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How to read and understand a scientific journal article.

In this Nature journal article about the dog genome, how do I answer the following questions?

What was the author's purpose?
Why did the author decide to sequence the domestic dog's genome?
What are 3 major conclusions that you learned from this paper?
What future experiments did the authors propose, now that there is a draft of the domestic dog's genome?
Where in the article did you find the answers?


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General Information Provided in Scientific Journals

Most scientific papers are broken down into 6 main sections. They are as follows:

Abstract: The abstract is a great place to start when digesting the information in a scientific paper. The abstract supplies you with a brief summary of what the overall goal of the paper is, the results of the paper, and the conclusions drawn.

Introduction: This should provide you with enough background to understand the "what", "why", and "how" of project described within.

Materials and Methods (or just Methods): In this section, you should find the components and procedures of each experiment outlined for you.

Results: This section explains the results from each experiment. It often is coupled with a Discussion section ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides a break-down of the sections (and the information they contain) of a typical scientific journal article. The journal article from the Dec 2005 Nature Magazine about the genome structure of the domestic dog is used as an example. The .pdf file of this article is provided in the solution, along with comments available for viewing in the .pdf file if Adobe Reader 10 (or compatible software) or newer is used.