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Elements of computing, Simulation in True BASIC, Costly, clot-busing drug better heart attack treatment, four articles on breast cancer.



Read the two articles on breast cancer and abortions and answer the following questions:

1. As you see from these articles, activists on the religious right have hit upon the idea of using medical studies to combat abortion. They claim that averaging over all studies, they have shown that women who have had an abortion have a 50%increased risk for breast cancer. What might they mean by that?

2. If it were to be established that abortions were a risk factor for breast cancer, would this have an effect on a your personal opinion on abortions? should it have an effect on the legality of abortions?

3. Do you feel that the commonly quoted ``1 women in 8 will die of breast cancer" is a misleading statistic?

4. Why do we always read that 1 women in 8 will die of breast cancer and never read about the proportion of men who will die of a heart attack or, for that matter, the proportion of women will die of a heart attack or of lung cancer?

5. Researchers say that they are very close to identifying a gene that makes women highly prone to breast cancer. It is estimated that 1 in 200 women carry this gene and, if they do, they have an 82%chance of getting breast cancer. Once this gene is found, will there be widespread demand to be tested for it? Would knowledge that a women does not carry this gene significantly decrease her chance of getting breast cancer?


(1) The recent Supreme Court considerations of preventing peremptive challenges bases only on sex suggested the following problem:

Assume that prospective jurors for a 12 person jury are equally likely to be men or women. The lawyer for the defense is allowed three peremptive challenges and will use them all to try to keep women off the jury. Neither the judge nor the other lawyer makes any other challenges. What is the probability that the jury will end up all men?

Write a True BASIC program to simulate choosing many such juries and find the proportion of times the jury ends up with all men. Use this to estimate the desired probability. How accurate do you think your estimate is? See if you can calculate the exact probability and compare it with your estimate.

(2) Read the current Chance news and the full text of the following three articles that bear on issues that we have discussed. Record your reactions to the articles in your journal.

The 1993 elections: Polls; New Jersey voting experts try to figure out where they went wrong.The New York Times, 4 Nov. 1993, B9Elizabeth Kolbert

Backtalk; Basketball's Lessons for ScienceThe New York Times, 7 Nov 1993, Section 8 page 9Carl Sagan

Perspective on the Denny verdicts; better to let 100 guilty go free, the founding fathers decided, than to punish one innocent.Los Angeles Times, 5 Nov 1993, B7William W. Bedsworth

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