Just when you thought it was all over …. without you knowing it, we have been working through Topic 10, which is the higher level material on meiosis and genetics. I am fairly happy that we will complete this before you disappear for a few well-earned weeks of rest. Here is the syllabus guide for the topic, and a link to the presentation we used in class. IB Biology HL Topic 10 – syllabus guide
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The last section of work before IB1 exams! This is cool stuff. It is the “newest” part of the course as it involves science that is very current. Here are some of the questions we’ll attempt to answer:-
- What are the techniques of PCR and gel electrophoresis and how do they work?
- What is DNA profiling and how can it be used to determine paternity or in forensic investigations?
- What is meant by “gene transfer” and how can it be performed?
- What are some examples of genetically modified crops or animals?
- What are the potential benefits and harmful effects of genetic modification?
- What is a clone? How can we clone using differentiated animal cells?
- What are the ethical considerations of therapeutic cloning in humans?
Here are some of the terms we will get to terms with in this section 🙂
diploid, haploid, homologous chromosomes, crossing over, non-disjunction, trisomy, karyotyping
- We’ll learn about the process of meiosis, and why it is known as a reduction division.
- We’ll understand how chromosome abnormalities such as Down’s syndrome come about.
- We’ll learn what a karyotype is and how to analyse one.
- And we’ll discuss some ethical issues to do with karyotyping of unborn fetuses.
There are a number of ToK links here, such as balancing the risks of side-effects with preparing for a chromosome abnormality in an unborn child. There are also questions raised about who should make the decision about whether to perform the karyotype – the parents, doctors, governments?
We’ll use this site – The Biology Project – to practise karyotyping.
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!
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.
Flowers are the reproductive organs of angiospermophytes. You will get the chance to disect one, and to draw and label it. Some flowers are pollinated by wind, others by insects. We’ll focus on the insect pollinated ones in this topic. You will also need to be able to distinguish between these three processes:- pollination, fertilization and seed dispersal.
We’ll then take a look at seeds and seed structure, and the process of germination. Finally we will learn about phytochromes and their role in controlling flowering in long-day and short-day plants. Read about photoperiodism here.
- How do water and mineral ions enter a plant?
- How does water move upwards, against gravity, in a plant stem?
- What is transpiration and what are the factors that affect it?
- How are plants adapted for particularly dry or wet environments?
We will also set up a lab to investigate which surface of a leaf transpires the most, and learn what a potometer is and how to use it.
As we embark on topic 9, here is the syllabus outline: Topic 9 – Syllabus outline
This topic can be broken into 3 sections: structure and growth, transport, reproduction. This document has notes on all of this. Plant Science Topic notes
Some things we’ll discover in this section:
- why do plants grow towards light?
- how can you tell if a plant is a monocotyledon or dicotyledon?
- how can plants modify their roots, stems and leaves for different functions?
And here is the sing-along song for this topic.
For notes on the SL portion of the syllabus, here is a useful powerpoint. Photosynthesis This is the core material from our favourite teacher in Indonesia. Once you have grasped the basics, move on to this HL stuff.
We’ll cover a lot of interesting ideas in this unit. How are plants affected by light of different wavelengths? What is the relationship between structure and function in chloroplasts? What is meant by limiting factors in determining photosynthetic rate? How can we measure photosynthesis? And, of course, we’ll delve into the biochemical pathways of the light dependent and light independent reactions.
Useful video for labs.
There are 3 online photosynthesis simulations that we will use. This first one is nice and simple and should help get you started on your design lab. This one is also easy to use. This third one is more complicated, and you might want to come back to it as we go through the topic.