Sunday, May 21, 2017

Genius Hour ~ Week of May 15 - May 21

I plan on starting trials next week, I would have started earlier but who knew how long it would take pig skin to defrost?
I spent most of this week researching. The pig skin should break down just like human skin/muscle. I really hope that this produces interesting results, so I can wrap up my weird trifecta of science projects (decomp, bone dissolving, acid/bases baths).

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Genius Hour ~ Week of May 8 - May 14

This week was spent trying to figure out what to do for genius hour. The best idea that I have, since all my others didn't pan out (organ decellularization was too expensive and different ways of cleaning blood through crime scene cleaning ways didn't exist [they just remove the affected area all together]), is to do something similar to what I did for my freshman year science project: do different situations effect the decomposition pig skin?
I have the idea of doing water this time, different treatments (pond water vs ocean water vs control [distilled tap water]).

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Weekly Reflection for the Week of April 24 - April 30

This week was flurry of learning! We learned about the basics of neurons and domains (ecosystems and communities).
The week started off with a transpiration lab. My group (Emma, Naomi, Taylor, and I ) looked into how salt water (we had the water mimic sea water) would effect transpiration. We have to wrap up the write up for Tuesday and have a board prepared.
To get ready for the AP exam, I am going to type up my notes and pray to any deity to at least give me a 4.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Heart Week (the week of April 10 - April 16)

Heart week! How else could I say it? It was the most fun that I have had in bio this year. We started the week with an episode of "Blood and Guts" that put together the history of heart surgery (which was super interesting and I can't wait to watch the rest of the series during vacation).
The next day was familiarizing ourselves with the outer heart anatomy, the hearts were still slightly frozen at this time so there was little blood to clean up and practically no smell.
Day 2 with the heart was cutting it open and growing familiar with the inner anatomy, and it was so cool! The only part that really grossed me out was cutting through connective tissue (it reminded me of  the  skin between the forefinger and thumb and it just freaked me out once I thought of that) and the smell once it heated up (coupled with the mice, ew!).
Through this week, my love for the heart grew and my familiarity with the anatomy. Also, smooth muscle feels so soft and I wanted to just pet the heart the entire time.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Weekly Reflection for the Week of April 3 - April 9

This week we focused on the Stickleback (a lovely little fish that has had several very interesting adaptations that occurred in different environments), this lab tied back the first unit to this unit. We also learned about maintenance physiology: circulation, excretion, gas exchange, and nutrition. I thought our group did very well on this project and it was fun to work together.
I know that I need to type up my notes.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of March 27 - April 2

This week we worked mainly on the fly genetics lab. I really liked this lab and the puzzle that the fourth cross presented for me. I think I did well, and I was pretty pleased with myself (I know, very humble) for figuring out my fourth cross' pattern. I understand the Mendelian genetics very well, but I know that I can improve on figuring out other genetic patterns. To improve on those, I will type up my vodcast notes and look over problems that gave me issues when doing them.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of March 20 - March 26

This week we learned more about cancer and chromosomal abnormalities. Its really interesting to find out what causes certain types of genetic diseases, and how small a difference causes such a huge difference for the organism.

I'm a little worried about the quiz about this, I feel like even though I have studied that I will not do so hot. I'm going to look over my notes more to try and get ready for the quiz. I'll add to my online notes.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Examining Cancer Patient Data: Reflection

Three things I learned from this activity:

  1.  How (seemingly) closely linked cell fate and cell survival are to melanoma.
  2.  Many cancers have the same mutations.
  3. Certain chromosomes are more likely to have more mutations on them (looking at you chromosome 7, 9, and 17), and those mutations being "shared" in different cancers.


Two things that surprised or interested me:

  1.  That the mutations that occur to cause cancer are seemingly random for almost every type of cancer that was in the activity.
  2.  The research that I found:

One question that I still have:

  1. What is the differentation between cancers (when the mutations occur randomly, and completely different cancers can have the same mutations)??

Monday, March 13, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of March 6 - March 12

This week we did the POGIL for cell regulation and cancer, along with vodcasts 4.5 through 4.7. These were reviews on mitosis and meiosis. I'm really like learning about cancer and what causes it, its so interesting how one little mistake can just disrupt everything. 

I know that I am going to have a bit of trouble with meiosis (curse you meiosis for being so complicated!) . But I'm going to definitely add that vodcast to my notes and review my advance bio notes that have more detailed diagrams.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of February 27 - March 5

This week we did the PCR lab, my band was really faint and I know that I definitely did something wrong in the lab, but it was super fun! I'm really loving this unit and it has made me fall in love with bio even more.

I adored the vocast on viruses, and I wish there were more vodcasts about it. They are super interesting and I absolutely love learning about them.

There are a few things that I don't understand and I have to work on, but currently I have been (ever so) slowly adding my vodcast notes to a bio document where I further define and flesh out basic concepts mentioned in vodcasts.

Note: I thought I'd try a new way to write these!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of February 6-February 12

  • How did you do on the work?
I believe that I've done well on the work, it has been a little hard to do the stop go animation. I had a bit of a hard time on the process that is needed to do the project.

  • What do you think you understand well? Where do you think you have to improve?
I think I understand the biotechnology when its explained, but when it is just the basics without any thing else I'm having a little trouble with it. I understand most of everything other than the restriction enzymes in detail.

  • What strategies will you use to improve?
I will look it up and watch videos, I already enjoy looking at things like that (its also in crime shows!!)

  • How does the work we are doing fit into the context/narrative of the course?
Once again, genetics, genes, information! Biology is all about the study of life and how life pushes its information through. Biotechnology is just showing how the information is pushed/changed and it pushes the medical field further.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of January 30-February 5


  • How did you do on the work?
I like to think that I have done well on the work. But the thing with work is, is that I usually think I understand it, but then it turns out that I have it all backwards. But with genetics: DNA and RNA, I feel like I have a solid background on it. So to sum it up nicely, I feel like I have done well on the work.

  • What do you think you understand well?
I understand RNA pretty well, like its function, its structure and the same goes for DNA.

  • Where do you think you have to improve?
I know that I have to improve on understanding the replication of DNA and RNA. I'm confused about it, but not too lost.

  • What strategies will you use to improve?
I will certainly rewatch the vodcasts/reread the prezis that are available on that information. Then, if that doesn't help, then watch youtube videos on it along with reading the text fully.

  • How does the work we are doing fit into the context/narrative of the course?
Genetics are the back bone of life besides the information of adaptation and energy transfer (which is a lot of stuff). Biology is the study of life, without DNA/RNA complex life (and life as we know it) would not exist. So of course it fits into the context/narrative of this course.