Individual Assignment 3 Instructions
The global community is plagued by increasing incidence of leukemia; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; lung, colorectal, breast, pancreatic, prostate, liver, ovarian, and esophageal cancers. Other types of cancer exist but are less frequent. What is the scientific community doing to attempt to eliminate the most common forms of cancer that are ravaging society?
1. Read the course textbooks chapter on cell division, specifically the last section on how cells become cancerous. This is context for completing Individual Assignment 3.
2. Watch the Presentation in Module/Week 4 entitled Ways to Fight Cancer. Notice that the presentation outlines essentially 3 approaches to fighting cancer: a) reduction of cancer risks, b) correction of cancer genes, and c) destruction of cancerous tissue.
3. Open the 10 Discoveries in the War on Cancer document in the Assignment Instructions folder. Scan the discoveries briefly. Then, open the assignment submission link in Module/Week 9. In the text box, number from 1 to 10 for the 10 discoveries.
4. Reflect carefully on discovery 1. Would this discovery be more useful for a) reducing cancer risks, b) correcting/restoring cancer cells to normal, or c) destroying cancerous tissue? After number 1 in your list, place in parentheses the letter representing the approach to fighting cancer that willbest be served by this new discovery. (More than 1 approach may be served, but which ismost likelyto be helpedmost significantly?)
5. Repeat this analysis for each of the remaining 9 discoveries. Return to the Ways to Fight Cancer presentation as needed for additional perspective. When finished, your entire text box must be simple: a numbered (110) list of letters (a), (b) or (c). The assignment is now complete.
6. Each correct association up to 8 correct answers is granted 7 points. If you get 9 or 10 out of 10, you get a perfect score (60 pts.) on the assignment.
Submit this assignment by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 4.
Individual Assignment 3 – 10 Discoveries in the War on Cancer
1. Virologists are modifying lentiviruses as vectors for carrying proto-oncogenes into cancer-transformed cells in culture. They are developing this virus for inserting therasproto-oncogene directly into its correct location in the genome. The correctrasgene will already be linked to human DNA on either side of it and complexed with a recombination enzyme that will insert it into its correct location within the human genome. At the same time, the recombination enzyme will excise the defective oncogenic form ofras.The cells in culture should again come under normal hormonal control and require extra-cellular signals in order to continue dividing.
2. Malignant brain tumors in adults are fast-growing cancers withrates of 15 months, even with aggressive treatment. Researchers have been searching for genetic signatures (characteristic groups of cancer-causing genes) that could help in defining the kind of brain tumor the patient has. They hope to be better able tomore accurately design the patients course of treatment.
3. Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide. It is a risk factor for lung cancer and several other types of cancer. Results of analysis of the entire human gene collection (the genome) support some previous findings that a region of humannumber 15 contains one or morethat are associated with smoking intensity (the number of cigarettes smoked per day) and the closely related trait ofdependency. Scanning peoples genomes for these genes will help them to determine their risk of addiction should they begin smoking tobacco.
4. Immunologists are working with a mutation (HER2) that is expressed on the surface of many breast, bladder, pancreatic, and ovarian cancer cells. They have made antibodies against this mutant surface protein. These antibodies have been covalently bonded to a gene expression vector that makes cells light up when incubated with luciferin from fire flies. The vector takes the gene for luciferin into the cancer cells. The researchers have shown that their antibody can accurately find and light up cancer cells. Their next step is to bond the antibody to an expression vector that carries the normal HER2 gene into mutant cancer cells.
5. Immunologists are investigating ways to destroy lymphocytes (white blood cells of the immune system) that have become cancerous (lymphomas). A current drug Rituximab contains antibodies that bind to the surfaces of these lymphocytes setting them up for destruction by the cancer patients own immune system. They are currently seeking ways to modify the antibodys structure so that it will attract the cancer patients natural killer (NK) cells to the lymphocytes. Success of this project will bring a multi-faceted immune response against lymphomas and hasten destruction.
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