Category Archives: Chemistry of Life (Core & AHL)

Carbohydrates, Lipids and Proteins

Here’s the class presentation – click the shadowed images for animations.

For more information on condensation and hydrolysis reactions:

Simple explanation by Terry Brown

Collection of examples from North Harris College

Carbohydrates:

Explanation and animation from National Louis University

Proteins:

Life Cycle of a Protein from Sumanas

Making polypeptides from John Kyrk

Lipids:
Structures of Fats from HHMI

Lipids (and condensation animation) from National Louis University

Secrets of the Sequence – The Discovery of DNA

This 9-minute clip is an ideal ‘watcher’ to go along with the reader in the Course Companion – it tells the story of the discovery of the DNA double helix structure by Watson and Crick and how their discovery was dependant on the prior work of Rosalind Franklin and the compeitive/cooperative nature of research:

This clip  is taken from the vdeo lesson resource provided by Virginia Commonwealth University’s ‘Secrets of the Sequence’ website. They have 50 different videos, each with accompanying lesson plans and activities.

They also have a YouTube channel: VCULifeSciences.

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.

Foldit – help science by playing a game

Foldit is ridiculously addictive.

It is a protein-folding game/simulation, designed and produced collaboratively between the University of Washington’s Computer Science and Engineering and Biochemistry departments. There is a great introduction to the roles of proteins in metabolism and disease, as well as protein folding, on their about page.

Apart from the great software and in-game tutorials in protein structures, players at the highest level may be contributing to medicine! The University and associated labs are setting problems of protein folding for players to solve – each one an important molecule in its own right and some even the key to curing some diseases.

There is a great article about the game on RichardDawkins.net: ‘Computer game’s high score could earn the Nobel prize in medicine.’ There’s even a classic quote from co-developer Prof. David Baker:

“I imagine that there’s a 12-year-old in Indonesia who can see all this in their head.”

Too right. Let’s represent for Indonesia!

Here’s a quick clip of the game in action at a high level:

Download the game here and get playing!

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.

New resources at Learn.Genetics

This is via the Learn.Genetics mailing list. Why not join – they only send mails out when there’s something worth reading.

Coming soon, Amazing Cells:activities and animations on cell processes and communication.

Also, a new interactive lab activity: Polymerase Chain Reaction Biotechniques lab.

Dawkins on Darwin & Channel 4’s ‘Genius of Darwin’

You can almost feel the Darwin fever as we near the 150th anniversary of the publishing of ‘On the Origin of Species‘. Channel 4 in the UK recently aired this special interview with Dawkisquawks talking about the life and work of Darwin. Their site is very good.

The whole lot has been posted to YouTube, but I doubt it will be there for long, so get on over and save it:

As Dawkins is wont to do, it is very long: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.

Channel 4 is also running a new series called “The Genius of Darwin“, so keep an eye out for that:

Here is episode 1: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. And here’s the whole thing on GoogleVideo

Here is episode 2: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. It’s not on GoogleVideo yet.

Episode 3 should be up next week.

I recently made another post about ‘On the Origin…’, so head over there for more links. And if you feel like testing the strength of your bookshelf, I can recommend Dawkins’ newest book, The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing.

Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary

With all the webspace devoted to genetics and biotechnology at the moment, it’s great to stumble upon a site that is bringing ‘old school’ Science into the new millenium. Though no-one seems to call it botany any more!

The Plant and Soil Science eLibrary hosts a collection of animations on plant science topics and cell biology that are useful, clear and can be easily downloaded. They are all also available in Spanish and many have pdf help notes for students.

The site is designed primarily for people who wish to earn credit for further studies in crop science and contains such units as plant physiology, crop technology and nutrition technology. There’s even some genetics in there.

Click on the image to see their transpiration example.

Rediscovering Biology – web-based Bio course

Rediscovering Biology is a comprehensive free learning resource that covers 13 different topics-  mostly with an emphasis on Biochemistry and Genetics.

Each topic has an introductory video, downloadable texbook, course outline, learning activities and a selection of images and animations in quicktime, which are high-quality. One of the highlights of the site is the selection of immersive case studies. There is also a useful pop-up glossary.

Topics: Genomics, Proteins and Proteomics, Evolution and Phylogenetics, Microbial Diversity, Emerging Infectious Disease, HIV and AIDS, Genetics of Development, Cell Biology and Cancer, Human Evolution, Neurobiology, Biology of Sex and Gender, Biodoversity, Genetically Modified Organisms.

“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.

Read the rest of this entry

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