Can molecular biological research in higher education institutions help provide keys to understanding cancer?

Progress in physics and chemistry is also great, but not as staggering. If we compare school textbooks on these sciences 50-70 years ago and today, there are far fewer dramatic differences. For example, the Mendeleev Table, created in 1871, has been changing in recent decades exclusively by adding new elements.

Thanks to the phenomenal rate of development of biology, teaching and studying it are interesting. Biology is all around us. Medicine is based on it, and so it is directly related to human health, which places a huge responsibility on biology teachers. And the faster biology develops and penetrates deeper into everyday life, the more the average person needs a competent biological education.

Biological Studies in Universities

But basic biological knowledge is needed not only for every person but also for the world. It needs specialists – both those with basic knowledge in all areas of biology and those focused on subject areas. A broad outlook is important because medical developments can become too risky. In modern laboratories and companies, employees usually have different education and experience: biologists, chemists, physicists, mathematicians, medics. Besides IT specialists join together to achieve better results. And for all of these professionals to communicate in the same language, each of them must have a little understanding of the other fields.

This discipline aims to master the theoretical basis of the patterns. They determine the structure and function of DNA, the mechanisms of storage, transmission, and realization of genetic information. Of course the structure of proteins, their total state, and their manifold functions in cells. Besides, it is supposed to master a variety of methods of construction of functional units of DNA by methods of genetic engineering.  And directed mutagenesis, testing the expression of new genes in the actual conditions of life of cells.

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The purpose of the discipline:

  • To familiarize students in the Department of Biology with the basic concepts of the molecular biology of the cell,
  • Familiarizing university students with the methods of research used in this field of science;
  • An acquaintance of students with the basic mechanisms of cellular processes at the molecular level;

Expected learning outcomes:

  • Will be able to: – uncover the chemical bases of life; – and apply methodical methods of molecular biological research.
  • Knows basic biochemical methods of analysis and assessment of living systems.
  • Will be able to: apply knowledge of the principles of the cellular organization of biological objects

Those who use online help in mathematics or for solving problems related to this field know that the assignments help improve their study at the educational institution. Nowadays, distance learning at school and college is becoming more and more popular. Many students choose online studying because of its convenience, practicality, and affordable price for course education. You don’t have to live on campus anymore.

After all, distance learning students don’t need to visit their institution at all. Everything takes place online, starting from solving tests, and essays, writing formulas, integrals, and exams, and ending with the defense of the thesis project. Students will get good grades after online lessons.

Molecular Oncology

Is it possible to claim that student research as a key to cancer understanding is real? A huge role in the development of molecular oncology has been played by the viral theory of tumor origin. Its basic statements stated the following:

  • all human tumors are caused by viruses;
  • a virus only initiates the transformation of a normal cell into a tumor cell;
  • viral nucleic acid is incorporated into the cell’s genome, modifying its genetic program so that the cell becomes immortal.
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The first and only virus in humans was isolated in the late 1960s from children suffering from a form of cancer in Africa – it was the Burkitt lymphoma virus. In the ’70s and 80’s the viral theory continued its triumphal march – a large number of RNA and DNA viruses were found to cause tumors in a wide variety of mammalian and avian species.

It is worth noting a peculiarity of the new trends in biology: they are almost entirely based on molecular biology and biotechnology. Biotechnology and molecular biology, especially those related to medicine, are well-funded fields. And it is great if teachers of such innovative areas in biology can combine teaching and research. But biology does not end with biotech and molecular science, and not all biological research in Universities can be completed in a year or two.

Molecular Diagnostics and Therapy

As is clear from what has already been said, in the 21st century, oncology research for diagnosis and therapy has moved to the molecular level. New diagnostic and therapeutic approaches are fundamentally different. They are based on the analysis of the genetic material of the cell.

The main differences are:

  • genomic and epigenomic disorders have become possible to identify in tumor tissue samples;
  • paraffin blocks of tumor slices;
  • DNA circulating in the blood of patients; and microRNA contained in blood endosomes or in the tumor itself.

The first development of anti-tumor drugs was based on the fact that the tumor cell was dividing. So cytotoxic therapy was also aimed at removing dividing cells. With the advent of molecular oncology, the focus of treatment shifted to individual biological macromolecules. They act as the trigger mechanism of carcinogenesis. So-called target therapy emerged, targeting specific cellular targets – genes or their protein products.

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