Diffusion in Agar Cubes

 

Data Table

1. The cube that proved itself to be the most efficient when it came to diffusion was the 1 cm cube.

2. We believe that the smaller size that this cube had, allowed for the diffusion to more easily and rapidly expand across the cube. We believe that this is thanks to its volume to surface area ratio. This cube had the highest ratio out of all the others, therefore having a higher diffusion efficiency.

3. Because the cells would be less efficient in the process of diffusion, which is an important process in the cells, as it helps export nutrients, water, and oxygen between living cells. It would take much more time to diffuse if they were larger as well.

4. Out of the three cubes (A, B, and C), C (4:1) would be the most efficient in maximizing diffusion as it has the lowest Surface to Volume ratio out of the three cubes. The higher ration means that this cube has less volume and less surface area, so it would be easier to diffuse.

5. We now have bigger organs that are made up of smaller cells. This allows for covering the maximum amount of surface area so that gases can be exchanged much more efficiently. There are high SA:V ratios in our bodies where gas exchanges occur.

6. Because the SA:V ration decreases as the size of an object decreases as demonstrated by the lab data. There is a ratio limit where the size is too large to be able to diffuse efficiently and provide nutrients, water, oxygen, etc. 

7. The diversity of cells is an advantage that multicellular organisms have. This is because each type of cell has its own job to do, each one being more complex compared to unicellular organisms. Being multicellular allows for different organs that can have different functions such as the organs in the circulatory, digestive, reproductive, and respiratory systems.

DNA and Protein Synthesis

TRANSCRIPTION

1. DNA is different from mRNA as mRNA has only one backbone chain of nucleotides. In mRNA there is no bond between the nucleotide bases as mRNA has to be ready to bond with another strand of RNA in the translation process. mRNA also has a different set of letters from DNA. Where DNA has T for thymine, mRNA will have U for Uracil, a unique pyramidine to RNA. You can see in the image below the brown beads (that represent Uracil) on the red pipecleaners that represents the mRNA and the blue beads (that represent thymine) on the blue pipecleaners:

Unlike DNA, mRNA is one of the many different RNAs that exist with different jobs and locations, where there is only on DNA molecule that has one job.

2. Before talking about the process of translation, it is important to understand why RNA exists and how it’s role is important in helping DNA build proteins.

DNA is actually very large and very important. So much so, it cannot leave the nucleus, but proteins must be built outside of the nucleus otherwise they will get stuck inside the nucleus as they are too big, and they will be unable to do their part inside the cell. This is where RNA comes into play. More specifically, mRNA, which is able to carry the information of one gene of DNA. What makes the mRNA so special is that it can leave the nucleus easily and it can be read by the cytoplasm where proteins must be produced. This is the basic process of transcription.

There are three phases in the process of transcription: unwinding and unzipping of the DNA, complimentary base pairing with DNA, and separation from DNA.

Unwinding

The DNA is split into two pieces (each peace equal in number of nucleotides and they look like half ladders). This is done by a DNA helicase. This will allow the mRNA to pair with the bases.

Complimentary Base Pairing

Now what is left is one strand of DNA and one strand of mRNA that ready to be bonded. The bonding will be facilitated by an mRNA polymerase (represented by a fuzzy peach in the picture below).

The polymerase will read the mRNA and move across it will it forms the h-bonds between the nucleotide bases.

Separation from DNA

Once the entire gene is transcribed, the mRNA separates from the DNA. The DNA then winds back up and reforms its original double helix shape.

The mRNA is then prepped and modified, and leaves the nucleus to move on to the next big step.

3. The model was able to demonstrate the shape of the DNA and the mRNA, as well as how the nucleotides are organized in each strand. The fuzzy peach as the polymerase was a great way to show how the polymerase moves across the mRNA in a certain direction to facilitate h-bonds between the nucleotide bases. The beads were great for representing the different nucleotide bases and the complimentary bases. The complimentary base pairing wasn’t as detailed as it could’ve been. Being able to show the h-bond between the nucleotides is hard to do with hands on materials. It is also hard to show the details on the nucleotide bases. An inaccuracy in the model is how the backbone is shown as one big piece rather than a chain of pieces. It’s easy to the strand of DNA and if mRNA as a few big pieces together rather than a chain of nucleotides.

 

TRANSLATION

1. Translation is the process in which the code carried my mRNA is converted into a polypeptide. There are multiple steps within the process. These steps are initiation, elongation, and termination
Initiation:
The mRNA binds to the small ribosomal unit (the bottom piece of the ribosome). The small and large ribosomal units then attach. The mRNA is actually the key to starting the entire process as the P-site must read the start codon AUG which resides on the mRNA. In the image below, you can see the mRNA is being read by the P-site on the ribosome:

Elongation:
The A-site reads the next codon in the mRNA and then it brings in matching complimentary tRNA (tRNA has 3 letter codes called anticodons that are complimentary to the codons on the mRNA). The new tRNA binds to the P-site, and another one binds to the A-site. The amino acid in the A-site then let’s go of the tRNA in the A-site and binds to the neighbouring amino acid in the P-site. This can be seen in the images below:


In the A-site, the tRNA binds to the next mRNA codon. This cycle continues until and a large chain is produced as can be seen in following image:

Termination:
The mRNA being read by the ribosome also has what is called a stop codon. This codon is a signal for the ribosome to stop reading the mRNA and for the tRNA to stop binding (there are no matches in the tRNA to go with the stop codon). Unlike the start codon, there are multiple stop codons (UAA, UAG, UGA). The stop codon in the image below is highlighted:

After the stop codon has been read, no new amino acids are added to the chain. This leads the ribosome to split into the two units again. The fresh polypeptide is then released and ready for use. In the image below you can see the polypeptide chain in blue, the mRNA strand, and ribosome are all separated:

2. The pieces we used in the activity were very simple and easy to recognize. Each piece was very similar to model pictures used in the one noteThey were also all different colours so they were even more easily distinguishable.
The process of transcription and translation was easy to follow because how we had to gather all the pieces and put them together to begin the process. With the genetic code table, we were able to figure out which codons were for which amino acids.
The model was inaccurate in a few ways. One of the ways it was inaccurate, was ribosomal units. The piece we had was only one ribosome. There is, however, two pieces of the ribosome: the small ribosomal subunit, and the large ribosomal subunit. We could not simulate how the ribosomal units merge and then split at the start and the end of the process respectively.

 

 

DNA

 

1. DNA is a collection of sugars, phosphates, and nitrogen. The sugars and phosphates create the two backbones made sugar-phosphates of nucleotides. The bases of the nucleotides are inside the ladder shape. The two strands of DNA are anti parallel as they are read in opposite directions. Certain bases attract each other and create what is called complimentary base pairing. The two pieces of DNA are kept together by hydrogen bonds in the middle of the nucleic acid. DNA is replicated by being split into two by a helicase and then the two strands are paired different strands through complimentary base pairing. This process is facilitated by DNA polymerase. The result is two identical DNA strands. This replication process is semi conservative and it is only one of the ways that DNA can replicate itself.

2. This activity represents the structure by having certain materials represent certain things.

Pipe cleaners (blue): the sugar/phosphate backbones

pipe cleaners(white): bond between backbones and nucleotides

beads (blue, green, yellow, purple): nucleotides (purines and pyramidines)

beads(pink): phosphate

watermellom gummy: helicase

blue and red foot gummies: polymerase

These materials made it easy to represent the shape of DNA and the different apspects of DNA. This also helped replicate the replication process.

It would be easier to make the DNA with twizzlers and gummies (attached with toothpicks), or still have backbone pipecleaners and phosphate beads, but instead of the white pipecleaners and other coloured beads, coloured paper clips might be easier to hook and separate.

 

Technology: A Scourge

(Sources below paragraph)

Technology today is detrimental to our society as its development and use is controlled by the industrial world, and anyone can use it for any purpose. When the word technology is brought up, one of many topics that come to mind is industry. This is due to the industrial world having a large portion of control when it comes to technology. One of the ways in which they do this is advertising products such as mobile devices, and televisions. These products are designed to be addictive, and are designed to ware out so that consumers are more likely to purchase an updated version of the same product. Addictive products do not only include electronic devices, but the food purchased in grocery shops by the masses that are also designed to be addictive. This is done by creating what is called a bliss point which is the most addictive point of the processed or highly sweetened food product. This has been done through the use of technology to enhance sales and get consumers to stay loyal to certain brands. Technology is not only used by the industry to sell products, but to also make a profit off of necessities such as medicine. Medicine is very important in today’s society, however, it is also part of an industry, and is used to make money as well as to help those in need. Unfortunately, those who need the most medical attention can not afford it, and are not able to benefit from the advancements of this technology. One could argue that this issue is caused by money and not the technology associated with the situation, however money is also a technological advancement and is a large part of many flaws in today’s society. Another thing that the industry has had an effect on is the environment, as production has a negative effect on ecosystems nearby. Furthermore, materials used to create products are becoming more and more scarce due to overproduction of products, that more often than not, get thrown back into the environment and into ecosystems, where they often have a negative impact on wildlife. Lastly, anyone can use any piece of technology for any purpose. This can be beneficial to many different kinds people such as everyday people who simply use technology to get a certain task done, or to simply get their mind off reality. However, not everyone has the same innocent mindset when they use technology. An example of technology that would be advantageous to one with a criminal goal set in mind would be a personal router designed to allow anonymity to anyone who uses it. This created what is known as the dark net where many can easily commit crimes such as selling drugs, scamming, or browsing through illegal websites that encourage and enable criminal activity. In conclusion, technology is a detriment to our society as its use and its evolution is controlled by industry, and anyone can use it for any purpose.

Sources:

Soechtig, Stephanie, director. Fed Up. Fed Up, Atlas Films.

Lemmino, director. The Dark Side of the Web. The Dark Side of the Web, Lemmino.

Denchak, Melissa. “Ocean Pollution: The Dirty Facts.” NRDC, 17 Jan. 2019, www.nrdc.org/stories/ocean-pollution-dirty-facts.

Kevles, Daniel J. “Why Is Medicine So Expensive?” The New York Review of Books, The New York Review of Books, www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/02/21/why-is-medicine-so-expensive/.

Song:

AJMW – Nights in West

Desmos Art Functions Card 2018

Get A Closer a Look at my Graph

How I took on the challenge

During my time working on the graph, I referenced three things: the math work book, Ms. Hubbard’s VERY helpful example, and I asked for help from my peers. One of the challenges I faced was function notations. Before I thought of and figured out how to use it, I just kept re-typing the same equation with slight variations each time. Then I realized it would be easier if I just wrote an equation as a function notation and added transformations each time. At first I wasn’t sure how to do it, so I seeked help from Ms. Hubbard’s example and the math book. I also got help from Desmos itself as a yellow triangle with an exclamation point shows up when something is wrong with your equation. When you hold down the triangle it gives you tips so you understand what’s wrong with the equation. My Aha moment was finally understanding how to apply function notations to Desmos. I learned and reviewed many concepts taught this year, such as how domain and range restrictions can greatly affect your graph. You could also say that adding translations and reflection have allowed the graphs to undergo a significant transformation. I was also reminded that function notation is a great way to repeat and equation with added transformations. This key factor in the project saved me A LOT of time. I was also reminded of all the different units we went through this year. Overall this project wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and it took less time than I thought it would.

Independant Child (Poetry Project)

Independent Child

A doll in my right, a paintbrush in my left
I played and painted my whole day away
A pen in my right, a textbook in my left
I studied and wrote my whole day away

With free time to spare, all day and all night
I danced and I sang ‘til the end of time
But what seemed gone for good, left me in fright
But as I grew up, I still felt sublime

I still had my joy, and fun little toys
I could still play in my chemistry lab
I found that I’ve gained, and strayed from decoys
That made ageing seem, so terribly drab

Look to the future, don’t stay dependent
For a true lifestyle is Independent

Composition on the poem:

Artificial Happiness – Fahrenheit 451 Essay

Artificial Happiness

Happiness is what one tries to achieve in their life, but can one truly know genuine happiness in today’s society? In the interpretive and satirical novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury happiness and corruption in society are dominant themes. In the book, a fireman named Guy Montag goes on a heroic journey and begins to discover the flaws in the fast-pace and high-risk way of life known to their society. The story explores and pokes fun at the definition of happiness, consumerism, the constant distractions that remove one from the darker side of society and the essential missing piece from society as it is know it today.

Happiness is a complicated emotion that is over-simplified; especially in today’s society. True happiness is also hard to find and hold onto; for it only lasts so long. In Fahrenheit 451, everything seems to be happy in the life of Montag. He then, however, meets an odd young lady named, Clarisse, who gets Montag to question his happiness. Thanks to her insight, he starts to think deeper about his way of life. As he begins to realize that he is not happy, he comes home to find that his wife had drank a full bottle of sleeping pills. This is where one may begin to notice that not all is as it seems in their world. Depression is a strong theme within this novel as well. This resonates with today’s society as levels of depression are higher than ever before. It is time to face the fact that “Our happiness is declining” (Annie Leonard, Story of Stuff). With that said, one should ask oneself and reflect on the same question Clarisse asked Montag, “Are you happy?” (Bradbury 7).

Today’s society is all about fitting in and taking part in the latest trends. A big part of this cycle is shopping and purchasing new products. Bradbury captured this really well by portraying it through Mildred who is constantly stuck in that very cycle. She is always immersed into her parlour walls, which are telling her what to buy and what to think. In fact, she wanted to fit into a certain image so badly that she slowly damaged and artificialized her body. She was described by Montag as having, “her hair burnt by chemicals to brittle straw…her body as thin as a praying mantis from dieting” (Bradbury 45). Even though she has repeated the cycle many times, she still hasn’t been satisfied enough. One can see this when she asks Montag, “How long you figure before we…get a fourth wall-tv put in?” (Bradbury 18). This proves that Mildred only sees herself to be as valuable as what she bought and what she is going to buy. Annie Leonard’s Story of Stuff describes Mildred’s situation perfectly as it claims that most people today also measure their value in what they buy. Leonard’s documentary is also relevant to society today as it talks about how the latest trends are used to create a cycle of consumption. The question is: How does one get stuck in the constant consumption cycle without even realizing it?

The entertainment that is used to distract us from the unpleasant side of life is taken full advantage of by the many corporations that want to keep as many people as they can in the cycle. This is explained in the Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard. Today’s society is exposed to many advertisements a day, through billboards, social media, magazines and more. Just like the society in Fahrenheit 451. However, as Montag steps further and further out of the cycle on his heroic journey, he begins to see that society has been zombified, and people are too distracted and too far gone to see what lies beyond their personal bubbles. Montag begins to see and exposed himself to corruption, violence, depression, and even the war that has gone unoticed by the fast-paced and distracted city. Similar to this, in Donald Glover’s This is America, chaos ensues in the background while Childish Gambino dances on the front of the scene to distract the viewers from all the hidden symbols and acts of corruption, and violence. This interpretation of society shows that the people are so constantly immersed in entertainment that they are forgetting to step outside in order to see what is happening just outside their window. According to Montag, the society in the book is also forgetting that, “we need to be really bothered once in a while” (Bradbury 49). He believes that we need to have bad days in order to truly feel and appreciate the good ones. Beatty in contrast to Montag however, believes that the people need to be distracted all the time. He tries to convince Montag that the, “people want to be happy…don’t we keep them moving, don’t we give them fun?” (Bradbury 78). Montag does not believe in what Beatty says and so he tries to figure out what is missing in his life as he believes, “we have everything we need to be happy but we aren’t happy. Something is missing” (Bradbury 82).

He then meets Faber who tells him that quality, leisure time and the right to act upon the first two are missing from society. Similar to today’s society, there is a lack of leisure time because one spends most of one’s day at work or school and then one is given a small amount of free time in which one uses to immerse oneself in entertainment as explained in Annie Leonard’s Story of Stuff. To add to that, there isn’t much time to think for oneself and talk freely with other people when one is constantly bombarded with notifications and new content to immerse oneself in. One’s loss of thinking time and social interaction starts to cause one to forget the difference between social conformity and individualism as opinions become a thing of the past. Culture in Decline by Peter Joseph explains this situation well and in further detail. In both today’s society and the society in the novel however, there is still people who have opinions and are clearly different from the rest. The problem however, is that society encourages conformity and is not the most welcoming to individualism. Clarisse is a perfect example in the novel as she sticks out from the rest and was labeled as antisocial and odd just for being closer to nature and more curious than others. The article Culture in Decline claims that “…to be smart or high achieving is to be a nerd or a geek”(Joseph). This is because of the idea that society is “not defined by productive thoughts, social contributions and good will but with superficial wealth and status” (Joseph). This demonstrates that to have productive thought is to stand out from the rest of society just like in Fahrenheit 451. Granger and Mildred represent both sides of this claim. Mildred is more obsessed with superficial wealth and fitting in while Granger learned from his grandfather that contributing to the world is far more valuable than anything you can buy.

In conclusion, Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 satirizes and interprets today’s society really well and allows one to remind oneself that happiness does not have to come from consuming and immersing oneself in entertainment. One can choose to find happiness in playful thought, productivity and social interaction with others. One just needs to allow oneself to find the time for that missing piece known as true leisure time.

Works Cited

Bradbury, Ray, Fahrenheit 451, Simon and Schuster paperbacks, 1953
Glover, Donald, This is America, 2018
Joseph, Peter, Culture in Decline, 2012
Leonard, Annie, Story of Stuff, 2007

Speaking in Tongues

Link: http://bigthink.com/aeon-ideas/the-bilingual-brain-why-one-size-doesnt-fit-all

Bonjour, holà, salam and hello. This article goes into detail about how bilingualism could be advantageous or not. As I am bilingual, this particular article stood out to me. My family’s origins play a part in my bilingualism as my parents were both raised in Algeria. I don’t speak much of the Algerian dialect myself, but I can still understand most of what my parents say. In Algeria however, they also speak French and so, the French immersion opportunity stood out to us and we registered. The only language that I decided to learn on my own is Spanish. This article helped me explore and clarify how there are different types of bilingualism and which one of the types fits me the most. I like how the author is very insightful in their style as well as rich in vocabulary. The author takes into consideration and represents the different types of bilingualism and explored how one type may be more advantageous than the other.