In Class Nov. 29th: Genetic Engineering and Gene Therapy

NPR logoAs we listen to these two news stories, keep track of any questions you have as well as connections to material we’ve covered. We’ll discuss your thoughts on these two news stories together.

Class Prep for Nov. 22: Genes, Proteins and Genetic Testing

NPR logoTo prepare for class on Nov. 22nd, please listen to the two news stories below and work through the questions below to gain familiarity with some important concepts of the Central Dogma. Be prepared to share your responses to these questions during class discussion!

NPR: From Kale To Pale Ale, A Love Of Bitter May Be In Your Genes

  • What is a gene?
  • What is a taste receptor?
  • How do different genes result in different experiences in tasting bitterness?

Continue reading Class Prep for Nov. 22: Genes, Proteins and Genetic Testing

In Class Nov. 1: Microscope Images & Depictions of Cells

Test some of your cell biology knowledge with these questions…

1. identify (a) what is shown in the images below and (b) what kind of microscope was used to obtain the images? Although there are many kinds of microscopes, we’ll only be concerned with a handful; light microscopes: bright field and fluorescence, electron microscopes: scanning and transmission.
A. 
npr: Proposed Treatment To Fix Genetic Diseases Raises Ethical Issues
Why does this image have color? Continue reading In Class Nov. 1: Microscope Images & Depictions of Cells

In Class Oct. 25th: The “Wasabi Receptor”

Recently, scientists figured out the structure of TRPA1, the so-called wasabi receptor, a protein that allows us to taste certain foods as spicy hot.

By using whatever resources you’d like, work on answering the following questions with your peers… Continue reading In Class Oct. 25th: The “Wasabi Receptor”

In Class Oct. 25th: What Cells Do For Squids

Cells often get attention in the media for the impressive and problematic things they can do. Here’s a nice video by PBS Deep Look that showcases the amazing abilities of a particular kind of cell found in cuttlefish, octopi and squids: chromatophores.

As we watch this video, consider the following questions: What do these cells have that others typically don’t? What must they have that many or all cells usually have?

Maple Sugaring: class discussion of carbohydrates for Oct. 18th

In the Climate Wisconsin video below, what connections to biological macromolecules can you spot?


How are carbohydrates involved? What roles are they playing? As a maple tree is getting ready for spring, what kind of reaction that we’ve seen in the reading is taking place?