Monday, September 7, 2009

Students remind me how cool cells are

After hours and hours of work that makes you feel like you are getting no where - I needed a break

I don't have cable, so I've been enjoying these wonderful little links from the Smithsonian Channel about the world's more strange and beautiful creatures.  Frankly, I'm getting a little bit of cute overload, a nice balance to my serious allergy time:

Primate Time      &           The world's tiniest Chamelion    I wish I could create something this cool!  Don't you guys?  Evolution just blows my mind.

Anyway - Back to work!

I've been looking at my Bio-systems class's wish list for what they would like to learn
My list as it stands

-  Animals
-  Astronomy
-  Bio mimmic
-  Biomimicry
-  cell biology
-  cells and genes
-  Cloning
-  culture
-  Diseases
-  DNA  fashion
-  ecosystems
-  Entomology
-  Ethics
-  Gene mutation (natural)
-  Gene mutation (artificial)
-  Genetics
-  genetic Engineering
-  Genetically Modified food
-  Long term affects of what we consume, generations later  = epigenetic
-  Molecular Biology
-  Physical - biological - Anthropology
-  Plant Structures
-  Political polarization is hindering progress
-  Political & religious pressures applying pressure and affecting policy)
-  Punett Squares (Mendell)
-  Soil Depletion
-  stem cell research
-  sustainability through taoist beliefs
-  the Universe
-  vaccines

This is fantastic.  I'm thinking about how different this would have been when I was taking biology in college.  I love how interested these students are, how ready to learn no matter what their experience level.  I forgot how amazing cells are - sometimes it takes students to point this out.
(*Images taken from the site Earth Life Web - their section about cells.  Great place to get a general overview, not advanced in any way, but worth reading to just get the primer on them.)
For my students (and others) interested in these magnificent 1 celled creatures, and love the connections between art and science, I can only recommend one of the best documentaries I have ever seen:  Proteus (2004) -->  click the link to watch a 7 minute clip from this work of art in itself.
I had no idea what a personal hero this man is to me.  First of all, the study of evo-devo - almost springs and is completely illustrated in his comparative embryological drawings (Imaged below, taken from:
specifically from "blogging the origin" series.  
Every time I show this image to my 9-12 year old students I'm trying to teach evolution to - they understand it completely!  When I saw this image, it sold me on biology forever,
What he's more well known for is the personal struggle he suffered trying to decide where he blonged, in a world of art of science.  In the end, like all of us in an ideal world - he found his niche.

Images from the article by Nick Matzke: 

Slate on Haeckel, Proteus.   

By Nick Matzke on August 18, 2005  - 

on the Web site: "Panda's Thumb"

Image taken from the cite "Romantic Circles Blog"
Think 5000 different species that in each one in themselves  would be the most fantastic sculpture I have ever seen

What I am thinking about today after reading the student's questionnaires is to never assume that the basics aren't interesting.  That even the simplest forms might be reflective of the beauty of the entire universe.

1 comment:

  1. I really am so grateful to these biology flashcards
    This site has been around for sometime... and it is relatively unknown ( I do not know why) its coool nevertheless!


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