Invited Symposium: Virtual Labs and Real Scientists: Can Virtual Labs Produce Real Scientists?
The objects of laboratory experiments include: (1) providing the opportunity to organize the apparatus in the necessary arrangement with which to perform the experiment; (2) obtaining and maintaining the required biological specimen for the performance of the procedure; (3) preparation and administration of chemical stimuli to the biological preparation; and (4) obtaining results by observation and recording of the response(s) to the stimuli. Limitations imposed by virtual laboratories include: (1) absence of the opportunity to handle the apparatus physically; (3) loss of the opportunity to obtain and prepare a biological specimen for use in the experiment; (3) loss of the opportunity to experience unanticipated problems and the possible correction(s) necessary; and (4) loss of the opportunity to observe new, unforeseen interactions and responses that would permit advancement in our knowledge. Thus only reproduction within the limits of existing knowledge would be possible with virtual laboratory experiments. Major advantages of virtual laboratories include the lack of buying expensive equipment and animals as well as the availability of replication of the experiment until the student understands it completely. I believe that the lack of use of manipulative skills and the limitation to known information are too serious to replace in vivo laboratory experiments.
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|Domer, F.R.; (1998). Defense of In Vivo Laboratory Experiments. Presented at INABIS '98 - 5th Internet World Congress on Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University, Canada, Dec 7-16th. Invited Symposium. Available at URL http://www.mcmaster.ca/inabis98/rangachariedu/domer0230/index.html|
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