Using laboratory rats as
an animal model
to investigate feeding behaviors.

Biology 250 Introduction to Research
Bio 104 The Science of Appetite

Spring 2008

9:30-10:50 TTh, Lab 2:00 -5:00 W

4 credit hours

Enrollment by permission of the instructor.

Dr.G.R. Davis, Professor of Biology


Participants will elect representatives to present our results
at the annual science symposium
on Wofford's campus in April 2008

last updated 30 November 2007 at 3:56 pm

Please read the Syllabus with Course Objectives, Grading Rubrics, Attendance Policy, etc. before committing to this course. Due to the special nature of this course there are no tests nor final exams.

Who should take this course? Students who desire to engage in a prolonged research project, who wish to delve deeply into the scientific literature and develop critical reading skills as well as develop the skills and confidence to make oral scientific presentations supplemented with technology. In taking this course a student may discover an aptitude or fascination with research and may choose to seek a career that incorporates research (or not.) At the least, students who complete the course and understand the research project should have something interesting to talk about during an interview for graduate school or employment.


General Format:


Students will prepare presentations, each lasting about 30 minutes based on primary scientific literature to share with the class. Presenters are encouraged to discuss their papers and their presentation with Dr. Davis in advance so as to be well prepared for their time in the spotlight. Members of the class are expected to be active participants in this "journal club" by reading each paper before it is presented, by asking questions, making observations, and contributing to a discussion. Students will anonymously evaluate each presenter using a standard evaluation form and each presenter will be provided a summary of the critiques. See Syllabus for participation grading criteria.

We will conduct experiments approximately once each week on Wednesday afternoon with laboratory rats. These experiments will form the basis for our research presentation at the end of the semester.

We hope to conclude the experiments such that we have a couple of weeks at the end of the semester to prepare a scientific presentation of 12 minutes duration to share with the college community during the last Friday of the spring semester.

Nature of the Experiments:

As of November 2007, the experiment to be conducted in the spring 2008 has not been determined but it is very likely to be an investigation of the factors that contribute to satiety and the cessation of a meal in laboratory rats. Overeating and binge eating are a serious problems that can be investigated using laboratory rats.

Dr. Davis designs experiments that can be conducted without animal surgery. Dr. Hettes conducts research with students that involves surgery, so if gaining some animal surgical experience is important to you, then you should consider taking the Bio 250 course in the fall semester with Dr. Hettes.

To familarize yourself with the type of research that your predecessors have conducted recently with Dr. Davis, consult these websites:

Triggering binge eating in rats: the roles of stress and dieting.
Community of Scholars Summer 2007

Does limited access to a highly palatable sweet food induce binge eating in laboratory rats?
Bio 250 Spring 2007

Is cumulative food intake affected by the sequence in which three foods are offered to laboratory rats?
Bio 250 Spring 2006