Thursday, April 28, 2016


Mark Grove
Dr. Jones
Honors Bio
April 28, 2016

This week, we reviewed our test and completed a packet on natural selection. It was pretty difficult, but we got through it. I hope we can move on quickly and finish the semester on a good note.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

This Week With Brande

Mark Grove
Dr. Jones

This week, we only had class 3 days out of the week. No class on Monday, so we took a partner quiz on Teusday. No class on Wednesday, so we retook a quiz on Thursday. On Friday, we had a test after a little bit of review. Lots of Tests and Quizzes, but we made it..

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Biology Article of the Week

Mark Grove
April 22, 2016
This week, I found an article about moving on from fossil fuels. Professor Benjamin Sovacool, Director of the Sussex Energy Group at the University of Sussex, believes that the next great energy revolution could take place in a fraction of the time of major changes in the past. He wants to make this change in less than 10 years where it could have taken over a century in the past. To do this, he needs help from governments around the world.

I was interested by this article because I think that it is something we really need to do. I look forward to seeing changes in the immediate future. Hopefully, the next generation(s) will be positively affected by these changes.

One quote I found was this: "Left to evolve by itself -- as it has largely been in the past -- this can indeed take many decades." Apparently, this person has plans to facilitate his efforts in changing this. Another one is this: "Moving to a new, cleaner energy system would require significant shifts in technology, political regulations, tariffs and pricing regimes, and the behaviour of users and adopters."

What I wonder is which type of energy we would switch to, as it is not specifically listed in the article.

Monday, April 18, 2016

This Week

This week in Honors Bio, we learned about RNA, or ribonucleic acid. I liked comparing DNA and RNA... until we had a quiz on Friday


Friday, April 15, 2016

Mark Grove
Dr. Jones
Honors Biology
April 15, 2016
Biology Article of the Week
I found an article that mixes technology with biology. Apparently, scientists are trying to compose a synthetic skin that allows robots to recognize and feel what is around them. Although there are many prototypes for this invention, the challenge is to produce a fully functional low cost alternative that is very thin and malleable. Apparently, work is being done to achieve this soon.

In my opinion, this article was very interesting because it talked about making robots seem human. Although this might not seem like a good idea to some, it could drastically improve the industry of biotechnology. I look forward to seeing how this material could be used in everyday life in the future.

One quote that I found interesting was this: "The researchers created a smart skin out of ultra-thin plastic films and just four electrodes made from silver nanowires. Other prototypes contain up to 36 electrodes." Although I don't know some of the stuff they are talking about, it encouraged me to look it up online. Another quote is this: "Testing showed that the skin was highly sensitive. It could "feel" a honeybee as it flew toward and away from the device."

I still wonder if sometime in the near future robots could seem like humans and possibly be identical in some cases. It is almost uncanny that biotechnology allows robots to have human characteristics.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Weekly Summary

This week in Dr. Jones' class, we did a lot of fun and interesting activities. First, we continued our fruit fly lab and birthed larvae. Then, we determined our blood types through a series of tests. It was a lot easier than I thought it would have been. We also retook a quiz on genetics this week. This week was great..

Article of the Week

Mark Grove
Dr. Jones
Honors Bio
April 1, 2016
Article of the Week
I was very interested in my article of the week this week. It was about transparent wood that might be used for windows. Apparently, scientists alter it in some way that makes it somewhat see-through. Because wood is a renewable resource, it is easy to mass produce in this fashion and should be fairly cheap.

I liked the article because it talked about something that I had never heard of before, using wood as windows. I would like to see where this project goes and if I will ever see this product in real life. I wonder how useful it would be to different people.

A quote that I found interesting was this: "When the lignin is removed, the wood becomes beautifully white. But because wood isn't not naturally transparent, we achieve that effect with some nanoscale tailoring." I think it's interesting how they can alter the color of the wood using molecular means. Another quote is this: "No one has previously considered the possibility of creating larger transparent structures for use as solar cells and in buildings." I wonder why nobody's ever thought about doing this before...

One question I have is this: can the wood be fully transparent and functional as a real window or would the vision be impaired?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Mark Grove
Dr. Brande Jones
Honors Bio
17 March 2016
This article talked mainly about the scientific process of discovering different properties that can supposedly make you live longer. They tested these 6 new substances with yeast because it have a very similar aging process to humans. Life was increased, on average, between 300 and 400%, a huge increase. They are still testing, but these could be seen in drugs soon.

I was very interested in this article because it explains a process that is unheard of in our society. An anti-aging substance, or even plant, could be revolutionary if successful. I look forward to hearing more about this process and the results that scientists receive.

One quote that interested me was this: "These six extracts have been recognized as non-toxic by Health Canada, and already exhibit recognized health benefits in humans," says Simard. This shows us that these substances are okay to use with animals, and possibly humans. Another quote is this: "But first, more research must be done. That's why Idunn Technologies is collaborating with four other universities for six research programs, to go beyond yeast, and work with an animal model of aging, as well as two cancer models." So, they are trying to find out more about these things.

I really enjoyed this article and it leaves me with two questions... When will these plant extracts be seen publicly and are there any downsides to them?

Friday, February 26, 2016

February 22 - 26, 2016

This week in Dr. Jones' Biology class, we had a full week of classes. We learned more about genetics, especially the punnet square, and tested our knowledge with different worksheets and activities throughout the week. On Friday, we did an activity where we looked at real genotypes and phenotypes of different generations of fish and saw how they related to each other. We saw how genes are passed down by generation, dominance being a very important factor. I really enjoyed this lab.
Mark Grove
Dr. Jones
Honors Bio
This article was very interesting, talking about black holes and many complex theories that are difficult to understand. As we are living in a 3 dimensional universe (4 including time), we can only perceive 3 dimensions. As new research shows, there are probably other dimensions that humans cannot comprehend. A new shape of black hole, a ring with bulging edges, was simulated by an advanced computer recently, and what was discovered could 'break' Einstein's theory of relativity. If this was true, then all of science would come tumbling down on its foundation.

This article was very fascinating to me because I didn't understand parts of it. Black holes are an interesting topic for most, but I find them very intriguing. This new type of black hole, although it might not exist in real life, could still mean revolutionary things for us. It is strange how one simple theory could contradict everything that we have known to be true in physics forever. I would like to learn more about this topic eventually...

"The better we get at simulating Einstein's theory of gravity in higher dimensions, the easier it will be for us to help with advancing new computational techniques -- we're pushing the limits of what you can do on a computer when it comes to Einstein's theory," said Tunyasuvunakool. This quote shows us how much technology is working in our advantage. "But if cosmic censorship doesn't hold in higher dimensions, then maybe we need to look at what's so special about a four-dimensional universe that means it does hold." This is a good point.

In conclusion, I liked this article very much and my question is this: What can we do to discover more about this topic so that we can prove that Einstein's theories are correct?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

February 15 - 19, 2016

This week in Dr. Jones' Bio class, we only met three times because we had no school on Monday and Wednesday. On Tuesday, we got our tests back and went over it all. On Thursday, we completed a packet reviewing genetics. On Friday, we did an activity to see if we were a supertaster or nontaster. Apparently, I am a very bad taster...

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Article of the Week #?

Mark Grove
Dr. Jones
Honors Bio
February 19, 2016
I found a very intriguing article about a catastrophic but natural disaster that occurred multiple times in the past. A large lake, 1/3 the size of Wales, drained between 8000 to 13,000 years ago, leaving devastating effects on the environment. The climate was affected and also many local animals, causing temperature to drop and rainfall to increase. This was truly an important point in history that we need to see.

I thought that the article was fairly well-written and got some good information out of it. It is amazing to me how a simple natural event could devastate an entire area. However, science shows that it did indeed occur. What can we learn from this and what can we do to prevent it from happening again?

One quote that was interesting to me was this: "This was a massive lake. When it drained, it released around 1150km3 of fresh water from the melting glaciers into the Atlantic and Pacific oceans -- equivalent to around 600 million Olympic-sized swimming pools. This had a considerable impact on the Pacific Ocean circulation and regional climate at the time." I wonder how if it is still around today and if we still face any similar threats. Another quote is this: "The study is important because we are currently concerned about the volumes of fresh water entering the oceans from the melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica and this gives us an indication of the likely effects." I liked this quote because it told about similar things that could potentially have similar results.

Overall, I am left with one question: What do we need to do to stop this from ever happening in the future?

Sunday, February 14, 2016

February 8 - 12, 2016

Last week during Dr. Jones Biology class, we did lots of interesting activities. On Monday and Tuesday, we finished up the cancer presentations (we presented last). We had no time to study in class, so I studied at home. We had the quiz on Thursday and there wasn't class on Friday because of our long weekend.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Article of The Week

Mark Grove
Dr. Jones
Honors Bio
12 Feb 2016
This article talks about horses and how they decipher human emotions. When showed pictures of good and bad human emotions, scientists knew that they were intelligent. Their reaction when showed a human face depicting anger was understandable, causing the animal's heart rate to increase. This is a defense mechanism that helps the animal see any negative human behavior, such as rough handling.

I thought that this article was very interesting because it talked about the reading of emotions beyond the species barrier. Horses can supposedly interpret human emotions, which is a big discovery in the scientific field. This makes me wonder what other species can do this.

One quote that was interesting to me is this: "Emotional awareness is likely to be very important in highly social species like horses -- and our ongoing research is examining the relationship between a range of emotional skills and social behaviour." I wonder what other tests are being conducted to find out more about animals? Another quote is this: "There are several possible explanations for our findings." It is interesting to me that science can give us facts but it takes more effort to find the reasons behind these facts.

Overall, I really liked this article; however, I have one question: what else can we find out about horses and possibly other animals about their individual abilities?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

February 1 - 5, 2016

Mark Grove
Dr. Jones
Honors Bio
January 7, 2015
February 1 - 5
Last week during Dr. Jones' 4th period Biology class, we did a lot of work. On Monday, the 1st of February, we had a quiz on Meiosis, what we learned the week before. Later in the week, we did a lab where we extracted sperm from sea urchins and looked at it under a microscope. It was a very interesting lab that I learned a lot from.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Mark Grove
Dr. Jones
February 5  2016
Honors Bio
This article was very interesting. It talked a lot about ancient animals and what special traits some of the m had. For example, an ancient dinosaur-resembling animal had a horn shaped organ that might have emitted a sound similar to that of a trumpet. Although no such animal exists today, it is still a fascinating discovery.

In my opinion, this animal would have been very unique when it was around, being able to make loud noises whenever it wanted. It had freedom to use its horn, which is an interesting idea. I wonder what this could tell us about creatures of the past and possibly creatures of the future.

One quote that stood out to me was this: "hadrosaurs are sometimes referred to as the 'cows of the Cretaceous.'" I wonder why this nickname exists and how it relates? Another quote I found was this: "Vocalizations can alert predators, and moving their calls into a new frequency could have made communication safer." This is a good quote because it tells what these horns were actually used for.

In conclusion, I really liked reading this article and I would like one question answered: Is this discovery actually important to science and if so, what could it potentially do for us?

Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 25 - 29, 2016

Last week in Dr. Jone's Honors Biology class, we learned about Meiosis. I was very interested about this topic because it seemed very similar to Mitosis. Everything is starting to make sense... when I learned that two haploid cells combine to create a diploid zygote, I realized why we had been learning everything so far; everything just 'clicked' for me. I hope that we learn more interesting things in Biology this semester and hope that I can start applying what we learn outside of class. Even though we had to do corrections and retake a quiz, I really enjoyed this past week in Bio class.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Article of the Week

Mark Grove
Dr. Jones
Honors Bio
January 29
This article is very interesting, and talks about certain organisms that can survive on Mars. Because Mars has a very extreme environment, these microorganisms can only be found in the most extreme environments on Earth. The lichens and fungi that were tested in the "EXPOSE-E" project,  in which specimens were taken into space to be examined, were from Sierra de Gredos (Avila, Spain) and the Alps (Austria). Some were also from extreme environments on Antarctica. The results of this project concluded that around 60% of the cells remained in tact after being exposed to Martian conditions, and most DNA was unaltered.

In my opinion, this is a very amazing discovery, that organisms can survive on Mars, a planet that we know little about. I think that we should invest in sending some of these specimens to Mars to see how they react, and if they can survive and or adapt in Martian conditions. It would be very interesting to see if we could put life on Mars.

One quote that I found interesting was about conditions on Mars or "extreme space environment (with temperature fluctuations of between -21.5 and +59.6 ÂșC, galactic-cosmic radiation of up to 190 megagrays, and a vacuum of between 10-7 to 10-4 pascals)." This makes me wonder how much different Earth is from Mars and how different environments could affect organisms. Another quote that interested me was this: "The most relevant outcome was that more than 60% of the cells of the endolithic communities studied remained intact after 'exposure to Mars', or rather, the stability of their cellular DNA was still high," This makes me wonder how much data was collected and what it all means.

In conclusion, I thought that this was a very good article because it invoked my interest, and I only have one question: what does this discovery do for us and what exactly could we use it for?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 19 - 22, 2016

This week in Dr. Jones' Honors Biology class, we reviewed Mitosis and then took a quiz. Unfortunately, the scores were not that high so the rest of the week we studied so that we could retake it on Friday. It was a good experience for me because it finalized my knowledge about this unit involving Mitosis.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Article of the Week

Mark Grove
Dr. Jones
Honors Bio
21 Jan 2016
This article is about a new type of dinosaur that was discovered. Researchers have classified it as a meat-eating dinosaur from the Theropod group. It was discovered in south Wales and might be the "oldest known Jurassic dinosaur from the UK." It is thought that this dinosaur lived over 200 million years ago, during the beginning of the Jurassic Period. As a distant relative of the T-Rex, it was thought to have been about 70 cm tall and 200 cm long.

I believe this to be a very interesting scientific find. I want to know how exactly it was discovered and what it means to us. Obviously, it is important to science, but how can it help specifically? I liked how the article was concise, short and sweet, with a lot of information. It makes me wonder how all of the information was collected, and what steps were taken to ensure credible data?

One quote that intrigued me was this: "The new specimen represents the most complete theropod from Wales, and may possibly represent one of the oldest known Jurassic dinosaurs in the UK or even in the world." I wonder how these dinosaur fossils can be so complete if they are some of the oldest in the world? Wouldn't that make them less in-tact? Another quote that I found is this: "Compared to its distant relative the T. rex, it appears to be a small, agile animal, probably only about 70 cm tall and about 200 cm long, with a long tail, likely to help it balance." How can so much information be drawn from a few fossils? Also, why is this information important to the scientific community?

This article leaves me with two questions, how much data is needed to conclude something in the scientific field, and what do the discovery of these fossils in particular contribute to society?

Friday, January 15, 2016

January 11 - 15

This week (January 11 - 15) in Dr. Brande Jones' Honors Biology class, we finished our notes on Mitosis and also worked on a lab. In the lab, we were tasked with identifying current stages of Mitosis in onion and worm cells to see how they were similar and how they were different. Although it was a challenge, it prepared us for a quiz on Friday.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Article of the Week (January 11 - 15)

Mark Grove
Article of the Week
Honors Biology 4
January 5, 2016

This article talks about how the blue eye gene first came to be. According to their theories, scientists believe that everyone with blue eyes received that gene from one ancestor; thus, all blue-eyed people are distantly related. This unique mutation turns off the pigment of melanin, which gives color to your eyes, hair, and skin. The pigment is not completely missing, which would create an albino person; it is only decreased so that not as much melanin is produced.

I thought that this article was very interesting because of the pigment variation in different people. I liked when it talked about how the variation between brown and green eyes could be explained with the amount of melanin produced, and how it explained the cause of blue eyes so clearly. I also liked how the article told that blue eyes were a useless mutation that had no effect on survival of the human species.

In fact, one quote that interested me was this; as Professor Eiberg says, "it simply shows that nature is constantly shuffling the human genome, creating a genetic cocktail of human chromosomes and trying out different changes as it does so." This provokes my interest in human nature and how it affects so many other things that surround it. A second quote derives a conclusion from the melanin variation in blue-eyed people; "From this we can conclude that all blue-eyed individuals are linked to the same ancestor," says Professor Eiberg. "They have all inherited the same switch at exactly the same spot in their DNA."

This last quote leaves me with two questions in particular, how can a scientific conclusion be drawn from so little information, and what can we use this discovery to accomplish?

January 4 - 8, 2016

This week, we went over the syllabus again for the start of Semester 2 and also started a new unit of notes. We will continue to take notes and hopefully do a lab next week.