Blog Archives

Transcription and Translation (Core)

Start at the Learn.Genetics Firefly overview.

Core (AHL to follow):

Click on the shadowed images for animations and tutorials.

Essential Biology: 3.5 Transcription and Translation (SL/ Core Only)

Click4Biology page

More basic animations:

Learn.Genetics @ Utah

Transcribe and Translate (good, basic, interactive)

How do fireflies glow? (puts it in context)

University of Nebraska:

Protein Synthesis overview

Pawan Sinha: How the Brain Learns to See (TED 2010)

Perfect timing for our Neurobiology unit, and a real showcase for the interdisciplinary nature of science and humanitarian work – here is Pawan Sinha talking about how the brain learns to see, and how we can help the children who are born blind in India. Find out more about Sinha’s work and Project Prakash at his university website (MIT).

DNA Replication (Core & AHL)

Class Presentation:

Essential Biology 3.4 DNA Replication (SL Students)

Essential Biology 3.4 & 7.2 DNA Replication (HL Students)

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.

Revision materials:

Click4Biology pages: Core & HL

Wikipedia page

Here is the top-rated video on the subject on YouTube:

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.

Class presentation:

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:

Pupillary Reflex

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

Pain is in the brain:

Effect of endorphins on pain, from Wadsworth Psychology

Do fish feel pain? Reader from Science Daily

DNA Structure (Core and AHL)

Start with a decent tour of the basics, from Learn.Genetics.

Class presentation is here (click shadowed images for animations and movies):

Essential Biology: 3.3 (SL Only) DNA Structure

Essential Biology: 3.3 & 7.1 (HL) DNA Structure

Here’s a decent video from BBC AS Guru with David Suzuki:

And here’s a very stylized video of DNA structure from Hybrid Medical Animation. See if you can narrate it:

The story of the discovery of the double-helix structure is a good example international collaboration and competition, and led to the Nobel prize for Crick, Watson and Wilson (who we never hear about). You’ve got to feel for Rosalind Franklin – her work was key in their discovery and she wasn’t cited for it until after her death.

Here’s a great video, though the presenter sound like he has a mouth full of marbles:

E3 Innate and Learned Behaviour

Class Presentation:

Essential Biology E3: Innate and Learned Behaviour

Animations and Tutorials:

Collection from The Animated Brain

Classical Conditioning from

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?

E2 Perception of Stimuli

Class presentation:

Essential Biology: E2 Perception of Stimuli

Hermann Grid Illusion


Collection of animations from North Harris College

Eye structure tutorial from Sumanas

Simple how-the-eye-works from BiologyMad

The Sense of Sight from Wisconsin Online

How many megapixels is the human eye? from Brainiac.


How the Ear Works, from

The Sense of Hearing from Wisconsin Online

Neat Ear Tutorial from University of Alaska Fairbanks

McGraw Hill Effect of Sound Waves on Cochlear Structures

Test your hearing range (carefully) from the University of New South Wales

Mantis Shrimp: Awesome Vision

Interesting reading:

The peer-iodic table of illusions, from

The Mantis Shrimp’s amazing visual capabilities, from NotExactlyRocketScience

The eye is not irreducably complex – it is the product of natural selection

Evolution of vertebrate eyes from Pharyngula

Owl monkey example of eye evolution, from NotExactlyRocketScience

Video, The Evolution of the Eye, from PBS:

E1 Stimulus and Response

Class Presentation:

Essential Biology: E1 Stimulus and Response

For Reflex Arcs (including the pain reflex):

Start with this tutorial from Sumanas

And this animation from the University of Minnesota

Lots more CNS animations from North Harris College

Some good readers from Not Exactly Rocket Science for the effect of natural selection on response to stimulus:

Nerves, Hormones and Homeostasis

The final topic for Standard Level (if you don’t need to go onto the Neurobio unit)

As usual, click on the shadowed images to see an animation.

– Essential Biology 6.5: Nerves, Hormones and Homeostasis

Introduction to the nervous system

YouTube video:

Loads of useful resources from Neuroscience for Kids

Reflex arc animation from msjensen.

Nerve impulses: resting potential and action potential

Cool tutorial from the Harvey Project

McGraw Hill nerve impulse animation

Nice and simple from mrothery

Another good one from Alberta Psychology

Propagation on myelinated and non-myelinated nerves from Blackwell Publishing

Synaptic Transmission

Great animation from McGraw Hill

Good tutorial from Harvard Outreach

Another WHS Freeman tutorial (lifewire)

The Endocrine System

Good visual introduction from Delmar Learning

Really good animation – lots of info – from e-learning for kids


Tutorial and game from think-bank

Detailed tutorial from the University of New South Wales

Homeostasis in Newfoundland from Memorial University

Another good Freeman tutorial

Blood Glucose and Diabetes

MedMovie introduction

WebMD guide to diabetes

Link to Neurobiology and Behaviour: E4 – Neurotransmitters and Synapses

Cool music video from the Stanford students- Put some ACh into it:

If you can understand that, you’re doing well…

Cell Respiration 2010

Cell Respiration for Core, AHL and the SL Option C.

Here is the class presentation on SlideShare – a 100 slide monster for Spaced Learning!

– Complete all the questions on Essential Biology: Cell Respiration

There are loads of links and videos on the main page for respiration, so please click here.

Here’s one of my favourite cell biology videos: ATP Synthase

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