All Good Things Must Come to an End

Thank You, Thank You, THANK YOU for a fantastic school year. I had so much fun with each and every one of you. I loved getting to know you, what makes you tick, what inspires you, how you learn best, and so much more! My hope is that you got as much out of learning with me as I got from teaching with you. Please, please, please come by and visit next year and see what the new freshmen are up to, or if you need help with a little chemistry.

As a final gesture of goodwill, please take a second to fill out the form below to help me make this class even better than it has been. Have a fun and safe summer and I’ll see you next year!

Cellular Respiration

Cellular Respiration, although the inputs and outputs seem easy, the process is very convoluted and complicated. Lucky for you, we’re going to simplify it to a point that is appropriate for a High School Biology student.

Keep in mind that Photosynthesis & Cellular Respiration are reciprocal reactions. What that means is that the requirements of Cellular Respiration are the products of Photosynthesis! Likewise, the products of Cellular Respiration are the requirements of Photosynthesis! Its a 3 Billion year long symbiotic relationship! (And you thought your month-long high school girlfriend was a long-term commitment!)

Here is the jist of what Aerobic (meaning with Oxygen present) Respiration entails…

 

Aerobic Respiartion

Glycolysis

  • Uses 2 ATP to break down Glucose
  • NADH & 4ATP (net gain +2 ATP) are created.
  • The NADH goes to the Krebs Cycle.

Krebs Cycle

  • Uses Oxygen and Acetyl-CoA
  • Makes 2 ATP, NADH, & FADH2 (both of which are electron carriers)
  • Carbon Dioxide is given off as a byproduct.
  • The NADH goes on to the ETC

Electron Transport Chain

  • Uses Oxygen and NADH
  • Make 32 ATP and Water (used as an electron acceptor)

Climate Challenge

Yesterday we talked about Human impacts on the environment. We covered several topics including:

  • Acid Rain
  • Ozone layer depletion
  • Mass Extinction
  • Depletion of Natural Resources/Destruction of habitat
  • Climate Change
  • Invasive Species

Today we’ll be reviewing some case studies to determine the cause and solutions to some of these problems. After that, we’re going to play a game courtesy of the BBC. The game is called “Climate Challenge” and basically you get to run a country that is facing the threat of global climate change head on. You’ll have to balance protecting the earth, your citizens, and your job! Use the link below to reach the game (*note, if you are using a iOS device you will need to view this using the puffin app). Good luck, have fun, and learn something!

Climate Challenge – The Game

What did a T-Rex Taste Like?

trexWhat did a T-Rex Taste Like?

Believe it or not, we actually have was of finding this answer despite the fact the Tyrannosaurus Rex has been extinct for over 65 million years. We can determine a T-Rex features, including taste, using similar features (which we now know are called homologous structures). shared with animals the T-Rex is closely related to.

Recall that yesterday we learned that the more features you have in common, the higher the probability that you share a common ancestor/DNA (the exception would be convergent evolution where two species become increasingly similar despite the fact the originated from different ancestors). So what we can do is plot relatedness, based on characteristics, on a graphic called a cladogram, like the one shown here.

 
So Today, that’s exactly what we’ll be doing, using the link at the top of this post, you’ll follow the steps to learn how cladograms are created, organized, and what the different branches of it mean. By the time you are through, you will know what it tastes like to bite into a big fat dino-burger!

Evolution Simulation

Sorry I can’t be there today. But I’ve got two great activities for you while I’m gone.

First, do the Darwin “Scenarios” activity with the people at your table.

Then, in our previous class we played a game using Darwin’s theory of Natural selection to see if we could help a fictional species last for a million years. There were environmental factors that influenced change, and ways of adding variation to a population.

Now we can take what we have learned and actually apply it to a real evolution simulation. We obviously cannot make evolution happen in a lab, but we can simulate it using Darwin’s theory. Click the link below (iPad users must be in the Puffin browser, not Safari) to be taken to the simulation. Read the directions, follow the procedure I have provided, collect your data, and graph your results.

Link: Evolution Simulation

Simulation

Watch how small changes in populations can have big impacts. You can also change settings to see how these animals would fair when their food source behaves differently.

Common Assessment #3

Common Assessment #3 – Link

Tomorrow we’ll be taking the 35 Question Common Assessment for the third quarter. It will cover Unit 7 (Reproduction) & Unit 8 (Genetics). The study guide is available on the Semester 2 Documents page, or you can get it from the link below. The key is also available for viewing this afternoon.

Common Assessment #3 Study Guide

Here are the list of key terms we’ve covered during the Second Semester. Click to enlarge:IMG_2449

Below is all of the videos from Unit 7 linked together as a playlist. If you would rather watch one section at a time individually, the links are still available on the Semester 2 documents page or on my YouTube Page

Here are the videos from Unit 8: Genetics

The Unit 7 Hunger Games

Today in #hbio we’ll be reviewing for tomorrow’s test over Unit 7. To review, you’ve been selected to be Tributes in the Unit 7 Hunger Games!!! Ok, so its not life or death survival of the fittest, instead we’ll be doing a speed stations activity. There are 32 stations posted throughout the room. You and a partner will try to complete these stations as ACCURATELY & QUICKLY as possible. You are Competing against the other players in your class. The fastest, and the most accurate, will receive a bonus point.

At the end of the day, I will post the stations on this site for you to review with. Be sure to study your Unit 7 Study Guide as well. Good Luck, and may the odds be forever in your favor…

Unit 7 Review: Answer Sheet – Link –

Making Monsters

Thats right, today in class we will be making monsters based on their DNA code.

First make sure you get BOTH hand outs from the table up front. Then follow the directions on the front page to draw the Monsters on the back page. Here’s what you do:

  1. Use the DNA code to match the mRNA compliments. (Remember: T→A but A→U)
  2. Use the mRNA to match the tRNA compliments.
    1. You can check your work by comparing the tRNA to the DNA; they should be identical except that the ‘T’s have become ‘U’s.
  3. Use the chart at the bottom of the page to determine what amino acid (#) is coded for by each mRNA Codon. Write the number in the Amino Acid section.
  4. Repeat this process for all mRNA codons.
  5. Use the Amino Acid sequence to determine what trait has been coded for by the DNA.
  6. Once all traits have been decoded, draw your MONSTER! Give him/her a name and add any other traits you want including the ones coded by the DNA. The drawings should be neat and colored.
  7. Finally, write down the FULL sequence of DNA from the original DNA provided, as well as the list of traits.

There You Go! That’s how easy it is to make a monster… sort of. Either way, this is great practice doing transcription and translation which are the two steps of Protein Synthesis. So have fun and I’ll see you again soon!