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BIOL 1001 Week 3 Introduction to Biology


To apply an understanding of cellular division to distinguish between

cancerous and noncancerous tissue samples.

BIOL 1001 Week 3 Introduction to Biology Expected Observations

  • Create an explanation of what you expect to observe in the tissue samples based
  • on what you know about the nature of cancer.
  • In the tissue samples, I expect to observe cells replicating themselves, both benign and malignant tumors, and various stages of cancer development. I anticipate that mitosis will appear normal in the noncancerous cells, but irregular in the cancerous cells. This hypothesis is based on the characteristics of cancer cells, such as their uncontrolled growth and division due to mutations. Cancer cells differ from normal cells in their ability to continue growing without limitations, resembling immortal cells.

The materials for this lab can be found in the Cellular Reproduction Lab located in the week 3 resources section. To access the virtual microscope and tissue samples, you need to view the acquired mutation section of the lab. There are four simulation tissue samples, each of which is “stained” to allow for the observation of mitosis stages in the sample cells. Using your mouse, select each sample and drag it to the virtual microscope to observe the cells in each sample.

BIOL 1001 Week 3 Introduction to Biology

Use the chart below to record your observations of the tissue samples. Count the number of cells in each stage of mitosis for each virtual tissue sample and record your findings.

Tissue Sample Interphase Prophase Metaphase Anaphase Telophase

Sample #1: Normal Tissue 9 0 1 0 0

Sample #2: Normal Tissue 9 0 0 0 1

Sample #3: Cancer Tissue 7 2 0 1 0

Sample #4: Cancer Tissue 7 1 1 0 1

BIOL 1001 Week 3 Introduction to Biology Analysis

Describe and explain your results in terms of the known properties of cancer.

Upon reviewing the normal tissue samples, I observed that the cells were either in a resting state or actively undergoing division or cell death, depending on the interphase stage of cell division. The interphase stage is critical for the growth and development of healthy cells. In contrast, the cancerous tissues displayed an imbalanced population of cells. Cancer occurs when cells do not undergo balanced cell division or cell death. This observation confirms that unlike normal cells, which remain localized, cancer cells possess the ability to invade nearby tissues and spread to distant regions of the body (Eldridge, 2021).

State whether you obtained the expected results and provide an explanation.

The results obtained from the virtual lab align with my expectations. When examining the tissue slides under the microscope, the cells exhibited distinct changes in each phase, with varying sizes and significance.

BIOL 1001 Week 3 Introduction to Biology

Explain how your findings suggest a general approach used to combat cancer.

It is important to note that there is no universal approach to treating cancer since not all cancers are the same. However, based on my observations from this virtual biopsy lab, the interphase stage emerges as a crucial factor in the growth and development of healthy cells. Cancer cells arise from genetic and epigenetic changes, which can be hereditary or caused by environmental carcinogens.

Metastasis, which leads to high mortality in advanced cancers, is primarily caused by epigenetic changes, as no genetic alterations have been found in metastases. While cancer cells may possess thousands of mutations, only a specific number of genetic changes enable them to thrive and divide (Eldridge, 2021). Early detection of cancer cells holds promise for more effective treatment plans or potential cures. If cancer cells are detected early during a biopsy, immunotherapy can aid the immune system in combating the cancer cells.

BIOL 1001 Week 3 Introduction to Biology

Summarize your observations and the knowledge gained from this lab.

The virtual lab experience helped me understand the complexities of cellular reproduction, mitosis, meiosis, and mutations. It was challenging to articulate the observations in the lab reports, as putting the explanations into words required careful consideration. However, the results obtained aligned with my expectations. 

Examining the tissue slides under the microscope revealed distinct changes in the cells, varying in size and significance. Through the analysis of normal and cancerous tissues, I discovered that normal cells undergo resting, dividing, or dying phases, depending on the stage of cell division crucial for healthy cell growth. In contrast, cancer cells exhibit faster reproduction and spread to distant parts of the body, distinguishing them from normal cells.


Write a conclusion that briefly summarizes the main points from your analysis and propose a research question related to the concepts explored in this lab for future investigation. Based on this study and the biopsy lab report, I conclude that cancer tissues undergo additional phases of mutation, enabling cancer cells to enter the bloodstream and spread to different parts of the body. Since there is no one-size-fits-all approach to cancer treatment, various methods are employed, some of which may be as harmful as cancer itself. 

BIOL 1001 Week 3 Introduction to Biology

Radiation therapy and chemotherapy, for instance, can cause significant damage. Surgery remains invasive and may lead to complications. However, in the realm of non-invasive treatments, there is a widely-used and FDA-approved method called Cool Sculpting, which involves the controlled freezing of fat cells in areas such as the stomach, flanks, thighs, and arms (Frey & Rice, 2020). Considering the potential for permanent cancer treatment at a more affordable cost, it raises the question of whether cancer cells could be frozen in a similar manner to fat cells.


Eldridge, L. (2021, March 25). Why doesn’t the body get rid of cancer cells? Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-are-cancer-cells-2248795

Frey, M., & Rice, A. (2020, May 24). Different ways to freeze fat. Verywell Fit. https://www.verywellfit.com/can-i-freeze-fat-to-lose-weight-3495330

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