Category Archives: ICT in Science Class

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!

The Habitable Planet

This is a great collection of multimedia Science resources, including lectures, notes, videos and interactives.

Get on and have a go!

It is produced by Learner.org, a huge and excellent resource for all Science topics (and other subjects, too).

The Great Turtle Race

Sea turtles make huge journeys across the Pacific, to and from egg-laying sites. Turtles laying eggs  in Indonesia paddle (and use currents) all the way to California to forage for jellyfish, and leatherbacks from Costa Rica travel right down to the south Pacific.

Some researchers have been using GPS technology to track migrations to see if their route is the same each year:

There is even an annual event called The Great Turtle Race (this year is the second – The Olympiad!)

Head on over to their website to find out more about sea turtle conservation and visit some of their links.

There’s even a flash game or two to play, or a sea turtle survival lesson from Bridge: National Marine Educators Association

And, of course, there is a facebook group devoted to the race.

This is all organised by the leatherback trust.

Space: the Final Frontier

Just how big is the Universe? The Hubble telescope helped us find out…

Some more space resources:

YourSky – excellent star map that lets you control many variables and print.

Stardate –  a collection of excellent resources for stargazers, students and teachers (including how old/heavy am I on other planets?)

Lots of good FAQs from Stardate

Deepsky2003 starmap plotting software

Magic Pen – A Phun Game for wasting valuable study time

Thanks to Danny Nicholson at the WhiteboardBlog.Magic Pen - poof! your time has disappeared.

Similar to the Phun application I mentioned a while back, here’s a simpler game-style version. It’s in Flash and can be saved with the Firefox app, so it can be played on the whiteboard later.

What are you doing working?

Go over there and waste some time! (Joking)

Virtual Echocardiography

This resource from Toronto General Hospital’s Perioperative Interactive Education unit gives a good view of two sections through the heart, with ECG loops to match the image. Good for seeing the normal function of cardiac valves.

Updated and includes guide sheets, quizzes and a range of languages.

Get Body Smart

This site has some interesting human anatomy and physiology tutorials and animations, though it’s impossible to save them.

You’ll need a decent internet connection to run them.

The Transport System

These links are for the Further Human Physiology unit.

Here’s the powerpoint:

Download here: transport-system.ppt

And here’s the Click4Biology link

Medmovie.com has a large collection of animations which are great for this unit. We can’t link to them directly, but it’s worth having a look around.

The Cardiac Cycle:

Hyper Heart animation and graphs from the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Biointeractive from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Control of the Heart Beat:

A few good links to try from Washburn Rural High School

And don’t forget the Medmovie resource…

Atherosclerosis and Coronary Heart Disease:

Medmovie has good animations for atherosclerosis, heart attacks and heart bypass surgery. There aren’t many that are better…

Production of Tissue Fluid and Lymph:

Hydrostatic and osmotic pressure (fluid exchange) from McGraw Hill

Capillary exchange from coolschool.ca (they have other good resources, too)

Bonus features:

For a good (tricky) prac, here’s a virtual EKG package from skillstat.com

And here’s a decent heart structure tutorial from Gateway Community College

Medmovie.com – brilliant medical animations

Medmovie is a commercial website, though they have many animations available in their media library samples and interactives, including heart beats, heart attacks, atherosclerosis and more (I can’t link directly to each one – you have to go to the main page first)

They look fantastic – some are .swf and others are .mov, though all the samples can be saved easily in Firefox.

Absorption of Digested Food Molecules

Download it here:  absorption-of-digested-foods.ppt

Virtual Fetal Pig dissection (digestive system) from Whitman

Zooming in – Intestine to epithelial cells (with comedy Lancashire accent) from UCLan’s Sonic Nursing project

Lots of digestion and absorption animations from Nutrition.jbpub.com

Absorption of monosaccharides (tutorial) from Colorado StateNew-Yorkers in search of poo-phoria (from Salon.com)

JD and Turk telling us how poo is used for diagnosis:

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