Blog Archives

BBC’s The Gene Code

Through decoding the Human Genome, researchers have uncovered many of the secrets of what makes us the way we are, how we got to be here and how complex life evolved. Another promising BBC documentary, The Gene Code, is hosted by Adam Rutherford (The Cell). This is well worth watching if you can get it in your area.

We must be getting close to the point where you could learn the whole of IB Biology through great documentaries. If you spend a lot of time in traffic and have a mobile device like a laptop or iPod, why not try to supplement or extend your own Biology learning through viewing? A great place to start is the Why Evolution Is True YouTube Channel.

LifeSaver Bottle: Michael Pritchard at TED

TED2010 is on right now in California, so it’s a good opportunity to look at some of their best talks of the past year. This one is short and inspirational – how to meet the UN’s Millenium Development Goal to Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without access to safe drinking water and sanitation – for just $8bn!

Michael Pritchard’s LifeSaver bottle is a solution to clean water needs. For just $150, it can filter even the dirtiest water, in remote areas, or following disasters such as the Haiti quakes. Spurred on by the problems following the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, see Pritchard demonstrate the technology at TED 2009:

There’s a nice little link there to cell theory and magnification, also.

This year, who is going to be worth watching? Check out the list of presenters here.

Cell Division (mitosis) and Tumours

The presentation has been updated to include a lot more information on tumours – though it is not all essential for the exams, it is a good health class and an introduction to some degree-level cellular biology concepts. There are loads of links to videos and animations if you click on the shadowed images.

Essential Biology 2.5: Cell Division (mitosis)

Here’s a lovely mitosis video:

Virtual Urchin – Tutorials from Stanford

Here are some flash tutorials from the team at Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford. They make good use of the properties of the sea urchin’s gametes for studies and learning experiences:

Fertilisation and Development Lab

Fertilisation and Development

“Gametes of sea urchins yield exceptional experiences in the classroom; teachers and students alike are riveted by being able to observe fertilization, cell division and embryonic development. The gametes are easy to use, the developmental stages are readily seen with the microscope and the rapidity of fertilization and early cell divisions allows the student to ask questions and obtain answers within the bounds of a normal classroom schedule. The utility of urchins for inquiry-based science is unrivaled.”

Head on over there to have a go at some of their labs, including a neat microscope tutorial, practice with microscope measurements, fertilisation and development and a ocean acidification investigation.


Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes

Essential Biology 2.2 Prokaryotes

Click4Biology Prokaryotes

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MrT’s terrible pun:

If you get salmonella from a 3 day-old bacon sandwich, does that mean you’ve contracted a porkaryote?

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Essential Biology 2.3 Eukaryotes

Click4Biology Eukaryotes

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BioCoach Cell Structure and Function topic

The Biology Project Cell Biology page

Wiley Science tutorial (Flash)

Bacterial growth populations from umich.edu

Don’t forget the great resources at Learn.Genetics.

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Review quiz on Quia: Cell Theory, Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes. (for my class only)

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And here’s a nice timelapse of bacterial growth:

Here’s a story of a giant bacterium, from NotExactlyRocketScience

 

BBC Cell Series

Dr Adam Rutherford presents Cell, a three-part series on the history and great discoveries in cell biology. WhyEvolutionIsTrue has HD-quality full episodes here:

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ToK issues and ideas of academic honesty abound in the series.

What is life and where does it come from?

How do we know that living things are made of cells?

What motivated (and still motivates) the great discoveries?

How and why did Virchow plagiarise Remak’s work on cell division?

What are the ethics of new and future developments in cell biology?

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*More downloads also available from RapidShare.

Stem cells used in trachea transplant

Doctors have successfully used stem cells in a rejection-free transplant of a trachea.

This is a great example of internationalism in science – the patient was Colombian, the hospital in Barcelona, stem cells cultivated in Bristol and the final stage of the windpipe construction completed in Milan.

Check your understanding:

Did they grow a new trachea from scratch?

How did they prevent rejection of the tissue?

There is a good short reader on the NewScientist website.

The original research paper was published by The Lancet.

And another video on National Geographic.

Bio-Alive: a huge resource of animations and videos

Bio-Alive Biology and Life Sciences has a massive set of links to online tutorials, videos, animations, interactives, lectures and games. Huge. Loads.

One of the highlights has to be the video archive of surgical operations!

Follow these links for IB topic help:

Cells: animationstutorialsvirtual labslectures

Chemistry of Life: animationstutorialslectures

Genetics: animationstutorialsvirtual labslectures

Evolution: animationstutorialsvirtual labslectures

Or just visit their page for masses of links.

Cell Division

Again, there is a load of resources on the internet for this topic, many of which have been linked in the presentation below:

Here’s the Click4Biology page.

Membranes

This is quite a long presentation covering membrane structure and function and passive transport, active transport and vesicle transport:

There are many links in the presentation  – clicky clicky!

The internet is awash with decent animations and video clips for this topic – your best bet is to enter the search term “_____ transport swf” and see what comes up.

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