Popular Press vs Scientific Journal Articles:

Insight Into the Color Blindness Gene and Gene Therapy

This web page was produced as an assignment for an undergraduate course at Davidson College.


As you can see there are quite a few differences between a journal article and a popular press article even when they are on the same subject. The journal article takes the reader on a trip through the relevance, logic, methods, results, and conclusion of a scientific study. The article also ends with contextual suggestions for future investigations. On the other hand, our New York Times article took us on a roller coaster ride filled with suggestive and sympathetic language and ideas. Although the New York Times article stated the main points of the actual study, it left out some important details. Most importantly, Wade did not divulge how the researchers knew the monkeys had actually gained the ability to "see red" (a misinterpretation already). If he had mentioned something about the virus with the GFP gene, or the researchers mf-ERG they design to measure the monkey's ability to differentiate colors, the article would have been much more complete. In fact, he could have used a link like the one below to teach use something about GFP.

Kua rating:

Overall score: 24/40 (Eunice Kua may be a little disappointed)


Link to a website with information on GFP (Zimmer, 2009) Permission Pending*



Eunice Kua, Michael Reder, and Martha J. Grossel. 2004. Science in the News: A Study of Reporting Genomics. Public Understanding of Science. 13: 309322.

Zimmer, Marc. Green Flourescent Protein-The GFP Site. Nov 18, 2009

Wade, Nicholas. With Genetic Gift, 2 Monkeys Are Viewing a More Colorful World. The New York Times. Sep 21, 2009.

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