Biology Question

Learning Goal: I’m working on a biology project and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

1-page single-spaced paper


Recent research suggests that the gut microbiome plays a role in modulating the risk of several chronic diseases in humans, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, and obesity (Singh et al., 2017). Therapies targeting the microbiome have shown clinical benefit (Sharma et al., 2020).


Sharma, A., Das, P., Buschmann, M., Gilbert, J.A. (2020) The future of microbiome-based therapeutics in clinical applications. Clin Pharmacol Ther 107(1): 123-128. doi: 10.1002/cpt.1677.

Singh, R.K., Chang, HW, Yan, D. et al. (2017) Influence of diet on the gut microbiome and implications for human health. J Transl Med 15(1): 73.

For this week’s discussion board, please pick a therapeutic agent used to treat either an allergic or autoimmune disorder and present a summary of this agent that addresses the following questions:

    1. What is the name of this therapeutic agent, and which hypersensitivity or autoimmune disorder does it treat?
    2. What is the mechanism of action of this therapeutic agent? Please provide details about the cell types and signaling pathways that are targeted.
    3. What is the route of administration for this drug, and how often does it need to be administered?
    4. Are there any known side effects of using this therapy? Are patients left more susceptible to certain types of infections?
    5. Is this therapy successful in controlling allergic/autoimmune pathology? What is the prognosis for patients that are successfully treated with this therapy?

You can either pick a specific therapeutic agent used to treat an allergy or autoimmune disorder that interests you after doing some of your own research, or select from this list of examples:

    1. Anakinra (IL-1 receptor antagonist; rheumatoid arthritis)
    2. Natalizumab (VLA-4 and VCAM-1 antagonist; Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis)
    3. Alefacept (Recombinant CD58-IgG1; psoriasis)
    4. Adalimumab (TNF-alpha antagonist; Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis)
    5. Rituximab (B cell depletion; SLE, autoimmune hemolytic anemia)
    6. Fingolimod (S1P analogue; multiple sclerosis)
    7. Prednisone (corticosteroid; asthma)
    8. Oral tolerance (to treat food allergy)
    9. Subcutaneous immunotherapy (“allergy shots”; treat various forms of allergy)

Note that some of these drugs can be used to treat several different autoimmune or allergic pathologies; in this case, please pick 1 disorder to discuss in your response.

You should be able to present a summary of your chosen treatment within a 1-page single passed essay (NOT formatted as bullet points). Responses must be written in your own words. As with the previous discussion prompts for this course, please include citations for the sources that you used to learn about this therapy at the end of your response (you may use any citation format that you prefer). Again, please keep in mind that there are 3 categories of scientific literature sources: (1) primary research articles, which are written by scientists and report their original experimental findings, (2) secondary research articles, which are review articles written by scientists that typically present a summary of a given topic without original experimental results, and (3) tertiary articles, which include pieces published in the popular media. Tertiary news sources represent venues of scientific communication that are more susceptible to influence by external social and cultural factors that may affect an article’s objectivity, which can impact the quality and reliability of information that is presented. From a scientific standpoint, it is best to read about your topic of interest using primary and secondary research articles published by established journals, as these articles have been subjected to a scientific quality control process called peer review. You are strongly encouraged to find and read scientific literature on your selected therapy that has been published in a reputable scientific journal using search engines such as PubMed ( (Links to an external site.)). If you have issues with additional journal access through your university and must include tertiary sources of information for this assignment, please include a short sentence with your citation that communicates why you trust that source of scientific information.

Essay Prompt Details

Each essay prompt will include several questions to help you organize your response; you

should be able to respond to all components of the prompt within 1 written page. To encourage

learning about the essay topic through different categories of scientific literature, primary and

secondary scientific articles will be posted along with the essay prompt. You should also include

citations (in any format that you prefer) at the end of your response to indicate the sources that

you used to research and inform your response to the prompt. Please use minimal text copied

and pasted from other sources with quotation marks in your response; even when cited

properly, in order to learn the material it is important for you to write out these concepts in your

own words. Top essay grades will be earned by students who take the time to compose a

thoughtful, well-written initial response in your own words that reflects an advanced

understanding of the subject material, accompanied by a clear effort to learn from additional

scientific literature

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