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=GeneticEngineering=

So, you want to learn about Genetic Engineering right? Well, good news! It’s a pretty simple concept once you get a good example. Like for me, it was this Futurama episode where a character did genetic experiments to breed the perfect green pea plants. 

 (End result of the experiments, from the Futurama episode ‘Leela and the Genestalk’) 

Genetic engineering or Genetic modification is basically where someone manually alters the DNA of an organism to produce a protein for a desired trait, but to a limit. It’s not like someone could completely alter every trait you have. No, scientists are still learning more about it to this day and they’re starting small so they’re trying with a couple traits at a time. 

The simplest example I can find of its process is what scientists are doing for Humulin. Humulin is genetically modified insulin for those with diabetes (Diabetes is when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin in the pancreas). 

(Found on the website ‘www.yourgenome.org’) 

Here they have extracted a piece of DNA, cut out a small section they don’t want, replace it with another gene, and because it’s DNA from bacteria, it can easily be multiplied, purified and packaged into bottles for medicine. 

(If you need a better explanation I recommend the video below by Eco-Wise Videos.)

Yes, It’s that simple. Though scientists have other examples of genetic engineering like extracting spider DNA into a goat so that it’s milk have these spider web-like silk or in the episode I talked about earlier, one of the characters experiments was splicing elephant DNA into green beans to make giant green beans (Sorta like Jack and the Beanstalk). 

A good example to me is the genetic engineering is done for food because believe it or not, a lot of the food nowadays in genetically modified. Scientists have genetically modified crops to withstand weed killers that would damage the crop. Again, they modified its DNA to withstand chemicals. 

Seems like genetic engineering is a good thing, right? Well, not really, there is still a lot of controversy around this topic mostly about the food. Like, because it can withstand the chemicals means that chemicals are on the food which people do eventually eat. People don’t think it’s right to alter the genetics of another living organism. I find it’s mostly religious people who believe this because ‘you shouldn’t mess with gods creations’ but to me, it’s more concerning because since it’s a relatively new experimented topic, it’s hard to see it’s lifelong effect/results. 

(Because this episode is a really good example of the topic, I’m using it again).

The character Leela is one of those people who think it’s cruel and mad to genetically experiment and even in the show it’s illegal to genetically experiment, through the experimenter shows her how helpful it can be once she cures Leela of ‘Squidification’ (don’t ask). 

Now even with the controversy of this topic, scientists still want to learn more about it and hopefully, genetic engineering will be able to help a lot of people with bad heredity traits passed down from parents or other negative genetic traits. Even with the possible problems of modifying genes, it’s safe to assume we’ll be more knowledgeable about it in the future if something really amazing happens. 

Hope you learned a little! 

 

(Sources used: http://agbiosafety.unl.edu/basic_genetics.shtml

https://www.yourgenome.org/facts/what-is-genetic-engineering 

Welcome to Just Label It Campaign’s Home Page

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-FirstTheyCameForThe..-

Based on a poem by Martin Niemoller. “First they came for the Jews” in response to the poem “Danger of silence”.

First they came for the abused

and I did not speak out

because I was not abused

Then they came for the depressed

and I did not speak out

because I was not depressed

Then they came for the lost

and I did not speak out

because I was not lost

Then they came for me

and there was no one left

to speak out for me.”

 

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=TheCatAndTheFiddleIsThePURRfectRestuarant=

 

The Cat and the Fiddle is the most comfortable I’ve felt out of home. The building is as big as a large forest cottage with it’s old architectural design and brown wooden interior. Its employees are PAWsitive and make you feel incredibly special with that ‘welcome home’ aspect. The place is decorated by sports merchandise and Tv’s everywhere so you don’t miss a second of your favourite game. I remember first stepping through the doors and instantly feeling like I belong with it’s charming and alluring atmosphere as if it’s calling me over for a bite. Hot and savoury food perfume the air as the sounds of glass clinking and laughs are heard all around. Food over here will keep you FELINE good, the smokey grilled burgers are blanketed in cheese as the hot crunchy fries are piled on top of each other to the side of the clean plate. The food is affordable, but the wings are PURRiceless (Kidding, it’s not expensive). The wings are warm, well seasoned, and packed full of flavour, don’t get me started on the teriyaki sauce you could add with them. Be sure to wash your hands after eating, saucy fingers might cause a CATastrophy. They have many PURRks to make people of all ages feeling at home. They have colouring pages, family booths, a drinking menu and even pool tables for a game with your friends in order to show off your pool skills. Overall, the food is PAWsome, the staff is so happy, the place has that ‘middle age tavern’ feel and it’s only $11 to $30 a meal. I’ve never had so many amazing memories at this restaurant with me running around with my brother, trying every food on the menu and bonding over the fries. I’d recommend everyone to stop everything and come down for a wing or two.

(Website the photo was from- http://pocojudo.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cat-and-fiddle-e1461077981187.jpg)

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=ForgivingAfterSuffering=

“How does one forgive after suffering oppression?”

This question has been the topic of many stories because it has the potential to be adapted in various ways whether the character was abandoned, manipulated, betrayed, tortured, etc. Though most authors like to push it to a positive outlook, it can be both ways. It depends a lot of the situation like who they are, how they suffered, why they suffered, who hurt them, and who are they forgiving. In lots of the movies, stories, and books I know there is always a character who suffered outside the stories plot so the characters do know they suffered but it’s not the focus of the story.

Case in point, Hercules, the character Meg has suffered oppression due to Hades after she sold her soul to him. So there is basically no story where someone didn’t suffer from oppression making this question go along with a lot of story arches and character subplots.

This question personally, solely depends on the person who suffered. Each person is different, so maybe one person would be more forgiving or one person didn’t suffer that badly, etc. It also depends how understanding and open they are to forgive because there are a lot of characters I know that would forgive anyone if they knew the truth behind the oppression.

Examples include:

Punch like a Girl, Red Queen, Glass Sword, Broken, Matilda, Atalanta, Taming of the Shrew, and Once Upon a Time.

These stories all have characters who suffered some sort of oppression and they all dealt with them differently. So that’s why it depends on the person’s ability to understand and forgive.

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-What It Means To Be Human-

Humans want to feel included

Humans persist in difficult situations

Humans need friends and family

Humans need hopes and dreams

Humans need to communicate

Humans need to understand others

Humans seek knowledge

Humans can be driven by curiosity

Humans strive for a good society

Humans can be terrifying

The book The Lord of the Flies if one of the most terrifying and horrific books I’ve ever read but it taught me the most out of every book I read. It showed me how fear and freedom put together in some circumstances can drive people to do horrible things to each other while trying to survive. The book is about a plane filled with young middle school boys crashing on an island without any adults as they try to survive and get off. I don’t recommend it to anyone who is very sensitive to murder..

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-InnovationProject:HoloBox-

For our Innovation Projects in Science, Maebel and I did the Dragons’ Den Presentation and it was pretty fun. We also ended up helping our friend cause her entire group was gone. Overall I really loved seeing what other people thought of and It was amazing.

Since I did the project with Maebel, we’re similar in the way we think so we both had to focus on Critical Thinking. I would do my best to ask pretty open ended questions and gather info but lots of them just became closed questions but I did do my best to gather info about them but not a lot. While researching I didn’t keep an eye out for fake info so Maebel would have to decipher it for me, though sometimes I would catch fake info. With some of the fake info, it’d also be hard to tell differences between fact, opinion, and judgement but I think I did my best, though I don’t think I did a good job.

For the collaboration portion, I really liked collaboration with Maebel, we became real friends and we think things the same way so it was easy to collaborate. I wish I could’ve contributed a lot to the psychical construction portion, just because Mabel did most of the building and I wish I have more physical examples rather than saying them out, I should’ve made some slides… Overall we did awesomely. Our artistic strength combined really helped a lot and when we were stuck it’d be easy for us to pick up where we lost. 

With the experiance itself I loved it. It was a cool idea for whoever came up with it. I esspeically loved how they gave us lots of time to plan and prioritize as well as create and practice everything. I wish I spent more time on the presentation itself rather than 80% on the actual product but it was still an awesome lesson. I learned a lot about collaberating in different ways as well as creating something specifically for one problem and expanding it to fix others.  

Yup, that’s my reflection. Have a good day! 

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The Story of the Little Cell that Could

(Since this is a very serious topic, I decided to child it down a bit. Not to offend anyone, it’s just that If I did it more serious it’d just make a sad. Also, note that I’ve only put one picture in because I want to do the rest later and I don’t want to take someone else’s) 

So it all starts in the Sympathetic Nervous System, in that there is something called an “Adrenal Medulla” and they are made up of Chromaffin Cells. 

Our story begins when a Chromaffin Cell starts growing a Neuroendocrine Tumor, which kinda turns him evil.

By doing so the Chromaffin Cell is now infected which start affecting the other cells around him. Since that a couple cells are affected, this causes Chromaffin Cell to start over-producing hormones (or Catecholamines) with his new infected friends.

Since they’re in the Sympathetic Nervous System, they will likely settle near the head and neck area to grow outside the adrenal gland.

While they’re overdoing the production of hormones, this causes the body they live in to have high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, severe headaches, chest or abdominal pain, etc.

Because of this, the body they live in is more likely to die from heart attacks and strokes.

Not to worry though because there is a cure since the cells are in the tumour the simplest way is to get surgery to remove the Chromaffin Cell and his friends from the body. After that, the body is more obligated to live a healthier life without the Evil cell in them.

So that was the story but I’ll go into more detail about Paraganglioma.

First off, though it’s very similar, it’s not the same as Pheochromocytoma (such a mouth full) because a Paraganglioma tumour grows outside the adrenal glands.

Paraganglioma is pretty vague with how the Chromaffin Cell gets infected in the first place, but it’s obviously not a good thing. Paraganglioma is so bad that because it heavy affects a cell, it can be passed down genetically to your children.

Honestly, when I first started this project I really didn’t think I could so it seriously so like you saw up there, I simplified it. It was pretty easy with all the information I got from doing all the research cause if you put it in a really easy analogy it makes everything a lot clearer.

Though I kept running into fake websites, thanks to past lessons it was easy to see which was real. I used tools like Microsoft Word, Grammarly, one note, etc.

I wish I had more time to do drawings but I might just add them in next week if I have time.

That’s what I got, hope you enjoyed!

(Websites I used:

FloridaHospital.com- https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwjE26-f8onUAhUCs1QKHdOoBV0QFggnMAE&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.floridahospital.com%2Fparagangliomas%2Fsymptoms-and-signs-paragangliomas&usg=AFQjCNGuABVdqQonASA6eBzdBWyXmOUPAg&sig2=xPfTvtcoYrUZAE_ixANR4g

Cancer.gov- https://www.cancer.gov/types/pheochromocytoma/patient/pheochromocytoma-treatment-pdq

EndocrineDiseases.org- http://endocrinediseases.org/adrenal/paraganglioma.shtml

Britannica.com- https://www.britannica.com/science/chromaffin-cell

ColumbiaSurgery.org- http://columbiasurgery.org/conditions-and-treatments/paraganglioma

CancerNetwork.com- http://www.cancernetwork.com/oncology-journal/paraganglioma-potentially-challenging-tumor)

 

 

 

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=DNAModel=

So today we made DNA models out of marshmallows and twizzlers.

It was fun, Maebel was a fun partner. Along with that I had to answer a few questions.

  1. How are chromosomes, DNA, and genes related to one another (you will need to research this) They are related because since the DNA are important to make you unique and special so to make you, you. You have Genes which are located on the chromosomes which give the DNA specific traits that act like code for how you are made.
  2. Explain what these pieces represent:
    1. Licorice represent the backbone holding the strand together
    2. Marshmallows represent the four bases in DNA (Thymine=Orange, Adenine=Yellow, Guanine=Green, Cytosine=Pink)
  3. How did this activity help you understand the structure of DNA

          It helps me understand which DNA bases go together, how it looks, and what the backbone is for.

That was a fun lab.

Have a great day!