Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Pig Dissection

Dissecting a pig was a pretty interesting experience for me. It reminded me of the rat dissection in grade 11.  I had a lot of fun cutting the pig up. Unfortunately my group does not have the camera necessary to document our dissection, so I’ll be using pictures from another group to show off the insides of the pig. My group and I first cut open the abdominal cavity with our scissor and scalpel. We then rip the membrane and successfully extracted the abdominal organs.  We saw the stomach, intestine, kidneys and pancreases. We even stretched the intestine, it was surprisingly long. We also cut/crack open the cranial and extracted the brain. I think my group was the most nervous group when extracting the brain, because everyone on in the group was screaming when the brain was removed. Overall the dissection was successful, and I had a lot of fun.

(Thanks Angela, James, Tiange and Jannel's group for the picture)

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The cove questions

2. Where is the dolphin slaughter taking place (city and country?)
Taiji, Japan.
7. Why are small islands n Caribbean supporting whaling?
Japan bribes/offer them with financial support.
12. What toxic substance is found in dolphin meat?
15. The main character and his group to pay the fisherman the same price they get from killing the dolphin if they stop. Why do they refuse?
Because it’s their tradition. Also, because they believe that it is pest control (not sure whether its by their own volition or the government telling them so).
19. The deputy of fisheries claims that the dolphins are killed humanly. What does one of the crew members do when he says this?
The crew member shows the deputy the video that they recorded of the merciless slaughter of the dolphin. Which shocks and silences the deputy.

The jelly fish story

A few weeks ago I went on a fieldtrip to the ROM with my biology class. It was a fun trip. I got to see many interesting creatures. We even attended a lecture where the two Gairdner award winners - Adrian Bird and Robert black - both presented their work. That presentation was in the morning, and after lunch the class went to the ROM (royal Ontario museum). The rom itself was very interesting there were many animals on display. We even saw dinosaur bones. During the visite, we got divided into two groups. Mine group had the male tour guide. He told us many interesting story. The story that made me LOL the most was the jellyfish story.
Jelly fish are taking over the sea. That’s the basis of the jelly fish story. Due to climate change the temperature of the water is increasing. The warmer sea provides a better environment for the jellyfish to reproduce. The huge jellyfish number causes many problems in the marine ecosystem. The jelly fish feeds on many small organisms in the sea. This decreases food available for some of the larger predator in the sea such as the whale and shark. Also, the increase number of jelly fish is killing off the fish that we eat. This is hurting the fish industries. Thinking they’re smart fisheries decide to do something about the jellyfish. This is where the funny part occurs. In japan the fishers decided to kill the giant jellyfish that inhabits the sea by cutting them up with wires. However they did not realize that the giant jellyfish drops its eggs when it’s in distress.  When the fishers started killing the giant jellyfish, more eggs dropped on to the sea bed. In addition, with most of the fishes dead due to the jellyfish invasion, no fish are available to eat the eggs. As a result, the jellyfish number increased instead of decreased.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Sharkwater response

In the past I had watched something similar to the movie “sharkwater”, it is called “Gordon Ramsay: Shark Bait”.  Gordon Ramsay goes on a similar journey like Rob Stewart did to find out the secret behind the shark hunting industries. Both of these documentaries shocked me but considering human nature’s aptitude for destruction it did not surprise me. Frankly, I believe that this sort of fishing is disgusting and should be banned. I am one of those Chinese- Canadian that don’t feel shark fin soup is part of the culture. I have personally never had shark fin soup and I probably never will.

I can understand why there are complaints filed against the Toronto’s shark fin ban because it takes away a tradition. However, when the said tradition involves the merciless killing of an endangered animal and the destruction of an ecosystem I don’t think that’s acceptable anymore. Another reason why people might complain is because by banning shark fin, you’re removing a very large industry that produces a lot of profit. However I don’t think that’s a valid reason because the profit only benefits the people involved in the industry. Also, the shark fin industry is already delving into the illegal territory so it’s not bad to ban the shark fin soup.  

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Cellular Respiration Activity – Clothespins and Muscle Fatigue

Purpose: to explore the relationship between cellular respiration and muscle fatigue
Material: clothespin, timer or clock
1.       Hold a clothespin in the thumb and index finger of you dominant hand.
2.       Count the number of times you can open and close the clothespin in a 20 second period while holding the other fingers of the hand straight out. Make sure to squeeze quickly and completely to get the max number of squeezes for each trial.
3.       Repeat this process for 6 more 20 second periods, recording the result for each trail in a suitable table. Try not to rest you fingers between the trials.
4.       Repeat this procedure for the non-dominant hand.
5.       Prepare a suitable graph.

Right (dominant)
Left (non-dominant)

1.       What happened to your strength as you progressed through each trial?
My strength decreased as I progressed through each trial. However during the activity I allowed my hand to rest for a bit which allowed me to gain back some strength.
2.       Describe how your hand and finger felt during the need of your trials.
My hands felt stiff and tired.
3.       What factors might cause you to get more squeezes (to have less fatigue)?
Factors are focusing my mind on other things, consuming things that may give me energy and the amount of rest I had previously
4.       Were your results different for the dominant and the non –dominant hand? Explain why they would be different.
Yes, they are different. This is because we tend to use the dominant hand more than the non-dominant hand. As result, the dominant hand is more adjusted to performing labour.
5.       Your muscles would probably recover after 10 minutes of rest to operate at the original squeeze rate. Explain why.
The reason we feel the fatigue is due to the build-up of lactic acid. Thus is we rest 10minute. We allow to lactic acid to be removed.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

20 points from section 1.3 to 1.4

1.       Energy is the ability to do work. Work is the transfer of energy from one body to another. Metabolism is the sum of all anabolic and catabolic process in a cell or organism

2.       First law of thermodynamic – the total amount of energy in the universe is constant. Energy cannot be created or destroyed but only converted from one form into another.

3.       Kinetic energy is the energy possessed by moving object. Potential energy is the energy stored by virtue of an object’s position within an attractive or repulsive force field.

4.       Bond energy is the minimum energy required to break one mole of bond between two species of atom.

5.       To show the change in potential energy that take place during a chemical reaction one would need a potential energy diagram.

6.       Activation energy is the difference between the potential energy level of the transition state and the potential energy of reacting molecules.
7.       Transition state in a chemical reaction is a temporary condition in which bonds within reactants are breaking and the bonds between products are forming.
8.       Exothermic reaction results in a net amount of energy released, while endothermic reaction results in a net amount of energy absorbed. An example of exothermic reaction is combustion.
9.       Entropy is a measure of the randomness or disorder in energy or in a collection of object.

10.   Exothermic reactions that increase in entropy occur spontaneously at all temperature. If it decreases in entropy, the reaction only occurs spontaneously at low temperature. Endothermic reaction that increases entropy only occurs spontaneously in high temperature and if it doesn’t increase entropy it will only occur with a net input of energy.

11.   Free energy is energy that can do useful work.
12.   The second law of thermodynamics – the entropy of the universe increases with any change that occurs.
13.   Exergonic reaction is a chemical reaction in which the energy of the product is less than the energy if the reactant. This is related to exothermic reaction. Endergonic reaction is a chemical reaction in which the energy of the product is more that the energy of the reactant. This is related to Endothermic reaction
14.   Metabolic reactions are reversible. When reversible reaction reaches equilibrium they become a dead cell.
15.   ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is the primary source of free energy in living cell.

16.   Redox reaction is a chemical reaction involving oxidation (atom loses one or more electron) and reduction (gaining one or more electron). The substance that loses an electron is called reducing agent while the substance that gains an electron is called an oxidizing agent.
17.   Enzymes are used to catalyze a reaction. Substrates are the reactant that an enzyme acts on when it catalyzes chemical reaction. Active site is the location where the substrate binds to an enzyme. The interaction between the substrate and the amino acids causes the protein to change its shape. This is known as the induced-fit model.
18.   Enzyme requires cofactor or coenzymes to work properly.
19.   Enzyme inhibitors are used to control enzyme activity. Enzyme activities can also be controlled by allosteric regulation. Feedback inhibition is a method of metabolic control in which product formed later in a sequence of reaction allosterically inhibits an enzyme that catalyzes a reaction occurring earlier in the process.
20.   There are many commercial and industrial use of enzyme such as using proteases to coagulate milk for the manufacture of cheese.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Things to know for biotech quiz

-used to cut DNA fragment from a sequence.
-Sticky and blunt are the two type of cuts that REs can cut.
Vector Cloning

-target gene is inserted into a recombinant DNA and reinserted back into the bacterium where transformation occurs.

-Taq polymerase is used because of its ability to survive in heat.
-target sequence is obtained at the 3rd cycle
Gel electrophoresis

-used to locate desired gene base on DNA fragment size.
-DNA is negatively charged and the larger fragment stays on the top while the smaller fragment travels further.

-used to detect certain differences in DNA sequence.
DNA sequencing

-adds 0.01% of ddNTP to create fragment of different length.
-used to determine the DNA sequence.