Biology NYA Justine Bell

About this class

Intorductory Biology covering:

Evolutionary Theory

Cell theory

Microscopy

Diversity and Classification of life

Macromolecules

Inheritance

Populations

Ecosystems

 

Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by monali99 on October 17, 2017
You are searching information about species conservation but do not want to lose your time by reading irrelevant article? Many articles on species conservation are summarized and rated for their pertinence on News Activists. To know more about this subject, there is this short informative text entitled "Everything you need to know about species conservation" which is a great summary on the subject itself and the impact of biology on society, through species conservation.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by AlJazayri on October 15, 2017
Renewable energy has been a matter of discussion for a long time now and the matter is still unclear to most people. What will happen when the reserves of oil are emptied out? What will be the solution for energy in a world where humans can no longer count on non-renewable energy sources to function?

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Justine Bell on October 9, 2017
DNA can be used as a data storage system. In September 2017, it was announced that a live recording of "Smoke on the water" by Deep Purple, and "Tutu" by Miles Davis had been stored in the form of a piece of DNA the size of a speck of dust. This was a "proof of principle" exercise. The binary code is converted to the 4 letter code that represents the building blocks of a DNA sequence. It is a very stable, and very compact form of data storage. All of the Internet could be stored in a test-tube of DNA, and we could conceivably embed data into our own genome.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Gobeil1 on September 19, 2017
  Everything that lived will always died, this concept of life has always been deeply anchored in our mind. Without questioning what is the purpose of our life, we lived knowing that we will be burry 6 feet under ground, one day. But if I told you this common knowledge may not exist in the future.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by monali99 on September 19, 2017
When we think about biology, we automatically link it to life; to living beings, evolution, genetics and we realize how much complex and interesting life can be. However, there is branches of biology which are rarely discussed like the use of biology for the human interest. Biology is for sure fascinating but with the technological advances this science has been transformed to a dangerous weapon. Effectively, a new kind of war could possibly occur in the near future: The Biological Warfare.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by frankg on September 19, 2017
           The Society for Conservation Biology has published a very nice article that goes through every relevant aspect of species conservation. This article will lead you through the basic concepts of what is conservation of the biodiversity, why it is important and how it can be achieved. It also shows using statistics some background information to argue that the problem the planet faces with the loss of species is natural, but that it is greatly enhanced by human behaviour. They explain how that is and when it happened without omitting what are the causes.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by MariaZ_99 on September 19, 2017
In 2017, we are quite aware of the human’s pollution and the climate changes that are occurring. Some of the effects related to that are the desertification and land degradation due to the global warming. The most known solution for the moment is to reduce the production of carbon dioxygen gas in order to decrease the temperature of the Earth. Nevertheless, there exist other solutions that could also stop the degradation of our environment.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by zainabmianoor on September 19, 2017
           Human development is based on an adjustable timeline that is different for each being. One child might take their first steps at age 2, while the other at age 3. Both are completely normal. Pregnancy, on the other hand, is stricter with time, as an early delivery can result in many developmental issues for the child. Until recently, science has not succeeded at efficiently tracking a woman’s immune function during pregnancy, even though it is the immune system that allows prediction of risks, such as preterm labor.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Justina Chu on September 19, 2017
The study of the function of each gene has been the spotlight of biology. Some scientists have been running experiments for years to push their boundaries. With new biology knowledge, new ideas can be executed.  

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by emdes25 on September 18, 2017
Organ transplantation, a recent scientific breakthrough never ceasing to progress, has allowed millions of lives to be saved or improved. Indeed, a shocking revelation has been made in medicine as Italian surgeon, Sergio Canavero, attempts the impossible. Dr. Canavero is convinced, and currently persuading others, that he can successfully complete the first full-body human transplant.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Willg20 on September 18, 2017
The article that I read from News Activist talks about how scientists have been able to change the painting genes from butterflies using the technology of CRISPR. With this, scientists might be able to change the specific patterns in the brain by turning on and off human genes. This is a big revolution in the world of genetics that must be known!

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Gonzalo.Noriega on September 18, 2017
Cigarettes are more harmful then what we thought and that is already surprising! It’s well known how cigarettes have a poisonous effect in health as the damages it provokes include blood vessels, reproductive organs, mouth, lungs, heart, and many other organs. Certainly, the number of deaths caused by smoking cigarettes is higher than alcohol in many countries. Though, not only its first-hand smoke kills, its second-hand smoke can be very dangerous causing the same number of diseases. But how is this a new discovery? These effects have been known for a while.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Calvin Liu on September 18, 2017
Every year, scientists add new fascinating species into the encyclopedia of life. As a Harry Potter's fan, one little creature discovered this year, Gryffinfor's Hat amazed me! All this new discoveries are made on the surface of our planet Earth, and despite the huge number of discoveries every year, we are far from finding everything. Now, imagine if we find another planet with different environment where life develops separately from Earth. This could change radically our taxonomy.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Vincent.jomphe on September 18, 2017
Have you ever wondered what might aliens look like? Who am I kidding? You probably already have a strong idea of extra-terrestrial creatures' appearance. Whether it is due to movies, books or even religion, most people have a clear image in their head when asked to describe the appearance of an alien. However, have you ever thought about the fact that they might not be that different from us?

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by EnyaJaime on September 18, 2017
In the past couple of years, the Zika virus made headlines as the world grew more and more concerned about the health effects it could have on us humans.  During that time, the scientific community has been hard at work trying to find an efficient treatment, but the solution to the Zika virus remains a mystery to this day. However, the extensive research on this topic has led to a brand-new discovery: the Zika virus could help cure brain cancer.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Thomasakaginer on September 18, 2017
During the last few years, antibiotic resisting bacteria, also referred to as superbugs, have become a growing problem in our society. More precisely, the development of new antibiotics and drugs to fight antibiotic resistance, which is the present solution used, is a very long process. Until these new antibiotics are available, superbugs could have catastrophic consequences.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by ChadScarsini on September 18, 2017
Although it is brought to our attention at many occurrences throughout the year on the news and at social events, the message never seems to come across. By 2100 the time might actually come that human beings will no longer be able to survive on this very planet in parts of South-Asia.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Raphael Audet on September 18, 2017
On September 1st of 2017, the science journalist John Horgan wrote an article for the “Cross-Check” blog on the Scientific American's website. This article is titled “Has the Era of Gene Therapy Finally Arrived?” 

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by AlJazayri on September 17, 2017
Everyone has, at some point in their lives, got in touch with someone who had cancer. Cancer is a disease which is known to be really dangerous and hard to cure if, at all, possible. With high chances of relapse and the really weakening treatment that is chemotherapy, treating cancer really is a hard thing and scientist are always working to find a possible cure for it.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by simonsaad on September 17, 2017
New lifeforms discovered that may revolutionize science!

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Reply to: Are We Alone?
3 weeks 19 hours ago

First of all, thumbs up for the catchy title that raises an interesting question while staying a little vague in order to force the reader to want to know more. Also, although the post starts with in some way a kind of personal tone, it switches quickly to a professional tone. This is very good because it catches the reader's attention fast at the very beginning. Also, the summary is very well formulated and it grasps the essential of the article you are presenting, which makes it very pertinent for someone looking to get information on this topic. Maybe one thing that could have been developed more is the connection of this subject to biology with the atom spectroscopy and how it is being used in this situation.
Moreover, here is a link to another source of information about the exploration of other kinds of life. This might be interesting due to the brief summary it gives on space missions, telescopes and spectrgraphs and what role it plays in exploration for life on other planets.

https://arxiv.org/abs/1302.3251

3 weeks 20 hours ago

Hi AlJazayri,

I found your article really enlightening. The topic discussed is very important and relevant for the general public as cancer is a disease that can touch anybody. Certainly, finding the cure for cancer would be a huge (if not the most important) breakthrough in science and medicine of the century. The discovering of how to decipher the molecular programs to control and better understand CSC is certainly very interesting. Although, I personally find that the article does not develop enough on the new traitement breakthroughs that have been recently found. Perhaps, it could give place to do further research on the subject.

From my part, I have gone a bit more concrete regarding treatments which I think complements well the subject of research of your article. The following article develops on a new topic of research which uses programmed bacteria to destroy cancer cells. We all know how noxious bacteria can be, but there are certainly "good" bacteria that help us to perform several tasks (like yeast or guts flora). A group of researchers from MIT have been working on the creation of microcircuits which would permit to destroy cancerous cells more precisely. In fact, this bacteria is unharmful for humans by itself as it can be found in our liver. Although, what makes this treatment really interesting is the fact that cancerous tumors are very friendly environments for bacteria to grow. In addition, some trials have been performed on mice that have proved the efficacy of this treatment!

I would invite you to further read about the topic which, in my humble opinion, would allow you to enhance your knowledge on this matter and would complement the information found on your article. Here is the link: http://news.mit.edu/2016/cancer-fighting-bacteria-0720

Best regards,

G. Kio Noriega

3 weeks 20 hours ago

First of all, the title is a good opener on the subject.
The way the article is divided in the first part which is the summary and the second part being your appreciation is entertaining and using some humor in order to talk about this kind of subject gives us a reason to go and read these articles you are reviewing. Plus, the fact that you describe how this article has interested you, it gives us more reasons to go and read the articles to also get helped by it. Furthermore, an article about anxiety seems to be interesting since it is really common and many would like to know where this is coming from, it is even more interesting since it is on one specific point, in mathematics.
An article that could be interesting to go further in this subject could be ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170221101035.htm. which is about a similar subject

3 weeks 20 hours ago

Hi! I greatly enjoyed reading your article about a newly discovered gene called Hsp60 which is found to accelerate the healing process of wounds! It was interesting, new, intriguing and hopeful. I can guarantee that many readers love to read about articles that give them hope in the world since most media services offer stories of tragedy and despair. Accidents happen so often and affect so many people that a gene like this would be a great advantage to patients and victims as well as help cause relief among their family and friends. People are so busy these days with work, family, activities and personal life therefore, having people’s wounds heal more effectively in a shorter period of time could help many go back to their normal routine faster. If this protein were applied to injuries as gel, as mentioned in your post, to people suffering from post-operational wounds and burns could be cleared from hospitals faster and allow for more patients to be healed. It is an incredible discovery that reminds us of the scientific and technological progress our world is making. Furthermore, I admire your personal touch about a family member since it helps the reader relate and feel moved, further intensifying their interest for your post and the article you reference. Your example of how this product could be used in everyday life as well as in more serious situations really helps the reader understand what the Hsp60 gene does and how it could be useful. However, I think you could add a little bit about how the gene accomplishes such revolutionary action on a molecular level. I have found this article which relates to your post and I think you would find it interesting. This article is entitled “Scientists discover gene for advanced healing and limb regeneration” and it discusses a different gene, the Lin28a gene, which is responsible for tissue regeneration in animals while in the womb. This leads scientists to wonder if such a gene could be effectively re-created in humans to give them a wolverine-like recovering strength. http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/scitech/science/334725/scientists-discove...

3 weeks 20 hours ago

Hi Sarah,
I found the subject of your article very interesting considering that many people are not aware of this situation and that it is highly dangerous to many humans. I was surprised to learn that in Madagascar, people need to walk around with masks because of the contagiousness of the disease, plague, and that it is due to unhealthy hygiene where rats transmit this disease. Your article is also more convincing considering that you used statistics from a recent and reliable source.

Though, I would encourage you to add a little definition of the word "plague", because I am not sure that it is common knowledge and this would help people understand and imagine the situation better in Madagascar. In fact, I did a little research of my own and I would suggest you take a look at this website from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which informs readers of the actual definition of the plague, how people can get it and the effects it can cause. (https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/plague) Also, you could look at this second website, that I recommend, which makes distinctions between bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic plague. In addition, on this website by Medicine Net, there is some additional information about the treatment, the diagnosis, the transmission, the origin of the plague and much more. (https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=141316) Lastly, I was curious to know the reason that other poorer countries were less attacked by it?

Thanks for this great article, it gave me the chance to learn more about the plague and to make my own research about the subject.

3 weeks 1 day ago

Your article was an enjoyable read, whose use of a first person determiner in the title ignited curiosity from my part. More specifically, the determiner evoked the dilemma one would face if they were to find themselves in a situation where their suffering surmounts the value of their life. Following this train of thought, one would instinctively consider having to allow their loved ones to end their lives due to insurmountable pain. Since this fear is founded as illnesses and diseases are common, the issue concerns all readers, which brought me to read your article.

Furthermore, each relevant term or concept was attributed a definition with sufficient detail, which allowed a deepened understanding. This was helpful when trying to grasp the two contrasting ethical positions, Utilitarianism and Kant’s ethics. In fact, the comparison of a Utilitarian view and Kant’s opinion brought creative and contrasting arguments to the ethical issue, which has been discussed in the media quite often. In fact, whereas Utilitarians reveals arguments based on the consequence of euthanasia on the person’s happiness, Kant considers the utmost importance of their opinion in the decision-making process. Control over one’s life and avoiding suffering are two arguments that rarely contradict each other as one’s decisions usually leads to their happiness. However, in the case of involuntary euthanasia, one’s control over their lives is compromised. This is interesting as it evokes an uncommon dilemma in the reader’s mind on whether one’s free will should be prioritized over happiness.

The ethical views on the issue were detailed and clear, yet some readers could have questioned how consent is evaluated when considering involuntary euthanasia. The degree of awareness of an individual could change a Utilitarian point of view, especially if the individual on which euthanasia is being performed is conscious to a certain extent and, for instance, dies in suffering as he did not get to bid farewell to his loved ones. This situation would also give more weight to Kant’s opinion based on euthanasia being unethical as the patient is considered as a means to an end as he or he cannot apply his freedom of will. For further enlightenment on consciousness in various mental states, I suggest “Disorders of Consciousness: Brain Death, Coma, and the Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States”, written by Thomas I. Cochrane and Michael A. Williams. This article, whose link is at the bottom of the article, presents a realistic medical scenario to illustrate various stages of consciousness. Then, they define the terms “wakefulness, awareness, consciousness, coma, vegetative state, minimally conscious state, and brain death”, which are especially important to consider in involuntary euthanasia. First off, they define consciousness as a combination of wakefulness and awareness, where are respectively depend on the response to stimuli treated by the “reticular activating system” and on one’s ability to “think and perceive”, such as responding to a command, through the neurons situated at the surface and in the grey matter of the brain. They then describe the levels of consciousness of an individual in a coma, vegetative state, minimally conscious state as well as the possible duration and outcomes of such conscious states. For instance, one could evolve from a coma, to a vegetative state to minimally conscious, which presents an increase of consciousness, whereas one could also evolve from a coma to brain dead. A specific condition worth considering is the vegetative state, where one is awake, which is usually perceived as conscious, but does not commit any purposeful actions beyond reflexes. In this nuanced situation, would Kant still consider the individual’s thought process as worthy of consideration in their choice between life and death?

Link to article: http://www.dana.org/Publications/ReportOnProgress/Disorders_of_Conscious...

3 weeks 1 day ago

Hello Benjamin,

I found your article very insightful. Reading it made me learn about certain aspects of current medicine that I was completely oblivious about. As I went through your article, I realised how alarming this situation is becoming. In fact it seems the use of antibiotics is rendering itself more and more ineffective.

Certain questioning led me to do some research of my own on the topic. I made some additional investigation on your particular topic. The facts I found was similar to the facts you presented. I was startled to see scientist compare our current situation with antibiotics to be as precarious as the era before their invention. Indeed, before their discovery, humans used some primitive techniques to try and cure these diseases. One of them was to place mouldy bread on infected wounds. Until their invention, in the early 20th century, diseases that are now considered as simple to treat, such as diarrhoea were the number one killer in human population.

This represents evident proof that our health system is not perfect. Moreover, this major step back in health made me depressed in some way. However, my research led me to a promising advance that was made in the field of cancer treatment. It consists of the Issels Immunotherapy for Cancer. This center has made a lot of research and came a with a cancer treatment that is both efficient and safe for the patient. It consists of the restoration of the body’s immune system and defense mechanism, which enables the destruction of cancerous cells. This treatment could be very beneficial if combined with other cancer therapies. To read more about this advance, I recommend you to read this article from Issels Immuno-Oncology: http://issels.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjwj8bPBRBiEiwASlFLFVAtdXDxPy5XU JOrFCJXAIQf2EaboYj-E27cS32hwWYbS-QwHf1tyhoC_w4QAvD_BwE.

In sum, your article made me more aware of current medicine and allowed me to get more deeply informed on issues we currently have but also progress.

Vincent Jomphe

3 weeks 1 day ago

Hello Benjamin,

I found your article very insightful. Reading it made me learn about certain aspects of current medicine that I was completely oblivious about. As I went through your article, I realised how alarming this situation is becoming. In fact it seems the use of antibiotics is rendering itself more and more ineffective.

Certain questioning led me to do some research of my own on the topic. I made some additional investigation on your particular topic. The facts I found was similar to the facts you presented. I was startled to see scientist compare our current situation with antibiotics to be as precarious as the era before their invention. Indeed, before their discovery, humans used some primitive techniques to try and cure these diseases. One of them was to place mouldy bread on infected wounds. Until their invention, in the early 20th century, diseases that are now considered as simple to treat, such as diarrhoea were the number one killer in human population.

This represents evident proof that our health system is not perfect. Moreover, this major step back in health made me depressed in some way. However, my research led me to a promising advance that was made in the field of cancer treatment. It consists of the Issels Immunotherapy for Cancer. This center has made a lot of research and came a with a cancer treatment that is both efficient and safe for the patient. It consists of the restoration of the body’s immune system and defense mechanism, which enables the destruction of cancerous cells. This treatment could be very beneficial if combined with other cancer therapies. To read more about this advance, I recommend you to read this article from Issels Immuno-Oncology: http://issels.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjwj8bPBRBiEiwASlFLFVAtdXDxPy5XU JOrFCJXAIQf2EaboYj-E27cS32hwWYbS-QwHf1tyhoC_w4QAvD_BwE.

In sum, your article made me more aware of current medicine and allowed me to get more deeply informed on issues we currently have but also progress.

Vincent Jomphe

3 weeks 1 day ago

Hello Justina, research on genes is very important. The invention of “Crispr gene-editing tool” may be useful in controlling human genes in order to prevent some diseases. Furthermore, I think that genetic engineering should only be used for medical reasons, not for personal preference such as selecting the child’s sex, eye colour, etc. Selecting physical traits for our children may cause some potential problems such as a disproportional ratio of males and females on earth. To conclude, I think that research on gene modification must be looked into more in depth in order to raise the quality of our current health system.

There is also another article that may interest you about how genetic modification on human embryos can interrupt genetic diseases by editing the concerned gene into a healthy one. Due to the Crispr-cas9 editing tool, scientists were able to alter single letters of the DNA code, or even rewrite the whole gene.

Consult the full article for more informations:
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/feb/14/major-report-prepares-gr...

3 weeks 1 day ago

I found your article and its subject very compelling. I was interested in reading your summary as well as the linked article because of how they discuss an issue that is pertinent and wide-scale. The importance of the decline in Canada’s wildlife is highlighted by the statistics you included in your summary. It was very shocking to learn that over 44 years, declining species had lost 83% of their population on average. This fact, along with others you mentioned, underlines how important it is to act on this problem. Furthermore, the causes and impacts of this phenomenon are clearly identified, which makes the overall article easy to understand and accessible. Clearly, human activity and industrialisation are major actors in this problem, and current measures put in place to help Canadian wildlife are ineffective. This also emphasizes how finding a solution to this alarming decline is primordial.
I was interested in finding out more about the impacts of our current biophysical environment on wildlife, more specifically on their health. We know, from your article, that the environment is causing animal populations to go down dramatically. However, I was curious in finding out how, from a biological perspective.
Fortunately, The Royal Society of Publishing have published an article discussing just that. In their article “Effects of environmental change on wildlife health”, they discuss the impacts of the fast-changing environment on an animal’s organism and its immune system. The article underlines the importance of the immune system in survival, and how weak or deficient immune system exposes an animal to serious health risks and affects its capability to heal wounds. The consequences of weak immune systems due to fast-changing habitats include shortened life expectancy, higher mortality rate, development of serious and fatal diseases, etc. The article goes on to explain how the environmental changes are putting excessive stress in animals. It explains how normally, stress responses are part of a normal biological system, but when immoderate stress is present, which is the case in Canada, immunocompetence is affected, causing diseases like stress-induced or pollutant-induced immunosuppression. Anthropogenic drivers of animal diseases are also mentioned, some of which include UV radiation, urogenital cancer (found in sea lions) and climate change. The authors also draw a link between immunocompetence and reproduction also factors in wildlife’s health, since current environment conditions obligate the animals to spend a lot of energy on maintaining a functional immune system. This energy is drawn from processes such reproduction and growth. This serves as a possible explanation, added to the numerous diseases caused by environmental change, to why animal populations are in decrease. If it interests you, I would suggest reading this article, as I find it adds to the article you recommended and underlines the importance of the issue of decrease in wildlife.

Here is the link to the article: http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/364/1534/3429

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About the author

I was born and educated in Oxfordshire in England, and did a B.Sc. in Genetics at the University of Edinburgh. I was lucky enough to be able to do my Honours thesis with the group that cloned Dolly the sheep.