The Twisting Tale of DNA

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Students join their DNA strands together to show the double helix structure of DNA.

Students join their DNA strands together to show the double helix structure of DNA.

This week in G9 Biology we started the second topic on Biological molecules, Enzymes and Animal Nutrition. The first biological molecule we discussed was Deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA). This is the ultimate information storage and retrieval molecule. DNA has the blueprint for making proteins and ultimately almost all life on Earth. We discussed the structure of DNA and the importance of complementary base pairing (A with T and C with G) by using pipe cleaners as a model. Finally we referred back to Topic 1 as we discussed how DNA barcoding is based on analyzing the sequence of DNA bases to identify and classify organisms based on how similar their sequences are.

Meet Bill The Bull Frog

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Bill The Bull frog

Bill The Bull frog

This week in the Coordinated Science Biology class, we completed the first unit on Cells, Cell transport and Animal Nutrition. To put this unit in context and be a little more hands on we dissected a bullfrog called “Bill”. The frog’s anatomy and digestive system is very similar to humans so we could easily identify the organs of the digestive system. We used the dissection to review what occurs in each region of the alimentary canal in preparation for the end of unit test. The students were equally engrossed and disgusted all at the same time!.

Modelling the Digestive System

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9Bio20140910modeldigestionThis week in Coordinated Science (Biology) we are approaching the end of our first unit on cells, cell processes and animal digestion. To model how our digestive system works we used every day household objects to show what happens in each region of the alimentary canal.  The students  took on the roles of the teeth  using pestle and mortar to crush food), the oesophagus (pushing food along a tube to show peristalsis), the stomach (churning food in a plastic ziplock bag), and the intestines (modelling absorption of food through woman’s tights and the absorption of water with paper towels). They enjoyed witnessing for themselves the final product of the model digestive system!

Introducing Specialised Cells aka Cuddly Toy Cells and Bacteria

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Giant Microbes and Cells

Giant Microbes and Cells

 

This week in G9 Biology we looked at specialized cells and how they are adapted to their function. To get the students thinking about the differences between specialized cells and also bacteria we looked at a selection of giant microbe/cell cuddly toys. Students described how each cells has a different shape related to their function and read the label to discover more specific information. We then went on to discuss the specialisations of red blood, white blood , sperm, egg, ciliated epithelial, root hair and palisade mesophyll cells in more detail. A key theme of biology is matching structure to function and we will return to this theme throughout the two year IGCSE Biology and Coordinated Science (Biology) courses.

The 44 Chromosome Man

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Healthy 44 Chromosome Man

In light of the new genetics IGCSE topic we have just started, there are exceptions to most rules in biology. The inheritance of lore or less chromosomes is not always a major problem and may have played a part in human evolution. Click here for more information.

 

 

 

ASP: Mystery Club 1: Optical and Auditory Illusions

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First investigation in the Mystery Club will be looking at visual and auditory illusions.

Click here for 99 visual Illusions

Necker cube: Classic illusion

More illusions

How many dolphins can you see here? Can you see anything else?

Frog or Horse?

 

Click and Watch the Eyes!!!

More optical illusions here

Check out my youku page (MrGaynor) for more optical and auditory illusion videos

Trajectory of a falling Batman

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Would Batman’s Cape save him?

Book written in DNA code

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Two molecules of DNA

 

 

DNA is up there with the best forms of digital storage. Read this article from The Guardian to find out more

DHC: S3 2012-13: End of Term Reflections

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I hope you have enjoyed todays final Double Helix Club of the year.

Please leave your reflections by adding comments below.

Good Luck with your exams and enjoy your summer break.

The Physics of the Hulk’s Jump

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Could do the Hulk really jump that high?

Click here to find out

 

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