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Mother's Milk Cures Cancer?

Researchers Deliberate Over Whether to Publish



Author:

Linda L. Tichenor
Biology Department
Aiken Technical College
tichenorl@atc.edu

Abstract:

This case study on the immune system, cell cycle regulation, and cancer biology explores the role that serendipity plays in new discoveries in science, how scientific research is funded, and the personal and professional implications of unexpectedly finding one’s self on the “cutting-edge.” The case was developed to help undergraduates, particularly non-science majors, understand how politics and culture play a vital role in the scientific process, and that scientific research is provisional and a product of social and cultural interaction. In addition to these issues, the case explores key concepts and content in biology and biochemistry, including the control of cell division, apoptosis, immunity development, microbial biology, genetic engineering, and breast feeding in humans.

Objectives:
  • Understand the process of scientific research and how it often includes serendipity and human bias.
  • Understand how funding for scientific research and new discoveries are linked.
  • Understand that how scientific research is conducted and scientific findings reported are partly determined by economic and political pressure.
  • Understand how pharmaceutical products are developed from laboratory discoveries to drugs for the consumer.
  • Learn key concepts about the immune system, cell cycle regulation, cancer biology, and microbiology, and how they must all be integrated to do the type of research described in this case.
Keywords: Scientific research; big science; sociology of science; cancer; lymphoma; alpha-lactalbumin; breast milk; immune system; immunology; immunotherapy; clinical trial; clinical testing; drug development; drug approval
Topical Area: Ethics, Scientific method, Social issues
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Discussion, Dilemma/Decision
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Science (General)   Cell Biology   Biochemistry   Pharmacy / Pharmacology  
Date Posted: 1/18/02
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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