ENVI 341
Toxicology and Cancer Spring 2018
Division III
Cross-listed ENVI 341 / CHEM 341
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What is a poison and what makes it poisonous? Paracelcus commented in 1537: “What is not a poison? All things are poisons (and nothing is without poison). The dose alone keeps a thing from being a poison.” Is the picture really this bleak; is modern technology-based society truly swimming in a sea of toxic materials? How are the nature and severity of toxicity established, measured and expressed? Do all toxic materials exert their effect in the same manner, or can materials be poisonous in a variety of different ways? Are the safety levels set by regulatory agencies low enough for a range of common toxic materials, such as mercury, lead, and certain pesticides? How are poisons metabolized and how do they lead to the development of cancer? What is cancer and what does it take to cause it? What biochemical defense mechanisms exist to counteract the effects of poisons?
This course attempts to answer these questions by surveying the fundamentals of modern chemical toxicology and the induction and progression of cancer. Topics will range from description and quantitation of the toxic response, including risk assessment, to the basic mechanisms underlying toxicity, mutagenesis, carcinogenesis, and DNA repair.
The Class: Type: lecture, three times per week
Limit: 30
Expected: 24
Class#: 3117
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation is based on two hour tests, a class presentation and paper, participation in discussion sessions, a self-exploration of the current toxicological literature, and a final exam
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: CHEM 156; may be taken concurrently with CHEM 251/255; a basic understanding of organic chemistry
Unit Notes: satisfies the Natural World requirement for the Environmental studies concentration
Distributions: Division III
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENVI 341 Division III CHEM 341 Division III
Attributes: BIMO Interdepartmental Electives
ENVI Natural World Electives
PHLH Biomedical Determinants of Health

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