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The rapid and accelerating pace of change in physiology and cell biology, along with the easy access to huge amounts of content, have altered the playing field for science students, yet most students are still mainly taught from textbooks. Of necessity, textbooks are usually broad in scope, cover topics much more superficially than do journal articles, and present the scientific process as a linear string of successful experiments, largely ignoring the reality of rejected hypotheses, unanticipated discoveries, or surprising findings that may shift paradigms. We suggest that a more narrow focus on scientific thinking, using a new method for reading a series of journal articles that track the evolution of a single project over a period of years, can more realistically convey the excitement and challenges of research science and perhaps stimulate some students to consider research careers for themselves. Our approach, termed "CREATE" (for Consider, Read, Elucidate hypotheses, Analyze data, and Think of the next Experiment), has proven successful at both demystifying the scientific literature and humanizing science/scientists in undergraduate biology courses (8), and we suggest that it could be profitably expanded to physiology courses.
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