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Vvi

"Modifying" lab results to fit the hypothesis

Today we had a planning lab in Biology on enzymes and how they are affected by temperature changes. Took 3 hours to do, the teacher helped everyone out and we all followed the method to the letter. Yet none of our results fit the hypothesis that we all knew to be true (i.e. enzymes above 40 degrees are denatured and don't break starch down, same thing for enzymes at 0 degrees).

Seeing as we were all pissed off at having wasted 3 hours for nothing, and there having been no real reason for the failure (the controls worked when we tested them before starting and the amylase was fresh, out teacher even prepared it twice for us), our teacher gave us free rein to forge our results as long as we don't tell anyone that we are doing so. There's no way we are repeating the experiment, seeing as we had to get time off from other lessons today and we can't miss work.

Has any one else ever done this with their labs, with or without the consent of their teacher? :) How did it turn out? Just interesting to know, since technically you can always explain away mistakes in your evaluation (which is impossible to do with about 40 wrong results).

I don't feel guilty at all :P

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No..just because your hypo was incorrect doesn't mean you'll do poorly on the lab.

I've had labs where my hypo was completely incorrect and I ended up doing better than on labs where my hypo was right.

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I know too that flawed results give you more to evaluate. But this whole experiment just went down the drain, no one can figure out what went wrong because it was done "perfectly". The person marking our bio lab portfolios would probably just write "you should have repeated the experiment again to get better results".

The hypothesis was the general one that all enzymes follow: extreme temperatures cause denaturing of enzymes. We can't exactly come up with a new one that would qualify why enzymes at 0 degrees and at 70 degrees are still functioning.

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[quote name='Vvi' post='25096' date='Sep 22 2008, 06:04 PM']The hypothesis was the general one that all enzymes follow: extreme temperatures cause denaturing of enzymes. We can't exactly come up with a new one that would qualify why enzymes at 0 degrees and at 70 degrees are still functioning.[/quote]
Depends on the enzyme, doesn't it? Did everything work in the test run?

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[quote name='__inthemaking' post='25095' date='Sep 23 2008, 03:01 AM']No..just because your hypo was incorrect doesn't mean you'll do poorly on the lab.

I've had labs where my hypo was completely incorrect and I ended up doing better than on labs where my hypo was right.[/quote]

I think having your hypothesis proved wrong by yourself at the end of the report is not that bad. Even if your hypothesis is wrong, you are giving the right answer at the end. If your justification is right, then no doubt you get full marks on that report.

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