Carcinogens

Carcinogens

Order Description

The term carcinogen refers to a broad spectrum of agents that cause cancer. Establishing that a given
chemical or agent is carcinogenic in humans involves a rigorous and multi-faceted process that may include
the analysis of evidence from in vitro, animal or population-based studies.
Select one agent from the list below. Using primary research studies (experimental, animal-based and/or
population-based – and preferably multiple forms of evidence), describe and critically discuss the evidence
evaluating whether your chosen agent is carcinogenic in humans. In addition, describe the mechanism by
which your agent causes cancer, the cancer types with which it is associated, and the primary sources of
human exposure.

Winter 2015 MDSC308
MDSC 308
Inquiry III – Interdisciplinary Research Approaches
Biomedical Sciences Assignment #2
Due Tuesday, March 3, 2015
One electronic copy submitted by 11:00 am through D2L digital dropbox, one paper copy to be dropped off
in class at start of session (12:00 noon)
Objectives:
In this assignment, you will:
(1) identify well-designed, rigorous research studies examining the carcinogenic potential of common,
widespread chemicals/agents in humans
(2) demonstrate your comprehension and critical analysis of these primary research studies
(3) describe the mechanism by which your agent causes cancer.
Details:
Answer the following question:
The term carcinogen refers to a broad spectrum of agents that cause cancer. Establishing that a given
chemical or agent is carcinogenic in humans involves a rigorous and multi-faceted process that may include
the analysis of evidence from in vitro, animal or population-based studies.
Select one agent from the list below. Using primary research studies (experimental, animal-based and/or
population-based – and preferably multiple forms of evidence), describe and critically discuss the evidence
evaluating whether your chosen agent is carcinogenic in humans. In addition, describe the mechanism by
which your agent causes cancer, the cancer types with which it is associated, and the primary sources of
human exposure.
Acrylamide
Aflatoxin B1
Alcohol
Asbestos
Benzene
Betel quid (paan)
Bracken fern
Butylated hydroxyanisole
Charred meat (heterocyclic amines)
Charred meat (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)
DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane)
Epstein-Barr virus
Formaldehyde
Helicobacter pylori infection
Hepatitis B virus
Hepatitis C virus
Oral contraceptives
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
Post-menopausal estrogen therapy
Vinyl chloride
Wood dust
Winter 2015 MDSC308
Format:
• Your paper should be no longer than five double-spaced, typewritten pages (excluding title page,
figures (optional) and references).
• Use 12 point Times New Roman font with 0.75 inch margins.
• The title page should include the title for your paper, the course name and number, date, and your
UCID number.
• All pages should be numbered and be marked with your student ID number (no names, please).
• References should be in a consistent format. Standard referencing formats, such as APA or the
Vancouver style, are acceptable provided that the full title of all sources is included in the reference
list at the end of your paper. References may be single-spaced.
Late Submissions:
• Late submissions will not be accepted and automatically receive a mark of zero.
Some Important Notes:
• This assignment is considered individual work. The words, thoughts and ideas expressed in the
assignment should be your own. All other words, thoughts, ideas, data must be properly cited within
the work. A reference list at the end of the paper must be included, but is, in itself, insufficient. Your
reader must be able to tell exactly where your words/ideas end and those of others begin (even if
paraphrased in your own words).
• Using any source whatsoever without clearly documenting it is a serious academic offence. The
University of Calgary calendar is explicit on what is construed as academic misconduct.
• Incidences of plagiarism will be dealt with harshly and the penalties are not limited to a failing grade in
the assignment or the course. All instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the O’Brien
Centre administration and will be placed in your file.
Evaluation
This assignment will be marked out of a total of 100 possible points and it will contribute 10% to your final
grade. The following areas will be assessed (and the relative weighting of each):
Analysis of Human Carcinogens
Critical analysis of evidence supporting classification as a carcinogen (30 points)
• Did you identify relevant and robust studies? Did you identify multiple types of studies (in vitro,
bioassay, animal, population)? Did you discuss the relative strength of the evidence supporting
classification as a carcinogen in humans?
Mechanism of carcinogenesis (30 points)
• How is your agent thought to cause cancer in humans? What is the biological mechanism?
Primary means of exposure/Associated cancer (10 points)
• Where might one be exposed to this agent? Who is at risk for exposure? Is it associated with all
cancer types, or only one or a few?
Flow and Clarity of Writing (15 points)
• general clarity
• Work should be presented in a personal and coherent way. Work that is predominantly ‘cut and
paste’ with concepts and content from multiple sources (but lacking integration and synthesis) will
likely receive a low mark, even if the references are cited properly. While it is perfectly acceptable
Winter 2015 MDSC308
(and necessary) to present the research findings of other people, the relevance and credibility of
these sources will be examined and you will be assessed on how well you worked with these
ideas and presented them from your own consideration and analysis. It is often easiest to
achieve this by consulting multiple sources and integrating the information collected.
Mechanics (10 points)
• grammar, spelling, punctuation
Referencing (5 points)
• consistent and correct formatting
• appropriateness

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