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An amebicide will kill the organisms in the intestinal The genesis of the ATCC began in 1921 generic 20 mg atorlip-20 visa cholesterol za wysoki. Then purchase atorlip-20 mastercard cholesterol levels japan, the tract cheap 20mg atorlip-20 fast delivery what does cholesterol medication do, while an antibiotic will treat any bacteria that have been Army Medical Museum accepted a then renowned culture ingested with the feces buy 20mg atorlip-20 with amex cholesterol medication and grapefruit juice, contaminated water, or food. The col- if warranted, a drug can be administered to retard the spread lection was put under the care of the Washington, D. The bur- geoning culture collection was moved to the McCormick American Type Culture CollectionAMERICAN TYPE CULTURE COLLECTION Institute in Chicago. Twelve years later the collection The American Type Culture Collection, which is also known returned to Washington. Space was leased to house the col- as the ATCC, is a not-for-profit bioscience organization that lection. Over the years the increasing diversification of the maintains the world’s largest and most diverse collection of ATCC and the acquisition of more cultures taxed the space, microbiological life. Many laboratories and institutions so a series of moves to larger and larger sites occurred. The present facility is 106,000 square feet in size and this happened the added chemical was marked as a suspected has almost 35,000 square feet of laboratory space, including carcinogen, because cancer is associated with somatic cell specialized containment facilities for more hazardous house mutation (that is, mutation of any cells with the exception of microorganisms. Such storage avoids Over eighty percent of organic chemicals known to changes in the organisms that could result from storage at cause cancer in humans tested positive as mutagens in the refrigeration temperatures. This result gave support to the theory that somatic mutation causes cancer See also Cryoprotection and helped to validate the use of the test for initial identifi- cation of mutagens when considering synthetic chemicals for industrial and commercial use. Ames is a professor of biochemistry and molecular toxicology, Ames made important discoveries in molecular biology at the University of California at Berkeley. He is best biology, including ground-breaking studies on the regulation known for the development of a test used as an indicator of the of the histidine operon (the gene or locus of the gene that carcinogenicity (cancer-causing potential) of chemicals. Ames’s In the 1980s Ames set up a database of animal cancer research led to a greater appreciation of the role of genetic test results with colleague Lois Swirsky Gold of Lawrence mutation in cancer and facilitated the testing of suspected can- Berkeley Laboratory. He also developed a database of chem- whether a chemical has tested positive as a carcinogen and icals that cause cancer in animals, listing their degree of gives the degree of its virulence. Ames has been involved in numerous controversies developed a value measuring the carcinogenic danger of involving scientific and environmental policies relevant to a chemical to humans. In the 1970s he vociferously advocated dose/Rodent Potency dose) is the value determined by com- strict government control of synthetic chemicals. In the 1980s, paring the daily dose of a chemical that will cause cancer in however, the discovery that many natural substances were also half a group of test animals with the estimated daily dose to mutagenic (causing gene mutation), and thus possibly cancer which humans are normally exposed. The result is a percent- causing, led him to reverse his original position. His father taught high In the 1970s Ames was a conspicuous advocate of par- school science and then became assistant superintendent of ticular regulatory and environmental public policies that relate schools. Ames himself graduated from the Bronx High School to the cancer-causing potential of synthetic substances. Ames worked He found that tris (2,3-dibromopropyl) phosphate, the chemi- at the National Institutes of Health, primarily in the National cal that was used as a flame retardant on children’s pajamas, Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases, from 1953 to was a mutagen in the Ames test; he was instrumental in get- 1967. Similarly he found that some hair dyes con- and Molecular Biology at the University of California at tained mutagens. He was Chairman of the regulations that forced manufacturers to reformulate their Department from 1984 to 1989. In his position on the regulation of synthetic chemi- Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health cals, he was a natural ally of environmentalists. However, in the early 1980s Ames reversed his position, In the 1960s and early 1970s Ames developed a test arguing that there is no scientific evidence that small doses of that measured the degree to which synthetic chemicals cause most synthetic chemicals cause human cancers; he also argued gene mutation (a change in the deoxyribonucleic acid, or that, in the absence of such evidence, they should not be con- DNA, the molecule that carries genetic information). This about-face was partly a result of a growing body began by deliberately mutating a Salmonella bacterium. The of knowledge concerning the mutagenic properties of numer- changed bacterium could not produce an amino acid called ous chemicals found in nature. Ames began arguing against histidine that normal bacteria produce and that they need to the existing large public expenditures for pollution control and survive. The next step was to add just enough histidine to the regulation of synthetic chemicals, noting that cancer might allow the bacteria to live, and to add, as well, the synthetic just as plausibly be caused by the chemicals in plants. If the added chemical caused genetic arguments were based primarily on three factors: his argument mutation, the abnormal gene of the Salmonella bacteria that more scientific evidence should be required before con- would mutate and again be able to produce histidine. When trols are implemented; his attitude toward the setting of prior- 13 Amino acid chemistry WORLD OF MICROBIOLOGY AND IMMUNOLOGY ities, which he argued should be centered on basic research AMINO ACID CHEMISTRY Amino acid chemistry rather than regulation; and finally his belief that the large pub- lic expenditures incurred by the regulatory process hurt Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and serve American economic competitiveness. The prime function Ames and his colleague Gold have also argued that the of DNA is to carry the information needed to direct the proper use of bioassays (animal tests) of chemicals to predict their sequential insertion of amino acids into protein chain during carcinogenic potential in humans should be abandoned. The approximately 20 amino acids (plus a few the animal can be given without immediately becoming ill or derivatives) that have been identified as protein constituents dying. At the end of the time period, the number of animals are alpha-amino acids in which the -NH2 group is attached to that have developed cancers is tabulated as an indicator of the the alpha-carbon next to the -COOH group. Thus, their basic cancer causing potential of the chemical being tested. This side suggested that it is often the large dosage itself, rather than the chain, which uniquely characterizes each alpha-amino acid, nature of the particular chemical that induces the rat cancers. There are hundreds of alpha-amino acids, such large doses, the assays were not valid for predicting both natural and synthetic. The amino acids that receive the most attention are the Ames’s arguments have some support both within and alpha-amino acids that genes are codes for, and that are used outside scientific communities. These amino acids include glycine NH2CH2COOH, alanine CH3CH (NH2) COOH, valine ous critics. Those taking issue with his positions have noted (CH3)2CHCH (NH2)COOH, leucine (CH3)2CHCH2CH(NH2) that pollution control, for example, involves far more than just COOH, isoleucine CH3CH2CH(CH3)CH(NH2)COOH, methi- carcinogenicity. These critics suggest that Ames has not onine CH3SCH2CH2CH(NH2)COOH, phenylalanine C6H5CH2 offered a substitute for animal assays (the Ames test has not CH(CH2)COOH, proline C4H8NCOOH, serine HOCH2CH proved to be such a substitute), and that neither he nor they (NH2)COOH, threonine CH3CH(OH)CH(NH2)COOH, cys- have a good idea of what goes on at low dosages. Some argue teine HSCH2CH(NH2)COOH, asparagine, glutamine H2NC that Ames has an over-simplified view of the regulatory (O)(CH2)2CH(NH2)COOH, tyrosine C6H4OHCH2CHNH2 process, which is based on a consideration of animal assays COOH, tryptophan C8H6NCH2CHNH2COOH, aspartate but also on other factors. It has also been argued that the dis- COOHCH2CH(NH2)COOH, glutamate COOH(CH2)2CH covery that many naturally occurring chemicals have a high (NH2)COOH, histidine HOOCCH(NH2)CH2C3H3H2, lysine mutagenic rate (just as synthetic chemicals) should not lead to NH2(CH2)4CH(NH2)COOH, and arginine (NH2)C(NH) the conclusion that synthetic chemicals pose less risk than was HNCH CH CH CH(NH )COOH. Such an assumption places too much Proteins are one of the most common types of mole- emphasis on mutagenic rate as a sole indicator of carcino- cules in living matter. There are countless members of this genicity, ignoring the complex, multi-stage developmental class of molecules. One Yet the disagreements between Ames and his critics are thing that all proteins have in common is that they are com- based on several points of commonality—that cancer is a posed of amino acids. The protein’s secondary structure is the fixed arrange- made and carried out in spite of this deficiency of knowledge. The hobby, and he has noted that his recent scientific work secondary structure is strongly influenced by the nature of the includes studies in the biochemistry of aging. Side chains also contribute to the pro- Ames has received many awards, including the Eli Lilly tein’s tertiary structure, i. The twists and folds in the protein chain Prize of the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation result from the attractive forces between amino acid side (1983), and the Gold Medal of the American Institute of chains that are widely separated from each other within the Chemists (1991). Some proteins are composed of two of more chains of 250 scientific articles.

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The growing popularity of more dangerous sports cheap 20mg atorlip-20 amex cholesterol ratio vs level, like mountain climbing and off-piste skiing generic 20 mg atorlip-20 with amex cholesterol risk factor, has led to an increase in sport-related mortality purchase atorlip-20 once a day cholesterol keto, despite the increasing preoccupation with safety purchase atorlip-20 20mg on-line cholesterol weight chart. Two factors have converged to make exercise a key feature of the modern health promotion agenda. One is the burgeoning cult of the body that has become a central theme of Western society over the past twenty years. This began with the vogue for jogging and marathon running in the 1970s and 1980s and has flourished in the form of gym-based fitness training in the 1990s. People seem to have forgotten that Pheidippides, the runner of the first marathon in 490 BC, collapsed and died on reaching Athens—and that James Fixx, who popularised jogging in the USA with his 1977 best-seller, dropped dead on the track in 1984 at the age of 52 (Skrabanek 1994:74–5). The second factor is the increasing medical promotion of the preventive value of exercise in relation to a wide range of health problems, from coronary heart disease and osteoporosis, to depression and anxiety. In 1991 the Royal College of Physicians reviewed the medical aspects of exercise, balanced the benefits and risks and pronounced that regular exercise conferred definite ‘physical and psychosocial benefits’ (RCP 1991). It recommended the promotion of exercise from childhood to old age and advised doctors to ‘ask about exercise’, while recognising the risks. In the Health of the Nation campaign launched the following year, exercise was a key theme. The campaign’s information pack for GPs claimed that inactivity doubled the risk of CHD and tripled the risk of stroke, whilst exercise prevented osteoporosis and diabetes. One of ‘the main messages’ for GPs was to ‘encourage people to be more active in daily living, and to aim for 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity (such as a brisk walk) on at least five days of the week’. In the course of the subsequent debate about the Health of the Nation programme, two defenders of its emphasis on the promotion of exercise responded to their critics: ‘Some would argue that there is no conclusive evidence from controlled trials that regular exercise reduces the number of deaths from coronary heart disease or substantially prolongs life. To demand such proof is to miss the point about exercise, which is that it is valuable for 52 THE REGULATION OF LIFESTYLE numer-ous other health benefits it confers and as a catalyst in the adoption of a healthier lifestyle. Yet these exercise enthusiasts duck this demand, countering with an assurance that it confers numerous other health benefits. No doubt to ask for evidence of these benefits would also be to miss the point, which is that the health promoters firmly believe that exercise is conducive to a healthier lifestyle. It would appear to be faith rather than science that justifies medical calls to the public to take up exercise. When the first ‘exercise on prescription’ schemes emerged in the early 1990s, medical commentators were sceptical. An editorial in the BMJ in 1994 recommended that ‘primary health care teams should look closely before they leap into prescribing exercise. There may be many more effective ways for them to use their resources to increase the fitness of their practice populations’ (Iliffe et al. Five years later a major randomised controlled trial of exercise on prescription in Newcastle found that ‘short term increases in physical activity were not maintained at one year follow up and even the most intensive intervention was ineffective in promoting long- term adherence to increased physical activity’ (Harland et al. Despite the conclusion from this study that health authorities should reconsider their investment of scarce resources in ineffective exercise on prescription schemes, they remain a prominent feature of the ‘healthy living centres’, the flagship project of New Labour’s public health programme. Our brief survey of lifestyle intervention in the cause of promoting better health reveals that the advice to stop (or not start) smoking is the one aspect of health promotion for which there is a rational basis. The problem is that people (often people who are poorer or more socially isolated) continue to smoke, not because they are unaware of the dangerous consequences for their health, but because, in the straitened circumstances of their lives, they derive considerable satisfaction from it. Research confirms that many regard smoking as a means of regulating mood and managing stress, as an activity which helps them to cope with the difficulties of everyday life (Graham 1987). Sociologist Hilary Graham, who went to the trouble of asking women why they smoked, found that women who were alone with young children reported that having a cigarette 53 THE REGULATION OF LIFESTYLE was ‘the one thing they do for themselves’, a moment of respite from the relentless work of caring (Graham 1994). In these circumstances, exhortations to stop smoking—or measures to increase the price of cigarettes—are not likely to have much effect. Yet as GPs we are constantly advised to seize the opportunity offered by patients’ attendance at the surgery seeking medical advice or treatment for some different problem to inform them about the dangers of smoking and other lifestyle risk factors. Even when such advice is scientifically justified (which, as we have seen, it often is not) it is impertinent, especially if the recipient is ill. If the patient is a smoker and complains of a smoking related illness, the last thing they need is a doctor telling them what they already know about the evils of smoking and the virtues of a healthy lifestyle. Within twelve months she was running a women’s self-help health group, turning to alternative medicine to treat vaginal discharges with such household remedies as yoghurt. The clinic was subsequently raided by the Los Angeles Police Department and she was charged with entering a vagina without a medical license. The LAPD attempted to seize as evidence a pot of yoghurt but were restrained by a woman who insisted it was her lunch. The incident quickly became known as the Great Yoghurt Bust and went on to make its appearance in court as the Great Yoghurt Trial. Downer was acquitted, thus establishing a precedent in California: women’s genitals were no longer territory reserved for men. He felt diffident, he explained, about giving advice on screening for a disease which, as a man, he could not contract. When he considered a roughly equivalent disease which he might get, such as cancer of the prostate, he would certainly be willing to have the equivalent test if he had suspicious symptoms; ‘but if anyone—and particularly a female—suggested that young men should start having regular smears to diagnose and treat pre-malignant lesions, twenty years before the average age for invasive cancer, I should be highly suspicious of the whole affair’. Certainly he would want proof that treatment in such circumstances had a dramatic effect on the death-rate; and if he knew (as he did for cervical lesions) that having a smear carried an unavoidable risk of an incorrect diagnosis, ‘then I would tell whoever was advocating the smear to go jump in the lake and poke their nose—or rather, their finger—somewhere else’. It is doubly ironic that within the same period, male resistance to medical regulation was replaced by the demand, under the banner of ‘men’s health’, for invasive screening tests analagous to cervical smears. Whereas the early women’s movement rejected medical inspection of the cervix as an act of symbolic domination, the modern men’s health movement invited rectal penetration as a symbol of its subordination to medical authority. Given the failure of modern medicine to discover the causes of most forms of cancer, which might lead to a strategy of prevention, an obvious alternative was to devise some means of early detection, leading to prompt treatment and, hopefully, a better prognosis. For cancer of the cervix (neck of the womb) and the breast, screening tests have become popular over the past two decades, especially over the 1990s, when they were made available through national programmes and taken up by a large majority of the eligible population. These screening programmes claim substantial benefits in terms of reduced mortality—though in both cases these claims have been questioned by experts in the field. In recent years both programmes, but particularly the cervical smear scheme, have been subject to exposures of poor standards in some areas, leading to scares, scandals and litigation. Smears By offering screening to 250,000, we have helped a few, harmed thousands, disappointed many, used £1. Deaths from cervical cancer have slowly declined over the past 50 years, from 2,500 in 1950 to 1,150 in 1997 (Quinn et al. In 15 years as a GP I have had two patients who have died from cervical cancer, which is probably over the career average; typically, neither had ever had a smear test. This study appeared to show a dramatic reduction in cancer following the introduction of smear tests, which allowed the early detection and treatment of ‘pre-cancerous’ areas. There was considerable controversy at the time over whether the decline in death rate could be attributed to smear tests (it had declined elsewhere without such tests) and over whether cells labelled as ‘pre-cancerous’ might return to normal without treatment, rather than progressing to invasive malignancy. Smear tests failed to meet two of the standard criteria for screening programmes laid down by the World Health Organisation: cervical cancer is uncommon and its natural course is not well understood (Wilson, Jungner 1968). Though many experts were sceptical, a powerful lobby of cancer specialists prevailed upon the Labour government to introduce a cervical smear service in 1966 (Inglis 1981:66–69). Two years later the eminent epidemiologist Archie Cochrane caused a furore when he claimed that there was no evidence that smears would reduce the death rate from cervical cancer.

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Dishonest or disingenuous equipment vendors and therapists undoubt- edly do bilk the system buy discount atorlip-20 20 mg on-line cholesterol lowering foods cinnamon, urging people to purchase unnecessary items or ser- vices buy atorlip-20 canada cholesterol medication injection. Policies should aim to prevent these abuses purchase generic atorlip-20 on-line cholesterol test boots, not to withhold needed de- vices or therapies cheap atorlip-20 20mg without prescription cooking cholesterol lowering foods. Along with many other middle-aged people with progressive chronic conditions, Jimmy Howard has not been referred to state vocational rehabilita- tion. Purchases of assistive technology and required training through state vo- cational rehabilitation programs appear idiosyncratic. Numbers represent population estimates from the 1994–95 NHIS-D Phase I for people reporting they will use the equipment for at least 12 months. The NHIS-D gives cross-sectional prevalence estimates—the number of people who experience mobility difficulties—not incidence estimates (the number of people who develop mobility difficulties each year). If a new pro- gram purchased wheelchairs this year for all people with major mobility prob- lems who need them, next year the program would have to buy equipment only for those newly developing difficulties, a much smaller number. These findings come from the 1994–95 NHIS-D Phase II and are ad- justed for age group and sex. As elsewhere on the Internet, charlatans may misstate or exaggerate claims. The federal National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Re- search in the U. Department of Education has a web site that covers a variety of mobility-related topics, including equipment, with the content examined for accuracy (www. Many conditions that impair mobility, such as arthritis, MS, and Parkin- son’s disease, also limit fine-motor movements involving the hands, such as using a keyboard or moving a mouse to position the cursor on the computer screen. Although new technologies allow “hands-free” use of computers, these devices are not widely available, are expensive, and may be affected by speech or language disorders. Percentages for persons with mild and moderate mobility problems are similar to those for people with major difficulties. These projections derive from the Longitudinal Study of Aging and consider six common chronic conditions: arthritis, stroke, diabetes, coronary artery disease, cancer, and confusion. Guide- lines for the Use of Assertive Technology: Evaluation, Referral, Prescrip- tion. Primary Care for Persons with Disabilities: The Internal Medicine Perspective. In Americans with Disabilities: Exploring Implications of the Law for Individ- uals and Institutions, ed. Consumer-Directed Services at Home: A New Model for Persons with Disabilities. Bennett, for the Committee on Bioeth- ical Issues of the Medical Society of the State of New York. Reporting by Physicians of Impaired Drivers and Potentially Impaired Drivers. The Politics of Social Security Expansion: Social Security Disability Insurance, 1935–1986. In Americans with Disabilities: Exploring Implications of the Law for Individ- uals and Institutions, ed. Decreasing Disability in the 21st Century: The Future Effect of Controlling Six Fatal and Nonfatal Conditions. In Enabling America:Assessing the Role of Rehabilitation Sciences and Engineering. Primary Health Care Needs of Persons with Physical Disabilities: What Are the Research References / 321 and Service Priorities? Failure of Physicians to Recognize Functional Disability in Ambulatory Patients. Functional Disability Screening of Ambulatory Patients: A Ran- domized Controlled Trial in a Hospital-Based Group Practice. Unconventional Medicine in the United States: Prevalence, Costs, and Patterns of Use. Trends in Alternative Medicine Use in the United States, 1990–1997: Results of a Follow-up National Survey. Descriptions of Persons with Mul- tiple Sclerosis, with an Emphasis on What is Needed from Psychologists. Outcomes Research: The History, Debate, and Implica- tions for the Field of Occupational Therapy. Rates of Lower-Extremity Amputation and Arterial Reconstruction in the United States, 1979 to 1996. In Friendship and Fairness: How Disability Af- fects Friendship Between Women. Effects of Assistive De- vices on Cardiorespiratory Demands in Older Adults. Disability Profile and Health Care Costs of Medicare Beneficiaries Under Age Sixty-Five. Policy and Epidemiology: Financing Health Services for the Chronically Ill and Disabled, 1930–1990. Americans with Disabilities: Exploring Implications of the Law for Individuals and Institutions. Wheelchair Rider Injuries: Causes and Consequences for Wheelchair Design and Selec- tion. The Role of the Rules: The Impact of the Bureaucratization of Long-Term Care. No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. Primary Care Medi- cine: Office Evaluation and Management of the Adult Patient. Patients’ Health as a Predictor of Physician and Patient Behavior in Medical Visits: A Syn- thesis of Four Studies. Determining the Need for Hip and Knee Arthroplasty: The Role of Clinical Severity and Patients’ Preferences. Health Care Financing Administration, United States Department of Health and Human Services. Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs, and Decla- rations of Independence. Mobility Problems and Perceptions of Disability by Self-Respondents and Proxy- Respondents. The Relationship Between the Definition of Disability and Rights Under the American Dis- ability Act. In Americans with Disabilities: Exploring Implications of the Law for Individuals and Institutions, ed. Preferences, Quality, and the (Under)utilization of Total Joint Arthroplasty.

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So she decides to gather together a group of teachers and show them one episode of The Teletub- bies purchase 20 mg atorlip-20 with visa food high in cholesterol shrimp. Then she discusses the programme with the tea- chers in a focus group setting purchase atorlip-20 uk definition du cholesterol. This method works well and the researcher decides to hold five more focus groups with other primary school teachers atorlip-20 20mg fast delivery cholesterol levels range chart. Revised Statement 2: The aim of this research is to find out how many relatives of Alzheimer’s patients use the Maple Day Centre buy discount atorlip-20 20mg line cholesterol food chart nhs, and to ascertain whether the ser- vice is meeting their needs. This researcher decides to produce a questionnaire with a combination of closed and open-ended ques- tions. The first part of the questionnaire is designed to generate statistics and the second part asks people for a more in-depth opinion. He has approached mem- bers of staff at the Maple Day Centre who are happy to 36 / PRACTICAL RESEARCH METHODS distribute his questionnaire over a period of one month. Revised Statement 3: This research aims to find out how many people from our estate are interested in, and would use, a children’s play scheme in the school summer holi- day. Members of the tenants’ association approach the local school and ask the head teacher if a questionnaire could be distributed through the school. The head tea- cher feels that it is not appropriate so the tenants’ asso- ciation have to revise their plans. They’re worried that if they distribute a questionnaire through the post they won’t receive back many responses. Eventually, they de- cide to knock on each door on the estate and ask some simple, standard questions. They’re able to conduct this type of door-to-door, structured interview as they are a large group and are able to divide the work amongst everybody on the committee. If, at this stage, you are still unsure of the most appropri- ate methods for your research, read the following chapters as these explain in more detail how to go about using each method. This will give you more of an insight into what would be required of you if you were to choose that meth- od. As I stressed earlier, you need to think about your own personality, your strengths and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes. If you’re a nervous person who finds it difficult to talk to strangers, face-to-face interviewing might not be the best method for you. If you love working with groups, you might like to find out more about focus group re- search. If a particular culture has fascinated you for years and you know you could immerse yourself within that cul- HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR RESEARCH METHODS / 37 ture, perhaps participant observation would interest you. If you love number crunching or using statistical software, a closed-ended questionnaire may be the best method for you. Remember to think about choosing a method or meth- od(s) with which you are happy as this is important to keep your motivation levels high. X Three types of interview are used in social research: – Unstructured or life history interviews. X Focus groups are held with a number of people to ob- tain a group opinion. X Focus groups are run by a moderator who asks ques- tions and makes sure the discussion does not digress. X Questionnaires can be closed-ended, open-ended or a combination of both. X Participant observation is used when a researcher wants to immerse herself in a specific culture to gain a deeper understanding. X The chosen research methodology should help to indi- cate the most appropriate research tools. X The purpose of the research will provide an indicator to the most appropriate methods. X You should think about your personality, strengths and weakness, likes and dislikes when choosing re- search methods. This will help you to become more familiar with your topic and intro- duce you to any other research which will be of benefit to you when you begin your own project. PRIMARY RESEARCH AND SECONDARY RESEARCH There are two types of background research – primary re- search and secondary research (see Table 2). Primary re- search involves the study of a subject through firsthand observation and investigation. This is what you will be doing with your main project, but you may also need to conduct primary research for your background work, especially if you’re unable to find any previously pub- lished material about your topic. Primary research may come from your own observations or experience, or from the information you gather personally from other people, as the following example illustrates. I had noticed how some children didn’t fit the classic description of a truant and I wanted to find out more as I thought it might help me to deal with some of the problems children were experiencing. So I guess you’d say my own experience provided me with some initial data. Then I decided to go and have a dis- cussion with some of my colleagues and see if they’d noticed anything like me. It was really useful to do this because they helped me to think about other things I hadn’t even thought of. One of them told me about a new report which had just come out and it was useful formetogoandhavealookatitasitraisedsome of the issues I was already thinking about. Actually this made me change the focus of my work a little because I soon found out that there had been a lot of work on one area of what I was doing, but not so much on another area. It was really useful to have done this before I rushed into my research as I think I might have wasted quite a bit of time. In the above example, Jenny mentions a recently pub- lished report which she has read. This is secondary re- search and it involves the collection of information from studies that other researchers have made of a subject. The two easiest and most accessible places to find this informa- tion are libraries and the internet. However, you must re- 42 / PRACTICAL RESEARCH METHODS member that anybody can publish information over the internet and you should be aware that some of this infor- mation can be misleading or incorrect. Of course this is the case for any published information and as you develop your research skills so you should also develop your criti- cal thinking and reasoning skills. What motives did the publishers have for making sure their information had reached the public domain? Using web sites By developing these skills early in your work, you will start to think about your own research and any personal bias in your methods and reporting which may be present. The web sites of many universities now carry information about how to use the web carefully and sensibly for your research and it is worth accessing these before you begin your background work. When you’re surfing the net, there are some extra precau- tions you can take to check the reliability and quality of the information you have found: X Try to use websites run by organisations you know and trust. X Check the About Us section on the web page for more information about the creator and organisation. X Use another source, if possible, to check any informa- tion of which you are unsure.

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