular apparatus and then tested motor co-ordination under the influence of alcohol.


They found that the effects of alcohol produced the same results but where the mice differed was in the psychological part of the experiment, when the mice had to learn how to use the equipment. The possible environmental differences that could cause these effects, said Wahlsten, range from the odour in the air, the business of the lab or how the experimenter conducts the test.

Wahlsten said if something as simple as an unpleasant smell can have a strong effect on a mouse’s behaviour, the complex environment in which a person grows up must have an enormous effect on his or her apparent intelligence. What may appear to be seemingly small factors that don’t seem to matter in behaviour obviously do, said Wahlsten. His research appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Phoebe Dey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ualberta.ca/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>