Category Archives: Mitosis & The Cell Cycle
15 year-old develops effective, cheap test for pancreatic cancer [TED Audition]
Wow. Here’s Jack Andraka’s TED Audition for a talk on his work developing a carbon nanotube and antibody-based test for pancreatic cancer.
Jack won the 2012 Gordon E. Moore Award ($75,000) at the Intel International* Science and Engineering Fair for the same work:
Read more about him, his work and the work he built it on here on Forbes.com.
*Yup – you can have a go too.
Thai Kids Anti-Smoking Ad [Video]
This is well done.
I wonder what would happen if a young orangutan asked this adult for a light? (Indonesian zoo aims to stub out orangutan’s smoking habit, Guardian).
Fruit Fly Development: Cell by Cell [Nature Video]
Wow. Two papers published in Nature Methods have outlined a new technique which allows researchers to track development of embryos (in this case Drosophila melanogaster), in real time. By taking simulataneous multi-view microscopic images of the developing embryo, individual cells can be tracked in real time. The methods are described in more detail at Nature News here.
Have a look at the amazing results below, as a fruitfly embryo develops into a larva, ready to hatch. The two views are the dorsal (upper side) and ventral (lower side) view of the same embryo. See if you can pick a cell and watch its path of development.
Think about how this links to IB Biology topics of cell division, cell specialisation and embryonic development. How does a stem cell know what type of cell to become? If you look closely, there’s a scale bar in the bottom-right. Take a snapshot and calculate the actual length of the embryo.
For more reasons to love fruit flies, check out my mini-review of Fly: An Experimental Life by Martin Brookes.
Image source: Drosophila melanogaster, from Wikipedia.
Drew Berry’s Animations of Unseeable Biology [TED Talk]
In 2011, Drew Berry’s animation of the role of breast stem cells won the Imagine Science Film Festival award for visual science (posted here). In this TED Talk, he explains how and why he and his team have put together these accurate representations of invisible cellular processes. The talk shows some examples of the animations, including a really great segment on mitosis and what is happening when spindle microtubules attach and contract.
For more excellent animations, visit the Walter and Elizabeth Hall Institute (WEHI) TV Channel: http://www.wehi.edu.au/education/wehitv/, or their YouTube channel.
The effective communication of Science is an Art.
Fighting a Contagious Cancer (and the Guardian Facebook App)
Today’s Guardian has a profile of Elizabeth Murchison on the Grrl Scientist blog. Murchison’s TED Talk explains the work of her team trying to prevent the extinction of Tasmanian Devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) due to a contagious facial cancer, spread by biting.
Scary stuff, with some – very – graphic images.
She mentions the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is responsible for cervical cancer. Their first thought was that the source of this cancer was similar – viral, but that is not the case. In fact, the cells are implanted into other devils through biting – where they colonise and run rampage.
Also this week, the Guardian released their Facebook app. You can ‘like’ it into your feeds, as well as the different streams (Science, environment, data, education and more).
With all the apps and fan pages out there, you too could turn your facebook into a feed reader.
Some Cell Cycle Silliness
Very silly – but could be used to lighten a dull lesson or start a discussion on what’s missing. Thanks to greathat from the TES Boards for posting the links.
1. Mitosis Song with hi-tech video:
“Please baby, no television – I just wanna talk about cell division…”
Two meiosis videos after the jump.
The Cell Cycle: Mitosis
Here’s a nice wee video (got a WWII pathe feel to it):
This one’s a decent-enough animation. Fitting the new DP guide, he mentions chromatids rather than chromosomes at the beginning of prophase.