Posts tagged biology

How does exercise affect your breathing rate?





This week in G9 Coordinated Science (Biology) we discussed the role of anaerobic respiration in yeast to make the useful human products of alcohol and carbon well as the interplay of aerobic and anaerobic respiration when we exercise. As it was a beautiful autumn day in Shanghai we took the opportunity to use the sports field to do star jumps for 4 minutes and then measure how long it took the students breathing rate to return to normal. We then discussed why the breathing rate did not return to normal straight away (oxygen needed to breakdown lactic acid produced in anaerobic respiration in muscles) and how strenuous exercise can lead to cramp. Before the spring excursion the students will also learn more about the respiratory and circulatory systems as we complete lung, and heart dissections.

The Twisting Tale of DNA

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

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!.

Introducing Specialised Cells aka Cuddly Toy Cells and Bacteria

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


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















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

Book written in DNA code


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

Double Helix Club2011/12 Season 3: Frog dissection


I hope you enjoyed the dissection today and I’m impressed that none of you had to leave the lab at any point!

Bull Frog- after dissection with organs exposed


The Amazing Sperm and Egg Race Comic Strips and creative writing


Thanks for your great Comic strips and stories this week.

Creative Writing- a love story between sperm and egg

My name is Louis Sperm. I am born from the country, Testes. In this country, all of us share the same last name, Sperm. This country is protected by the Scrotum army.
One day, there was a news on the paper saying that the princess named Ovum, from the country, Ovary, is accepting a proposal of marriage from any man in Testes if they can pass her country’s defense. Everyone in Testes was interested and they drove on the Vas Deferens highway towards Ureter, the capital of the country, the kingdom of King Penis.
I arrived in front of the border to Ureter, and I told the guard that I was here to apply for the chance to go to Ovary. The guard led me to the Prostate Gland section of the palace and they provided me with all the supplies, armors and weapons I need. After all the gearing up, the guard brought me to a hall full of people and presented us to King Penis.
King Penis says,”One of you must propose to the princess of Ovary and bring pride to the country!”
King Penis assigned a boat and brought us to the border of Ovary. We were then released in the city, Vagina. The moment we were released, the White Blood Cell army of Ovary started attacking us. I ran towards the only gate that was present in front of my sight with a few other people that was here with the same objective. It was a tough journey towards the gate and I witnessed many death. But, I finally reached the Gate of Cervix. The gate was heavily armed with cannons, and the only way across the gate is to swim beneath the gate. I took out the oxygen tank from my supply kit, and started diving.
I reached the only opening of the Gate of Cervix that leads toward the city, Uterus. It was so narrow that I had to abandon my oxygen tank to allow me to pass through. I swam as fast as I could and I saw light in front of me. My breath started to go out and I was suffocating, but luckily, I had been able to reach the surface in time before I die. On the surface was many White Blood Cell soldiers waiting for our arrival, and many of my accompany was killed.
I managed to sneak through the only opening of their formation and I arrived  at a crossroad. I took out the map and noticed that both the road was called Oviduct and there was a stone in front of me stating that only one of the route will lead to the Kingdom of Ovary where I can meet the princess. Most of the people had chose the left Oviduct but I decided to go alone from the right.
It was an extremely tough journey as I do not have any help anymore. I decided to adapt to the Guerrilla Warfare tactic and fight against the White Blood Cell army. After three days and three nights of continuous fighting, I manage to reach the front of the Palace of Ovary, which was located in the middle of Oviduct.
“Spermtastic!” I yelled, “I had chosen the right path!!! My lady, I am on my way…”
The guard led me to a beautiful room where there sits a beautiful lady. She approached me and said,”Hello my dear, you had overcame all the difficulties to come find me… Let’s fuse!”
We hold hands and walked towards a black hole……
At last, we turned into a zygote and live happily ever after.

The Amazing Egg and Sperm Race


Play the Amazing Sperm Race and think about how this game is similar to real life fertilization and how it could be improved

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