Another great video from the NatureVideoChannel, posted just in time for the end of the IB Biology course for our HL students.
For more brain resources, head over to the main topic page (E5 The Human Brain).
Also check out the excellent resources from the NewScientist: The Human Brain
If you have an iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad, get this cool free app: 3dBrain.
Thanks, once again, to Ed Yong for his fantastic NotExactlyRocketScience blog. This video is a must-watch for students, especially those taking HL and the Neurobiology option. Once you’ve seen it, go over to Ed’s blog and read the article “Shedding light on sex and violence in the brain“, which is a really interesting look at the balance between sex and aggression in mouse brains, using this method.
You can see why it is the winner of Nature Methods’ 2010 Method of the Year (click for lots of articles).
Although it is way ahead of the syllabus, there are links to:
- membrane proteins, channels and ions
- depolarisation and hyperpoloarisation of nerves
- transgenics (using viruses as a vector for delivering new genes)
- transcription and translation
- regions of the brain
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:
With an estimated 1 in 6 children suffering from a developmental disorder, Aditi Shankardass asks if we can afford to ignore brain imaging and diagnostic technology when making decisions about brain-related difficulties. Another great short talk from TED, which links to the use of technology in determining brain function.
TOK link: how might the use of brain scanning technology represent a potential paradigm shift in diagnosis? Where we have relied on symptomatic diagnosis in the past, could the use of new neuroscience give a new way of knowing that replaces what we already know?
The annual Illusion Of The Year Contest winners are featured on NewScientist.com. They give a god insight into how our brain processes visual stimuli and look really cool at the same time. Here is the winner:
One of my favourites is this flash animation of waveforms with toggles to control what you focus on. Try it!
All of the illusions (from 2010 and before) are online here:
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
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).
Almost there, HL’s!
Check out the excellent resources from the NewScientist: The Human 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
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