The ScienceNews article discusses the finding of a new type of self-destruction method that takes place in mitochondria, which may result in certain brain cells being susceptible to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This was discovered by a team working with mice that had some forms of degenerative nerve disease, like ALS. The unique mitochondrial self-destruction triggers cell death and was discovered in brain cells responsible for the initiation and control of movements. The team found that this self-destruction method only occurred in the mice with specific faulty proteins linked with a degenerative nerve disease.
The author flawlessly articulates aspects of the original journal, ensuring that the article is representative of it, all the while providing perspectives from multiple outside sources, that do and do not necessarily agree with the research findings, in a way that is unbiased and strictly professional. Furthermore, the author’s contact information, biography, as well as her other articles are readily available to readers, adding to the article’s overall credibility. Moreover, the article’s presentation is clean with one picture that is representative of its content and minimal advertisements.
In terms of areas of improvement, certain terms could have been explained to ensure understanding of the article content. For example, ALS could have been further explained, whether that be briefly listing symptoms or discussing the causes of the disease.
This Science News article reports on the findings of a research paper published in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. A recent study from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine reveals that mitochondria could self-destruct abnormally, leaving brain cells vulnerable to ALS. The study performed on mice observed a buildup of specific abnormal proteins, as well as a strange bending of mitochondria into a “U” shape followed by disintegration of these organelles. An image of this newly observed “U” shape is included at the top of the article with a very clear explanation.
The author, Tina Hesman Saey, manages to make relatively complicated findings accessible to the general public without any unexplained jargon. She carefully describes every term that could be cause for confusion without oversimplifying the findings of the study. One thing that the author could have improved on would be to include more details on ALS and how these findings could potentially contribute to further research on preventing or treating this disease.
Various experts are consulted in the article, but not exclusively from the research team. In fact, Saey includes an opposing perspective to the article’s findings, reinforcing her neutral position. Despite this, she does not minimize the study’s results in any way. Saey’s opinion is not mentioned, she is in no way emotionally charged, and she effectively avoids the use of any sensationalist language. This indicates a lack of bias on the author’s part.
The author’s social media, email, short biography and past publications are readily available, making her profile very accessible. The original study is cited at the end of the article with a direct link, making the research available to the reader for comparison.
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