Schultz, O, P1An invasive species is a plant or animal that is not native to a specific location (an introduced species); and has a tendency to spread, which is believed to cause damage to the environment, human economy and/or human health. While all species compete to survive, invasive species appear to have specific traits or specific combinations of traits that allow them to outcompete native species. In some cases the competition is about rates of growth and reproduction. In other cases species interact with each other more directly. Rapid adaptive evolution in these species leads to offspring that have higher fitness and are better suited for their environment. Intraspecific phenotypic plasticity, pre- adaptation and post-introduction evolution are all major factors in adaptive evolution. Plasticity in populations allows room for changes to better suit the individual in its environment. This is key in adaptive evolution because the main goal is how to best be suited to the ecosystem that the species has been introduced. The ability to accomplish this as quickly as possible will lead to a population with a very high fitness. Pre-adaptations and evolution after the initial introduction also play a role in the success of the introduced species. If the species has adapted to a similar ecosystem or contains traits that happen to be well suited to the area that it is introduced, it is more likely to fare better in the new environment. This, in addition to evolution that takes place after introduction, all determine if the species will be able to become established in the new ecosystem and if it will reproduce and thrive.This project/unit or thing we worked on has impacted me because i now know how the environment isnt just dependant upon one thing/species, its a much larger web of interaction and cause and effect. It has been a very eye-opening topic to learn and study more about.
Loftus, A, P2A food web, as defined by Oxford dictionary, is a system of interlocking and interdependent food chains. The basis for a food web/chain is that all organisms in an environment fulfill a certain role. Plants produce energy that will then be eaten by herbivores and omnivores, which are then eaten by carnivores. This makes each organism very dependent on its predecessors in the food chain, meaning that the patterns of movement, eating, and reproduction of one organism in an ecosystem could have a great effect on its predators and/or prey.For example, if a rabbit is the primary prey of a fox in a habitat and a water shortage causes less grass to be available, then that could cause the rabbit population to decrease because of the inability to feed large numbers on a small supply of food. This, in turn, could influence the fox because the rabbits could not be a consistent, sustainable primary prey for the fox, so it may choose another animal to fill that role, which then influences an entire other food chain.As I learned and researched more about food webs, I discovered that humans are the most influential creatures on the planet to any food chain, even if it is no where near them. Supply and demand from people in the U.S. for a product that has resources in Argentina may cause the resources down there, i.e. a forest, to be used up, destroying homes for animals and causing them to move, thus affecting their predators and prey. I also looked at someone else’s comment about invasive species and how adaptive traits have allowed them to survive, even if they are being actively pursued/killed by other species.
Genetics is the study of heredity and the variation of inherited characteristics. In genetics there are dominant and recessive traits that can be passed down from generation to generation. For example, hitch hikers thumb is a recessive trait. Also, alleles make up a gene. In order to inherit a recessive trait you must have two recessive alleles. A strategy to determine the probability of future traits is the punnet square. Also, in genetics there are genotypes and phenotypes. A genotype is the genetic make-up of a cell. A phenotype is the physical characteristics of a cell or the appearance. There can be gene mutations which cause diseases or disorders for the carrier. As I have researched more I have learned about a study that researched whether a child's willingness to learn can be inherited through genetics. In this study, researchers looked at 13,000 sets of identical and fraternal twins that ranged in ages 9-16 from 6 different countries. Researchers concluded that close to half of the differences between motivation for learning in the twins could be explained by genetics. Genetics has impacted my life because it has made me think of some things, like my brown hair and blue eyes, that I have inherited from my parents and grandparents. Also, it has made me realize that I could also end up having some diseases that have been in my family. One thing I learned from reading someone's post on food webs, is that humans are the most influential creatures on the planet to any food chain.
Jessica Brockway, P1Photosynthesis is a process every plant uses whenever sunlight is available. This takes place in the organelle called the chloroplast. The chloroplast’s two main functions include producing and storing food for energy. This organelle contains all of the different pieces and parts needed for photosynthesis which include the stroma, grana, and chlorophyll. As I researched more on photosynthesis, I found more details on the light and dark reactions than I had previously known. In the grana, the light reaction takes place. The light reaction is the first portion of the photosynthesis cycle. This step in the cycle is when light energy from the sun is converted into ATP energy for the plant. According to the formula for photosynthesis (CO2 + H2O + sunlight >>> C6H12O6 + O2) the reactants are carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight; and the products are glucose and oxygen. Next in the stroma, dark reactions take place. Dark reactions are also called the Calvin or the Calvin-Benson after its discoverers Melvin Calvin and Andrew Benson. The dark reaction is the second part of photosynthesis, not requiring light, that produces organic compounds out of carbon dioxide molecules. ATP from the light reaction gives the stroma the energy to complete this task. I learned from Lindsey K. that the experiment in class that we did with radioactive dating is a common method used by geographers to age wood and pollen trapped in sediment.
Agarwal, R, P3The logistic growth model is that of the overall growth of a population over time, and looks a little bit like a "S." I will be comparing this model to a population of deer.In the first part of the logistic growth model, the population is low, and doesn't change much. This is because either the population is new to an area, or there is not enough food to support the population size. In a deer population, there may be little food to eat, or there may also be many wolves feeding on the deer.The second step in the logistic growth model is exponential growth, when there is pliantly of food, and/or there is little competition for resources. In the deer situation, this could be when the wolves were taken out of the equation, or when the trees and plants started blooming.The third and final step in the logistic growth model is when the population hits the carrying capacity. The carrying capacity can be determined by the amount of food, habitat, and the number of predators. The carrying capacity of the deer would be affected by the number of wolves, amount of food available, and the space available.
Ecology is the study of the relationships between the living organism and their environment. All the things that go into an ecosystem are all contributing and essential to the process to work correctly. Such as biotic and abiotic factors, a population and community. Each species has its habitat which has its niche within its habitat.Some vital categories of these species would be a producer, consumer, herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, which are all within the producer and consumer category, and then decomposer. How energy flows through an ecosystem is called a food chain. In all ecosystems, energy flows from sun to producers to consumers to decomposers. A food web expresses all the possible feeding relationships within an ecosystem and is used because feed at more than one trophic level. An example of this is humans. The biosphere holds all of the ecosystems of the earth capable of supporting life. The prey and predator are very important key items in this because the life consistency is balanced between the two. If one decreases or increases this creates a unstable development in the ecosystem. The decline of ecosystems are caused by ground water supplies lowering, oceans over fished, forests are being cut down faster than they are able to grow. What I learned when I researched was that diversity is the key to stability. Also, understanding ecological condition is crucial, because humans depend on healthy ecological systems for food, flood control, and other benefits. And that is also how it affects my life.What I learned from Jenna's post was that the ability for kids willingness to learn can be tied to genetics.
Ian Wilmut was born on July 7, 1944. Mr. Wilmut had many accomplishments including creating the first clone. Ian was introduced to science and math as a young child, his father being a math teacher. He also studied agriculture. When he went to The University of Cambridge, he stared to research on embryos and gametes. An embryo is an unborn creature and gametes are sex cells. After he researched there he researched at The Roslin Institution. In 1996 Ian Wilmut discovered the secret that could have the potential to change the world of medicine, biology, and agriculture. This amazing discovery is called cloning. Before he created Dolly, a sheep, cloning was science-fiction. He did this using one adult somatic cell via process of nuclear transfer. Somatic cells are diploids. Nuclear transfer is a process that removes DNA from a haploid and implants DNA from a diploid. This is a key part of genetic engineering and it will help in fields of medicine to create new organs and tissues that the body will not reject. However, this process has also caused some debate. This can also be a breakthrough in agriculture for a new source of food and create better food for humans. I learned about inbreeding from reading one of my classmate's comment.
Shofman,A,P5 The water cycle is the cycle of processes by which water circulates between the earths oceans, atmosphere, and land, involving precipitation as rain and snow, drainage in streams and rivers, and return to the atmosphere by evaporation and transpiration. The water cycle has no starting point, but a lot of it starts in the ocean because that's where the most water is. Water in the atmosphere turns from a gas to a liquid in the process of condensation, which it then falls to the earth as water or snow in the form of precipitation. Sleet and hail are also forms of precipitation, but are less common than rain and snow. It then runs into streams or rivers, which leads to oceans and other large bodies of waters. This process is called accumulation. When it gets too hot the water will turn from a liquid to a gas and float up to the atmosphere in the process of evaporation. It can also enter the atmosphere through transpiration, which is the process of water movement through a plant and its evaporation from aerial parts, such as from leaves but also from stems and flowers. Then the cycle will repeat when these water molecules get too close together and form rain clouds called cumulonimbus clouds.What I learned while researching this project is about surface and subsurface runoff and gained further knowledge on transpiration and other processes in the water cycle. This unit has impacted me because i now have further appreciation of nature and how important one species or one process really is.
Rachel S p1In biology we are currently learning about the digestive system. The digestive system is the system of many working organs by which ingested food is acted upon by chemical and physical means to provide the body with absorbable nutrients and to excrete waste products. I want to focus on one specific organ, the pancreas.The pancreas is about 6 inches long, with many lobes, located across the back of the abdomen, behind the stomach. The head of the pancreas is on the right side of the abdomen and is connected to the duodenum through a small tube called the pancreatic duct.The pancreas is an accessory digestive organ, meaning it helps with digestion but is not part of the digestive tract. It's major role in digestion is secreting enzymes into the small intestine to further break down food after it's left the stomach. However, this is not the only function of the pancreas. Apart from digestion, it releases insulin directly into the bloodstream and maintatins those insulin levels. Insulin controls blood sugar levels. This is important because without it, people have Type-1 diabetes. This is where the pancreas is not producing insulin, but is producing digestive enzymes. People with diabetes are also at a much higher risk of heart attacks or stroke, and in many cases, have to take insulin shots.Surgery to remove the pancreas is rare, but possible. It is possible for a person to live without their pancreas, but it's risky and not very fun. If a person is to develop pancreatic cancer, they often remove a portion of their pancreas. Often times however, the remaining portion of the pancreas can't produce enough insulin, digestive enzymes, or both, to maintain the person's health. It could also lead to vitamin deficiencies.In conclusion, the pancreas is a relatively small organ with a large role.Also, I learned from reading Emma K's post that the human immune system is "a perfect case for genetic engineering" because the system is made up of purely genetic factors.
Diede,C,P5The chemistry of life. Chemical compounds make up living things. The atom is the basic unit of matter. An atom is composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons have a positive charge, neutrons have no charge, and electrons have a negative charge. Protons and neutrons are together in the center of the atom, forming the nucleus, and electrons are constantly moving around the outside of the atom. Atoms have a neutral charge because there is the same amount of protons as electrons. Atoms can make up elements and isotopes. An element contains only one type of atom. the term known as, atomic number, is the number of protons found in an element. An isotope happens when a certain atom has a different amount of neutrons than the regular element, but the number of electrons stays the same. This makes it so the isotope still has the same chemical properties. Chemical compounds are when elements combine with other elements. These compounds are held together by chemical bonds. The bonds could be ionic or covalent. Ionic bonds occur when electrons are transferred. Covalent bonds are formed by the sharing of an electron, these are then called molecules. Covalent bonds are most common. This is a brief insight to the chemistry of life. With this information I am able to have a better understanding of what makes up our life. There are so many intricate things that go into building compounds and understanding how they work. In a comment about the digestive system, I learned that the pancreas is 6 inches long.
In our unit of ecology, there was an important factor called, population. Population, as in our notes, is defined as, a group of organisms of the same species living in a specific area. Now, population can be very tricky, we normally have overpopulation problems rather then not having enough people in an area. In order to keep the population under control there are ways to calculate how much an area can hold (carrying capacity) and how many deaths and births there have been in that area. The carrying capacity is how much life an ecosystem can hold without ruining the region. The thing is, there is a fine line between too much and just enough, and we tend to cross that, not just humans but other species to.There are natural ways to keep the population growing at a healthy rate. Competition, predation, and parasitism are all factors that control growth. Competition with one another may lead to the end of one species making more room for other species to grow. Predation is like a cycle of some sorts, without predators killing and eating their prey, there would be over population.Predators balance the prey who balance the producers. Parasites are just the same, they need to eat and survive as well, so they balance the bigger predators as long as the smaller prey. Without these factors, populations would be all over the place and there would be no balcance.While scrolling through other comments, I noticed that motivation for learning can be inherited through our genes, I thought that was pretty interesting. After researching and looking back into notes,I realized that there is a lot more to life the just species living, and I know that there are animals out there and insects that you ask,"why?" but now know why, to balance everything out. I know now that everything lines up to just be one big circle. Like the circle of life.
Moring,Elizabeth.H2During this year of Honors Biology I have learned a lot, but what I learned most about was our unit on ecology. Ecology is the branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings. In this unit we learned about biomes, a biomes are regions of the world with similar climate. There are five major types of biomes: aquatic, desert. forest, grassland, and tundra. There are many important factors to ecology but one of the most important things is a population. A population is a group of organisms of the same species living in a specific area. To keep population under control we use things like carry capacity, birth rate, and death rate. The carrying capacity is how much life an ecosystem can hold without overtaking the region. Birth rate is how many average births there are each year and death rate is how many average deaths there are each year. The food chain also has a big impact in ecology. The most powerful are at the top and the bottom is the least powerful. It is like a ranking system. The producers are things such as grass and trees. A consumer is any animal that eats another, such as a bear or a human. A decomposer is a species such as fungi or bacteria. Ecology effects everyone's life's From reading other classmates comments it is important to have a stable environment. Also understanding ecology and the ecosystem is important because that is how we rely on living. That is what I learned from this unit and my classmates.
Caroline Roesner 5 hour Cells.We first learned what cells are and their role in our body, and we also learned about the various organelles inside each cell, and how they each have a specific role just like our organs. What is a cell? It's definition states that it is the smallest unit of any living form that is capable of prolonged independent existence. First is the cell wall, it is around the cell membrane of plants and algae, it provides protection and support. The chloroplast, is an organelle found in cells of plants and some other things that captures the energy from sunlight and converts it into chemical energy. The endoplasmic reticulum is made of membranes , proteins are modified and the lipids of the plasma are assembled here. The organelle that is a stack of membranes that modifies, sorts, and packages proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum is called the golgi apparatus. A lysosome is an organelle that is filled with proteins that are needed to break some things down. Mitochondrian are organelles that convert food into chemical energy and compounds that cells are able to use. The nucleus of a cell contains its genetic material and controls it's activities. A thin flexible barrier, that surrounds the cell,the plasma membrane regulates what enters and leaves a cell. A ribosome is made of RNA and proteins, it is where proteins are assembled. Lastly the vacuole, it's an organelle that stores material like water and salt. We learned about the cell when studying what we are made of, how it works, and how our systems work together, like how we have specialized cells. This has helped me understand how cells work and regulate. Also, the large role they play. I learned a lot about photosynthesis and how it works, I also learned the equation for it from another persons paragraph.
Wyatt, B, P1Cloning is a number of different ways to create a genetically identical copy of another tissue, cell, or organism. The copied material which has the exact same genetic makeup of the original is called a clone.The first of 3 methods of cloning is gene cloning, which copies the DNA segment and/or genes. The second method is reproductive cloning which can create whole animals; the simplified steps to do this are 1. remove a whole somatic cell 2. transfer the dna from that somatic cell into an egg cell that has had its own nucleus removed. The third technique is therapeutic cloning which creates a very specific kind of cell, a stem cell, which can be used to replace injured or damaged tissue and grow healthy tissue as well. Cloning DNA is basically four steps: 1. breaking apart a strand of dna which is called fragmentation 2. gluing together pieces of dna in a specific order which is called ligation 3. inserting the new pieces of dna into a cell 4. last, selecting out the cells that were transfected with the new dna. The first ever animal to be cloned was a sheep named dolly back in 1996. She was cloned using the reproductive cloning technique. It took the scientists in Scotland 434 attempts before an embryo was actually successful.She lived for 6 years and now her stuffed remains are on exhibit at the National Museum of Scotland.Cloning has impacted my life because farmers can clone their stock to be safer and healthier food.
Ricky,M,P3Gel electrophoresis is a method used by scientists to separate the different proteins in someone's or something's DNA to ultimately tell who they are and what kind of species they are. One of the many practical uses for gel electrophoresis is part of crime scene investigation. For example say a detective finds a unusual piece of material that contains DNA (dinger nail, hair, blood ect.) they can take that and using other techniques they can take out the DNA and insert it into the gel they have a set of DNA that they can compare to potential suspects DNA to tell if they are the ones that did the crime. The gel used is 1 of 3 different types agarose which is the kind we used in class and is seed weed based, Polyacrylamide, and starch. A large part of developing this technique came from Oliver Smithies a British born American. This not only impacts my life but everyone else's by putting criminals in jail where otherwise they could still be committing crimes. One thing I learned about from someone else's comment is that a invasive species in one that is not native to a area and has a tendency to spread and cause damage to the environment they are found in.
In biology we are studying the digestive system. Aiding the functions of the digestive organs are the accessory organs. These include the liver, gall bladder, pancreas, tongue, and salivary glands. Each one has its own function but helps to quicken and simplify the process of breaking down food for our bodies to use. The liver and gall bladder work together to break down the fats in food. Helping each other is just what they do. The liver makes the bile that will later break down fat and the gall bladder is the storage for the bile that is not being used. The liver also processes the nutrients that are absorbed by the small intestine. The gall bladder is located inferior and posterior to the liver. Bile is what breaks down the fat in our system. Without the liver and gall bladder our food would not be digested the same.The pancreas excretes enzymes to break down the protein, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleus acids in food. While the liver and gall bladder help the breaking down of fats, the pancreas is breaking down most everything else. The function provides further breakdown of the food after it has gone through the stomach. Many things would have to change in your diets if a pancreas was not present. The first step in the digestive process starts in the mouth. Your tongue and salivary glands are also considered part of what is known as the accessory organs. Saliva is produced by the salivary glands located under the tongue. Chemicals in the saliva start the breaking down process before the food even gets through the esophagus. Part of this breaking down is also helped by chewing and breaking the larger parts into smaller ones. This way the chemicals can work faster. Salivary glands start the digestive process. Surgery on the accessory organs are common and may or may not have an effect on your system. Removing your gall bladder can keep you off your feet for a few weeks but it won't hurt you in the long run. Liver transplants happen frequently as well. Keeping your accessory organs in check is vital to the needs of the digestive system. The liver, gall bladder, pancreas, Tongue and salivary glands are very important to our digestive system. They may only be accessory organs but the okay larger roles than we think. Each one has its part in the digestive system. I learned from Rachel siebert that the pancreas is about 6 inches long and has lobes all across it. It is located behind the stomach and across the back of the abdomen.
Lucie O, P2During the Evolution unit, we were introduced to our ancestor "Tiktaalik". A hint, in that we descended from fish. Tiktaalik is a monospecific genus of extinct sarcopterygian (lobe-finned fish) from the late Devonian period. Tiktaalik has what appears to be hind legs. Used for prompting itself up, to the shore and dragging its way out of the water source. Along with fore fins, Tiktaalik has a massive shoulder that expanded scapular and coracoid elements and attached to the body armor, large muscular scars on the ventral surface of the humerus, and highly mobile distal joints. The bones of the fore fins showed large muscle facets, hinting that the fin was both muscular and had the ability to flex like a wrist joint. With this information provided to us, scientists are able to use these key points off of this strange species to come up with a hypothesis. The idea that we, humans, were once aquatic. This also proves why, shown in our worksheets, we have gills that later turn into muscles to move our ears. These unnecessary muscles provide more evidence siding with the idea of once being the same as fish. Along with that evidence we come to realize that most forelimb-ed creatures have the same features as us humans during creation. Arising more curiosity that Tiktaalik might have been the start of not only fish, and humans, but monkeys, chimps and other creatures with limbs. More studies have shown that Tiktaalik was the 'starter' for ribcages. Because of the spiracles on the top of the head, which suggest the creature had primitive lungs as well as gills. This would have been useful in shallow water, where higher water temperature would lower oxygen content. Along with this research, some debate whether Tiktaalik is more fish than mammal. Because of the lacking characteristics that most fishes have—bony plates in the gill area that restrict lateral head movement. This makes Tiktaalik the earliest known fish to have a neck, with the pectoral girdle separate from the skull. This would give the creature more freedom in hunting prey either on land or in the shallows.I've learned that we all may seem very different and though we are quite 'complex' we were once the same as a fish, something known to be much lesser than humans. Looking into someones notes, I was able to learn about cloning. How Dolly, the sheep, had been tested 434 times until a final result of herself.
Brittan B, Hour 3The ecosystem is a complex network of interactions between two types of factors: abiotic and biotic. Abiotic factors are things that aren't alive, such as volcanic activity, temperature, water levels and climate. Biotic factors are living things, such as animals, plants, fungi and bacteria.An example of an abiotic factor influencing another abiotic factor would be lava flows coming into contact with water to form igneous rock, which could then be faced with a abiotic-biotic interaction such as lichens converting the rock into soil, forming a biotic-biotic interaction as plants can grow in the new soil.Biotic factors influencing one another is in some cases symbiosis. Among the symbiotic relationships, you have mutualism, in which both organisms benefit. An example of this could be bees and flowers; the bees pollenate the flowers in exchange for nectar. Then there's commensalism, in which one organism benefits and the other is unaffected. Commensalism can be seen in a remora trailing a shark. The shark is unaffected, but the remora benefits by being able to eat any food the shark leaves behind as scraps. Third, there's parasitism. Parasitism is defined as one animal benefiting at the other's expense. An example of parasitism would be a tapeworm within a person, syphoning nutrients from the person's body. The last type of symbiosis is competition. Competition is a relation in which neither side benefits, as while they compete there's less resources to go around. An example of competition would be lions and cheetahs competing for a similar food source: impalas. Neither side benefits because one less impala in the wild is less food for them.To conclude, the ecosystem is a complex network of countless interactions between abiotic and biotic factors.
Mitchell,R, P1In chapter 13 we learned about Genetic Engineering. Genetic engineering is the process of manually adding new DNA to an organism. The goal is to add one or more new traits that are not already found in that organism. This is mainly used for food purposes or for giving pets better genes.For example, if you want to be able to get bigger and fatter cows, you can add certain genes into a cell, the cell will replicate and reproduce, making more cells, therefore giving the cow and the cows' offspring the same cell hence genes. You can also breed animals. Breeding is the reproduction that is producing of offspring, usually animals or plants. Breeding can allow to combine different traits from different breeds of animals and combine them to create an animal with similar traits of both the animals. You could combine 2 dogs, a bloodhound and a beagle, that is fast and has a good sense of smell, great for hunting.This unit has helped me better understand genetics and how all these new breeds of animals have come about. It is very interesting how these new breed of animals are made and is a very delicate process. Hopefully someday humans will be able to take genetic engineering further.
Population ecology is the study of these and other questions about what factors affect population and how and why a population changes over time. Population ecology has a rich development and a great study of population growth, regulation, and dynamics, or demography. Human population growth is an important model for population ecologists, and is one of the most important environmental issues of the twenty-first century. But all populations, from disease organisms to wild-harvested fish stocks and forest trees to the species in a series to laboratory fruit files and paramecia, have been the subject of basic and applied population biology.An organism’s life history is a record of major events relating to its growth, development, reproduction, and survival. Life histories vary tremendously from one species to the next. The study of population ecology includes understanding, explaining, and predicting species distributions. Why do species inhabit particular areas, and how are they prevented from establishing beyond their range limits? These questions have become popular in the last decade or so in response to concerns about climate change.
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