Blog Log #1

Blog Log #1

Solution to School Shootings? – By Paul Ratner

http://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/theres-one-way-to-stop-school-shootings-without-taking-away-anyones-guns 

Looking at the tone, this paper was written as the author presented a strong opinion against legalized guns in the United States. When I saw yet another paper on school shootings but from another perspective, I was intrigued by the view he demonstrated through his writing. There are over 140 school shootings in America since 2013 and he describes the irony in the fact that the country with the highest rate of shootings sells guns in everyday stores. Is this a coincidence? Maybe we could add metal detectors or security guards, but why should students suffer when the government has implicated such pointless laws. We see similarities in our everyday lives with TV’s, movies and real life. We joke about fake scenarios while in reality America experiences shootings regularly. Society has become oblivious to the real reason; legalized guns. While we sit in Canada safe only envisioning the possibility, around us, our world can’t see the evident problem and solution. Paul Ratner proves that we have established a mind set where we can’t see the larger world issue and we soon need to realize how society should wake up and change.

Community Connections – Micro-Biologist

My adventure as a Micro-Biologist: (Why are you passionate about your job? / What obstacles have you faced? / What has been your best discovery or adventure?)

My Master’s degree was in medical microbiology at Queen’s university.  We were looking at how bacteria were becoming resistant to many many different kinds of bacteria.   I loved my research because it was directly linked to how we could help patients.  I was interested primarily in bacteria resistant to many antibiotics because they are so complex and such a huge health concern 20 years ago and even more so today.

After my degree, I worked at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa (CHEO) as medical researcher.  We were investigating if disinfectants used in cleaning the hospital were causing an increase in bacteria resistant to cleaners and also resistant to antibiotics.     My role was to plan the project, write up how the experiments were to be performed, link with the hospital to get the permissions to take samples from areas around the hospital and then lead a team of lab technicians to test the bacteria to see if they were resistant to disinfectants and antibiotics.

When I came back to BC I worked in many fields of education but combined my two talents- teaching and microbiology at Douglas College.  I teach medical microbiology to nursing students and students who want to continue in a medical field.  I love teaching this course because our labs teach real life scenarios that nurses will encounter.   Our first lab is on how important it is to wash your hands properly!   I believe the picture I attached is from the bottom of a shoe.  Look at the variety of bacteria we come in contact with every day!  Imagine our hands!

We also do labs on urine samples and samples from other bodily fluids. I included a picture of E.coli – we hear about it in the news as it contaminates everything from poorly processed lettuce to hamburger to fruit juice.  But remember bacteria are not all bad.  Our last lab of the year is looking at pro-biotics (yogurt and pro-biotic tablets) to see all the good bacteria !

What are your roles and responsibilities?

My roles and responsibilities at Douglas college are to make sure my students not only learn the material but to develop an understanding and respect for the bacteria they will come in contact with in their jobs as nurses and health practitioners.   I also strive to make my students love the subject.  It is my responsibility to develop new and interesting labs, to  keep our bacterial cultures growing well, to make all the plates of agar that the bacteria will grown on, to keep the lab organized, order equipment, supplies and so much more.  One important duty I have is to keep the documentation for safety up to date.  Anyone who works in our lab must undergo strict training as we work with organisms that do cause disease.  The government demands strict safety testing and record keeping on our bacteria.

         

         

Why i interviewed a Micro-Biologist?

I interviewed my Family friend; Nina Bianco. She is a Micro-biology teacher that works at Douglas college doing volunteer courses as well as teaching daily courses. What I learned from her is mainly that when you are in school for your career you will always have a a subject or area of your courses that is not your favorite but once you get past the hard parts and the obstacles there are so many other other amazing research projects that will blow our minds. This is connected to my interests not only because we will need to study the same subjects but micro-biology is similar to the medicine field. In fact a lot of micro-biologists work with surgeons on diseases and in hospitals. I want to be a surgeon when I grow up so this is well related into medicine and medical research.

Some opportunities are…

Since she is my family friend I’ve been invited several times to go do professional biology labs at her lab in Douglas college. I have also learned the procedures they take for safety and how they run classes and labs! I am so excited to have learned so much from her and hope to take the course at Douglas college that riverside offers.

Modeling Mitosis – Maya Pawley

In this lab we as a group were given the task to create a visual representation of the cell cycle of mitosis!!! First you will be able to see our materials gathered; long string as the cell membrane, pipe cleaners as the chromatin’s, beads as the genes, short string as the spindle fibers and also a second long string as the nucleus membrane.

   

In the next three pictures you will see the beginning of Interphase. This is known to be the “resting phase” of the mitosis cycle and is where the chromatin’s are resting in their neutral habitat without the cycle of mitosis (hasn’t began).

                         

In the most previous picture what you saw was the two sister chromatid’s forming into a chromosomes! Once all the 46 chromosomes are fully bond the nucleus membrane disintegrates and the spindle fibers and centriole’s begin to appear at the poles (outer edges) of the cell.  As well as the steps of Prophase you see the two other main parts of mitosis; Metaphase and Anaphase. During metaphase you will see all the chromosomes meeting as the equator of the cell preparing for anaphase. During the second to last step you see the spindles fibers pulling the sister chromatin’s to opposite sides of the cell.

                           

Finally in Telophase, the spindle fibers disappear and a new nuclear membrane forms around each set of duplicate chromosomes. Lastly in the final step, Cytokineses the one cell divides into two daughter cells making an exact duplicate.

                            

That is the full cycle of Mitosis!!!

 

 

Mutation Story – Alzheimer’s

Here is my Mutation story:

My video was unable to upload because the size exceeds the limits! ( I will present the video to Mr. Robinson in class)

This is my script/paragraphs from Part 1 as well as my “Making of the Mutation Story” (Part 2):

Mutation Story – Alzheimer’s disease:

Let’s start at the core of the problem by understanding your cells “Blueprints” so you will be able to see the reasoning behind how your genetic mutation works. Imagine your cell filled with all its essential parts, actually let’s take a trip even deeper… Pretend you are a little nucleotide. What’s that you ask, well I’ll explain soon enough! Inside your nucleus you have 46 chromosomes 23 from each parent and in each chromosome you have DNA and genes. Genes are what make up your physical attributes such as blue eyes and brown hair. DNA is the long strand, almost 6 feet, that is made up of nucleotides; A, T, C, G. Nucleotides are the molecules that make up your DNA which can be found attached to a phosphate sugar backbone. As well as being a long “strand” DNA’s function is to send coded messages or sequences out to our body, so we function properly. After that there is RNA that takes a copy of DNA and turns it into protein. That was the simple version, I know but here’s where it gets even more complicated. That was a description of a normal cell’s nucleus but one with a genetic disorder is even more difficult to grasp.

Imagine you live in a huge town filled with houses 23 are blue 23 are red, the houses represent the 46 chromosomes in the nucleus in each little chromosome house there are DNA and genes living inside. But what happens if one of the family members decides to move away or gets “sick” (mutation), bring someone new home, swaps with a friend?! Any of these would cause some sort of mutation in your cell. For the genetic disorder Alzheimer’s house #21, 14, or 1 have someone sick in their house. For the story I will choose house number 14 is the chromosomes who has a sick Nucleotide (family member).

That is where the mutation starts, there are two types of Alzheimer’s early on-set and late on-set they’re both genetic only early on-set can start having effects on your brain in your 30-60’s and late on-set will effect you in your 60’s and later. In our story we said house 14 has a sick member that causes the mutation of Alzheimer’s. For chromosomes 14 the mutation causes a abnormal presenilin 1 to be made which causes a ripple effect. If your DNA has a mutation, then when your RNA (copy) is made it will take the mutation with it. This causes abnormal proteins to be created which creates a malfunction in the sequenced message sent to your brain.

Now we are starting to talk about how this effects its host well it does quite a bit. In early and late on-set they have the same symptoms the only difference is in late on-set they are still researching which gene causes it. What happens to the person is; they begin to have symptoms similar to dementia but don’t be mistaken dementia and Alzheimer’s are different disorders. The most seen effects are; memory loss, impaired thinking, disorientation, changes in personality and mood and sometimes behavioral problems.

Scientifically what happens is the messages from the RNA are mangled and can’t get to the brain similar to the messages being tied off. The DNA is mutated which causes plaques and tangles in the brain tissue both of which are toxic. This kills the brain tissue and the living cells inside the brain which causes the size in some regions of the brain to shrink sufficiently. Throughout time the brain tissue continues to shrink which increases the amount and severity of the symptoms listed.

Patients who develop Alzheimer’s at the age of 65 tend to live 8.3 years longer while patients who developed it around 90 live up to 3.4 years after. After seeing how quickly this disease deteriorates the brain what are some cures or treatments? Because Alzheimer’s is connected to dementia there are experimental dementia treatments that can slow down the process similar to Alzheimer’s. There is no “cure” for Alzheimer’s… Yet but they are experimenting and doing new innovative trials to slow down problems in their brains. Of course, there are also drug and organic ways to help with the behavioral problems as well. Knowing there is no cure is sad but gives hope that they are trying to find new ways and solutions to fix concerning problems!

  • When does the average person with Alzheimer’s first start to see side effects of the genetic disorder?
  • What genes are affected by this disorder?
  • What happens to you as gene?
  • What causes the Alzheimer mutation?
  • What effects did the gene mutation have on your host’s body?
  • How was the host’s life affected? What was their story?
  • Where are chromosomes, genes etc. in the cell?
  • Is there more than one type of Alzheimer’s?
  • How does the disorder affect your brain health and the signals sent to your brain?

 

Bibliography :

  1. http://www.alzheimer.ca/en/Home/About-dementia/Alzheimer-s-disease?gclid=EAIaIQobChMInuriroi_2AIVh6_sCh2zcwR3EAAYASAAEgLJuvD_BwE

Website Title: Alzheimer’s disease | Alzheimer Society of Canada

Article Title: Alzheimer’s disease

Date Accessed: January 04, 2018

  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Alzheimer%27s

Website Title: Merriam-Webster

Article Title: Alzheimer’s

Publisher: Merriam-Webster

Date Accessed: January 04, 2018

  1. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/alzheimers-disease-genetics-fact-sheet

Website Title: National Institute on Aging

Article Title: Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Fact Sheet

Publisher: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Date Accessed: January 04, 2018

  1. http://www.bbc.com/news/health-28262878

Website Title: BBC News

Article Title: One in three Alzheimer’s cases preventable, says research[…]

Publisher: BBC

Electronically Published: July 14, 2014

Date Accessed: January 04, 2018

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/alzheimers-disease/life-expectancy

Website Title: Healthline

Article Title: The Facts About Alzheimer’s: Life Expectancy and Long-Te[…]

Publisher: Healthline Media

Date Accessed: January 04, 2018

  1. https://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_treatments.asp

Website Title: Alzheimer’s Association

Article Title: Latest Treatment Options

Date Accessed: January 04, 2018

  1. http://www.startstemcells.com/dementia-treatment.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIls2F0ay_2AIVhfhkCh24ewtSEAAYASAAEgIgQ_D_BwE

Website Title: Dementia treatment with stem cells

Article Title: Dementia – Stem cells treatment clinic

Date Accessed: January 04, 2018

 

  • What new or familiar digital tools did you try to use as you worked through this project?

I not only researched online using google and watching brief explanation videos on YouTube but in the end, I used a new site called “Easy Bib” to site all my resources. Also, I used iMovie to edit and put together my video, adding music and changing effects to make it as engaging as possible.

  • What was the process you used to investigate the topic?

I followed my research questions and followed each lead the questions gave me staying on track with the story all at once. I also assured to get all the facts down and into the story.

  • How did you verify and cite the information you found?

I used Easy Bib which I know is a valid cite because my teachers in grade 8 and 9 recommended it for use.

  • How did the process of completing this challenge go? What could you have done better?

I thought I completed the challenge well fulfilling my personal goals of using a new program on my own (iMovie) and overcoming the challenges of the research and finding the most pertinent information needed. Something I could’ve done better was having smoother transitions throughout the video and I could’ve started the project earlier into the break and done it over the two weeks instead of a few days.

 

Edible DNA Model – Maya

(Maya and Kelsey)

What is DNA? It’s Function? :

DNA and where it is located it actually quite simple; Your DNA is found in your cell inside your nucleus. When you have arrived inside the nucleus you will  see 46 chromosomes (average person) and inside each little chromosome there are genes and DNA. A gene is what makes up your physical attributes, such as blue eyes or brown hair.  Physically DNA is a long thin strand of molecules made up of nucleotide’s, there are 4 types of nucleotide’s; A,T,C,G. DNA’s function is to code sequences into messages, this lets our bodies and organs function normally. The DNA gets created into RNA which is a copy or half of the original sequence. The RNA is then processed into specific proteins which actually do most of the work throughout our bodies.

In the pictures below you can see the DNA strand, a real strand from a human is approximately 3 meters or 6 feet when stretched out. Here we show a quick snap shot of the inside of a chromosome where you find DNA. You can see the nucleotide’s (4 different colored marshmallows) and the licorice (sugar phosphate backbone) were are material used. Then we created a simple DNA sequence using the RNA (TAC GTA TGA AAC), we found its assigned nucleotide using the pattern “A-T and G-C” go with each other.

Materials used in our lab:

(Marshmallows, toothpicks, licorice)

Our finished model:

DNA Model: (natural form)

Kits 4 Kids

Kits4Kids-

(The final product and its outcomes are explained throughout these questions.)

Define : What is the challenge you have been given?

As a group and individually we were given the challenge of creating a new innovation way to help somewhere around the world. Whether it was a global goal or a new idea to help Saul we were to create and plan a creative idea to help out with some of their difficulties. For example; in Tanzania they have problems in their education system and the electricity in their country. So there were several groups who decided they were going to devote their solution fluency to helping Saul.

We chose Poverty as our global goal, we wanted to choose a modern problem including refugees traveling from Serbia or poverty in other countries around the world. Children all around the world are suffering through already difficult lifestyles but have the added stress of not having any necessities such as toiletries, food, shelter or any learning supplies.

Dream:  What innovative ideas do you have about how this problem could be solved?

We sure were dreaming, we had ideas coming out of our ears on how we could help! In the end we chose to stick with clean water and electricity as our two main goals. We continued to brainstorm until we came up with a global solution that we stuck with “helping children who live in extreme poverty conditions”. We exploded with creative ideas on how to package, brand and fit it to their needs.

In the end we chose a brand (created by us) called; Kits for Kids! This would represent kids around the world being helped by average teens and demonstrate that it IS possible. Other than the branding we needed to include some necessities that not everyone has access too so we added socks, journals, books, pencil crayons, and stuffed animals. We were planning on adding two scientific helpers; a portable water filter and a solar powered flashlights but due to shortness of time we were unable to create our own design and product. Our end dream was two start off by sending one kit to a refugee or a child in need and get feedback on what to improve on. Our dream was finally accomplished because we are sending out a pack this summer to a child in need and hope to receive happy feedback and tips for next time!!!

Deliver: How will you package and publish your information?

We explained earlier how the “Kits for Kids” package will be delivered and sent off to a child in need but how can we spread awareness? We used PowerPoint to create a brief explanation of our plans, dreams and accomplishments throughout the Solution fluency unit. The PowerPoint explains how we could make the two scientific ideas and plans on how to create them. We hope that we can eventually send out several more kits if we had more time to dedicate to this project.

Debrief:  How did the process go?

I wished we had received more time because I can imagine how far we as a strong team could’ve taken our ideas.Seeing as we were limited I am proud of how much we accomplished throughout our time given. i love that we got a package sent out and that we gave a child a “late Christmas gift” to enjoy and play with even if it wasn’t perfect. There were few errors but we were completely in control of who we sent it to and had several contacts willing to help us along the ride. Other than the fact we weren’t able to create the scientific aspects of the pack i am proud of how our team pulled the kit together into a final product.

 

 

 

Currents in the Kitchen!!!

Currents in the Kitchen Lab :

How our experiment went was, first we took two wires that were connected to our voltmeter and connected them to various types of metal, in this case copper and zinc. Once we had our metals inserted into our fruits and vegetables we were able to see the amount of voltage it created. We used potatoes, limes, lemons, and an orange as our independent variables.

We then tested to see if they would light a simple light bulb, with several tries we were unsuccessful but were still able to find the fruit/vegetable with the strongest voltage; POTATOES!!!

Some observations and questions we as group discovered on the way were having to do mainly with creating the largest amount of voltage. We kept coming to the same question “Can we create more charge with more of that one vegetable?”. We took our potatoes and split the two in half, we then created a full circuit but ended up with the same charge as one potatoes. Our observation was that we couldn’t create a larger voltage by adding more of the independent variable.

In my prediction I explained how I thought the citric acid and juices may have an effect on the voltage… In the end we did find that lemons and limes were one of our highest and my explanation for that is it does receive help from the acid. The electrons travel through the zinc and copper and transfer from one another through the acids and juices in the lemon, lime and orange. It isn’t necessarily the acid, but the juices make a natural path for the electrons to flow through.

Lastly and observation I made was that it was best to use the lowest setting to get the most accurate measurement for voltage. We used 3V as our setting, so we could collect our results as close as possible, so it was easier to compare. Here are our results we discovered from the voltmeter:

#1. A potato has a charge of 0.2V on a scale of 3V :

#2. A full lemon has a charge of 0.155V on a scale of 3V :

#3. A full lime has a charge of 0.15V on a scale of 3V :

#4. Several Potatoes have a charge of 0.1V on a scale of 3V :

As our group we would’ve loved to take this experiment to the next level and try creating a fruit or vegetable powered light but due to the fact our fruit barely made 0.5V/3V I’m not sure we could light anything bigger than a flashlight! We hope to learn more about how electricity can help us innovate and advance our ways on creating power.

Currents in the Kitchen – Prediction

My prediction for “Current in the kitchen” is that the lemon will be the fruit to create the strongest voltage. I believe this will give the most charge because its a citric fruit. I predict the acids and juices may have an effect on the charge it gives of during this experiment. This may also be the variable that determines the voltage!