The Development of Adaptive Expertise in Biomedical Engineering Ethics

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1 The Development of Adaptive Expertise in Biomedical Engineering Ethics KAREN RAYNE Department of Educational Psychology TAYLOR MARTIN Department of Curriculum and Instruction SEAN BROPHY Department of Engineering Education Purdue University NATE J. KEMP Department of Biomedical Engineering JACK D. HART Department of Biomedical Engineering KENNETH R. DILLER Department of Biomedical Engineering ABSTRACT This paper is an investigation of the How People Learn (HPL) Legacy Cycle s ability to expand adaptive expertise across the developmental span of high school and college. Participants included high school and college students. Pre-test data indicated younger students (high school and first-year college students) were less knowledgeable about the science of stem cells than older students (second-, third-, and fourth year college students), and all students were low in adaptiveness. Post-test data showed that younger students achieved parity with the more advanced students in basic scientific knowledge. The younger students also became highly adaptive by the post-test, but the older students did not advance beyond their pre-curriculum levels. We hypothesize that the older students began the intervention with more preconceived notions about stem cells, and thus were less able to think and analyze flexibly within that framework. Keywords: adaptive expertise, engineering ethics, How People Learn I. INTRODUCTION Acquiring expertise is the goal in many educational settings. The field of biomedical engineering considers the acquisition of adaptive expertise critical, particularly when considering ethical issues, because of the rapidly changing knowledge base. Expertise in a given field implies extensive knowledge, while adaptive expertise implies the ability to use that knowledge base flexibly in new and challenging situations [1]. One way adaptive expertise can be operationalized in biomedical engineering ethics is as the consideration of a variety of differing perspectives when deciding on a course of action in a new and challenging situation [2]. The current study investigates how students acquire adaptive expertise in biomedical engineering ethics across four groups of students with a range of knowledge and commitment to the field of biomedical engineering. Classroom instruction has many goals, and these goals can be met in a variety of ways. Biomedical engineering education has recently begun to move far beyond a standard lecture format in order to incorporate alternative curriculum methods. VaNTH (Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Texas-Harvard/MIT), an Engineering Research Center funded through the National Science Foundation, has found that curriculum formatted with the How People Learn (HPL) Legacy Cycle aids students in acquiring adaptive expertise in the biomedical engineering ethics arena [2, 3]. Routine and adaptive experts approach and formulate problems in different ways. It is possible to enhance the characteristics shown by adaptive experts in problem solving activities through appropriate curriculum, such as the HPL Legacy Cycle [1, 2]. This study provides an analysis of the expert trajectory and of how individuals at different levels of expertise are able to expand their adaptive expertise skills through a targeted biomedical engineering ethics curriculum. A. Biomedical Engineering Ethics Instruction Biomedical engineering demands that engineers consider ethical issues in a way that is not necessarily immediately evident. The science involved with biomedical engineering is radical and is advancing rapidly. Therefore, there is rarely time for society as a whole to come to consensus on ethical uses of new technologies before important health care decisions are being made using those new technologies. The ever-changing nature of biomedical engineering is particularly evident in stem cell research, where recent advances include both radical improvements in the creation of therapeutic stem cell generation and the potential for a dramatic shift in United States federal regulation and funding of stem cell research. Biomedical engineering is one of the many fields that is developing at a radical pace, therefore calling upon the professionals to April 2006 Journal of Engineering Education 165

2 make ethical decisions relatively quickly and to be able to defend those decisions later. Due to these demands, it is particularly important that biomedical engineering students acquire expertise in analyzing difficult and practical ethical questions and are able to find their own answer by integrating scientific information, differing perspectives, and professional ethical standards. B. The Definition and Development of Expertise Experts can be defined as individuals who have a great deal of well-organized content knowledge, who are able to retrieve their knowledge quickly and with little effort, who are able to frame problems in a deep and principled manner, and who easily notice meaningful features and information [1, 4]. Bransford et al. s definition of expertise goes on to state that just because a person has the above characteristics does not mean that they are able to effectively teach in their area of expertise or that they are able to use their expertise in flexible ways. Bransford uses research and terms by Hatano and Inagaki [5] to support this definition of expertise. Hatano and Inagaki define experts who are flexible and creative within their field as adaptive experts, and those who are not as routine experts. The basic understanding of expertise is widely accepted, although there is no consensus on how those skills are developed [4]. A variety of theories have been suggested. Gobet and Simon [6, 7] have suggested that intermediates become experts by expanding memory chunks into memory templates. Templates are, in effect, larger chunks, which include slots into which new information can be easily and quickly integrated. Holding [8, 9] argues directly against the chunking and template theories by suggesting that experts have better skills at searching and evaluating the available options and have an extensive knowledge base to aid them in the process. While these two theories of expertise development are essentially in conflict, there are a number of theories that can be considered complementary to these theories. For example, Ericsson, Krampe, and Tesch-Romer [10] argue that expertise develops from extensive practice for a decade or more, rather than innate abilities. In a later article, Ericsson and Kintsch [11] go on to elaborate on how practice affects cognitive processing. Specifically, they argue for an active version of the chunking theory where a cognitive process can be considered a sequence of stable states representing end products in processing [11, p. 211]. Experts, then, are able to keep these end products in long-term memory and merely reference the product in short term memory, rather than attending to each of the cognitive steps leading up to the product. The debate on how expertise develops has yet to be concluded. Because this debate has taken centerstage in much of the discussion on expertise, the interaction between development of expertise and the differences between routine and adaptive expertise have not been as extensively addressed. Raufaste et al. [12], describe a trajectory of expertise development, which takes into account the differences between routine experts and adaptive experts. This model uses the terms basic experts and super experts. The model of Raufaste et al. is a reinterpretation of Lesgold et al. [13]. Lesgold et al. s original model used three categories: novices, intermediates, and super experts. As expected, the super experts are the most adept at using innovation and imagination to approach and solve a problem. However, the novices are more adept than individuals with an intermediate skill level at using innovation and imagination to approach and solve a problem. Lesgold et al. and Raufaste et al. both explain this discrepancy by explaining that intermediates believe that there is one answer to a problem, and that they know it. Novices have no such misconceptions, and so are able to approach problems more imaginatively. However, Raufaste et al. found that Lesgold et al. s model did not adequately describe the results from his investigation of radiologists. They argued that Lesgold et al. s expert level needed to be split into two groups: basic expert and super expert. Raufaste et al. s four groups included novices, intermediates, basic experts, and super experts. The first three groups have successively increasing levels of knowledge but do not successively perform as well on difficult problems, which ask them to find particularly difficult and interesting solutions. The super experts out-perform all of the groups on both knowledge level and problem solving. The high-level transition from basic to super expert maps well onto the transition from routine and adaptive expert. However, even with the extensive literature discussing the process of becoming an expert, and the discussions of levels of expertise, there is little discussion of the mechanisms by which cognitive or other changes develop between the levels of routine and adaptive expertise. That is, research has yet to address how an individual progresses from routine to adaptive expert or how this development might be taught in classroom instruction. The HPL Legacy Cycle has the potential to be used in studies investigating these mechanisms because it has shown to increase adaptive expertise more effectively than other forms of classroom organization [2]. C. Biomedical Engineering Ethics and Adaptive Expertise The cognitive framework suggested by the theory of adaptive expertise offers a critical form for analysis of the development of ethical standards in a biomedical engineering setting. The HPL-based Legacy Cycle offers the possibility of operationalizing adaptive expertise and integrating ethics into the biomedical engineering classroom setting by requiring that students incorporate multiple perspectives, scientific facts, and ethical mandates in order to decide on a course of action. The Legacy Cycle [14] is composed of six stages (see Figure 1): Challenge, Generate Ideas (GI), Multiple Perspectives (MP), Research and Revise (R&R), Test Your Mettle (TYM), and Go Public (GP). The Challenge presents the students with a new and interesting problem or situation to address for which they are asked to solve or design a course of action. The goal of this stage is to engage the students interest. Generate Ideas directs the students to figure out what questions they will need to answer in order to solve the Challenge question, and then to answer several directed questions designed by the instructor. The goal of the second stage is to engage the students prior knowledge and begin their critical thinking about the subject. Multiple Perspectives is a particularly important stage for ethics instruction because it provides the students with a myriad of different ethical beliefs about the scientific issue at hand. The goal is for the students to begin to understand the pros and cons of each ethical perspective, and the influence these perspectives have on scientific endeavors. Research and Revise provides a deepening of the information in Multiple Perspectives, along with more technical and scientific information. Test Your Mettle allows the instructor and the student to assess the students learning prior to wrapping up the unit. The Go Public phase offers a question similar in form to the original Challenge, and then asks the students to present their answer in either a written or oral format. The goal of the final stage is to provide the students with experience engaging the topic in a real-world situation, and to judge them on their ability to 166 Journal of Engineering Education April 2006

3 present and discuss the topic as if they were interacting outside of the educational context. The sequence of events prescribed by the Legacy Cycle is designed so that students are led to adaptiveness at the same time that they are led to expertise. The format asks that students be able to think imaginatively as well as critically about problems. In addition to factual information, students are presented with individuals who hold particular ethical beliefs, and are then challenged to find their own set of beliefs and reconcile them with scientific knowledge in order to decide on a line of action. D. Research Questions Consistent with Raufaste et al. s classification of expertise development [12], we expected to find that pre-tests indicated higher levels of factual knowledge based on higher levels of education, and the post-tests to show the same high level of factual knowledge across all groups. We further expected low levels of adaptive expertise across all groups on the pre-test, and increases in adaptive expertise on the post-test for the lower-level participants (i.e., high school and first-year college students), but not for the upper-level participants (i.e., second-, third-, and fourth-year college students). It would be surprising if the high school and first year students were as knowledgeable as the older, more advanced students at the beginning of the module. It is possible that the younger students would still be less knowledgeable about the science of stem cells at the close of the unit. However, the unit was not designed to provide an in-depth study of stem cells. Rather, the curriculum goal was to build students skills at assessing an ethical dilemma, and creating and assessing solutions to that dilemma. Following from this goal, the factual assessment questions required only a basic level of knowledge. We based our hypotheses regarding adaptive expertise on the premise that more advanced students could be classified as Raufaste et al. s basic experts and the lower-level students could be considered novices [12]. Thus, the upper-level students probably hold rigid views of their field, and have difficulty using their knowledge flexibly. In Bransford s terms [1], they can be considered routine experts. On the other hand, the novices in the group held few, if any, preconceived notions about biomedical engineering and the ethical principles which underlie decision making in that field, and should be able to learn to be adaptive more easily. II. METHOD A. Participants One hundred and nine students participated in the study through four classrooms. Participants came from three schools: eleven students participated through a small private high school, thirty first-year college students participated through a large public university, and sixty-eight students participated through a small private university (forty-four second-year students and twenty-four third- and fourth-year students). The high school offers a collegepreparation curriculum for grades K-12, and is located in a liberal southern town. These students participated through a required health class. The first-year students attended college in the same town as the high school students, and participated through a required biomedical engineering course. Second-, third-, and fourthyear college students attended college at a different southern university. Second-year students participated through a required biomedical engineering course. Third- and fourth-year students participated through an elective biomedical engineering course. All of the students in the high school classroom were included, while at least some of the college students from each classroom were not included because they did not complete the pre-test or the post-test. B. Intervention The HPL Instructional Method uses the Star.Legacy Cycle (see Figure 1). The cycle was presented to the students primarily through the Internet. A current version of the cycle is available on the Internet [16]. See Bransford et al. [1], Martin et al. [2], and Schwartz et al. [14] for a more in-depth discussion and literature analysis of the Legacy Cycle. C. Procedure The four sample groups were chosen to represent an educational developmental range, from high school through upper level Figure 1. The Star.Legacy Cycle. Permission granted for use of this figure from VaNTH Engineering Research Center in Biomedical Engineering Technologies, April 2006 Journal of Engineering Education 167

4 Table 1. Description of classroom procedures. undergraduates. Although each classroom used the same instructional materials, available resources required that the classroom procedures differ slightly between classrooms. Therefore, each classroom procedure is described separately in Table 1. Class days for all levels were approximately 50 minutes long. Classes met either once or twice per week, which allowed all three days to occur either in a two or three week time period. D. Assessments The instructors in all classrooms used pre- and post-tests to assess factual knowledge and adaptive expertise skills. Factual knowledge was assessed with three questions: 1. What are stem cells? 2. What are the regulations on using stem cells for research in the United States? 3. What are some of the potential benefits of stem cell research? All of these questions were used on both the pre- and the posttests for each group. Adaptive expertise skills were assessed with two questions: 1. Students were asked to read a short article from the Baltimore Sun from November 11, 2003, which reported on a proposal from a panel of scientists from Johns Hopkins University to create a bank of stem cells from a wide variety of donors for therapeutic uses. Students then wrote a one-paragraph letter to Congress on why the panel s recommendation should or should not be allowed. (See Appendix 1 for the text from the article.) 2. Students were asked to read sections of a Boston Globe article from November 21, 2004, which discussed scientific advances in stem cell research to create human eggs with full stem cell potential but which lack the potential to become actual embryos. Students then wrote a short letter to President Bush recommending how these new developments should impact federal regulations regarding stem cell research. (See Appendix 2 for the text from the article.) The first question was used to assess adaptive expertise skills for the high school, second, and third- and fourth-year students on the pre-test and the post-test. The first-year students received the first question on the pre-test and the second question on the post-test. We developed the coding schemes prior to obtaining the results. For each item, a primary coder used a subset of the answers to 168 Journal of Engineering Education April 2006

5 Figure 2. Results for factual questions. develop a scheme. The factual questions were scored 1 for correct and 0 for incorrect; the minimum test score was zero and the maximum was three. The adaptiveness questions were coded for the extent to which the participants showed adaptive expertise in their answer. A code of 0 meant the student did not consider multiple perspectives in their argument, while a code of 1 indicated that the student did consider multiple perspectives. Once the coding scheme was established, one secondary coder from each of the two universities trained on a subset of tests. The primary and secondary coders checked reliability using new tests drawn randomly from the pre- and post-tests. For each of the items, inter-coder agreement was 90 percent or above. The primary coder subsequently scored all the factual and adaptive expertise questions from the high school class. The secondary coders from the university sites graded the factual and adaptive expertise questions from their respective sites. III. RESULTS A. Design The design of the study used a 2 4 ANOVA (Analysis of Variance) with time as a within-subject factor (pre- and post-test) and group as a between-subjects factor (high school, first-year, secondyear, and third- and fourth-year students) to assess changes in factual knowledge. Additionally, we used repeated measures logistic regression models (the SAS procedure GENMOD) to assess adaptiveness. We used the same within-subjects and between-subjects factors as in the ANOVA. B. Factual Questions Results from the 2 4 ANOVA showed students improved from pre-test (M 2.00, SE 0.085) to post-test (M 2.52, SE 0.065) in factual knowledge, F(1, 102) 35.04, MSE 0.313, p Though there were differences in the pre-test performance between the lower division group (high school students and firstyear college students) and the upper division group (second-, third-, and fourth-year college students), post-test scores were similar across all groups. This pattern of results can be seen in Figure 2 in the interaction effect between group and time, F(3, 102) 5.2, MSE 0.31, p Post-hoc tests showed that (as the graph reveals), the high school and first year students increased their factual knowledge substantially, while there was no statistically significant knowledge gain for second-, third-, and fourth-year students. C. Adaptive Expertise Questions As Figure 3 indicates, participants with the least prior experience and knowledge of stem cells (high school students) scored the Figure 3. Results for ethical adaptive expertise questions. April 2006 Journal of Engineering Education 169

6 highest in adaptiveness on the pre-test of all groups. The two groups with the least experience (high school and first-year college students) increased their adaptiveness more than the two groups who began with more experience and knowledge (second-, third-, and fourth-year college students). Results from the repeated measures logistic regression showed there was a significant effect of group, 2 (3, N 106) 15.2, p.01, and of time, 2 (1, N 106) 4.9, p Interaction between group and time was significant, 2 (3, N 106) 10.1, p IV. CONCLUSION Our primary goal for this investigation was to assess differences in students learning trajectories for acquiring adaptive expertise. Our student participants had a range of pre-intervention knowledge and expertise. There were several main findings from this study. First, students performed as hypothesized in regards to factual knowledge about stem cells. That is, knowledge on the pre-test increased as experience in the biomedical engineering field increased. Knowledge on the post-test was uniformly high across all groups. However, the more advanced students probably still had a deeper, fuller understanding of stem cells that was not captured by our assessment questions. The goal of the factual assessment was to gauge a basic knowledge level. Second, students also performed as hypothesized on the adaptiveness portion of the pre- and post-tests. All groups had low adaptiveness scores on the pre-test. However, students with less exposure to, and knowledge of, the field of biomedical engineering were able to incorporate adaptive decision-making processes more easily than upper level-students. Therefore, lower level students had higher adaptiveness scores on the post-test than the upper level students. Adaptive expertise was operationalized as explicitly incorporating multiple perspectives into the decision making process. Our understanding of adaptive expertise supports the definition of expertise suggested by Holding [8, 9]. Holding defined expertise as an increased ability at searching and assessing options while drawing on a large knowledge base. The theory of adaptive expertise, or super expert, focuses strongly on the evaluation portion of decision-making. Indeed, it could be said that routine experts use something closer to chunking or template theories. That is, routine experts decision-making process could more easily be defined as taking new information and slotting into previously existing categories. Adaptive experts, on the other hand, are constantly assessing and evaluating the processes they are presented with, and so are more able to formulate new and innovative approaches. These findings support the stages of expertise development suggested by Raufaste et al. [12]. Raufaste et al. outlined a four-tiered system of expertise: novice, intermediate, basic expert, and super expert. The results from this study support this system. The high school students in this study could be considered novices, the thirdand fourth-year college students could be considered basic (routine) experts, and the mid-level students (first and second-year students) fall somewhere in between in the intermediate level. In addition to supporting Raufaste et al. s expertise development categories from previous research, these findings support and deepen the findings from Martin et al. [2]. Martin et al. s research showed that adaptive expertise can be taught more fluidly with the Legacy Cycle than with a standard lecture format. The current results further those results by adding that it is easier and more effective to introduce students to adaptiveness through the Legacy Cycle when they still have a novice or early intermediate knowledge base. These findings suggest that incorporating ethics and adaptive expertise instruction into biomedical engineering programs alongside new scientific content could be the most beneficial to students. Students entering these programs have fewer preconceived notions about ethical implications of the science they are beginning to learn about, and are in a place where it is easiest to influence their ethical trajectory. Thus, within each scientific content course, the instructor can provide the students with opportunities to adaptively consider the ethical issues raised by the content. In addition to incorporating ethical adaptive expertise skills training early students overall biomedical engineering education, this approach will also address and incorporate these skills at each point of new scientific knowledge. More advanced students can significantly increase their adaptive expertise skills by participating in a full-scale HPL course [15]. Despite the strengths, there are some limitations to this study. In particular, the high school sample was notably small, and included students from an exclusive private school. Replicating these findings in a standard public high school setting would add substantial credence to these results. Additionally, the different classrooms in this experiment were exposed to variations of the curriculum, which could have had substantial impacts on the students learning or on the assessment of their learning. The first-year students were given a different adaptive expertise prompt on their post-test than the other three samples. The availability of Internet access and use varied between classrooms, as did the amount of time the students were given to complete assignments. All of these differences could have affected the learning outcomes. Further research on adaptive expertise acquisition could lead in a variety of directions. The students in this study were exposed to the HPL Legacy Cycle only one time. Questions remain regarding long-term use of the cycle in relation to expertise development, including whether lower-level students would be able to retain the gains made in adaptiveness as they progress through intermediate and basic levels of expertise. Additionally, research needs to address how to aid routine experts in gaining adaptiveness. Adaptive expertise is particularly important to the fields are innovative and fast-changing, such as biomedical engineering and the ethical principles involved. The current research has shown that adaptive expertise is acquired with some ease early in the learning process, while it is more difficult to acquire later in the process. Thus, biomedical engineering ethics should be taught to include adaptive expertise skills early in undergraduate programs, and should continue to be taught alongside the factual, scientific areas. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This research was sponsored by the Engineering Research Centers Program of the National Science Foundation under award number EEC and by the Chair of Free Enterprise at the. REFERENCES [1] Bransford, J.D., A.L. Brown, and R.R. Cocking, eds., How People Learn: Mind, Brain, Experience, and School, Washington, D.C: National Academy Press, Journal of Engineering Education April 2006

7 [2] Martin, T., K. Rayne, N.J. Kemp, J. Hart, and K.R. Diller, Teaching for Adaptive Expertise in Biomedical Engineering Ethics, Science and Engineering Ethics, Vol. 11, 2005, pp [3] VaNTH, [4] Rikers, R.M.J.P., and F. Paas, Recent Advances in Expertise Research, Applied Cognitive Psychology, Vol. 19, pp [5] Hatano, G., and K. Inagaki, Two Courses of Expertise, (pp ), in H. Stevenson, J. Azuma and K. Hakuta, eds., Child Development and Education in Japan, New York, New York: W. H. Freeman & Co., [6] Gobet, F., and H.A. Simon, Templates in Chess Memory: A Mechanism for Recalling Several Boards, Cognitive Psychology, Vol. 31, 1996, pp [7] Gobet, F., and H.A. Simon, Expert Chess Memory: Revisiting the Chunking Hypothesis, Memory, Vol. 6, 1998, pp [8] Holding, D.H., The Psychology of Chess Skill, Hillsdale, New Jersey: Erlbaum, [9] Holding, D.H., Theories of Chess Skill, Psychological Research, Vol. 54, 1992, pp [10] Ericsson, K.A., R.T. Krampe, and C. Tesch-Romer, The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance, Psychological Review, Vol. 100, 1993, pp [11] Ericsson, K.A., and W. Kintsch, Long-term Working Memory, Psychological Review, Vol. 102, 1995, pp [12] Raufaste, E., H. Eyrolle, and C. Marine, Pertinence Generation in Radiological Diagnosis: Spreading Activation and the Nature of Expertise, Cognitive Science, Vol. 22, 1998, pp [13] Lesgold, A.M., H. Rubinson, P. Feltovich, R. Glaser, D. Klopfer, and Y. Wang, Expertise in a Complex Skill: Diagnosing X- Ray Pictures, (pp ), in M.T.H. Chi, R. Glaser and M.J. Farr, eds., The Nature of Expertise, Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum, [14] Schwartz, D.L., S. Brophy, X. Lin, and J.D. Bransford, Software For Managing Complex Learning: Examples From An Educational Psychology Course, Educational Technology Research and Development, Vol. 47, 1999, pp [15] Martin, T., A.J. Petrosino, S. Rivale, and K. Diller, The Development of Adaptive Expertise in Biotransport, New Directions in Teaching and Learning, Manuscript in press, [16] AUTHORS BIOGRAPHIES Karen Rayne, M.A., is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Educational Psychology at the. She obtained her BA in secondary education at St. Edward s University in 2000 and her MA in Educational Psychology at the University of Texas in Her primary research interest is how adolescents learn ethical values and life skills. She is working with a non-profit agency to provide adolescent mothers with breastfeeding and parenting support and investigating the incorporation of ethical dilemmas through cooperation with the VaNTH Engineering Research Center in Bioengineering Educational Technologies. Address: ; Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education; 1 University Station D5700, Austin, Texas, 78712; telephone: ( 1) ; Dr. Taylor Martin is assistant professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the. Her primary research interest is how people learn content in complex domains from active participation, both physical and social. She is cooperating with local elementary schools to examine how hands-on activities impact mathematics learning and investigating the development of adaptive expertise through cooperation with the VaNTH Engineering Research Center in Bioengineering Educational Technologies. Her education was at Dartmouth, Vanderbilt and Stanford Universities. Address: ; Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education; 1 University Station D5700, Austin, Texas, 78712; telephone: ( 1) ; Dr. Sean Brophy is assistant professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Dr. Brophy is a learning scientist and conducts research with the VaNTH Engineering Research Center in Bioengineering Educational Technologies. As a graduate student in the department of Teaching and Learning at Vanderbilt University, he worked on developing technology tools for projects ranging from young children s literacy to science and mathematics education for middle and high school students. He conducted his postdoctoral work at LSI as a member of the Center for Innovative Learning Technologies (CILT.org). Current projects with CILT and LSI focus on exploring the potential of handheld technologies for the development of teaching, learning and assessment in children s literacy and science development. Address: Purdue University, Department of Engineering Education, 400 Centennial Mall Drive, Room 206, West Lafayette, Indiana ; telephone: ( 1) ; fax: ( 1) ; Nate J. Kemp is a graduate student in the Biomedical Engineering department at the. Mr. Kemp received his BS in Electrical Engineering at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and his MS in Biomedical Engineering at UT-Austin in His research interests involve the utilization of light to collect information about three-dimensional tissue ultrastructure and application of this information to noninvasively diagnose tissue pathologies. In his five years at UT, Nate has designed and constructed novel instrumentation and processing algorithms for Enhanced Polarization-Sensitive Optical Coherence Tomography (EPS-OCT), a technique which uses low-intensity laser light to create high-resolution images of tissue in vivo. Nate has also helped develop online modules for instruction of Ethics in Biomedical Engineering which are being used in the UT-Austin BME curriculum and is contributing to development of a device for combating hypothermia in battlefield casualties. Address: The, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering; 1 University Station C0800, Austin, Texas, 78712; telephone: ( 1) ; Dr. Jack D. Hart is assistant chairman and Industry Liaison in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Hart obtained his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from UT Austin in 1971 and then joined the Central April 2006 Journal of Engineering Education 171

8 Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C. for seven years. He spent the next 17 years at Radian Corporation in the Special Projects Department where he served as Department Head from 1986 to The Special Projects Department supported the US Department of Defense and the Ministry of Defense in Great Britain. He joined the University of Texas Center for Space Research in 1993 where he served as the Research Manager. Prior to joining the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UT Austin in early 2003, Dr. Hart spent the previous five years serving as a technical consultant to Radian Corporation in Austin. Address: The, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering; 1 University Station C0800, Austin, Texas, 78712; telephone: ( 1) ; Dr. Kenneth R. Diller is professor of Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering and the Robert M. and Prudie Leibrock Professor in Engineering at the. He is the chairman of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and is a former chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is an international authority on the application of the principles of heat and mass transfer and thermodynamics to the solution of many different types of biomedical problems and on the use of light microscopy to investigate the dynamics of biological processes at high and low temperatures and has authored more than 230 archival publications on related topics. He is a Co-PI on the NSF VaNTH ERC on Bioengineering Educational Technologies. In this context he has been very active in developing new educational materials in biomedical ethics and biotransport based on the How People Learn framework. Professor Diller earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree cum laude from Ohio State University in 1966, followed by a Master of Science in the same field in He was awarded the Doctor of Science degree, also in mechanical engineering, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in After spending an additional year at MIT as an NIH postdoctoral fellow, he joined the faculty of the College of Engineering at the University of Texas as an assistant professor and has progressively been promoted to his present position. He has served on the editorial boards Cryobiology, Intl. J. Transport Phenom., Cell Preservation Technology, Cryo-Letters and editor of the ASME J. Biomechanical Engineering, and currently is associate editor of Ann. Rev. Biomedical Engineering. He is a Fellow of ASME, AAAS, AIMBE, and BMES, has been president of The Society for Cryobiology, vice-president of the International Institute of Refrigeration and Chair of the Bioengineering Division of the ASME. He is also recipient of the ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award for career accomplishments in biomedical heat transfer, the ASME HR Lissner Award for career accomplishment in biomedical engineering, and has been an ASME Distinguished Lecturer. Address: The, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering; 1 University Station C0800, Austin, Texas, 78712; telephone: ( 1) ; fax: ( 1) ; Journal of Engineering Education April 2006

9 APPENDIX 1 Baltimore Sun Article Stem cell lines have limited value Panel advocates starting new lines Julie Bell Baltimore Sun Nov. 11, 2003 The human embryonic stem cell lines eligible for federally funded research are unsuitable for use in humans because they were grown in contact with mouse cells and could conceivably infect humans with mouse viruses, a panel convened by scientists at Johns Hopkins University said Monday. The group, formed last year to address the next generation of ethical questions associated with stem cell research, also argued that treatments derived from the limited number of approved stem cell lines would benefit only a limited number of Americans and could discriminate against racial minorities. The scientists proposed a controversial long-term solution: starting a new stem cell bank by identifying and soliciting a diverse range of donors, creating embryos and then destroying them to get cells for therapeutic use. Boston Globe Article APPENDIX 2 Dr. William Hurlbut, a Stanford bioethicist and staunch opponent of research on human embryos, has traveled the country developing and winning support for the idea in consultation with a small circle of scientists and conservative ethicists. The procedure, called altered nuclear transfer, would engineer a human egg that could generate cells with the full potential of embryonic stem cells, but without ever forming an actual embryo. The technique has not been attempted with human cells, but biologists consider it feasible with today s technology. The larger question is whether the technique could overcome the strong ethical and religious opposition that has led to sharp limits on federal funding for embryonic stem-cell experiments and turned embryonic stem-cell research into a flashpoint in American politics Hurlbut s proposal would use biological tools and current cloning technology to create powerful embryonic-type stem cells without creating an embryo. As with cloning which produces embryos genetically identical to a cell donor scientists would implant DNA from a donor s cell into a human egg cell that has had its nucleus removed, and then induce the egg to begin dividing. The egg would produce embryonic-type stem cells. But by altering the donor cell s DNA first, Hurlbut suggests, the researchers can prevent the cells of the egg from organizing into a human embryo. Even if Hurlbut s proposal failed, its warm reception from religious conservatives offers a glimpse of how increasingly powerful biological tools might allow scientists not just to raise ethical dilemmas, but to solve them Hurlbut and others involved in the initial discussion concede the idea faces two sets of hurdles before it can offer a workable compromise in the human embryo research debate. First, there are several technical issues that still need to be settled in the lab. Some of the necessary steps have been demonstrated in mice, but not with human cells. Unlike the mouse work, where the key gene was removed, researchers will have to show they can turn the gene entirely off, preventing the formation of an embryo, and then turn it back on in the resulting stem cells, so that the cells are not flawed. Cloning human cells is still so difficult that only one research team in the world has successfully attempted it, though others are planning to work on it. The other hurdle is the challenge scientific, ethical, and political of establishing a broad consensus that the mass of cells is not a human embryo. In the past, scientists have suggested ways to ensure a healthy embryo does not develop such as silencing a gene needed to form the nervous system. But if the egg develops into something that might be considered a life even if it is genetically flawed and doomed to die while still microscopic then many ethicists will say that destroying it for research still amounts to killing. From a moral standpoint, creating and then destroying a damaged embryo is no different from creating and destroying a healthy embryo Biologists know that the formation of an embryo requires that all the cells establish an intricate web of communication, in the form of chemical signals. If this web of communication fails, then the cells cannot organize themselves and start the long path of specialization that eventually creates a baby. In normal development, the appearance of an outer sheath, the trophectoderm, is the first sign that a fertilized egg has developed into more than one type of cell. In Hurlbut s technique, however, the trophectoderm would not form properly, and the normal flow of signals would stop. Thus, Hurlbut argues, the vital web of communication within the ball of cells is never able to establish itself fully, and the entity cannot be called an embryo. Full article may be found at: articles/2004/11/21/new_technique_eyed_in_stem_cell_debate/ April 2006 Journal of Engineering Education 173

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