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Thinking Scientifically
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  1. The scale on which conservation biologists work often makes direct experimentation difficult. But computer models can assist in making predictions about the fate of populations or ecosystems. Some scientists feel that these models are inadequate because they cannot reproduce all the variables found in the real world. If you were trying to predict the impact on songbirds of clearcutting a portion of a forest, what information would you need to develop a good model?
  2. Bioprospecting is the search for medically useful molecules derived from living things. The desire for monetary gain from such discoveries provides an impetus to preserve endangered habitats. Bioprospecting protects ecosystems and in this way saves many species rather than individual species. What types of living things would bioprospectors be most interested in?

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