Monday, October 25, 2010

The Amazing, Conceptual, Concept Map of Science!

Well, after an entire period of wrangling with different web hosts, this image file is finally ready!

I thought I'd just throw together this little concept map to show just how my mind works. Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Prestigious College of Collagen

First off, an apology: This blog has, over the last week, fallen into complete, utter, total neglect. We here at the Department of Michael 'R' Us will try and prevent this from happening again, and we apologize for the inconvenience. We will be willing to provide free tickets to two future blogs in the future.


Now, some musings on the protein of the month: collagen.

To be honest, I don't like this one as much as my prezi on the properties of water. Oh, well!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Question

Although up to this point, I've been extremely satisfied with the process of SBG, I've started thinking about one negative aspect it may have. I've realized that I currently have all threes and fours, which means I've earned a 95 in the class. Now, what would happen if, one day before the semester ended, I did a sloppy blog post that merited twos across the board? Would that one mistake negate the work I've done for the rest of the year?

Then, consider the flip side of this coin. Suppose a student did nothing the entire year, but one day before his or her cumulative grade was posted put together an exceptional piece of work--one that deserves entirely fours? Would this earn this person a perfect score for the class?

It seems to me that any grading system should reflect the student's knowledge of the entire curriculum--not just what content was covered most recently. But how can this hole in the system be fixed? The scores for each standard cannot be averaged--one runs into the problems that are present in the averaging system.

The more I reflect on this problem, the greater its magnitude seems. The grade that will go on my transcript should reflect my understanding of the entire world of biology, not just the content area that I have most recently learned. 

I'm curious to see how this problem will be resolved--and I hope some other SBG'ers will comment and give me some ideas. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Various Popes...Or Possibly Other Kinds of Benedicts

In the past couple of days, we've been mixing various foods with Benedict's solution and iodine to observe what kind of sugars (saccharide units) were in each.

Now, I'm not the kind of guy who likes "Well, it works that way because it does!" I prefer to know everything possible going on in a reaction such as this one.

So, I tried to go a little deeper. Although I'm not quite perfect on the details yet, I'm pretty sure I have the general idea.

Benedict's solution is nothing but a copper sulphate (Cu+2) mixed with alkaline solution. When a simple sugar is heated, it loses an electron, which goes into the copper. This reduction makes the copper Cu+1. Now, it can react with oxygen to create copper oxide, creating the orange-ish color that indicates the presence of a mono-or-di-saccharide. I guess that might not have been very in depth, but hey...close enough?
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