This is an assignment that focuses on the cell and molecular biology specific topic identification. The paper also requires acquisition of news reports of medical research.
The cell and molecular biology specific topic identification
Assignment 3: Essay
In this course, you have learned about general principles of cell function. The essay assignment gives you an opportunity to focus on a specific topic that interests you.
Your essay should be about 2,000 words (approximately 8 type-written, double-spaced pages), and should explain the molecular basis of the topic you choose.
Choosing a Topic
Think about possible topics as you proceed through the course, and discuss them with your Academic Expert (AE). The only requirement for a topic is that it focuses on cell and molecular biology.
For example, you might investigate the molecular basis of a disease such as AIDS or breast cancer, of aging, or of a degenerative disorder such as ALS or MS. You could study a normal cellular process such as signal transduction by G proteins, cell recognition and adhesion, or steroids and gene expression, in more detail. A new application in biotechnology or genetic engineering might also be of interest.
You could get ideas from news reports of medical research, or by scanning the contents of Scientific American. Perhaps a research project at your local university is particularly intriguing, or maybe a
textbook reading will trigger an idea. You might choose to browse Medline Plus, a website that provides resources and also discusses topics in cell biology.
Once you and your AE have agreed on a topic, submit a summary of your proposed topic (no longer than 250 words).
Lastly, after you write the midterm exam, you should start gathering material for your essay. In consultation with your AE, select some key subject terms to help you search the literature for relevant articles. Your AE will assist with the procedure for searching and obtaining articles if needed. One excellent website is PubMed, which is run by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).