DISCUSSION POINTS FROM THE
BEN CANDIDI NOVELS, by Dirk Wyle
of possible use for
EDUCATORS AND SCIENCE PROFESSIONALS
Note: Many of these topics can be searched on-line, starting from Links for Scientists and Laymen on
the Main Page.
For Pharmacology Is Murder, by Dirk Wyle
- Forensic vs basic science
- Are the attitudes expressed in the CSI TV series useful in a biomedical research laboratory?
- Pick a title: B.S., Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow, assistant professor, associate professor, full
professor, chairman, dean, Nobel laureate, inventor, trail-blazer, biomedical research
- Why insulin cannot be taken by mouth. Prion disease. Pharmacokinetics and drug
- Research specialties of the 13 scientist-suspects
- The transforming experience of the Ph.D. program
- Ph.D. vs M.D.: Separate cultures or completely different animals?
- Career paths in biomedical research
- Medical inventions, patenting and commercialization
- Are today's scientists natural philosophers, as implied by the title Ph.D. (Doctor of
- Does the novel identify aspects of academic biomedical science that need to be more
carefully examined or perhaps even changed?
For Biotechnology Is Murder, by Dirk Wyle
- Why new drugs are expensive and hard to bring out: discovery, mechanism, source,
purity, FDA guidelines and process, animal testing, side-effects, clinical testing,
manufacture. And who is going to come up with $100 M to pay for it all?
- Drug discovery: big companies vs small scientists
- Dr. Moon's problems
- Intermediate-stage financing
- Defining intellectual property
- Venture capitalists: Was Dr. Broadmoore typical?
- Due diligence
- Biomedical consulting scientist: a serious career or an occasional moonlighting gig?
- The animal testing described in the novel
- "GMP according to FDA guidelines"
- Academia, government agency, big company or small company: Career choices for the
freshly minted Ph.D.
- "People skills" and "social engineering": Where to draw a line that will ensure that it's
For Medical School Is Murder, by Dirk Wyle
- Patent examiner as a career for a freshly minted Ph.D.
- Biomedical research in medical schools: hard- and soft-money positions
- Why the most dangerous time in a heart attack is when blood flow has been reestablished
- Scientific discoveries overlooked or made. How discovery disfavors an unprepared mind.
- Gradations in value of scientific work. How are scientific contributions weighed and
- Dr. Thomas Stockmann: Enemy of the People
- MRI and other minimally invasive diagnostic techniques
- Medical research as conducted by M.D.s and Ph.D.s.
- Limitations of statistical analysis in longitudinal studies
- Waste, fraud and abuse with respect to Federal funding of research
For Amazon Gold, by Dirk Wyle
- Amazon basin geology and hydrology
- Amazon basin biodiversity
Pharmaceuticals: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge
Amazonian Ethnobotanical Dictionary
- Amazon Indians — their way of life, tribalism, culture and future
- Yanomama Indians — language, customs, Stone-Age culture and 10,000 - 14,000 year history
Anthro.Net: Information on the Yanomamo
- Discovery of curare
- Natural products and candidate drugs from the Amazon rain forest
Rain-Tree.com's Clinical Research Abstracts for Tropical Plants
- DNA- or gene-expression biochips: What they can tell us
Gene-Chips (DNA Microarrays) by
Leming Shi, PhD
- Drug/receptor interaction: the foundation of pharmacology
- Functional drug assays: How many types of assay are there?
Agilent Technologies, Lab on a Chip
- Drug Discovery
Drug Discovery & Development
IBC's Drug Discovery Technology
- Ben's "invention"
- Estimating the number of potential drugs in the Amazon rain forest
- Pharmacological activity: proteins vs "small sturdy molecules"
- Rain forest vs oceans vs other environments as a source of new drugs
- Combinatorial chemistry: Could the chemists be smarter than Mother Nature?
Pharmacopea, Discovery Chemistry Services
Specialized Information Services, Ntl. Library of Medicine
- "Thar's gold in them thar hills!" The economics of drug discovery and development
For Bahamas West End Is Murder, by Dirk Wyle
- Oceanography of the Florida coast, Staits of Florida and Gulf Stream, Little Bahama Bank
- Ecology of the Little Bahama Bank
- Bahamian economy
- Bahamian political system
- History of the Bahamas
- Anti-cancer compounds from marine sponges. A scientific literature on this exists. (Also see Biotechnology Is Murder.)
- Assuming that the compounds were efficacious, what would be the economic impact on the Bahamas?
- Hull hydrodynamics: Planing vs displacement hulls
- Validity of Ben's time-required-to-sink calculation
- Gulf Stream currents and eddies
- Validity of Ben's engine-vs-current-vs-wind method for back-calculating the position of the yacht
- The science behind Rebecca's time-of-death calculation based on measurement of anal temperature. How the accuracy is influenced by activity level at death and environmental factors.
- Medico-forensic basis of Rebecca's time-of-death estimate on the second body
- Factors influencing distribution of sponges, coral and fish on marine ecospheres such as the Little Bahama Bank
For Yucatán Is Murder, by Dirk Wyle
Research and discuss the geography of the Yucatán Peninsula: mountains, hills and plains; weather; soil, ground cover; flora and fauna.
Research and discuss the present-day economy of the Yucatán Peninsula. What is the best prospect for growth? Tourism? Vacation- or retirement living? Agriculture? Technology? Developing human capital? Oil?
Yucatán hydrology: Its effect on sustainable population and ecology
Yucatán hydrology: As a determinant of Mayan history; cenotes
Similarities between Florida springs and Yucatán cenotes
Similarities between the Florida and Yucatán coastal environments
Research and consider the differences between Egyptian, Chinese and Mayan hieroglyphs.
The vulture as a cadaver dog
Follow leads in the novel to research carbon dioxide triple-point extraction technology.
Follow leads in the novel to research underground conduit drilling technology.
Research the use of DNA technology (described in the last chapter) to prove bodily contact with objects that have been collected as evidence.
Research the use of light-micoroscopy and histological stains to identify tissues collected as evidence and establish their human vs animal origin.
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