Category Archives: DNA Replication
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.
DNA Replication (Core and AHL)
This topic is well-resourced on the internet – almost too well! Standard level students need to know the bare basics, which equates to the process of replication of the leading strand for the HL students. Here is the presentation, with some good links to follow:
DNA Replication animations:
St. Olaf’s nice and clear animation.
Another clear one from Wiley.
Nicely illustrated one from Harvard.
John Kyrk’s complicated molecular animation.
The Meselsohn Stahl experiment from Sumanas.
More animations from North Harris College and from LearnersTV.
Click4Biology pages: Core & HL
Here is the top-rated video on the subject on YouTube:
Interactive Concepts in Biochemistry
Found this useful source on North Harris College’s linklist.
Wiley.com have produced this online resource for Biochemistry and the Chemistry of Life, and it contains a whole load of interactives and animations.
It is an ideal resource for: photosynthesis, respiration, DNA replication, transcription, translation, cell structure, enzymes and protein synthesis.
“Girl, It’s Time to Automate” & “The PCR Song”
This was first posted by TheIntersection over at ScienceBlogs.
It seems the latest way to market expensive Science lab toys (by which I mean equipment beyond the reach of your average school), is to produce a cheesy pop video.
Our first example is clearly aimed at the ladies in the lab and has been produced by Eppendorf to sell their automated pipetting system:
The next makes a mockery of cheesy ensemble charity singles and has been made by BioRad to market their PCR equipment:
“I’s amazing what heating and cooling and heating can do-oooo!”
More choice lyrics after the jump.
Synthetic Biology – the man-made future?
Where’s the money in Biology? Probably where the future lies – genetics and synthetic biology.
As we learn more about genomes and the way different organisms (including pathogens) work, we can move towards creating targeted responses and DNA-level manipulation. Synthetic biologists take DNA and try to re-work it into a solution to a problem – by creating synthetic DNA, they hope to achieve control over the functions of the organism. They hope to generate alternative sources of fuel, targeted treatments and vaccines and many more applications.
Click on the image to the right to download a useful poster from SEED magazine.
BioBricks (company link) are a leading example of synthetic biology in action. Think of them like lego bricks or parts of standard computer code – you can take them and (theoretically) fit them into any genome. This is one of the wonders of DNA – base-pairings and the universality of the genetic code allow these researchers endless opportunities for tinkering and advancing science. Some BioBricks are ‘parts’, some are ‘devices’ and others are ‘systems’ – sections of code that increase in complexity and functionality.
There is an exciting world of information out there about this topic, and it’s well worth looking at if you think your future lies in biotechnology. It’s a discipline that pulls together Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Engineering and Programming, and the ways in are various. If you want to find out more about a career in synthetic biology, MIT are world-leaders in the field.
For a quick explanation of how synthetic biology works (and an interesting hardware/software analogy) watch the video from ScientificAmerican below:
You might also want to read ‘Prey’ by Michael Crichton for a bit of light holiday scare-mongering. Imagine ‘The Andromeda Strain‘ with nanoparticles.
And while we’re on the subject of Scientific American, you may as well check out their video channel on YouTube. It’s much like the NewScientist one.
Human Genome Project
First stop, the official website from the National Institute of Health
Here’s a great interactive from DNAi at the Dolan DNA Learning Centre
Now for some videos:
Mickey-Mouse introduction, bit of review on transcription and translation:….
If you have a spare hour (I don’t), here’s Charlie Rose interviewing Dr. J. Craig Venter:
Here’s James Watson (famous for co-discovering the structure of DNA and the first person to receive their own personal genome) chatting with NewScientist:
And don’t forget Learn.Genetics excellent site.
Essential Biology 03 – Chemistry of Life uploaded
Part 3 of the revision guide for 2009 session IB Diploma Biology is here:
To the right of this page there are also new updates specifically aimed at IBDP Bio – separate pages for each topic in the syllabus. I’ll try to get these as complete as possible as soon as possible, but things might be a bit quiet round here in the run-up to the exams.
If you dowload the document, let me know how you get on.
DNA Replication: linklist
There are stacks of DNA replication animations on the internet. Here are a few good ones.
John Kyrk (HL, very detailed and good)
New Century College (simple, clear) This school sounds interesting.
Biology 7th edition from McGraw Hill
Bioteach (cartoony, but has it all)
Remember – DNA replication is NOT Protein Synthesis – it doesn’t involve transcription and translation!