I recently came across an article called “Why is that dog paralyzed?” in the January 2013 issue of the ABT (Milanick et al., 2013). This is a problem-based learning activity that is recommended for AP Biology teachers. As a neuroscientist, a former college professor, and the Biology Staff Scientist at Vernier Software & Technology, I have some serious reservations about recommending this exercise to high school teachers.

The concept behind the activity is excellent, but this exercise uses the compound acetylthiocholine, which is toxic, and the article provides no safety precautions for the teacher or the students. I read through the appendix at the website provided by the authors and did not find any...

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