HeroRATS: Detecting Landmines and TB
In this TED Talk, Bart Weetjens explains how he and his team from Apopo are using operant conditioning to train African giant pouched rats (Cricetomys gambianus) to sniff out and signal land mines and TB infections:
Visit the resources at Apopo’s pages to find out more about why these rats are chosen in favour of other species and how the training programme works. You could also adopt your own rat to support their work. There are more videos from Apopo on their website or on their YouTube channel.
IB Biology Links:
- E3 Innate and Learned Behaviour
- E2 Perception of Stimuli (why are the rats so good at it?)
E6 (HL) Further Studies of Behaviour
Final topic for the HL Students!
Essential Biology E6: Further Studies of Behaviour
Animations and Resources:
Inside the Hive (PBS): Colony structure
EO Wilson: Lord of the Ants (PBS)
Richrad Dawkins explains the Selfish Gene:
Turtles rely on lunar cycles for nesting:
Seasonal cycles can be affected by climate change:
Circadian rhythms are daily cycles:
Tutorial from WHFreeman
Hamsters will self-select optimal light conditions
Sleep/ wake patterns are genetic in basis:
Colony collapse Disorder (non-syllabus)
“No one villian behind honey-bee colony collapse” from Science News
– What causes CCD? from Bayer CropScience
Video: Collapse of the Honeybee, by Rowan Jacobsen
E5 The Human Brain (HL)
Almost there, HL’s!
Check out the excellent resources from the NewScientist: The Human Brain
PBS has a great site called The Secret Life of the Brain (with 3D animation), and there’s Slate’s special issue on The Brain.
Essential Biology E5: The Human Brain
Regions of the brain:
PBS: 3D brain animation
Evidence for functions of brain structures
Reader on brain technologies, from Nature
How does fMRI work? Video from 60 minutes:
Investigating Broca’s area:
Ferrier’s animal experiments reader (from 1881)
Sympathetic vs Parasympathetic control
Simple animation from GFisk
Heart rate control animation, from McGraw Hill
Put some ACh into it, music video:
Pathways of the pupil reflex animation from Utah Medicine
How to test the pupil response:
Perception of Pain
Pain pathways animation, from Bay Area Pain Medical
Effect of endorphins on pain, from Wadsworth Psychology
Do fish feel pain? Reader from Science Daily
E3 Innate and Learned Behaviour
Essential Biology E3: Innate and Learned Behaviour
Animations and Tutorials:
Collection from The Animated Brain
Classical Conditioning from NobelPrize.org
Indiana Univerity Song Learning in Cowbirds: Social effect on birdsong:
To what extent is human behaviour innate in nature?
Watch this video from the California Academy of Sciences’ Science in Action series: Facial Expressions
What is the effect of the observer on human behaviour when they know they are being observed?
Why do the blind olympians provide a good sample population for the study?
What conclusions could be drawn from the investigation? Why?