Archive for April, 2011

Group 4 project

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Group 4 day is coming ….. this year it is on Wednesday 11th May.  The purpose and schedule and requirements are outlined int his presentation:  Group 4 Day powerpoint

You will also receive a version of this handout: group IV project booklet 2011 revised for students  Please go through it carefully.  This is the only time that the IB assesses personal skills, so you get one shot at it.  For an ISM grade we will look at your self-reflection. 

Good luck, have fun, and enjoy being collaborative scientists!

Chromosomes, genes, alleles and mutations

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

sickle cell anemia by udt007us on flickr

We are about to embark on the last topic of the year!  It’s a great topic – and an important one – all to do with GENETICS.  Here is the syllabus guide: Topic 4 – Syllabus outline

In this first section we need to know what eukaryotic chromosomes are made of, and be able to define the terms gene, allele, genome and gene mutation.  We’ll learn about the disease sickle-cell anemia – how it is caused by substitution of a single base in the gene for making haemoglobin.  This will be a good review of transcription and translation [remember them?] as well.  Here is Mr Taylor’s presentation covering these points.

Click here for an excellent blog post that will help you understand how all this connects together.

DNA – what does it stand for?

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011


Deoxyribonucleic acid – that’s what.  It is the magic code that describes all living organisms.  Did you know that bacteria, plants and animals all share the same genetic material?  The language of DNA has only 4 letters, and yet we still see millions of different species and variations within species.

To help you learn about the structure of DNA, you can read this and this.  We will also attempt to extract DNA from strawberries.  Here’s how.  And this is the rubric for writing out the method etc. Communication rubric for extracting DNA from strawberries lab