7 Feb. Science 7. Partner tree; Tree appreciation

    1. Finish gathering information on your Partner Tree from the Trees of Delhi book, from http://flowersofindia.net, from wikipedia (which is mostly reliable with trees), and other good resources. For today, do not visit your tree in person during class. Organize your information in your DSN in your partner tree folder.
    • Scientific, common English and local names of the tree
    • Information on how the tree got its names
    • Location of your tree on campus–map and description
    • Location of other specimens of your species on campus
    • Total number of specimens of your tree species on campus
    • Description of key features of your partner tree (height/diameter, leaf shape/size, arrangement, branching pattern, bark, fruit, flowers,  etc.) Girth in cm at 1.5 meters above the ground OR just below where the trunk divides–give the height above the ground as well. Greatest spread of canopy in meters. Approximate area shaded by canopy (directly under the tree) in square meters.
    • Pictures of your tree, its flowers, fruits, bark and leaves over the course of the year and examples of other specimens of the same species,
    • Leaf rubbing showing venation
    • Bark rubbing
    • Line drawings showing various structures and details of your tree (specimen and/or species)
    • Use a stethoscope and “listen” to the tree. Describe any interesting sounds that come from the tree–not sounds from, say, scraping the stethoscope.
    • Tell a secret to your partner tree. You do not have to record this in your DSN. Record it in your “heart.”
    • What the tree is used for by humans? Furniture, medicine, fodder for livestock, ritual? What cultural or religious associations are there with the tree species? Dr. F may be able to give you a hint if you are stuck. Can you find a poem, story, novel, song, work of art associated with your tree species?
    • What associations does the tree have with other organisms? Is it eaten by animals (host plant for butterfly or moth larvae, for example)? Dens or nests. Pollinators? Parasites? Fungi? Bacteria?
    • How much oxygen would you estimate that your partner tree releases in a year? How could you / scientists make this estimate? How much carbon from carbon dioxide is taken up by your tree in a year? How could you / scientists make this estimate? How productive is your tree–if , for example, you could collect the fallen leaves every day for a month and get their dry weight, how much would you get–estimate–or make arrangements to do the experiment?
    • What particular importance does the tree species have for science?
    • Is it native or introduced? Native to the Delhi region? To India? To Asia? Introduced from where? If it was transferred, what can you find out about its introduction to India? If it is exotic (introduced), what is the extent of its invasiveness?
    • References must be cited–full bibliographic information. (Note: You must have permission to use any photos that are not your own.)

    2. Write a poem or series of poems about your partner tree (specimen and/or species). Save in the partner tree folder in your DSN.

    3. Design an interpretive sign to put up beside your partner tree or another specimen of the same species. Use a google slide to create your sign. Give scientific name, common English name, and local name. Select information to include that you think would be interesting for visitors to our campus. Limit your information to one or two sentences. Include an image of leaf, flower, and fruitSave this slide in your DSN in the partner tree folder.

    4. Read and respond in your DSN to two of the links below. Discuss your appreciation of trees and how it compares to what is expressed in the links. Be both specific and reflective.

    5. If you finish the above before the class is finished, work on your Personal Inquiry Project.

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6 Feb. Science 8 History of the discovery of photosynthesis continued

Notice: If anyone wants to help some local students with experiments and simple science activities, please let me know. This afternoon a group of students from Each One Teach One will be coming to M313 to do some chemistry activities. Friday the Reach Out kids will be building and flying air-pressure water rockets. Saturday morning Hope Club will be visiting the Hope Foundation School for the Dr. Seuss story of Bartholomew and the Oobleck and exploration of Non-newtonian fluids. Upcoming are visit to the Blind School and to Ms. Madhu Kapoor’s project Yamuna Kids. Helping can be a great way to combine Service with Science. We would love to have your assistance. See me for details.

Bring in some “wild” seeds and or wild stems (fresh) and see if they will sprout and grow. During this next phase of our study, grow a “wild” and food/garden plant. Keep track of its growth. Use this plant to contemplate photosynthesis. Pick out a campus tree that you see every day or that you really like or wonder about. Visit this tree regularly to thank it for the service of taking in carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen, providing food for various organisms, for fixing nitrogen (in the case of bean family plants and the Casaurinas), for giving shade, for protecting the watershed, for moderating the climate, for providing shade, and for adding beauty to our campus environment.

Finish poster / cartoons of Jan Baptiste van Helmont

Here is an interesting critique of various interpretations of van Helmont’s experiments in the history of botany : http://helmont1.tripod.com/hersheypsb49-3.htm

Continue to the next story in Botany: A Blooming History–Photosynthesis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKMNig0Cz04

“He (von Helmont) misses something. . .” (8:39)

Jan Ingenhousz

As an individual choose a creative way to express Ingenhousz’s contribution to the story of photosynthesis. A poem, a play, a single drawing (rather than a cartoon), another cartoon.

Apothecary–making remedies from plants

(Find out about Phlogiston theory and how it influenced scientists working with gases at the time of Ingenhousz.)

http://www.macroevolution.net/jan-ingenhousz.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Ingenhousz

http://muse.jhu.edu/article/26058

http://photosynthesiseducation.com/discovery-of-photosynthesis/

http://www.life.illinois.edu/govindjee/history/articles/GestOnIngenhousz_missing.pdf

You might want to try Ingenhousz’s experiments.

Creative science music videos:

Stellar Alchemist (birth and death of stars) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENJKo5jqjUw

Evo-Devo (Evolution and Development) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydqReeTV_vk

Symphony of Science https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGK84Poeynk

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5 Feb Science 7 Partner Tree / Tree Survey / PIP

Complete observations and research on your tree:

A Partner Tree Prevents “Plant Blindness”

Please acquire and organize the following information.

  • Scientific, common English and local names of the tree
  • Information on how the tree got its names
  • Location of your tree on campus–map and description
  • Location of other specimens of your species on campus
  • Total number of specimens of your tree species on campus
  • Description of key features of your partner tree (height/diameter, leaf shape/size, arrangement, branching pattern, bark, fruit, flowers,  etc.) Girth in cm at 1.5 meters above the ground OR just below where the trunk divides–give the height above the ground as well. Greatest spread of canopy in meters. Approximate area shaded by canopy (directly under the tree) in square meters.
  • Pictures of your tree, its flowers, fruits, bark and leaves over the course of the year and examples of other specimens of the same species,
  • Leaf rubbing showing venation
  • Bark rubbing
  • Line drawings showing various structures and details of your tree (specimen and/or species)
  • Use a stethoscope and “listen” to the tree. Describe any interesting sounds that come from the tree–not sounds from, say, scraping the stethoscope.
  • Tell a secret to your partner tree. You do not have to record this in your DSN. Record it in your “heart.”
  • What the tree is used for by humans? Furniture, medicine, fodder for livestock, ritual? What cultural or religious associations are there with the tree species? Dr. F may be able to give you a hint if you are stuck. Can you find a poem, story, novel, song, work of art associated with your tree species?
  • What associations does the tree have with other organisms? Is it eaten by animals (host plant for butterfly or moth larvae, for example)? Dens or nests. Pollinators? Parasites? Fungi? Bacteria?
  • How much oxygen would you estimate that your partner tree releases in a year? How could you / scientists make this estimate? How much carbon from carbon dioxide is taken up by your tree in a year? How could you / scientists make this estimate? How productive is your tree–if , for example, you could collect the fallen leaves every day for a month and get their dry weight, how much would you get–estimate–or make arrangements to do the experiment?
  • What particular importance does the tree species have for science?
  • Is it native or introduced? Native to the Delhi region? To India? To Asia? Introduced from where? If it was transferred, what can you find out about its introduction to India? If it is exotic (introduced), what is the extent of its invasiveness?
  • References must be cited–full bibliographic information. (Note: You must have permission to use any photos that are not your own.)

Write a poem or series of poems about your partner tree (specimen and/or species).

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2 February Science 8 The History of the Discovery(ies) of Photosynthesis–Claims and Evidence

Recall the basic claim about photosynthesis: Green plants and phytoplankton are able to take carbon dioxide and water, and with the energy from light, initiate a complex set of chemical reactions that produce glucose, oxygen, and “new” water.

6 CO2+ 12 H2O–> light –>C6H12O6 + 6 O2 + 6 H2O

Remember that the light interacts with various structures/molecules in the cells of photosynthetic organisms (green plants and phytoplankton). The light is absorbed by these structures/molecules and the light energy is transformed into chemical energy that then powers various sets of reactions. How this all happens is full of fascinating detail.Glucose can then be used for building material and fuel to power other reactions that characterize life.

Oxygen is later involved in the aerobic metabolism of glucose by living things, both plant and animal. Carbon dioxide is a product of the metabolism.

When trying to learn about and understand photosynthesis, the learner is faced with the dilemma of detail. Simplifications may make it seem easier to understand, but they may also mislead. The full set of details, on the other hand, may seem overwhelming to try to learn. What is the solution for you?????

Episodes in the history of the discovery of photosynthesis:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKMNig0Cz04

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011wz4q/clips

Jan van Helmont

A group project to portray the story, the findings, the reasoning, and our perspective.

A cool cartoon version: http://www.stuartmcmillen.com/comic/thin-air/#page-1

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1 Feb 2018 (Can you believe it!) DSN, Partner Tree, Personal Inquiry Project

I have been reviewing DSN’s.  Check the blog for the following dates:

  • 9 Jan
  • 11 Jan
  • 15 Jan
  • 17 Jan
  • 19 Jan
  • 23 Jan
  • 25 Jan
  • 30 Jan
  • 1 Feb

Now check your DSN for entries corresponding to those dates.

Please find your New Year’s Resolution–answer the following:

How well have you done keeping your New Year’s Resolution? Be honest. Send an email to your parents and Dr. F about your assessment of DSN in light of your New Year’s Resolution.

Fix your DSN where needed.

Give a meaningful file name to the entry and include the date. Be sure the file is in the appropriate folder. Any photos, sketches, or other documentation associated with the entry should be named meaningfully with the date.

Number/label the items in each entry:

  1. Ordinary notes you would take
  2. What I/we did (several sentences)
  3. What I/we saw (several sentences)
  4. What I/we talked about (several sentences)
  5. What I wondered, asked, thought about, reflected on (several sentences) This is a most important item. Address questions like: What do the facts mean? How do we know? Why do we believe? Why should I care? (Eisenkraft). What do I wonder? What would happen if . . . ? What else do I need to learn in order to understand? What are the possibilities? etc.
  6. A sketch that helped me remember and think (a caption–what did you want to remember; what did you think about)
  7. A photo that helped me remember and think (a caption–what did you want to remember; what did you think about)

If your entry is incomplete, use the time to make it complete. Bring your notebook up-to-date. Make it complete. Be sure it is organized. Get the most from your education. Make yourself and your parents proud! Take charge of your learning!!!

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A Partner Tree Prevents “Plant Blindness”

Please acquire and organize the following information.

  • Scientific, common English and local names of the tree
  • Information on how the tree got its names
  • Location of your tree on campus–map and description
  • Location of other specimens of your species on campus
  • Total number of specimens of your tree species on campus
  • Description of key features of your partner tree (height/diameter, leaf shape/size, arrangement, branching pattern, bark, fruit, flowers,  etc.) Girth in cm at 1.5 meters above the ground OR just below where the trunk divides–give the height above the ground as well. Greatest spread of canopy in meters. Approximate area shaded by canopy (directly under the tree) in square meters.
  • Pictures of your tree, its flowers, fruits, bark and leaves over the course of the year and examples of other specimens of the same species,
  • Leaf rubbing showing venation
  • Bark rubbing
  • Line drawings showing various structures and details of your tree (specimen and/or species)
  • Use a stethoscope and “listen” to the tree. Describe any interesting sounds that come from the tree–not sounds from, say, scraping the stethoscope.
  • Tell a secret to your partner tree. You do not have to record this in your DSN. Record it in your “heart.”
  • What the tree is used for by humans? Furniture, medicine, fodder for livestock, ritual? What cultural or religious associations are there with the tree species? Dr. F may be able to give you a hint if you are stuck. Can you find a poem, story, novel, song, work of art associated with your tree species?
  • What associations does the tree have with other organisms? Is it eaten by animals (host plant for butterfly or moth larvae, for example)? Dens or nests. Pollinators? Parasites? Fungi? Bacteria?
  • How much oxygen would you estimate that your partner tree releases in a year? How could you / scientists make this estimate? How much carbon from carbon dioxide is taken up by your tree in a year? How could you / scientists make this estimate? How productive is your tree–if , for example, you could collect the fallen leaves every day for a month and get their dry weight, how much would you get–estimate–or make arrangements to do the experiment?
  • What particular importance does the tree species have for science?
  • Is it native or introduced? Native to the Delhi region? To India? To Asia? Introduced from where? If it was transferred, what can you find out about its introduction to India? If it is exotic (introduced), what is the extent of its invasiveness?
  • References must be cited–full bibliographic information. (Note: You must have permission to use any photos that are not your own.)

Write a poem or series of poems about your partner tree (specimen and/or species).

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Partner Inquiry Project.

Be sure proposal has been submitted.

Seek feedback.

Summarize feedback and adjust plans accordingly.

Begin. Show Dr. F the results of initial findings and experiences. Discuss next steps.

You should be keeping an on-going log of your inquiry–procedures, thinking, data, drafts, etc.

Be thinking about how you will “publish.” There will be both a written account and a display in some visual medium/media.

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31 January Science 8 (view eclipse from sunset on) Beginning Photosynthesis

  1. Review DSN entry from previous class. http://rfrazier.msblogs.aes.ac.in/2018/01/28/29-january-science-8/
  2. Read today’s blogpost.
  3. Prepare DSN entry for today’s class.
  4. Check out the lunar eclipse today (will have already started by moonrise / sunset). Take some pictures! Imagine where the earth, sun, and moon are in relation to one another. Remember the classroom-sized model we made in December: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/india/new-delhi
  5. Reading “difficult” things. Please assemble in Carbon jigsaw groups–send notes/DSN entries to those students (from your group) who are absent today. Break the piece into parts. Focus first on what you do know and understand. Summarize. Discuss. Then go and look up what you think are the most important words/phrases. Then revise your summary and discuss again. Make note of the new and important ideas:
  • Sucrose and Saccharomyces cerevisiae: a relationship most sweet
  • sugarandyeast
  • The abstract:

A. Sucrose is an abundant, readily available and inexpensive substrate for industrial biotechnology processes and its use is demonstrated with much success in the production of fuel ethanol in Brazil.

B. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which naturally evolved to efficiently consume sugars such as sucrose, is one of the most important cell factories due to its robustness, stress tolerance, genetic accessibility, simple nutrient requirements and long history as an industrial workhorse.

C. This minireview is focused on sucrose metabolism in S. cerevisiae, a rather unexplored subject in the scientific literature.

D. An analysis of sucrose availability in nature and yeast sugar metabolism was performed, in order to understand the molecular background that makes S. cerevisiae consume this sugar efficiently.

E. A historical overview on the use of sucrose and S. cerevisiae by humans is also presented considering sugarcane and sugar beet as the main sources of this carbohydrate.

F. Physiological aspects of sucrose consumption are compared with those concerning other economically relevant sugars.

G. Also, metabolic engineering efforts to alter sucrose catabolism are presented in a chronological manner.

H. In spite of its extensive use in yeast-based industries, a lot of basic and applied research on sucrose metabolism is imperative, mainly in fields such as genetics, physiology and metabolic engineering.

6. Beginning Photosynthesis. What are the claims? What is the evidence? How do we know?

How do you think scientists have come to the conclusions they have about photosynthesis? How do they know?

What do you think constitutes the evidence for the following simplified versions of photosynthesis? (What is the difference between the two versions?)

 

 

 

 

The overall equation for Photosynthesis is

6 CO2+ 12 H2O + light–>C6H12O6 + 6 O2 + 6 H2O

The equation in words says that six molecules of carbon dioxide plus twelve molecules of water in the presence of light will make one molecule of glucose, six molecules of oxygen gas, and six molecules of water.

Where do you think the released oxygen comes from–the carbon dioxide or water? See if this animation helps you figure out the answer. Notice that the equation in this animation includes 6 more water molecules. Why do you think this is the case? Try the experiments, take the quiz.

http://www.springer.com/cda/content/document/cda_downloaddocument/0801s.swf?SGWID=0-0-45-753198-0

See how this teacher has tried to explain photosynthesis to his students:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNcBGdQtMDg

  • What is the point?
  • How well does it work? What questions do you have?
  • What confusions might arise? How? Why?
  • What misconceptions might develop? How? Why?

Historical timeline of photosynthesis histphoto

  • How many scientists and how many years did it take to arrive at the claim of photosynthesis?
  • 6CO+ 12H2O ——> C6H12O+ 6O+ 6H2O
  • Many intermediate reactions and reaction cycles–one set decomposes water and one set builds simple carbon compounds–energy driving these reactions comes from sunlight

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Photosynthesis from Botany: A Blooming History

Notice the structure of the documentary. The narrator, botanist Timothy Walker, 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Walker_(botanist),

begins by stating the “claim” of photosynthesis. He then describes how the video will follow the discoveries and logic of investigators as evidence accumulates over 400 years(!) to support the claim. Remember, scientists DID NOT know the claim in advance. In fact, there were many alternative ideas and misconceptions about plants. It is important to consider how ideas are tested and how knowledge is constructed in the history of scientific ideas.

We will pause at certain points in the video to “process” the progress in the historical development of the claim (the fact of photosynthesis and the explanation of how it works) and acquiring the evidence (empirical results and logic) that supports the claim.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKMNig0Cz04

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011wz4q/clips

  • Notes, names, new words, evidence and argument, questions you have
  • Names: van Helmont, Ingenhousz, Sachs, Benson, Calvin
  • Important findings, analysis, conclusions:
  • Words:
  • Reference: From Peter Raven’s Biology of Plants raven06b_10

Examine the online textbook E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth. Download  and examine those sections that you think are relevant to photosynthesis and understanding the flow of matter and energy involving life on earth. (Add what you think are the important words to your word list. Read short passages. Do not read so much that you feel overwhelmed. Summarize in writing what you get from a passage. Write down the questions that you have.)

http://eowilsonfoundation.org/e-o-wilson-s-life-on-earth/

http://eowilsonfoundation.org/e-o-wilson-biodiversity-foundation-releases-innovative-ibooks-textbook-e-o-wilsons-life-on-earth/

https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/edward-o.-wilson/id2762652?mt=11

How does “knowing that” something is the case compare to “knowing how” to do something? Are some kinds of knowing preferred to others? By you? In school? In life?

 

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30 January Science 7 Biodiversity Walk #2

  1. Review DSN entry from previous class   http://rfrazier.msblogs.aes.ac.in/2018/01/25/25-january-science-7-biodiversity-walk-1/
  2. Read blogpost for today.
  3. Prepare DSN entry for today.
  4. Information on total lunar eclipse visible in Delhi tomorrow (if you have clear skies and a clear view of the eastern-northeastern horizon) https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/india/new-delhi?iso=20180131
  5. See the vegetative growth from the cassava (tapioca, manioc, yuca, scientific name: Manihot esculenta) cuttings and the onion bulbs. How to you imagine that the growth occurs?
  6. An entertaining (and excellent) summary of our course during second semester = <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydqReeTV_vk>. Learn the song. Ask questions! Observe.
  7. What Darwin Never Knew (excellent documentary on Evo Devo): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNPbjtej1Hk
  8. More info on the documentary above: http://309306481991347260.weebly.com/summary.html
  9. A review of Sean Carroll’s Endless Forms Most Beautiful https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/evo-devo-is-the-new-buzzw/
  10. Be sure you have a copy of my feedback and summaries of any conversations we have had regarding your PIP in your digital science notebook. You should have a separate folder for your PIP–Personal Inquiry Project.
  11. Have you: Found out more information on your partner tree. What are the names? How did the species acquire the names (what do they “mean”)? What uses do humans make of the species? What animals use the species (is it, for example, a host species to any butterflies or moths)? What is the girth 1.5 meters above the ground? What is the bark pattern like? What is the venation of the leaf like? What are other observations you can make of your particular specimen AND of the species? How many specimens of your species can be found on campus? In what plant family does your species belong? Why?
  12. What animal life do you observe on our biodiversity walks? Observe. Describe. Sketch. Pose questions.
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29 January Science 8 Sugar, starch, molecules and the chemistry of life on earth–how it adds up; Your human impact project

  1. Review previous DSN and blogposts. ( http://rfrazier.msblogs.aes.ac.in/2018/01/24/24-january-science-8-fermentation-of-sucrose-by-yeast/  ) and    (http://rfrazier.msblogs.aes.ac.in/2018/01/22/22-january-science-8-reflection-on-carbon-presentations-reading-about-fermentation-respiration-metabolism/ )
  2. Read blogpost for today.
  3. Prepare your DSN for today’s entry.
  4. Examine fermentation experiment from previous class. Clean up bottle.
  5. Salivary amylase:

Today we will try this simple “experiment.” You will get a piece of a cream cracker. Take it into your mouth and hold it–do not swallow. Note the time. Describe the changes in taste as you hold the crack in your mouth. When it becomes sweet, you may swallow. How long did it take for you to notice the change?

Record your time (to sweetness) in this spreadsheet (you’ll need to be added to edit:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1iS6AWkyTMPYqwBGdYXhQ8cMDZqbH9nySnqEKN4BY0wY/edit?usp=sharing

https://www.thenakedscientists.com/get-naked/experiments/white-bread-and-wonder-enzymes

Polysaccharides–Read about Saccharides (like glucose) and Polysaccharides (like starch and cellulose) http://www.chem4kids.com/files/bio_carbos.html

5. Build, diagram, and rearrange molecular models to think of how organisms (green plants) could build sucrose and how organisms could use sucrose in their various chains of reactions–to harvest energy and building material. (The chemical reactions that characterize life are the subject of the discipline called biochemistry.) Think of how reactions in cells “add up” in organisms, populations, habitats, and ecosystems to comprise the great biogeochemical cycles on earth–like the carbon cycle.

Record your activity. (Model of sucrose metabolized to glucose and fructose. Model of glucose metabolized by yeast to ethanol and carbon dioxide–as in the yeast fermentation. Overall equation for anaerobic respiration/fermenation: C6H12O6 = 2C2H5OH + 2CO2) (Notice the difference with aerobic respiration: C6H12O6 + 6O2 → 6CO2 + 6H2O (glucose + oxygen -> carbon dioxide + water)

https://www.worldofmolecules.com/foods/sucrose.htm

https://www.worldofmolecules.com/foods/glucose.htm

https://www.worldofmolecules.com/foods/fructose.htm

https://www.worldofmolecules.com/fuels/ethanol.htm

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/enzymes-the-little-molecules-that-bake-bread/

Sucrose and Saccharomyces cerevisiae: a relationship most sweet

An interesting article about sucrose and yeast–the history of human use, the evolution of the yeast and of sucrose metabolism, the biochemistry. There are details that are beyond what we have studied, but look through the article and try to get as many ideas as you can. The questions that arise are very important in your learning. List them.

sugarandyeast

Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the scientific name of the yeast we used.

The abstract:

Sucrose is an abundant, readily available and inexpensive substrate for industrial biotechnology processes and its use is demonstrated with much success in the production of fuel ethanol in Brazil. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which naturally evolved to efficiently consume sugars such as sucrose, is one of the most important cell factories due to its robustness, stress tolerance, genetic accessibility, simple nutrient requirements and long history as an industrial workhorse. This minireview is focused on sucrose metabolism in S. cerevisiae, a rather unexplored subject in the scientific literature. An analysis of sucrose availability in nature and yeast sugar metabolism was performed, in order to understand the molecular background that makes S. cerevisiae consume this sugar efficiently. A historical overview on the use of sucrose and S. cerevisiae by humans is also presented considering sugarcane and sugar beet as the main sources of this carbohydrate. Physiological aspects of sucrose consumption are compared with those concerning other economically relevant sugars. Also, metabolic engineering efforts to alter sucrose catabolism are presented in a chronological manner. In spite of its extensive use in yeast-based industries, a lot of basic and applied research on sucrose metabolism is imperative, mainly in fields such as genetics, physiology and metabolic engineering.

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6. Our next topic focuses on how green plants (and phytoplankton in both salt and fresh water–oceans and lakes) take in carbon dioxide and water and use energy from light (and a constellation of special molecules and cell structures) to carry out an amazing sequence of reactions that results in the synthesis (making) of saccharides (glucose, fructose, starch, etc.).

(From S.E. Jorgensen, 1980, Lake Management:

‘PLANKTON. We’re an indolent lot… shiftless microscopic drifters. Here in the oceans a million trillion trillion of us just float aimlessly and worship the sun. We have no brains at all. And we don’t do anything except procreate with promiscuous abandon and generate most of the earth’s oxygen. And we have no advice at all for you diligent bipeds who use your capacious intellects to so industriously befoul the seas. For about two billion years we got along quite well without you. And Without us, you will suffocate.’ )

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7. Assignment from previous class:

See the following link to *Lives of a cell* by Lewis Thomas. This is a significant example of science writing for the general (educated) public. This work just preceded Primo Levi’s Periodic Table that you read or hear about in the Carbon presentations.

As a group pick out one of the chapters to read. Be prepared to share your reading through an annotation: full bibliographic information, description, summary, assessment, reaction. Learning to write good annotations is a skill you will need and use in your human impact project. Do this one together as a group. Be sure that each member has this sample annotation of one of the chapters from Lives of a Cell in her/his digital science notebook.

http://gyanpedia.in/Portals/0/Toys%20from%20Trash/Resources/books/cell.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lives_of_a_Cell:_Notes_of_a_Biology_Watcher

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8. Human Impact on the Earth

You have already selected your topic (by lottery). You should have begun watching for items “in the news” and creating annotations. If you have not, be sure you start now.

In addition to references sent to you by email and posted in the blog, begin searching. Try these sites and journals. Browse environment and science sections. Use wide and narrow search terms from your topic. If you find something a classmate could use, please send it to her/him. Be a good investigative reporter or detective. Make an annotation for each source you examine. If you find a useful site–with references for several topics–please send the information.

Raising Kids in Delhi’s Worsening Air . https://www.newyorker.com/culture/personal-history/raising-kids-in-delhis-worsening-air

Biodiversity is Life’s Safety Net https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/01/biodiversity-life-safety-net/550979/

The Problem with Being Young in India https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/podcasts/the-problem-with-being-young-in-india

Annotation (for each reference):

  1. Full bibliographic information, author, date, title, publication, volume, edition, page (or equivalent). If web-based, include the url, the date of posting (last edit), and the date you last accessed.
  2. Information about the author and publication–background, expertise, affiliation. If no author, focus on the publication.
  3. Content of the article. Be specific. Big ideas and enough of the significant details to get a sense of what the article is about.
  4. Point of view and usefulness. Is the article a report of original research or a review of research or an opinion-editorial or a reflective essay or some other genre? If a point of view being presented. What kind of evidence is used to support the points made in the article?

Topics

( < https://docs.google.com/a/aes.ac.in/spreadsheets/d/1SXx0Zvtkx8C3SixY99dE-F5_GNS0XYM0yjkp3oNGqsg/edit?usp=sharing >)

  1. (Global) CO2–greenhouse effect–global warming–global climate change—shifting of carbon cycle
  2. India(Invasive species in India—loss of native habitat and biodiversity)
  3. (India) Endangered species. Habitat loss. Trade in endangered species. Animal human conflict. Conservation efforts in India.
  4. (Global)Elements in an Ipad-Laptop-Cell phone–Rare earths and conflict minerals—environmental costs of technology
  5. (India)Air quality in Delhi–air pollution
  6. (Global)The Anthropocene and the 6th great extinction
  7. (India)Mining-industrial, economic development, urban sprawl and conservation of nature / habitat / biodiversity in India
  8. (India)Agriculture-pesticides-fertilizer-nutrition and health in India
  9. (Global with local examples) The concept of ecosystem services—re-evaluating economic policy and theory in light of the environment—other ways to assess the value of the environment—international examples—Indian example.
  10. (India) The degradation and altering watersheds—River linking, dams.
  11. (India-Delhi) Access to clean water—sewage—pollution—irrigation—shortage of water.
  12. (Global) New Diseases. Zoonotic diseases. 
  13. (Global) Food security. Genetic engineering. Reduction in genetic diversity of food crops. Selection of herbicide resistant weeds. Loss of pollinator populations and diversity (pesticides and bees, for example).
  14. (Global and local) Deforestation–India, Tropics, Worldwide
  15. (Global and local) Climate denial, science denial, removal of environmental protections
  16. (Global and local) Current state of “green energy.” Renewable energy. Non-carbon based energy technologies
  17. (Global and local) Habitat restoration. “ Rewilding.”E.O. Wilson’s Half-Earth proposal.
  18. (Global and India) Promising environmentally sustainable practices and technologies (other than green energy examples from #16).
  19. (local)AES efforts to implement environmentally friendly practices. Areas for improvement. Suggestions.
  20. You choose—must be distinct from other options.
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25 January Science 7 Biodiversity Walk #1

  1. Review previous DSN entry. For this class: http://rfrazier.msblogs.aes.ac.in/2018/01/23/23-jan-science-7-more-on-flowers-fruits-biodiversity/
  2. Read blogpost for today.
  3. Prepare DSN entry for today.
  4. Biodiversity Walk #1:

Today we will make a tour of the campus. We will go as far as we can in the time available. We will see what we see. When we pass your partner tree, speak up! We will stop for you to tell us something about your tree. We will conduct some observations/activities while there. We will look for trees, plants that are flowering and fruiting, birds (remember the 7 S’s), lizards, squirrels, bees, butterflies, other insects, spiders, whatever we see. We want to  notice, observe, describe, photograph, sketch, make a list. Please keep your attention on the tasks at hand. Gather close whenever someone is talking. Make note of the “noticings” and the discussions.

With each example we notice, try to develop a “search image.” This is an image in your mind that allows you to recognize something, in this case a kind of living thing, that you have seen before. It is a very interesting piece of learning to develop a “search image.” The first “search image” we have promoted is that of your partner tree. Have you reached the point of recognizing your partner tree species in other settings? If so, you have developed a “search image” for that species.

  • Questions for initial ecological surveys (base for Field Study 1–summative):
  1. How many “kinds” of _________ are there on the AES campus? (What is meant by kind?) (richness)
  2. How many of each “kind”? (abundance, population, census)
  3. How are the “kinds” distributed? (map, biogeography, niche)
  • Questions for ecological investigations–tests of possible patterns and relationships (base for Field Study 2–summative):
  1. What are some questions you think of during our walk about the things we see and talk about?

 

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24 January Science 8 Fermentation of sucrose by yeast

  1. Review DSN entry from previous class.
  2. Review information about fermentation from previous class http://rfrazier.msblogs.aes.ac.in/2018/01/22/22-january-science-8-reflection-on-carbon-presentations-reading-about-fermentation-respiration-metabolism/
  3. Prepare DSN entry for today’s class.
  4. We will set up yeast fermentation of sucrose in a warm water solution. Here is a very simple procedure: http://www2.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/microscopes4schools/yeast.php
  5. Try 2 methods for observing the bubbling–bottle with a balloon and flask with a gas delivery tube and a test-tube with limewater (an indicator of carbon dioxide).
  6. The temperature to “activate” yeast is important. See these temp. ranges reported from the Exploratorium. Which should you use? Why?: https://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/bread/yeast_temp.html
  7. Once your fermentation set-ups are bubbling along. Put a drop of the solution (try to avoid any of the solid material) on a slide and cover with a coverslip. Wipe off excess liquid on the slide (outside of the coverslip) before placing it on the microscope. Focus on low power, then move to the middle power (what is the magnification?). Check with Dr. F before moving to highest power. Watch the yeast cells. You may see some in the process of dividing–called budding. Sketch what you see. Try to take photos. The ipad stands can make this easier. You may need to adjust the light on your microscope. Also try to add a stain–iodine or methylene blue (not both at the same time). The stains may be taken up by structures within the yeast cells.
  8. An important thing to think about is how all life is based on cells and that the incredible chains of chemical reactions that characterize life take place within cells in the various organelles. Energy transformation occur in the mitochondria–and when we look at green plants next, the “capturing” of the sun’s energy in the bonds of certain molecules in chloroplasts. The nucleus of the cell is where the genetic information resides in the form of DNA. The process of reproduction involves copying the DNA and the dividing. Various segments of DNA are codes for the cells to make certain molecules. Other segments are a little like switches that turn on and turn off the action of molecule making segments. Again, just contemplate the incredible sets of reactions that make life what it is from a cell, to an organism, to an ecosystem, to the entire earth.
  9. Use the ball and stick molecular models to simulate the reactions that take sucrose to ethanol and carbon dioxide during anaerobic fermentation by yeast. (Remember the conservation of mass AND the idea that each reaction will involve the simplest steps.)
  10. To further strengthen your appreciation for the significance of cells, read another chapter from Lives of a Cell by Lewis Thomas:

Micrograph taken by 8th grader with Ipad of yeast cells (stained with methylene blue).

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