Examples of NAtural Selection
Creatures that stand out are easier to see
CLimate CHange and Adaptation
Darwin's work in the Galapagos
Puffins and Food related natural selection
Older Post on SeaBirds
Different COmbinations of Nucleotides lead to Different Genes
How Crystals Form
In this class we will learn about geodes, crystals, and their connection to biology. The crystals in our geodes are made of quartz, it contains silica, a common mineral that is found in grasses and in most living organisms. Crystals are used in many of the electronics that we see and use every day, let's learn about crystals and then about other components that rocks contribute to biological life.
The piezoelectric effect converts kinetic energy in the form of vibrations or shocks into electrical energy.
Geodes are found in sedimentary rock and in some igneous rocks, we will be breaking geodes from Morocco, they are in sedimentary rock and have quartz crystals that are made of silica.
PHOSPHORUS Moves from living beings to Rocks
The geodes that we are using in this class are from sedimentary rock, this type of rock releases phosphorous as it breaks down, phosphorous is very important in biology. Here is a quick reminder of the phosphorous cycle:
Phosphorous may be released by LIGHTING
Phosphorus is needed for life as we know it, below is a link to an article about lightning and the phosphorus cycle.
PHOSPHORUS is in DNA and ATP
What does phosphorus have to do with DNA?
What does DNA have to do with an organism having different cell types?
What is ATP?
Where does ATP come from?
Where does the phosphorus for your DNA and ATP come from?
New DNA molecules are made by copying, using old DNA molecules as a template during cell division/ mitosis.
ATP: Adenisone TriPhosphate
How Fossils FOrm
Now we will learn about how biological creatures may be preserved in stone. After learning about what fossils are, you may select a fossil and tell us about it, what creature is it, what would be their ecologocical habitat and their niche?
What is your fossil's niche, habitat, trophic level?
After going around the class and talking about the fossils that each student chose, we will go outside and break pinatas that have been decorated by the students to look like cells and organelles.
Please complete the quiz that is on Canvas, we will have a review Kahoot during the next class.
review of human cell types
White Blood Cells
Types of Bacterial Cells
How Immune System Works
How Coronavirus Infects Cells
Coronavirus Vaccine Spike Protein
The Lab That Worked on the Virus
WHat are Neurotransmitters?
Serotonin and Dopamine are naturally increased through art, exercise, good nutrition, meditation, taking care of pets, achieving goals, spending time in nature, anything that makes you happy.
WHat natural NEUROTRANSMITTERS have to do with drugs
This web site does not promote drug use, a non-profit organization that shares information about psychoactive substances and how they work is Erowid:
Loneliness as a biological response
Nerves connect to muscles
Nerves connect to blood vessels and do much more
Axolotl can regenerate entire limbs and organs, even nerves
Research to regenerate human limbs:
Learning more about the nervous system teaches us how to become better learners
Video games teach us to have a positive attitude
How do nervous systems affect creatures?
In this class we will learn about the nerve systems of various species, the nervous systems of humans, how nerve systems help us survive, and how certain chemicals affect nerve cells.
Parts of a nerve cell
Nerve SYstem Vocabulary
The brain and the spinal cord make up the central nervous system (CNS)
The CNS interlinks with the peripheral nervous system, which through a network of nerve fibers sends messages around the body (hands and Feet etc.)
The peripheral nervous system has three main divisions: Autonomic, Sensory and Motor. Below are types of nerves in the PNS:
The sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for intense physical activity and is often referred to as the fight-or-flight response.
The parasympathetic nervous system has almost the exact opposite effect and relaxes the body and inhibits or slows many high energy functions.
Afferent neurons: sensory, carry information to brain
Efferent neurons: action, motor, carry information away from brain
Somatic Nervous System: controls all the stuff you think about doing
Autonomic Nervous System: all the things we do without thinking, breathing, digestion, heartbeat
Sympathetic Nervous System: fight or flight
Parasympathetic Nervous System: bodily functions: digestion, heart, constricts lungs, makes nose runny
How Neurons Connect to other Neurons
Sodium Potassium Pump: uses ATP to let 3 sodium ions out in exchange for 2 potassium ions getting in.
Ion Channel: do not need ATP to function, ions such as Sodium, each cell can have around 300 different types of ion channels, each for a specific type of ion.
Action Potential: the change in electrical potential associated with the passage of an impulse along the membrane of a muscle cell or nerve cell.
Depolarization and Repolarization
Sodium Potassium Pump
NERVOUS System Review
Nervous SYstems in various animals
A sea sponge is considered an animal, it is however one of the most ancient animal type that we know of, they do not have a nervous system like other animals do, each cell reacts to stimuli independently, a sea sponge is a collection of cells that are living together like lego pieces.
The Nervous System of Deer
Content Objective: students will be able to explain what competition is and how animals reduce competition by studying animal behavior and distribution patterns.
Language Objective: students will use the target vocabulary covered in class to answer questions about ways to reduce competition, and describe population distribution patterns.
Ecology Concepts that we will Learn ABout This Week
Each organism interacts with other organisms and with the physical (abiotic) components of the environment.
Competition in Ecology: when two or more organisms are competing for the same limited resource, it may be food, space, or a mate.
Competition may occur between members of the same species or of a different species. Competition harms both competitors. The negative effects of competition limit population numbers because resources are limited and growth, reproduction, and survival are affected
Most species look for ways to reduce competition by considering other options for food, space, and other resources.
ln a forest, each species may feed on a different part of a tree (e.9. trunk, branches, twigs, flowers, orleaves) or occupy different areas of vertical air-space (e.9. ground, understorey, sub-canopy, or canopy). Competition may also be reduced by using the same resources at a different time of the day or year.
For our assignment we will look at five species of warbler and learn what they are doing to reduce competition.
How Different SPecies of Warbler coexist?
Overall it is better to reduce competition by finding a niche
Ecology Vocabulary For Population Growth
Natural Selection: organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring.
Carrying Capacity: the number of people, other living organisms, or crops that a region can support without environmental degradation.
Limiting factor: anything that constrains a population's size and slows or stops it from growing. Examples of limiting factors are biotic, like food, mates, predators, disease, and competition with other organisms for resources.
Forms of Competition
Each species has a distribution pattern
Some animals live in large group while some are more solitary.
Symbiosis can reduce the issues with overcrowding
Crash COurse on Community Ecology
Human population Growth
Our food choices are connected to the environment
We have learned about nutrient cycles that explain how nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous get into our food.
We have learned about food webs and how everything is connected from the microbes to the whales.
Let's learn more about anatomy and physiology starting with digestion and metabolism.
Today we learn more about digestion
Digestion: the mechanical breakdown and chemical breakdown of food into subunits so that nutrients can be absorbed.
Ingestion: the act of taking food into the mouth
Digestive Tract: the central pathway of the digestive system; a long muscular tube that pushes food through
Salivary Glands: glands that secrete enzymes including salivary amylase, which digests carbohydrates in the mouth
Tongue: a muscular organ in the mouth that aids in swallowing.
Esophagus: the section of the digestive tract between the mouth and the stomach
Peristalsis: coordinated muscular contractions that force food down the digestive tract
Stomach: an expandable muscular organ that stores, mechanically breaks down, and digests protein in food.
Pepsin: a protein digesting enzyme that is active in the stomach
Chyme: the acidic "soup" of partially digested food that leaves the stomach and enters the small intestine
Small intestine: the organ in which the bulk of chemical digestion and absorption of food occurs
Duodenum: the first portion of the small intestine; the duodenum receives the chyme from the stomach and mixes it with digestive secretions from other organs
Jejunum: 0.9 meters (3 feet) long
Ileum: the longest part of the small intestine, about 1.8 meters (6 feet) long. It is thicker, more vascular, and has more developed mucosal folds than the jejunum.
Pancreas: an organ that helps digestion by producing enzymes such as lipase that act in the small intestine, and by secreting a juice that neutralizes acidic chyme.
Liver: an organ that aids digestion by producing bile salts that emulsify fats
Bile Salts: chemicals produced by the liver and stored by the gallbladder that emulsify fats so they can be chemically digested by enzymes.
Emulsify: to break up large fat globules into small fat droplets that can be more efficiently chemically digested by enzymes
Gallbladder: an organ that stores bile salts and releases them as needed into the small intestine.
Lipase: a fat-digesting enzyme active in the small intestine
Epithelial cells: cells that line organs and body cavities; in the digestive tract they sit in direct contract with food and its breakdown products.
Absorption: the uptake of digested food molecules by the epithelial cells lining the small intestine
Villi (singular: Villus): fingerlike projections of folds in the lining of the small intestine that are responsible for most nutrient and water absorption.
Large Intestine: the last organ in the digestive tract, in which remaining water is absorbed and solid stool is formed
Colon: the first and longest portion of the large intestine; the colon plays an important role in water reabsorption.
Stool: poo, solid waste material eliminated from the digestive tract.
Elimination: the expulsion of undigested material in the form of stool
The digestive system works with the nervous system
Also the endocrine system
What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
We will see why the Earth is warming up
Greenhouse Effect is the normal process by which heat is radiated from the Earth's surface and trapped by gases in the atmosphere, helping to maintain the Earth at a temperature that can support life
Greenhouse gas is any of the gases in the atmosphere that absorb heat radiated from the Earth's surface and contribute to the greenhouse effect, examples may be carbon dioxide and methane
Global Warming is an increase in the Earth's average temperature
The temperature of the planet has gone up in recent times
As concentrations of Carbon Dioxide go up, the temperature goes up:
And so have CONCENTRATIONS of Carbon DIoxide
Increased Gases are connected to rising temperatures
Warmer temperatures are CONNECTED to melting ice caps
As Ice melts, Sea Levels Rise and SHore land is lost
Vostok Ice Core Samples SHow the levels of CO2 over time
Samples are readings of gas bubbles in ice cores
Connection between Carbon Dioxide and Ice Ages
There are areas where so much gas is trapped in the ice, it is flammable
Methane gas is naturally trapped in the ice when plants die and decompose, many microbes eat carbon and make methane gas while some bacteria eat methane, there are also sources of methane gas that are connected to human activity such as cattle raising. Permafrost thaws because of global warming, but without global warming it would stay frozen and keep the gas trapped.
asparagopsis taxiformis: a species of red algae that reduces methane in cow waste
Mangrove trees along the coast reduce erosion
Mangroves are naturally supposed to line the coast in most parts of the world but people have torn them down to build resorts, and for shrimp farming and wood. Letting them exist along the shore would reduce erosion and would also protect coral reef ecosystems.
Mangroves are a carbon sink, they absorb more carbon dioxide than most plants and are part of the solution to our climate crisis. Mangroves release leaves that provide nutrients for microbes and eventually larger sea creatures. They also store a bunch of the carbon dioxide that they absorb in their large roots, this is called carbon sequestration.
Other Technologies that are part of the solution: https://www.almadartebio.org/biology-page/sustainable-energy
Sustainable Food Production: https://www.almadartebio.org/biology-page/future-of-food
Research in ANTARCTICA
Author: Jazmin Gannon
A place to grow