Biology is an expansive field with numerous branches and subdivisions. With specialty areas like computational biology, marine biology, genetics, molecular biology and zoology, the potential for developing a thesis idea is endless. A thesis is typically written in graduate school under the supervision of an academic mentor. Between undergraduate work and the beginning of a graduate program, students discover what area of the degree best captures their passion that leads to a thesis.
The "C Word" is arguably the biggest threat to human health. Most people know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer. While some forms of cancer like breast cancer have a good success rate with early detection, other forms like pancreatic cancer normally spell a death sentence. A cure for cancer depends heavily on cancer research. Many biology cancer research programs, like the one at Stanford, focuses on studying the molecules, mechanisms and pathways involved in cancer pathogenesis. A solid thesis may incorporate a study examining the effects of various cancer cells and how they respond to organic matter believed to have cancer-fighting benefits. Your thesis could introduce cancer cells to extracts from coffee, grapefruit, cherries and flaxseed -- all consumables that, according to The American Institute of Cancer Research, fight cancer.
Marine biology deals with the study of marine organisms as small as algae microbes up to the blue whale. Marine biologists study ocean plant life, coral reefs and send remote-controlled vehicles deep into the Pacific Ocean's trenches. New discoveries break every month and provide a playground for constructing new thesis ideas. Marine biologists from the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research discovered through underwater sounds that some humpback whales spend their winter in Antarctica, according to "Science Daily." A good thesis might explore how various pitches of underwater sounds with other factors like water temperature, currents and seasonal changes effect whale migration.
Wildlife biologists use biology to help preserve various species and maintain their natural habitats. They also rehabilitate injured animals and help those with declining numbers reproduce. The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) is an interdisciplinary cohort of biologists and other scientists dedicated to the long-term monitoring and research of grizzly bears. Their work involves monitoring the grizzly population in Yellowstone and determining the bear's relationship to the land by studying their habitual patterns. An interesting thesis topic may examine the eating patterns and nutritional levels of grizzle bears and the way the results influence migration, breeding and interactions with the environment. The thesis could also compare the findings of bears in the Yellowstone region to those found in the Alaskan wilderness.
Plant biology, or botany, is the scientific study of plants and their organisms. Plant biologists study the disciplines of molecular and cellular plant biology and also research traditional areas of botany that include systematics, anatomy, morphology, physiology, ecology and evolution. The Botanical Society of America (BSA) revealed current research regarding plant genetics. Scientists are splicing genes from one plant to another in order to find an element such as an amino acid that is beneficial to human health, and the BSA stresses that more research is required. A good thesis may continue this work in which the student splices various plants with a specific design on finding a strand that benefits a particular human condition like high cholesterol or diabetes.
- Stanford University: Cancer Biology Research Program
- The American Institute of Cancer Research: Foods that Fight Cancer
- Science Daily: Surprising Underwater-Sounds: Humpback Whales Also Spend Their Winter in Antarctica
- USGS: Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team
- Botanical Society of America: Current Issues
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