Advances in biological science

It is a major task for educators to keep up with the advances in biology that occur almost daily. The National Science Foundation-supported "Advances in Biological Science" program (NSF-ABS), now in its third year, was designed to provide Los Angeles teachers with developments at the cutting edge of the biological sciences and to disseminate this information nationally. The program features scientists, including Nobel laureate Francis Crick, known for outstanding research contributions as well as awardwinning teaching. This article is the second in a series in The American Biology Teacher "Advances" papers based on the NSF-ABS program. Here, we review major developments in areas that are at the cutting edge of biology today. The advances selected for this article represent fields as different as cancer and marine biology, the common thread being that exciting new developments have recently occurred in each.