Biology | Topical Issues in Biology
L410 | 13283 | Bender, A

Note: This course counts for credit separate from (and so in
addition to) that for the spring version of L410 (Treating Cancers).
Course Format: Discussion: 9:30-10:45A, TR.

Course Requirements: BIOL L111 and L112. Recommended: BIOL L211 and

Course description: PREVENTING CANCERS
This course is meant to help you to improve your abilities to
inquire about how scientists conduct research that is relevant to
the goal of decreasing the incidence of cancer, such as research
that is meant to identify and assess risk factors for cancers and
research that is geared toward developing and improving methods for
early detection of tumors. Below are elements of inquiry that you
will do continually throughout the course:
--- Identify an area of cancer-prevention research that genuinely
interests you.
--- Identify things that are confusing and challenging for you to
make sense of about that area of research.
--- Come up with questions that help bring into focus and define
what's confusing.
--- Come up with ideas about possible answers to your questions.
--- Prioritize your ideas, in terms of how important each one would
be to investigate.
--- Consider what information would help you to judge the validity
of each of your most key ideas.
--- Consider what (and if any) resources might provide information
of the sort that you desire, and then seek
the desired information.
--- Work to make sense of and to assess the information that you
find. (Doing this is likely to lead to further
confusions, questions, and ideas.)
--- Collaborate with others to do all of the above.

Required Text: None. You will seek out and use a variety of
resources, including review and research articles.

Typical Weekly Assignments: You will conduct independent inquiry
throughout the semester. All of the homework assignments will
involve writing, and much class time will be devoted to small-group

Exams/Papers: There will be frequent writing assignments, but no
exams. About 70% of the course grade
will be based on homework assignments, and the rest will be based on
in-class activities.