Writing Exercise #4

“The purpose of the rhetorical precis is to offer a short account of an article that does more than summarize the content. The rhetorical precis, which is four sentences long, accounts for the author and his or her main assertion, the way the author develops or supports the thesis, the author’s purpose in writing, and a description of the intended audience and relationship the author establishes with the audience.

Sentences of the Precis:

  1. Name of author (and credentials or a phrase describing the author), genre and title of work, date in parentheses; a rhetorically accurate verb; and a THAT clause containing the major assertion (thesis) of the work.
  2. An explanation of how the author develops and/or supports the thesis (nature of evidence)
  3. A statement of the author’s apparent purpose, followed by an “in order” phrase.
  4. A description of the intended audience and/or the relationship the author establishes with the audience”


(1) Jeneva Anderson in her Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Characterization of Helicobacter pylori Autoinducer-2 Binding Proteins Involved in Chemorepulsion and Biofilm Dispersal” (2015) asserts that chemorepullsion from autoinducer-2 (AI-2) small molecules promotes biofilm dispersal in Helicobacter pylori (2) Anderson provides evidence that H. pylori chemotactically respond to AI-2 via two proteins and that mutants of these proteins causes decreased biofilm dispersal through a mix of in vitro and in vivo experiments. (3) The purpose of this dissertation is to describe her graduate work on the mechanism and function for AI-2 sensing in this important human pathogen, and so that we may learn more about how to treat infections with this pathogen. (4) Anderson establishes a scholarly relationship with academics both in microbiological research, as well as other specialties within the biological sciences.

Choose one of the primary research or clinical trial articles that was in your reference list for your midterm audience essay, and write a rhetorical precis on the article.

Writing Exercise #3

Brainstorm a list of behaviors that an individual could engage in that could cause changes to a gut microbial community. For each behavior you list, discuss how that behavior could change the microbial community, and what potential health impacts (beneficial, detrimental, neutral) that change could be for the individual’s health.

Writing Exercise #2

As a healthcare professional, a colleague asks your opinion as to which HPV strains should be covered in a new treatment. Based on your reading from the Sarid and Gao 2011 article, what would your recommendation be, and when should the treatment be administered? What evidence supports your opinion? Keep in mind a cost/benefit analysis, as the cost of developing a vaccine for each strain can get very pricey! (You should not indicate “all of them” in your answer, unless you have strong supportive evidence).

While many HPV strains have been indicated in the presence of cervical cancer, the most pressing HPV strains that should be addressed in treatment should be the strains under the High Risk category for carcinogenicity. Of these the most important to focus on first with funding are types: 31, and 45. Considering these strains make up 80% of the cervical cancer cases in Sarid and Gao’s 2011 “Viruses and Human Cancer: From Detection to Causality,” these specific strains of HPV have the widest spread and symptomatic virulence among the general populace. The research that should be done toward making a vaccine should foster treatment for these strains first considering these strains are affecting the most people.

There is the question of availability in the populace for treatment, however. At this time, there is a vaccine for HPV 16 & 18 given to many women before the start of college. In fact, there are many colleges that require this as part of the vaccination portfolio of student prior to starting their enrollment. However, there are still incidences of HPV infection in which women acquire cervical cancer so what is the efficacy of this vaccine? What other factors might come into play regarding vaccination efficacy?

Is there more carcinogenicity correlated in males in HPV infections as well? It’s noted as a sociological intrigue that men are less likely to seek treatment for certain conditions. If HPV presents in men more gradually, then perhaps there is a gradation of symptoms in men that could be related to genitourinary cancers or other cancers. Topographically, it would seem that GU cancers would be more likely a symptom of HPV infection if cervical cancer is a result in female cohorts, but as noted in the Peek et. al and Kamandar articles having an open mind in science is important.

Even in this article, there is a notable switch from one train thought to another regarding the impact of viruses in our health. What other choice do we have but to consider all the possibilities that may pop up? Funds are limited, so scientifically we are more inclined to focus efforts towards strong-arming an answer towards binary solutions. However, I wonder if there are cost-effective ways to lead a less focused approach, and hopefully an interdisciplinary approach toward finding answers that maybe we weren’t even looking for in the future. After all, Penicillin purportedly came about from this pure curiosity and observation. There’s no telling what we could find if we actually stop looking and just experience.

Writing Exercise 1

Prompt: List as many human non-infectious diseases that you can think of that are influenced by microorganisms.  

Diabetes is often affected by chronic cellulitis infections and can result in necrotizing fasciitis to amputations of the lower extremities.

Crohn’s disease can also be affected by fauna in the intestinal tract.

Even normal healthy individuals without any serious medical conditions can suffer from opportunistic microbial infections if there is a skin break.

People who have standing H. Pylori infections (AKA ulcers) can also suffer from exacerbation of their symptoms if they have a devastating change of their intestinal populations.

There are even studies being conducted to see if the gut-brain axis is a factor in the development of ADHD in some patients.

Though I don’t know if there are any official studies, several patients with plaque psoriasis note changes in their diet (restricting gluten and other inflammatory foods) can often result in a reduction of intensity in symptoms.

Another disease affected by microbes is gum disease. People who have problems with their gums will often suffer comorbidities like dental caries and periodontitis due to poor dentation secondary to dietary choices. One paper I read some time ago noted that dental caries are directly related to the number of exposure episodes rather than specific foods.