Discussion Board Post

When cell division goes awry

Cells are complex structures. To make the study of cells a bit easier, biologists have broken them down into three main parts which include:

  1. The plasma membrane, which acts as the protective barrier surrounding the cell.
  2. The nucleus, containing all of the genetic material of the cell.
  3. The cytoplasm, which contains all of the cell’s organelles.

In order for cells to reproduce, two types of reproduction occur: somatic cell division and reproductive cell division. Somatic cell division involves all non-germ cells that undergo mitosis. Mitosis involves producing two identical cells that contain the same number and kind of chromosomes as the cell that started the process. Reproductive cell division occurs with germ cells (sperm or oocyte) and is known as meiosis. Meiosis involves gametes that have half the number of chromosomes as compared to somatic cell division so that the number of chromosomes will not double at fertilization. Mitosis finishes after one round producing identical daughter cells whereas meiosis occurs in two stages occurring one after the other.

There are two options to this Discussion Board. Select the ONE that interests you most and write up your main post on it for this week. Visit the Discussion Board frequently and respond to your classmates as well.

Option 1: Cancer

Almost all cells in the human body go through cell division. Homeostasis occurs when a balance between cell growth and cell death is maintained. If this balance is not sustained cell division goes awry, such as in the case of cancer. All of us have had experience with cancer in some way or another in our life, as a survivor, as a friend, as a family member or as a care giver.

Research one type of cancer and discuss:

  • Symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, and survival rate.
  • Investigate any holistic approaches that are also currently used.
    • What are your feelings on this type of treatment?
    • Do you think these holistic approaches are effective by themselves, in combination with standard western medical treatments for cancer or not effective at all? Why or Why not?

Option 2: Mutations

Mutations occur when DNA is not replicated properly. Fortunately, for the most part, cells have a mechanism to correct the mutation or destroy it. Sometimes that mechanism fails and the mutation survives. Spend some time researching mutations.

  • Discuss one mutation that has a negative effect on the body
  • Find another mutation that can have a positive effect on the body.
  • For both mutations, explain how they occur: spontaneously or through a mutagenic effect, and
  • What effects do these mutations have on the individual with this condition?

Discussion Requirements and Guidelines:

Discussion responses should be on topic, original, and contribute to the quality of the discussion by making frequent informed references to lesson materials. Initial discussion responses should be around 200–300 words. Responses to your classmates or instructor do not need to be that long, but should be substantial (approximately 50 words), go beyond mere affirmation, and serve to further conversation.

To be considered for full credit, at least two or more responses to classmates that are thoughtful and advance the discussion should be made.

When you are ready to post to the Discussion Board, respond to the questions. Your responses should follow the conventions of Standard American English (correct grammar, punctuation, etc.). Your writing should be well ordered, logical, and unified, as well as original and insightful. Your work should display superior content, organization, style, and mechanics. All references used should be cited and in APA style.

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