Monday, May 22, 2017

Genius Hour - Week 2

This week I continued on my research and looked into other pandemics like spanish influenza, bubonic plague, and ebola. I found out a bunch of interesting things about all of the diseases that I didn’t know. This upcoming week I hope to wrap up my research by looking into how the diseases take over the cell, and how they multiply and take over the whole body. I also am looking into how people perceive pandemics and how panic occurs. I’ve been researching how people reacted to each of the pandemics and what they did as far as control and treatment. From researching this, especially in the instance of the bubonic plague, I saw how crazy and violent people can get in the presence of intimate death. After finishing up my research in the next couple of days I hope to start putting together a presentation and diagram by the end of the week.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Genius Hour- Week 1

Sooooo, For starters we took the AP test this week and overall I am hoping I did ok, I didn't run into any questions that I had never even heard of what was being asked, but the time did affect me and would have liked about ten more minutes on the multiple choice. Overall however I am hoping I passed. As far as Genius Hour, I decided to study Typhoid Fever, and how this disease, and others like it, take over cells, and eventually the body. I also will be looking at how, as humans, we handle pandemics and how protocols have changed since things like the Bubonic Plague. I also decided that as part of my presentation I am going to make a model of a Typhoid cell and a human cell and try to demonstrate how the cell becomes infected in a 3D, hands on style. I am also going to be including things about typhoid Mary to make the presentation interesting, as well as talk about how we as people view disease.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Heart Week Reflection

How did you do on the work this week?

So this week was obviously pretty exciting as we go to both look at and cut into a real heart. The packet we did was pretty easy, and the lab it's self really helped me visualize how all the components of the heart come together and where each chamber sits in the heart. See the example heart attached to the other organs also was very helpful as we got to actually see how the heart sits among the other organs, and how it attaches to them. On the less exciting side we had the test this week which I felt pretty good about while taking but I wasn't super confident on a couple multiple choice questions that were a little tricky. The free response however I thought went really well and I am hoping I got a good grade overall.

What do you think you understood well?

After doing the heart dissection I think I understood how all the components of the heart worked together pretty well. It helped a lot being able to hold the heart in my hands and follow where the   de-oxygenated blood would come in and where the oxygenated blood would come out. On the test all of the hybrid crosses and anything to do with figuring out what genotypes different generations have, or with finding out what type of relationship is prevalent in a gene, I understand very well as that is what we spent a lot of time on in CP Bio.

What do you thin you need to improve on?

I think I need to improve on my understanding of meiosis. In CP Bio we did spend a ton of time on meiosis or mitosis so I don't remember much from that, so a lot of it was new information and I think I need to study it a little more.

What strategies will you use to improve?

Not only to improve on this, but also with the AP test rapidly approaching I am going to start reviewing all of the vodcasts and parts of the textbook with subjects I didn't understand well. I also have started doing practice tests online so hopefully that will help me stultify some subjects I need work on.

How does the work we are doing fit in with the overall narrative of the course?

The heart has to do with regulation which is very important in keeping organisms alive, making it important to biology. The heart dissection also gave us a glimpse into what a real life experience could be in a biological field which relates to showing us careers in biology.

Reflection for April 3

How did you do on the work this week?

I think I did well on the work this week, we finished up our work with the sticklebacks and did our group projects about different body systems. My group had gas exchange and I think we did well on explaining the details of the process, even though it was hard to put all the information necessary on the space allowed. 

What did you understand well?

I understood gas exchange the best (obviously), and think I also have a pretty good grip on the circulatory system and its relationship to the process of gas exchange. I have an alright grip on nutrition but think I need to study it a little more.

What do I need to improve on?

I think I need to study nutrition a little more, and focus on understanding all the processes of excretion better, and what vital roles it plays in the body. I also think I need to review this weeks vodcasts.

What strategies will you use to improve? 

I will use the fact sheets that each group made to study each process and I will re-watch the vodcasts to better understand those.  

How does the work we are doing fit into the narrative the course? 

This unit, regulation, has to do with the processes of the body and the things that make it possible for us to live. Without all these process working together our body would not function the way it needs to and we would not be able to live, this is obviously a huge part of biology. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Reflection for March 27

How did you do on the work for this week?

This week I think I did pretty well on the work, the virtual lab was easy and I liked being able to pick our own traits and try to figure out what kind of dominance we were dealing with. While it take me a minute to remember how to do crosses with X-linked traits, the crosses we did were pretty easy. We also started looking at the stickleback fish which I thought was really cool.

What do you think you understood well?

I think I understood how to figure out which kind of dominance or inheritance pattern we were looking at by the end of this activity. I also think I understood calculating probabilities of crosses well.

What do you think you could improve on?

I think I could improve on doing di-hybrid crosses, and on understanding the genetic side of what was happening with the stickleback fish. I imagine as we get further into the activity what happened with the stickleback fish will make more sense.

How does this fit into the narrative/ context of the course?

What we learned from the stickleback fish can potentially be seen in other species and has to do with the part of the class that deals with modern applications of biology. As far as the fly lab, it allowed us to not only veiw the procedures necessary for that type of experiment, but also to view different kinds of inheritance patterns, which are all very important in bio.

Reflection for March 24

How did you do on the work this week? 

I did okay on the work this week, I understood how to do chi-squared a lot better in this packet than in the last one, it is a lot more simple than I thought. I thought the packet with the pedigrees was pretty easy

What do you think you understood well?

I think I understand the pedigrees well, and basically everything in the packet we did. The punnet squared are really easy. I also understood the finding probabilities well, multiplying the probabilities of small punnet squares together, is much easier than making a giant one, especially when dealing with more than one gene.

Where do you think you can improve? 

I think I can improve on understanding chromosomes more and how gene crossing over works. I understand the general ideas of it but not the specifics.

How does the work we are doing fit into the overall narrative/ context of the course?

This week we did  a lot with genetics, which is obviously a big part of biology, and is a lot of our modern research.


Three thing you learned in this activity.

  • I learned that different cancers can have the same or very similar mutations yet be different in location, type, or severity. 
  • I also learned that different mutations can cause the same cancer. 
  • Some chromosomes can have multiple genes on it that cause cancer. 
Two Things That Surprised Me/ Interested Me 
  • I thought it was interesting how one chromosome can have so many genes that are known for causing cancer on it. I thought this was really weird and wondered why this is. 
  •  In sort of the flip side I thought it was interesting how so many different genes can cause the same cancer.  

One Question I Still Have

  • How is it different chromosomes can cause the same cancer? How does that work?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Journal Entry for 3/5/17

How did you do on the work?
I did alright with knowing the steps of PCR and understanding what each step does. The questions in the PCR packet were not too difficult but I still think I need to study them a bit more. It also stunk that I could get any data with my own gene or find out whether I was positive or negative for the gene.

What do you think you understood well this week?
I think I understood the steps of PCR well, however my DNA did not show up on the gel. So I also learned how finicky a process PCR can be.i think actually performing the steps of PCR helped solidify it as bio-tech tool. I think I just need to study the vodcasts more.

Where do you think you can improve?
I think I could improve more on knowing what happens in PCR if something is changed or if you didn't go through one of the steps how the process would be affected. I also need to study the vodcasts and other biotech tools more.

What strategies will you use to improve?
In order to improve this I will study my bio flash cards as well as make more. I also like to recopy important parts of my notes so I will probably do that as well.

How does the work we are doing fit into the context/narrative of the course?
Biotech is one of the parts of bio that is still being developed and perfected today, it is important to research, and to controversial issues in today's world as the quiz discussed. Like a vodcast asked earlier this unit, just because we can make these genetic advances does it mean we should?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Weekly Reflection for 2/6/17-2/10/17

How did you do on the work?
I think I did well on the work this week, having to both describe and create a visual model of  transcription and translation made me really understand the concepts, and more of the smaller details involved in the processes. The vodcasts required me to look up a lot of the concepts and vocab to make sense of each of the WSQ question. After researching the topics I understood most of the concept, but will still need to do some more studying.

What do you think you understood well?
I think I now understand transcription and translation a lot better than I did last week. From vodcast 4.3 I think I am most solid on understanding how bacteria is genetically engineered.

How do you think you can improve?
I can definitely improve by studying more of the concepts from the first WSQ question set. While I need to study the whole vodcast, the first set of WSQ was the one I had the most trouble with.

What strategies will you use to improve? 
In order to improve my understanding of this weeks vodcast I will watch it again and improve on my notes, and make flash cards of the new terms. I also have been supplementing the vodcasts with additional YouTube videos that show example of the concepts, which I plan to continue to do.

How does the work we are doing fit into the context/narrative of the course?
Genetics is a huge part of biology and genetic engineering is one of the most modern examples of how biology is playing a role in the modern world. The subjects discussed in this vodcasts are making medical break throughs and could change the way we combat diseases, and may even be able to cure some.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of 2/5/17

How did you do on the work?
During this week we did vocasts 4.1 and 4.2, two packets, and the Jeff  group project. I think I did well on the work this week since its the beginning of the unit and most of it was review of the basics. Both packets were fairly easy and while a couple of the vodcast questions required me to re-watch parts of the vodcasts, I think I mostly understood the content of the vodcasts.

What do you think you understand well?
I think I understand replication fairly well, but need to under stand all of the steps and pieces in translation and transcription better. The first packet we did in the week on DNA structure and replication was definitely for me the easiest packet we have done all year, since it was mostly all stuff I already knew from sophomore year.

Where do you think you can improve? 
I need to improve on my notes and reviewing the packets more in order to better understand translation and transcription.

What strategies will you use to improve?

In order to improve on this area I plan on taking more focused notes on both the vodcast and the textbook. These two things combine will hopefully give me a better grasp on translation and transcription.

How does the work we are doing fit into the context narrative of the course?
Genetics pulls in concepts from out previous units of energy and cell organelles to understand one of the most important pieces in biology. Genetics is was makes us who we are and tells us a lot about how not only our bodies work, but also how other organisms work.