Blog Archives

Bean there, done that…

Plant Science is one of my favourite topics for HL students as it is a real opportunity to link many of the core ideas of Biology together. Think of it not just as a series of out-of-context assessment statements to check off, but as a chance to revise everything you have learned so far.

Consider this diagram of germination. How many links across the syllabus can you make? Try pasting the image into the middle of a large sheet of paper and surrounding it with explanations of all the concepts that link to it. It could form the centrepiece of a Prezi or a concept map, or simply a large revision poster.

Germination – how many links can you make across the curriculum?

This image is adapted from a diagram at Click4Biology. For some of my suggestions of how this diagram alone represents over 20 links across the curriculum, click here: Bean there, done that…

Lorenzo’s Oil: Grade 11 Review

Lorenzo’s Oil is brilliant for reviewing much of the content of Grade 11, and in particular the Genetics and Biochemistry components of this semester. As you watch, answer the questions on the question sheet.

More ALD resources:

Myelin Project: Augusto Odone’s Website

ALD information page, from the NIH

AccessExcellence questions and ideas for Lorenzo’s Oil

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


Explanation and animation from National Louis University


Life Cycle of a Protein from Sumanas

Making polypeptides from John Kyrk

Structures of Fats from HHMI

Lipids (and condensation animation) from National Louis University

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 ‘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!

Chemical Elements and Water

Here is the class presentation:

You can click on the shadowed images in the presentation to be taken to the animations and videos.

Interactive Concepts in Biochemistry

Found this useful source on North Harris College’s linklist 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.

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