24 February 2010

Cannabalism! One of our trout has decided that it doesn't get enough to eat and took matters into its own hands. However, it looks as if it bit off a little more than it could chew. Someone 3rd period today pointed this out and the little guy struggled to swallow its meal all day long.

In class we had a great time learning about some common human parasites today. Someone brought up the "tree man" that has been on TV lately. It turns out his condition is the result of a virus however....although, you could argue that viruses are parasites too. Here is the website with video we watched.

Mr Ott's college biology class just finished up some amazing Earth
history timelines. Be sure to check them out in the hallways. The best
one, in my opinion, is in the high school science wing. Great work!

21 February 2010

I spent some of break up in the Adirondacks snowshoeing and cross-
country skiing in the High Peaks region. On my way up Phelps Mtn. I
had a couple visitors stop for some of my trail mix. I hope you all
enjoyed break and come ready to learn about the animal kingdom tomorrow.

10 February 2010

Wow....I found an amazing article on National Geographic today about flower pollen. It is pretty fascinating stuff and fits in perfectly since we discussed flowering plants today (angiosperms). They've included some pretty cool scanning electron micrograph picturesas well. Be sure to check out the whole article. This picture shows pollen on a geranium.

"Then one day more than 375 million years ago, it happened. One lineage of plants evolved pollen grains and seeds, and from then on nothing was the same. Let's not mince words. Pollen is plant sperm—two individuals per grain—surrounded by a single, often golden, wall that offers both protection and chariot. If the tension in the long story of plants was the distance between lovers, pollen was what would bring them together, over feet or even across continents. It was an evolutionary trick that transformed the world."

09 February 2010

This week we're covering the Plant Kingdom and it's amazing diversity...everything from the very simple mosses that rely on diffusion for water and must live near these water sources to the very advanced angiosperms that we're mostly familiar with. Today we dissected a lilly to see the male and female parts of a flower. The dissecting microscopes gave us a great look at the pollen-covered anthers.

Check this site for more information on flower parts.

05 February 2010

Food vacuole formation in Tetrahymena.

Video courtesy of Cornell Tetrahymena ASSET Program

Tetrahymena sexual reproduction

Video courtesy of Cornell Tetrahymena ASSET Program

03 February 2010

Today we set up a lab to understand sexual reproduction in Tetrahymena protists. Usually they undergo asexual reproduction but occasionally bond with a mate to help "revive" their genetic composition...roughly every 200 generations. In Tetrahymena, there are 7 different mating types (contrast to only 2 in humans). We mated an unknown sample with each of the 7 types and tomorrow we will observe them under the scopes to witness how they undergo the swapping of their genetic materials. Above, Luke and Dillon mix the samples in today's portion of the lab.
Bottom photo courtesy Mr. Syracuse's classes and their snazzy digital microscopes.

02 February 2010

Swing by room 302 to see our beautiful morning glories in full bloom.

01 February 2010

This week we're working closely with Cornell University on a new lab they are working on called ASSET. We are observing characteristics and behavior in the single-celled protist, Tetrahymena. Today we learned a little about them and noted observations under our microscopes. We learned that they move by cilia, twist while swimming, have observable organelles, and are about 50 microns long.