Thursday, November 12, 2015

Weekly Review

This week in Dr. Jones' Honors Biology Class, we learned about enzymes, did an interesting lab, and had a test over what we had learned this week.

Ancient Brains Fossilization

Mark Grove
Dr. Jones
Biology H
12 Nov 2015
My article talks about how a known scientific fact was disproven with a single new discovery. This fact, that brains simply cannot fossilize, was proven false when the fossilized brain of an ancient crustacean was discovered in 2012. This discovery caused new ideas about fossils and how they work. By disproving a known fact, it brought about a very popular controversy in the scientific field. This is interesting because such a small discovery had such a large impact. I think that this information should be used to make sure that we don't make the same mistakes again. We should make sure something is 100% true before making it a fact so that today's research might be more accurate. One quote that struck me was this: "It was questioned by many paleontologists, who thought -- and in fact some claimed in print -- that maybe it was just an artifact or a one-off, implausible fossilization event." This tells me that for something to be disproved, they need to be 100% certain that it is wrong so that they can make sure they're doing the right thing. Another quote was this: "People, especially scientists, make assumptions. The fun thing about science, actually, is to demolish them." He is saying that it isn't unheard of for a scientist to be wrong, and it is everyone's job to disprove them. This article leaves me with one question: how might we be more accurate in the scientific field so that we don't have to make as many mistakes?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

This week in Dr. Jones' Honors Biology Class, we did a lab involving osmosis and chicken eggs. We first removed the egg shells by soaking the eggs in vinegar, then put one egg in water and the other in corn syrup.  Surprisingly, the egg put in water expanded and the egg put in corn syrup shrunk.  It was a very interesting experiment and I would like to do something similar again.

Article Of The Week (Magic Plant)

Mark Grove
Dr. Jones
Biology H
11/5/2015
An ancient Australian tobacco plant could be the key to growing food in space. A new gene found in this specific plant apparently has several qualities that could support life in space. The plant's largest opponent is drought, and has found an efficient way to overcome it. It uses less water than other plants that are as large because it can focus its energy into growing faster and more efficiently. I wonder how much this new discovery will help living in space and why (other than because it consumes less water). If it is very useful, I hope that we will advance scientifically and technologically by learning more about plants like this one. We should look into other special traits about this plant. One quote that I found interesting was when Professor Waterhouse said that this tobacco plant could become the next nude mouse. Does this mean that it will be the next lab animal/test subject that will help make discoveries? Another quote from Professor Waterhouse was when he said that the plant could be used to speed up cures for cancer and help agricultural advancement. If it is so effective and powerful, then we should look into it and make sure it is something that we are willing to invest in. One question I have is this: can we really use this plant to make HUGE discoveries in science or is its discovery meaningless?