Blogging My Biology Class 20080903

Biology, Eighth Edition, by Campbell & Reece, et al.

Biology, Eighth Edition, by Campbell & Reece, et al.

My notes and thoughts from Biology 111, for Wednesday, September 3, 2008. The entire series can be found here.

We left off before the Labor Day break with polarity and the ability to form hydrogen bonds.

The polarity of the water molecule, having an oxygen to one side and the two hydrogen atoms to the other, gives the molecules a slight attraction to charged molecules, since the oxygen end is going to have a slight negative charge and the hydrogen end is going to have a slight positive charge. This is caused by the unequal sharing of valence e- between the oxygen and the two hydrogens. Because the oxygen pulls harder on the shared e-, they are going to spend more time toward the oxygen, increasing its negative charge a little, and away from the hydrogens, increasing their positive charge a little (actually decreasing their negative charge a little, to be accurate).

That little bit of polarity will cause the oxygen end of one water molecule to be attracted to the hydrogen end of another water molecule (or any other positively charged molecule), and though the effect is small in one pair of molecules, it adds up with millions of molecules.

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RTFB

Biology, Eighth Edition, by Campbell & Reece, et al.

Biology, Eighth Edition, by Campbell & Reece, et al.

For those of you unfamiliar, RTFB stands for “READ THE FUCKING BOOK”. We had a Biology quiz today, and I totally blew two questions because I didn’t RTFB.

The first question, and how I answered it:

This Molecule Doesnt Make Sense

This Molecule Doesn't Make Sense

I recognized that there was a problem, and couldn’t work it out. Looking at it, obviously the H atom is making too many bonds here, winding up with too many e- in its valence shell. What I didn’t do was read the instructions for the problem thoroughly, which offered the option of saying the molecule didn’t make sense. I could SEE it didn’t make sense, and why, but didn’t write down that this was the case.

Those instructions appeared in the book, from whence the problem came, but not on the quiz sheet which said something like “Draw the Lewis Dot Diagrams for problem 9 on page 36” or whatever.

There was a similarly nonsensical molecule, that I also did not label as such.

Damnit, Damnit, Damnit.

RTFB.

drekshunz

From whence came the art:

The first image is of our textbook, Biology, Eighth Edition, by Campbell & Reese et al.

Other images by me and are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial- Share Alike 3.0 License.

Blogging My Biology Class 20080829

Biology, Eighth Edition, by Campbell & Reece, et al.

Biology, Eighth Edition, by Campbell & Reece, et al.

My notes and thoughts from Biology 111, for Friday, August 29, 2008. The entire series can be found here.

Forgive the delay, but I’ve had a ton of stuff to work on.

On Friday, we started out with a review of covalent bonding. Doc re-stressed that in covalent bonding, atoms are sharing one or more pairs of electrons.

Let’s take another look at our covalent bonding notation:

Bonding Notation for Oxygen and Nitrogen

Bonding Notation for Oxygen and Nitrogen

Now note that the two Oxygens share two pairs of e- and the two Nitrogens share three pairs of e-, as noted by the lines and by the dots between them. Also note that in the Lewis Dot diagram, all valence e- are depicted, regardless of whether they are involved in the bonding.

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Blogging My Biology Class 20080827

Biology, Eighth Edition, by Campbell & Reece, et al.

Biology, Eighth Edition, by Campbell & Reece, et al.

My notes and thoughts from Biology 111, for Wednesday, August 27, 2008. The entire series can be found here.

Wednesday’s lecture began with a review of atomic structure, including a reminder that our e * diagrams are 2D representations of 3D space.

Then we moved on to some more basic chemistry.

We focused mostly on electrons, and will continue to, as electrons are what determines reactivity of an atom, and reactivity is what’s really vital to biology.

e orbits are called e shells or energy levels. Each e orbital can hold up to 2 e.

The first energy level has one orbital, because it’s so small, and electrons, having all the same negative electrical charge, repel each other.

The second and third energy levels each contain 4 orbitals, each energy level then is capable of holding 8 e (2 e in each orbital).

Then doc talked about how electrons fill from the innermost energy level, out.

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Blogging My Biology Class 20080825 The Termite Lab

Biology, Eighth Edition, by Campbell & Reece, et al.

Biology, Eighth Edition, by Campbell & Reece, et al.

My notes and thoughts from Biology 111, for Monday, August 25, 2008. The entire series can be found here.

Lab on Monday was another really fascinating demonstration of the Scientific Method. We even got to play with real live bugs – termites, to be specific. The college keeps a colony of them, which is just cool in and of itself.

So the lab opened with Doc having us split into groups of three and four again, and then handed out a blank sheet of white paper to each group, along with a red ball-point pen and a small paint brush. Each group was instructed to make a circle on the paper using the red pen.

Then the fun part started.

Doc walked around to each group with a little tupperware container, beginning with our group. When she saw what he had in the tupperware, my female lab parter immediately got a little squicked out. Termites!

Just seeing her squirm was worth the price of admission, but by the end of the lab she was fine, as long as she didn’t have to touch them with her hand. Fortunately for her, that’s what the paintbrush was for. Once the termite was on the paper, the paintbrush was for wrangling the termite without squishing him. All we had to do was make sure he didn’t wander off the paper.

So I had the paintbrush, because Squicky Britches was still icking out, and all of a sudden, something totally unexpected happened.

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Blogging My Biology Class 20080825

Biology, Eighth Edition, by Campbell & Reece, et al.

Biology, Eighth Edition, by Campbell & Reece, et al.

My notes and thoughts from Biology 111, for Monday, August 25, 2008. The entire series can be found here.

We began Monday’s lecture where we left off on Friday (which is always a good place to start). Doc put the tree of life back up on the white board, and we did a quick review of what we went over on Friday regarding inheritance and emergence.

We then began to work a bit on Natural Selection, using Salmon as an example.

Natural Selection

Variation
within a
Population
+ Heredity + Differential
Reproductive
Success*
= Natural Selection

*Individuals with certain traits produce more offspring than those with other traits.

Doc stressed that Natural Selection works at the Population level, and not at the individual level. It’s important to stress this, as it’s the beginning of the explanation of why dogs don’t give birth to cats, that tired old moronic Creationist standby.

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Blogging My Biology Class 20080822

Biology, Eighth Edition, by Campbell & Reece, et al.

Biology, Eighth Edition, by Campbell & Reece, et al.

My notes and thoughts from Biology 111, for Friday, August 22, 2008. The entire series can be found here.

This morning’s lecture was teh awesome.

Doc started with some announcements, a reminder to get a composition book and a folder for lab, and a reminder about the Science Club. There is a 2hr canoe paddle on the New River and a shore clean up thing on September the 6th. After my English class I stopped by the Doc’s office and gave him the $2 for membership, though obviously I can’t do the canoe thing, for physical reasons. If I’m free that day, I may see if I can just meet the club at the clean-up site.

Does membership in the Science Club make me an official Science Geek now? I mean, I’ve even paid the dues and all! I’d like to be part of the Official Science Geek Club. I mean, that’s part of the benefits package, right? Plus, Science Geeks have the hottest chic … uh… I mean that means nothing to me because I’m married.

Ok, on to the lecture, y’all quit distracting me with the pleasures and temptations of the flesh:

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