Monday, May 22, 2017

Genius Hour #2

This past week in biology has been focused on the development of my genius hour project. Up until very recently, I had been interested in Pavlovian style training the mice across different generations. Due to Gridley's constant mouse consumption, I have decided to redirect my focus onto a survey type problem to investigate something and overlap with our larger mini project in AP stats to have a more realistic direction in materials. Having changed my focus, a lot of my focus has been on developing a consistent survey and method to try and reduce bias in my experimental design, which will be detrimental to the success of my project. I hope to begin sampling within the next week, given that everything goes as planned. 

Monday, April 10, 2017


This past week in biology, our focus has been an introduction on the different systems found among organisms. With the SATs and early release interrupting this week, our classrime has been reduced. April vacation is much closer than I realized, but I feel solid about where I stand in our upcoming unit, which is one I've been looking forward to learning about.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

3-2-1 Cancer Project

From this cancer project, I learned about the associations between oncogenes, tumor suppressors, and their functions. I also learned that chromosome 17 is an active chromosome for mutations resulting in cancer development, and that oncogenes are dominant whereas tumor suppressors are recessive. I found it interesting that all cancer can be considered genetic, and that some of the most extreme types can be found as the result of a mutation in genome maintenance. I am still curious about how this information is being used to treat people, and how an oncogene or tumor suppressor can be corrected.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Bio Blog Week 4

This past week in biology a lot of our class time has been taken up by snow days and time off on Friday. For that reason, it was largely spent on review and then taking the test, which I don't feel very uncertain or anxious about. As it segues into this next week, we are likely to continue work on our cancer activity, which I think is a perfect fit as we continue the week but hopefully will not prevent us from catching up the missed time!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Bio Blog Week 3/13

This past week in biology has been largely focused on the types of mutations that can cause cancer and the effects that it has on people. The first portion of the week involved discussion of our PCR lab as the deadline came up and past, and then we started focusing on our activities relating to cancer and the two types of genetic mutations that can cause it. Despite my spotty attendance, I feel like I have a fairly solid understanding of the activities we did, as well as meiosis, even if it won’t be on our upcoming exam. The cell cycle is a topic that I feel like I have some solid background on from Biology freshman year, so this unit has been a lot of reminders of things previously learned but with more information built on top of them. I have my fingers crossed for the exam!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Bio Blog Week 2/28

This week in bio, our largest focus was on the PCR lab that took place from Tuesday to Thursday to see who within the class had a specific sequence of DNA. PCR is something that I managed to remember from bio, making the process not nearly as threatening as it appears at first glance, and I feel like we understood what was happening even if we did make a couple of errors in our lab by using the wrong tubes for our DNA at the wrong times. While the lab lasted three days, the final day where we examined our results I was very sick (continuing into the weekend). I have heard from a close friend (Olivia) that I contained the gene we were testing for, which is exciting, but I have a lot to get back to and make up on my way back to the class.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Science Without Creativity? Not To Me

From an outsider's perspective, it’s easy to think that science lacks creativity. The methodical procedures, the copying of steps and numbers, none of it seems creative to the casual observer sitting in a science class while they're told what to do. Everyone remember that one lab (or many labs) that they never understood, but instead just followed the steps blindly. It's for this reason, among others, that the misconceptions about science and creativity occur. People do not create these steps, so they do not find them creative, but this simply is not true. The level of achievement necessary to be able to find out how something works is massive. Our knowledge about the world is solidified through science and the understanding of creation. If science was not creative, then everything we know today would be stunted and without complexity. It takes new ideas and thoughts to create new tests and experiments that are then interpreted critically. Everything about the scientific method, even if it is a method, relies on its creator and how much thought and effort they put into their work. Every test, just like every piece of creative work, is inspired by those before it and then uses those inspirations to create or learn something new. People may argue that there is no creativity in science, but this is because they've never been made to conduct their own experiment and design a procedure that will work, lower variation, and give accurate results. It isn't something that can just appear out of thin air.
When I think back to why people may feel this way, I remember the days before high school. Science wasn't my favorite course, and I never really found the purpose in it. Everything appeared the same because I never fully understood why we did the labs we did, or why anything was important enough. But after experiencing science fairs after science fairs to then research projects, the scientific method become less of a checklist and more of a matter of making something that can be solidly conducted. And, with complete honesty, it isn't an easy task. Making something with enough consistencies to be functional and trying to make the experiment possible for high school students isn't an easy task. Some people may have a step involving the preparation of a dish, but without the knowledge of how a petroleum dish functions, what its purpose is, the effectiveness will be hindered. Advancing science is equal parts knowledge as it is creativity, and most people fail to recognize that. Science isn't just about what we know today, it's about how people were able to figure out the information that we know, and then how they use it to learn more and more and more. The concepts of density, melting, and freezing points, all which seem like common knowledge to most people, had to be discovered, tested, and proven, and all of this was based on theories. Using nothing to make something, or transforming something to make something else, is the process of creation. For those who think otherwise, for better or worse, I believe they should sit down and try truly making something, and then coming back to review the question.

Popular Posts

top navigation

About me

I'm Hannah and a big fan of mitochondria. This is my biology blog.