January 8, 2011
There is only one more week in the 2nd quarter - it's hard to believe the school year is almost half over already!
Events of the Past Week
Everything went exactly according to the plan I laid out for you in last week's blogpost, so I hope you don't mind, but in the interest of your time and mine, I will refer you to that if you have any questions!
Monday - I will be collecting the students' homework at the beginning of class. They have a study guide to complete on the discovery of the structure of DNA. They have had it since last Tuesday, so they have had plenty of time to complete it. In addition, we did a lab on the process of protein synthesis, which the students should have completed over the weekend.
After collecting homework, the students will be completing an activity to learn about the impact of mutations. The mutations they will be looking at will be a mutation to the gene that controls production of a protein called myostatin, which controls muscle growth, and to the gene that controls the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. For homework, the students will be completing the questions in the activity.
Here is a picture of a bull with a mutation to the myostatin gene, in case you were wondering what a mutation to that gene might cause:
Tuesday - We will be learning about special enzymes called "restriction enzymes." These enzymes cut DNA at specific places, and allow scientists to manipulate DNA in many ways. We will first be looking at how they are used in the process of DNA fingerprinting in class. For homework, the students will be going to a website to look at the process of gel electrophoresis, which is the technique used in DNA fingerprinting, after learning first about how restriction enzymes work. The website they will be looking at is http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/labs/gel/. There will be a study guide to go along with it.
Wednesday - We are actually going to run a gel electrophoresis experiment in class. The students will be working with micropipettes (which cost about $100 apiece, so please emphasize that they need to be careful with them) to draw DNA out of a tube, inject it into a gel, and see how far the various DNA fragments within the solution they pipetted will travel. The DNA will run through the gel for about an hour after class, then I will stain it overnight.
For homework, the students will be given 3 short review sheets on the process of protein synthesis, since there will be a test on that topic on Friday.
Thursday - We will analyze the results from our gel electrophoresis lab. The students will measure how far each DNA fragment traveled in their gel, then plot those points on semilog graph paper to determine how many base pairs long each DNA fragment was. After completing this, the students will be given a review sheet on DNA and protein synthesis to complete for the test on Friday.
Friday - The students will take a test on the history of DNA, DNA structure, RNA structure, protein synthesis, restriction enzymes, and gel electrophoresis. The test will be around 50 multiple choice questions long. When they finish, they can use the remaining time to work on their final exam review sheet. The review sheet is available at http://www.mrgraba.net/ on the accelerated biology worksheets page. It should be printed up at home or in the media center before class on Friday.
Graba Geek of the Week
This week's Geek of the Week is Emily Neal, who has been very proactive in asking questions when she is confused. As a result of those questions, her hard work, and the fact that she's a smart kid, she has been doing very well in class this year. Great job, Emily!
I thought some of you might find this infographic interesting. It is quite revealing about the world our kids are living in, and where we have to start going to reach them.
Infographic by- Shanghai Web Designers