Thursday, December 13, 2012

Homework for the night before classes resume

Your homework (which is the equivalent to less than one night of homework) for the night before classes resume is to answer question below.  You may opt to turn this question in earlier, which is fine.  Please make sure that if you email me your answer, the subject line says "Answer to the Big Idea."

You might have thought that you escaped the question, but that is simply not the case. You are encouraged to use your notes, information from the blog and/or the modules to answer the question.  Just make sure that you cite where the information came from.

A "Big Idea" of biolog is that living systems store, retrieve, transmit and respond to information essential to life processes.  Discuss how the structures from at least three different levels of organization (cell, tissue...) within the nervous system possess emergent properties that exemplify and contribute to an understanding of the big idea.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Your Brain on Ted Talks, Optical Illusions, Drinking Water & More!

Today in class we developed an appreciation for all that the brain can do without us even thinking about it.   In last night's reading, Pavlov was mentioned; you can see Jim and Dwight from the office display the Pavlovian response.

We watched and discussed Daniel Wolpert's TED talk: "The Real Reason for Brains" (movement!).  Visual stimulus is important in initiating an action, but what about organisms that can't see?  Ben Underwood was a boy who lost his eyes to cancer (and recently passed away), but that didn't stop him from finding an alternative way to see. 

And, to end of a fun note: 10 Amazing Optical Illusions

Further Watching & Doing:

TED Talk: Sarah-Jayne Blakemore: The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain
TED Talk: Allen Jones: Mapping the Brain
BBC: Sex I.D. - Find out how your brain works!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Functions of the Brain

Today in class you participated in a mock interview for the Applied Imaging Science Laboratory at Brigham & Women's Hospital.  As part of the interview process, you and your peers were given images of the brain, as well as symptoms of the patient and asked to determine what was causing these symptoms.

An overview of the parts of the brain and their functions can be found by click the image below.

Homework: Read Module 133 (our break from the modules is over).

Review session:  There will be a review session in our classroom tonight from 6:30-8:00PM.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Neurons in Series

Today in class you had a short quiz on action potentials.  After the quiz we reviewed how neurons communicate as well as how the nervous system provides examples for the major themes in the course (emergent properties, structure & function, etc).

Homework:  You have been emailed a worksheet and table to record your results of your attempts for the neurons in series activity from the NIH.

1. Review examples of neurotransmitters that are excitatory and inhibitory by looking at the animation below.

2. Examine the four cases of neurotransmission simulation.  In the table you were emailed, record your initial attempt in the first row for each case.  In the second row record the correct answer.

3. Complete and a print copy of your responses to questions 2, 3 and 4 for the blackworm post lab questions.  The post lab questions are on the last page of the Blackworm procedure packet.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Blackworm Lab & Neurotransmission

During lab this week, student investigated the effects of various chemicals on the heart rate of Blackworms.  The results from C period are below.

In our regular class period we reviewed how the sodium potassium pump works as well as factors that can disrupt signals between neurons.  

Reminder: On Wednesday you will have short quiz (2 modified multiple choice, one short answer) on objectives N.1-N.7.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Blackworm Lab Set Up

Click through the presentation below to preview the Blackworm Lab.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Do Good!

Quiz Reminder

Tomorrow you have a short quiz on objectives N.1, N.2, N.3.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

PowerPoint for the Nervous System

Today in class we used slides 3-6 from Mr. Taylor's i-Biology PowerPoint on Nerves, Hormones and Homeostasis.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Homework for Wednesday

Please watch the Crash Course Video Below.

Watch it once WITHOUT taking notes and watch only until 7:30 

Then, write down the key concepts you remember.  STICK TO THE BIG THEMES (central vs. peripheral nervous system, what is a reflex loop?, sympathetic vs parasympathetic, the anatomy of a neuron) 

Watch it a second time and as you watch write down details that support the big theme you wrote down after watching it the first time.

This should take you no more than 45 minutes.  This is an introduction, not the 'end all, be all' (what does that phrase even mean?)

The BIG ideas for the Nervous System

Below are our objectives for the next two weeks.  You will get a copy of these objectives tomorrow in class.  The blank at the start of the objective is for you to write down the date(s) what you learned this material.  The blank at the end of the objective is for you to give yourself a score on how well you understand the material.

____N.1 State that the nervous system consists of the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nerves, and is composed of cells called neurons that can carry rapid electrical impulses. ___
___N.2 Draw and label a diagram of the structure of a motor neuron. Include dendrites, cell body with nucleus, axon, myelin sheath, nodes of Ranvier and motor end plates. ______
___N.3 Explain the levels of organization in the peripheral nervous system. ______
___N.4 State that nerve impulses are conducted from receptors to the CNS by sensory neurons, within the CNS by relay neurons, and from the CNS to effectors by motor neurons. ______
___N.5 Define resting potential and action potential (depolarization and repolarization). ______
___N.6 Explain how a nerve impulse passes along a non-myelinated neuron. ______
___N.7 Explain how the movement of Na+ and K+ ions to create a resting potential and an action potential.  ___
___N.8 Explain the principles of synaptic transmission. Include the release, diffusion and binding of the neurotransmitter, initiation of an action potential in the post-synaptic membrane, and subsequent removal of the neurotransmitter. ______
___N.9 Compare Parkinson’s Disease and multiple sclerosis with respect to the ways in which neurons are effected ______
___N.10 Identify factors which can lead to changes in communication between neurons.____
___N.11 Describe the major structures and functions of the vertebrate brain. ______
___N.12  Summarize the diversity of nervous systems in living things. _____

Always be thinking about how what you are learning relates to the themes of the course

Welcome Back!

Today we briefly discussed what you would like to learn about regarding the nervous system.  You also took a pre-test on DNA structure, replication, transcription and translation.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Practice Test Questions from Class

pExplain why birds excrete uric acid, humans excrete urea and many marine animals excrete ammonia.
pDefine the two types of feedback systems and give an example of each one.
pDo larger or smaller organisms consume more total oxygen, and why? Which consumes more oxygen per gram of body mass and why?
pWhat are the evolutionary advantages and disadvantages of poikilotherms and homeotherms?
pDescribe how freshwater fish and saltwater fish differ in homeostasis.

Above are some of the questions C period came up with today while working with Bloom's taxonomy to review for tomorrow's test.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Suspended Animation is Within Our Grasp

We have been learning about homeostasis, focusing on thermoregulation, osmoregulation and an organism's overall energy needs.

Mark Roth's talk "Suspended Animation is Within Our Grasp" ties together all of the things we have been learning about in class.

Crayfish Prelab

You have been emailed the crayfish prelab.  Below is a PowerPoint with what you will see when you walk into lab as well as some background on crayfish.

UPDATE: You do not need to answer question six on the prelab.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Epic Kidney Animation and Homework for Wednesday

Yesterday you worked in groups to review what you saw in the video last night.  After putting all of your ideas on the board, you toured the other groups work, asking questions and adding comments.

We reviewed some of the major concepts in the crash course video as well as learned about ADH (anti-diuretic hormone).    Click the picture below to link to the animation.

D period - Because of Hill weekend, we do not have class on Saturday.  Your homework for Monday is to read Module 144. You have been emailed your pre-lab for the crayfish lab.  The prelab is due on Tuesday at the start of lab.

C period - read Module 144 for class on Friday.  You have been emailed your pre-lab for the crayfish lab.  The prelab is due on Monday at the start of lab.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Osmoregulation and The Kidney

Today you had a reading quiz on osmoregulation and we started to look at how waste is expelled though the body.

Tonight watch the Crash Course video below.  Watch it once and ONLY watch.  Don't write anything down as you watch.  When the video is finished, take five minutes and write down what you remember.  Then watch the video a second time.  Again ONLY watch. At the end of the video, write down what you remember the second time.  Did you remember something new?  Are you building on what you wrote down the first time?

And in honor of election day, check out "Behind the Curtain Project" that documents atypical polling locations.

click the picture to get to the site.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Welcome Back to Homeostasis

Before Hurricane Sandy, we started to learn about homeostasis and the importance of maintaining balance in an organism's body.  Today we reviewed Module 128: Temperature (Thermoregulation) and you worked on a case study on Hibernation (C period, D period will have the case study tomorrow).

Tonight please read Module 157, focus the differences between osmoconformers and osmoregulators.  Take notes, you will have a 15 minute reading quiz on Tuesday.  Any notes you take, you can use.  

Please be sure to refer to the updates on the Honors Biology Daily Plan google doc to see how we are finishing up the term.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Test Today and Homework for Tuesday

Today you had a test on cellular respiration and photosynthesis.  For Tuesday, please read Module 128.  Bring to class an outline of what you thought were the key concepts in the reading.  Click the picture below to link to a tutorial on homeostasis.


On Monday / Tuesday we started to learn about homeostasis.

You did a jig saw activity to see how carbon dioxide, blood pressure and temperature regulation can all be regulated through feedback mechanisms.  Click the picture below to link to a tutorial on feedback mechanisms in our bodies.

Monday, October 22, 2012

DPIP Post Lab

Create a line graph that includes each of your five cuvettes and the class average for cuvette 3.  The data is available on the google doc, however you should create your graph in excel. There is no excel tutorial for this post lab, however you can click here to get to the previous excel tutorials.

Be sure to include a scientific title, appropriate labels and a description of the graph.

Post Lab Question: Evaluate the weaknesses and limitations of this experiment.  Identify (at least) three weaknesses, explain the impact this could have on the experiment and how you could improve this in the future. Consider creating a table like the one below to organize your ideas.

Impact on Experiment

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cellular Respiration and Photosynthesis

Yesterday (and today) we wrapped up cellular respiration and photosynthesis as a class.  Check out the links under the tab "Cellular Respiration and Photosynthesis" to help you review all of the aspects of these concepts.

Friday, October 19, 2012

DPIP Lab Set Up

Below are the pictures of the set up for the DPIP lab. You have used a spectrophotometer before, however this time you will be measuring transmission, instead of absorbance.

Spectrophotometer set up

Paper chromatography set up.  Reminder: you can read about paper chromatography and see an animation here.

Chloroplasts and DPIP on ice.  Note: I pulled the vials out of the ice for the picture,  however these should remain buried under ice when not in use. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Test on Wednesday October 24th

This is just a reminder that on Wednesday Oct 24th, you will have a test on osmosis, diffusion, cellular respiration and photosynthesis.

You are not responsible for knowing the intermediaries in the Calvin Cycle (photosynthesis) nor in the Krebs / Citric Acid Cycle (cellular respiration).

We will wrap up cellular respiration and photosynthesis tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

DPIP (Photosynthesis Prelab)

Below are the links that are in the prelab:

For lab next week, you need to complete the background in the prelab (using the links), as well as the prelab questions at the end of the packet (and make data tables!!)

NOTE: There will be no phosphate buffer in the lab, so change the table on page three of the lab to the table below.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wrapping up Cellular Respiration and Starting Photosynthesis

Today we wrapped up cellular respiration with this modified multiple choice question (and for D period, a play-doh review of the ETC).

Still struggling to remember how the electron transport chain works?  Listen to the song from Muscles and Magnets titled "Oxidative Phosphorylation."  Click on the lyrics below to link to the song file.

Homework: Read M31 (remember to follow the instructions on how to efficiently read the module).  Use the Virtual Cell's Animation on the Light Dependent Reactions or Crash Course's Explanation of Photosynthesis.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Reminders for reading about Cellular Respiration

A reminder about your reading (Module 26) for next class (Friday or Saturday).  Please focus on the key concepts and remember the big picture.  Use the Virtual Cell's Animation of the Electron Transport Chain (either watch the video or if the internet is slow, click through the pictures).

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Osmosis & Diffusion Post Lab Update

Below are the requirements for the Osmosis & Diffusion Post Lab:

1. This is due Friday October 19th (C period) or Saturday October 20th (D period)
2. Please bring a printed copy to class to turn in.
3. Prior to turning in your post-lab, complete the rubric.  You will receive a copy of the rubric in class (but you can also find it below). Review your work and give yourself a score for each required component.  

If you are struggling to organize your data or are unsure of how to calculate percent change, watch the five minute tutorial below.  

Click play to view the screencast in a new window.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Osmosis & Diffusion Lab

Yesterday and today students were able to see how water will move down its concentration gradient.

Color coded sugar solutions, thanks Ted and Val!

Parts 2 and 3 of the experiment: dialysis bags with sugar solution and getting the potato cubes ready.
Today C period will collect the final mass of their potato cubes, D period will collect this data tomorrow.  The post lab for this is due on Tuesday Oct 16th for C period and on Wednesday Oct 17th for D period.

I email you the class data in an Excel file.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Osmosis and Diffusion Prelab

Below is your osmosis and diffusion prelab.  Note: Page 3 only has two lines of text, make sure you continue to scroll down!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Membranes, Osmosis & Diffusion

Today we discussed the details of the cell membrane.  What is it made out of?  As well as how do things move from one side to the other.

Concentration gradients help drive the movement of substances in and out of a cell, which in turn relates to osmosis and diffusion.  Here's the animation on osmosis and diffusion that we watched in class.

Homework: Study for your test tomorrow.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Organelles Concept Map

Today you worked on connecting organelles and their functions, as well as identifying if the metabolic pathways were catabolic or anabolic. Below is the concept map you received in class.

Tomorrow D period will wrap up organelles and move on to the cell membrane, osmosis and diffusion.  C period you will learn about osmosis and diffusion.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Using Excel to Process the B-gal Lab Data

In an attempt to help everyone work at his/her own pace with Excel, below are two video tutorials on how to use Excel to process the data from the Beta-gal lab.  You have all been emailed the class data to work with.

Click on the video button to play the screencast for how to calculate enzyme activity.

Click on the video button to play the screencast for how to calculate variance, create a scatter plot and insert custom error bars.
Below are your post lab questions.  These are due Monday for C period and Tuesday for D period.