Using JMP® Data Visualization to Teach a Teachable Moment: A Case Study
Steve Figard, Bob Jones University
The cancer research program at Bob Jones University has as its primary function the pedagogic goal of giving undergraduate biology majors a true laboratory research experience to prepare for graduate school or for entering the job market in the biological sciences. The students design, execute, and analyze their own experiments using cancer biology as the area of study. Two cancer cell lines were treated with almond extracts from almonds stored at various temperatures to see if storage temperature would affect the anticancer activity in the almonds. All the necessary control treatments were incorporated into the students’ design. Upon evaluating the results, one cell line presented control data that was completely consistent with expectations and led to conclusions that could be consistently interpreted from the expected biology. In contrast, the other cell line yielded data that was in apparent total disarray. Using the analysis and data visualization capabilities of JMP, the students were led through a troubleshooting exercise and were able to draw conclusions explaining what went wrong in the experimental execution with the second cell line that were consistent with the data obtained.