Posts Tagged ‘Topic 6’


Sunday, November 22nd, 2009
sperm injection into egg from wikimedia commons

sperm injection into egg from wikimedia commons

We are going to try something a little different to help us learn about the process of IVF, and the ethical considerations that go along with it.  Here’s the situation:

A couple have been trying to conceive for over 3 years.  They have had 2 miscarriages. They are considering IVF as their next step. The man is really keen to go ahead with it, but his wife is skeptical.  They have an appointment with a doctor who is a specialist in the area of fertility and IVF.

What to do:

  • Get into groups of 3.
  • Each person will have their own role to play – decide who is going to be the doctor, who is going to be the woman and who is going to be the husband.
  • The doctor must become knowledgeable about the process of IVF, so that s/he can explain it to the couple and answer any questions they may have.
  • The woman must be ready to listen, but also have a well thought out list of concerns about the negative aspects of this treatment and the ethical considerations she is worried about.
  • The husband must have his arguments ready as to why he thinks the treatment would be a good next step for them, and address any of his wife’s concerns.
  • Spend about 30-40 mins researching your role.
  • Role play the interview between the doctor and the couple.
  • Reflect on the process – what difficulties did you find? Is there a “right” answer to this problem? Include your thoughts in a comment on this post.

Reproductive system

Monday, November 16th, 2009


No – it’s not a picture of a sunflower.  Look closely!

Here is what we will cover.  You will notice that it is not that extensive in terms of content.  HL students do a lot more.

  • Draw and label diagrams of adult male and female reproductive systems.
  • How do hormones control the menstrual cycle? (Link to Endocrine system)
  • Relate hormonal changes to thickening of uterine lining, ovulation and menstruation.
  • What are the roles of testosterone in males?
  • Explain the process of IVF and discuss the ethical issues associated with it.

A good presentation can be found here.  Some great videos on this unit have been produced by NOVA.  Watch in segments or all at once.

Last test of semester 1 – hooray!

Monday, November 16th, 2009
calendar card - January by Joe Lanman on flickr

calendar card - January by Joe Lanman on flickr

Our calendar is jammed, so we can’t be very flexible with dates for this test.




(Caitlin and Synnove – we will make arrangements for you to sit it during your study halls on THURSDAY 3rd due to clash with English Orals)

Topics covered will be Nervous System, Endocrine System, Reproductive System – and for HL students Muscles and Movement as well.  That is Topics 6.5 and 6.6 for SL, and Topics 6.5, 6.6 and 11.2 for HL. Come to tutorials armed with questions if you need to 🙂

How do you make a hormone?

Thursday, November 12th, 2009
Illu_endocrine_system from wikipedia commons

Illu_endocrine_system from wikipedia commons

Ask Mr. Hobbins the answer to that one!

Next up is the Endocrine System, which consists of glands that produce hormones that travel in the bloodstream to various sites of action.  We’ll look at this from the perspective of coordination and control, so will be defining the term homeostasis and looking at examples of this in the body.

Questions we’ll tackle:

  • What is the endocrine system and how does it function?
  • What is homeostasis and how does it work?
  • How is body temperature is regulated?
  • How are blood glucose levels maintained?
  • What’s the difference between type I and type II diabetes?

Reaction times

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

ReactionTimeStepTwo from

This next lab looks at measuring reaction times.  There are several ways we could do this, but we are going to keep it simple and use the old, tried and tested method of catching a ruler.  Here’s what to do:-

  1. Find a partner.
  2. One person rests their elbow on a table with their hand extended over the edge.
  3. The partner should hold a meter ruler between the subject’s thumb and forefinger, ensuring it is at the 0cm mark.
  4. As soon as the ruler is released, the subject must try and catch it.  The distance the ruler falls can be used as a measure of reaction time.
  5. You will need to repeat this a suitable number of times to ensure the reliability of your data.
  6. Try investigating different variables, such as left-hand vs right-hand, using one eye or two eyes, sound or touch stimuli instead of sight.  THINK ABOUT CONTROL OF VARIABLES – it is very important here.
  7. Record your data in a suitable way, process it and present it appropriately.  Draw relevant conclusions.  Evaluate your results and the procedure used.  Suggest realistic improvements.

This lab will assessed for data collection and processing, and for conclusion and evaluation.




Data Collection and Processing (DCP)


Recording raw data


Processing raw data

Presenting processed data


c = 2

Records appropriate quantitative and associated qualitative raw data, including units and uncertainties where relevant. Processes the quantitative raw data correctly. Presents processed data appropriately and, where relevant, includes errors and uncertainties.

p = 1

Records appropriate quantitative and associated qualitative raw data, but with some mistakes or omissions. Processes quantitative raw data, but with some mistakes and/or omissions. Presents processed data appropriately, but with some mistakes and/or omissions.

n = 0

Does not record any appropriate quantitative raw data or raw data is incomprehensible. No processing of quantitative raw data is carried out or major mistakes are made in processing. Presents processed data inappropriately or incomprehensibly.




Conclusion and Evaluation (CE)



Evaluating procedure(s)

Improving the investigation


c = 2

States a conclusion, with justification, based on a reasonable interpretation of the data. Evaluates weaknesses and limitations. Suggests realistic improvements in respect of identified weaknesses and limitations.

p = 1

States a conclusion based on a reasonable interpretation of the data. Identifies some weaknesses and limitations, but the evaluation is weak or missing. Suggests only superficial improvements.

n = 0

States no conclusion or the conclusion is based on an unreasonable interpretation of the data. Identifies irrelevant weaknesses and limitations. Suggests unrealistic improvements.

 DUE DATE:  Tuesday 17th November

Nervous system

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009
neurons from

neurons from

Some of the questions we’ll be tackling in the next section of the syllabus (6.5) are:

Do you know what the CNS and PNS are? 

Can you explain what role receptors, sensory neurons, relay neurons, motor neurons and effectors play in conducting nerve impulses?

Can you draw and label a diagram of a motor neuron?

Can you define resting and action potentials?

Can you explain how nerve impulses pass along a neuron?

Can you explain how impulses travel from one neuron to the next?

Read through your textbook pages 240-246 to get a head start on this unit over the break 🙂

And once again, a great presentation from Mr Stephen Taylor in Bandung to help you learn this stuff!

In class we will use this presentation – Nervous System

There are some useful animations here,  here and here that might help you visualize what’s happening.

Immunology websites

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Here are a couple of useful websites to cover topics 6.3 and 11.1 on the immune system.

The Biology Project has problem sets, tutorials, resources and interactive activities.  I particularly like the HIV/AIDS simulation one.

The Cells Alive site has a number of useful links and animations.  Click on the immunology tab on the left hand side and go from there.

Upcoming assessment

Monday, October 12th, 2009

free help by tadson on flickr

free help by tadson on flickr

We will be having a test next week. For SL that means topics 6.3 and 6.4 – Disease, immunity and gas exchange.  For HL that means 6.3 and 11.1 – Disease and immunity.  Topic 11 syllabus guide here: Topic 11




Come and see me in tutorial time if you need help with any of this.

Disease notes – BLOCK F

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Here are the notes from your class on topic 6.3

Ji Won,Aaron,Jun Lee – AIDS presentation

Neelam, Christine, Min Jung – effects of HIV

Andy, Ri Sil, Jeung Eun – Antigens, antibodies, antibiotics

BLOCK F – Krizia,Kevin,Synnove – Production of Antibodies

Synnove,Kevin,Krizia – ANTIBODY_PRODUCTION

BLOCK F - Sagar,Sung Min,Caitlin,Deo -

Disease notes – BLOCK B

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Here are your class notes on topic 6.3

Block B Towaki, Brian, Julio, Jeff Antigens and Antibodies

Block B – Katherine,Marissa,Kyle,Jonathan – antibody production

Block B Towaki, Brian, Julio, Jeff Antigens and Antibodies – powerpoint

Nathan, Erin, Josh & Francesca – Aids Presentation

Erin,Nate,Francesca,Josh – AIDS_notes

The Effect of HIV on the Immune System – Pat,Rico,Jimmy,Myeong Jin

Pathogen Notes – Miko,Syarafina,Amado

Pathogens – Miko,Amado,Syarafina