We sought to determine if mating behavior in Xiphophorus helleri is related to male tail length by placing combinations of two male fish with different length tails in the same tank with a female fish.
We found that protein synthesis in sea urchin embryos treated with actinomycin D was considerably less than in untreated embryos. This finding agrees with the model stating that protein synthesis in 24 hour sea urchin embryos is dependent on synthesis of new messenger RNA.Reference to results of a specific study should also be in past tense.
Abercrombie and Fitch reported that 30% of the public is allergic to wool.Mixing tenses is even worse - this sort of thing hurts my ears. Unfortunately, the people who read the news in television and radio broadcasts are frequently unaware of verb tense at all.
Two guys rob a liquor store downtown. The robbery occured at midnight last night.The last one had me puzzled. I was thinking, if they know the inmates are in the trailer, why don't they just go in and get them? What the article actually reported was that the two had hidden in a trailer which was driven out of prison, allowing them to escape. I grew up speaking and reading English (the American version, that is). Imagine the difficulty faced by a non-native speaker who learns proper English and then reads the local rag or tries to make sense out of reports by "talking heads" on new shows.
[from a newspaper article] Two inmates hide in trailer to escape S.C. prison.
Including material that is inappropriate for the readership
Changing temperature had the following affect on the subject.'Affect' is a verb. 'Effect' is a noun. What happened to the subject was an effect. The temperature change affected the subject. Please learn the difference.
The data lead to the assumption that x has no relationship to y.If you base a conclusion on data, then your conclusion is a deduction, not an assumption. In fact, in experimental science assumptions are usually avoided. A purpose of controls is to eliminate the need to assume anything.
Our inability to ensure that all cells in the population were in the same stage of development skewed our data.This statement doesn't reveal very much. The writer intended to say that the data points were more scattered, that is, the non-uniformity of the population resulted in unacceptably high experimental error. The word 'skew' means 'having an oblique position; turned or twisted to one side; slanting; sloping.' It can be used as an adverb or noun as well. In statistics, the word refers to an asymmetric distribution of data. Nowhere in the definition is there any reference to the state of being incorrect or more scattered. Thus, not only is the word overused, it is also misused.
We rationalized the finding that blocking the sodium pump had no affect on uptake of glucose by suggesting that the symport mechanism depends solely on the sodium gradient, which persists long after the pump is shut down.A definition of 'rationalize' is 'to explain or justify.' Another is 'to attribute logical or creditable motives to actions that result from other, perhaps unrecognized, motives.' In short, to make excuses. As I learned in English class a long time ago, the term's principal usage is to attempt to justify something on dubious grounds. For example, 'he rationalized his poor behavior by saying that he had just broken up with his girlfriend and was distraught.' The definition does not include anything about the explanation being valid, therefore another word would be preferable. Try
A likely explanation for the finding...is that...The word 'data' is plural. However since investigators usually refer to sets of data, there is a tendency to use the word as though it was singular. Hence a writer will state, 'the data was affected by the phase of the moon,' or 'the data suggests that phase of the moon has no effect on mood.' As awkward as it may seem to you, the proper phrases are, 'the data were affected...,' and 'the data suggest...' By the way, the singular form is 'datum.'
We used a spectrophotometer to determine protein concentrations for each of our samples. We used an oscilloscope to measure resting potentials in crayfish muscle.
Sodium wants to move down the chemical gradient toward the compartment with the lower concentration.
The ETS works furiously in a vain attempt to restore the chemiosmotic gradientWow. Well, the adverb "furiously" is not only subjective, but it normally applies to a deliberate action. We know that the ETS (electron transport system) is a set of carrier complexes embedded in a membrane, and that it cannot be capable of a deliberate action. Something that cannot act deliberately cannot think, either. There is a physical cause and effect relationship between the ETS and the chemiosmotic gradient that does not require attributing a free will to any part of the system.