This week’s reading is Chapter 10.1 and 10.2 (Cellular Reproduction) and 11.1 and 11.2 (Meiosis and Sexual Reproduction) of the course textbook, which is accessible through the Syllabus or through the course’s “Textbooks” page.
Optional: If you are having difficulties grasping particular concepts from the textbook or if you want to explore them more in details, you could watch videos about biology on Khan Academy at “Khan Academy Biology”. The videos are categorized and named according to the concept they explain, so it should be easy to find those that are relevant to study. A section entitled Cell Division is most helpful for this unit.
In your assigned readings, you learned how cells divide in order to replace damaged and dead cells. Normally, division is regulated resulting in healthy functional tissue. Cancer occurs when normal regulation of cell division is lost and becomes uncontrolled. Uncontrolled division results in massive reproduction of abnormal cells. Cancer is the result of unchecked cell division caused by a breakdown of the mechanisms that regulate the cell cycle. The loss of control begins with a change in the DNA sequence of a gene that codes for one of the regulatory molecules. Faulty instructions lead to a protein that does not function as it should. Any disruption of the monitoring system can allow other mistakes to be passed on to the daughter cells. Each successive cell division will give rise to daughter cells with even more accumulated damage. Eventually, all checkpoints become nonfunctional, and rapidly reproducing cells crowd out normal cells, resulting in a tumor or leukemia (blood cancer).
For this discussion, you will select a specific cancer. What cell type is affected? Describe the defect in cellular reproduction responsible for the cancer. Discuss therapy available for treatment of the disorder. Does the therapy treat the symptoms or the genetic nature of the disease? Explain.
Be sure to use in text citation and provide references for your sources. While not required for this discussion, you may use outside resources. Any materials cited in this course should be referenced using the APA style guidelines.
Grading: Answers should be concise and well written. Make sure you correctly explain your thought process and provide all the necessary information.
Assignment: In your readings, you learned about cellular division in both plant and animal cells. While they are similar in many ways, some key differences occur late in the mitotic division. Describe the similarities and differences between the cytokinesis mechanisms found in animal cells versus those in plant cells. Compose your work and submit to your Learning Journal.
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