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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: PLoS Biology.

Volume 14, Issue 1, 20 January 2016, Article number e1002351.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002351

Copyright © 2016 Serrano et al.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Despite significant efforts to reform undergraduate science education, students often perform worse on assessments of perceptions of science after introductory courses, demonstrating a need for new educational interventions to reverse this trend. To address this need, we created An Inexplicable Disease, an engaging, active-learning case study that is unusual because it aims to simulate scientific inquiry by allowing students to iteratively investigate the Kuru epidemic of 1957 in a choose-your-own-experiment format in large lectures. The case emphasizes the importance of specialization and communication in science and is broadly applicable to courses of any size and sub-discipline of the life sciences.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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S1 PowerPoint - republished and corrected

pbio.1002425.s002.ppt (2072 kB)
S2 PowerPoint - republished and corrected

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