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Hot Topics

Hot Topics

To help you introduce newsworthy biology topics into your classroom, BioEd Online periodically produces short topical summaries and annotated slide sets on science “Hot Topics” that are receiving national attention. Each digital slide set contains slides, speaker’s notes, and keywords. Slides can be viewed in sets or accessed individually to create customized presentations, and all slides can be downloaded to, and viewed on computers or mobile devices.

To access the slides, click on a title below or choose a title from the “Hot Topics” menu to the right. (Delete the word, “Slides” from the header in the right-hand column.) If you have questions about how to use the slide sets, visit the Help/FAQ link below or contact us directly.

  • Embryonic Stem Cells

    Embryonic Stem CellsSlide Set

    In the US, political debates rage about expanding federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Current policy only allows federal monies to be used for research on 21 stem cell lines that existed before 2001. Legislation currently being discussed would allow funding for research on new stem cell lines derived from surplus embryos from fertility clinics.

  • The Cinnamon Challenge

    The Cinnamon ChallengeSlide Set

    The “Cinnamon Challenge” is a social phenomenon, spread largely through social media, which carries serious risks. Remarkably, people who participate in this “challenge” willingly accept entirely avoidable risk, even though there is no apparent benefit. The rise of the “Cinnamon Challenge” demonstrates how social media can quickly spread a cultural trend among teenagers, comedians, NBA players, and even politicians.

  • Bird Flu: Is a Pandemic Looming in Our Future?

    Bird Flu: Is a Pandemic Looming in Our Future?Slide Set

    Influenzas, are contagious diseases caused by influenza viruses. Influenza Type A viruses, with varying degrees of virulence, can infect humans, birds, pigs, horses, and other animals.

  • Ricin: The Chemical and the Threat

    Ricin: The Chemical and the ThreatSlide Set

    Ricin, one of the most poisonous naturally occurring substances, has a long history as a chemical weapon. Since at least World War I, governments have investigated its use on the battlefield. In September 1978, a Bulgarian dissident, Georgi Markov, was assassinated by a pellet of ricin shot into his leg. There also have been multiple incidents of ricin being sent through the mail. Most recently, in April 2013, envelopes containing powdered ricin were sent to President Obama and US Senator, Roger Wicker. Understanding this chemical, how it works, and how it is used can help to minimize its danger.

  • Understanding Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

    Understanding Methicillin-Resistant <em>Staphylococcus aureus</em>Slide Set

    MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a strain of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that has developed resistance to an entire class of antibiotics (called beta lactams), including methicillin, penicillin, amoxicillin, and oxacillin. In addition, S. aureus is often found to be resistant to antiseptics and disinfectants. Over the past four decades in the US, it has evolved from an easily controlled microbe to a major public health problem.