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Thinking Scientifically
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1. In an episode of the X-Files, a monster sucks out people’s pituitary glands. What symptoms might they develop?

2. How might mutations in different genes cause deficits or malfunctions of the same hormones?

3. A queen honeybee secretes a substance from a gland in her jaw that inhibits the development of ovaries in worker bees. Is this substance most likely a hormone, prostaglandin, or pheromone? Cite a reason for your answer.

4. Imagine you are a researcher who has just found a small gland-like structure in a human. How would you determine whether it is an endocrine gland? If it is, how might you identify the gland’s role in the endocrine system?

5. Do you think that melatonin should be available without a prescription and without FDA approval, or should it be regulated as a drug? Cite a reason for your answer.


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Additional Questions

1. Why would high blood levels of thyroglobulin in a person who has had her thyroid removed because it is cancerous, be a sign of a problem?

2. Tamoxifen is a drug that prevents recurrence of breast cancer by binding to estrogen receptors, which the cancer cells also bind to. What might side effects of this drug be?

3. Since the government deemed possession of anabolic steroids a federal offense in 1990, some athletes have sought to ingest other biochemicals to build muscle. Some have used growth hormones. What might the side effects of this action be?

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