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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Genetics and Debate

On Thursday, 25th of February, we had science with Ms. D. First, we had a quick review and reminder to get our Editor Posts and minor comments out of the way so we don’t get stuck with them last minute. Afterwards Ms. D introduced a likely field trip relating to the next unit: Astronomy. More information will be coming soon in regards to the field trip.

Our debate teams were chosen for the people that took the quiz on the 23rd of February. We were split into pro and con for the topic:

“ Embryonic stem cell research could allow production of what the world currently lacks- organs, tissue and cells for transplants- that may provide progress in the battle against ailments that are difficult and currently impossible to cure, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, Cancer and Multiple Sclerosis. Should use of stem cells be used worldwide?”

The Pro team consists of Emma, Aidan, Severyn, Abigail and Hana. The members of the con team are Arnie, Holly, Ines and Jacob. Ms. D said that in these debates it is important to bring up ethical and moral issues but not have them as the main focus. Also, to find information for both debates Ms. D recommended using instead of Google as it is more efficient.

Additionally Ms. D summed up APA format for the bibliography that must be done per pro and con team for the debate. So in total there must be 4 bibliographies handed in by the class, therefore 2 per debate. The main points for writing in APA format are: include all used resources, put them in alphabetical order by the first letter, categorize them in groups by media, and indent all lines except for the first. This bibliography is due on Thursday the 4th of March along with the debate. After the explanations and clarifications of Ms. D, we went on to the lower computer lab to find information on our debate topics.

Homework for science is to find information for the debate. Also MS.D suggested talking to Davide as he has some good points in the debate already.

LINK to a site that has some great starting information for the two debates:

By: Ines

Next Scribe: Severyn

Grade 8 Science, Debate

On Tuesday, February 23rd, The 8th grade was divided into two. Due to the large amount of people being absent when we did the Quest, Thursday before the break. Today was the day of the Quest for those absent. The other people, who had already taken the test, were told to sit outside and wait for official instructions. Ms. D gave us a sheet named "Ethics and Genetics Fish Bowl Discussion".
Quote: "
This activity is an informal style of debating an issue without all of the rules. You will be on a team of four or five people, to explore the Pro or Con point of view of a current genetics debate."
The sheet listed two debate topics and Ms. D held a vote for which one to choose. The second debate topic was chosen: "
<!--[endif]-->The cloning of "Dolly" the sheep -- thought impossible just 15 years ago -- has created a new branch of science. Should scientists be allowed to clone humans?"* After choosing the debate topic, we were put into two groups in order to know the affirmative and negative sides. We did this simply by picking names out of a cup. Ms. D had told us to check Moodle, because each group needed a bibliography to turn in in APA format. She has given two helpful websites that we can use for APA formatting, listed on Moodle. During the remainder of the class, we were assigned to do some research in the computer lab of our topic, since for this week, we were mainly focusing on the research part of out debate. One great website which is better than Google, in terms of search results, is Digg, recommended by Ms D. She asked us to first visit Digg for resources rather than searching on Google because it always gives the latest and greatest information/news. Ms. D assigned a due date for the Science quest, which was March 4rth.

*Link to a video about Dolly the cloned sheep.

For the people who were doing the Quest, I recommend checking out Moodle for the Discussion sheet and making sure you have the due date of this debate written down in your agenda/planner.

By: Joe

Next Scribe: Ines

Monday, February 8, 2010

8th Grade, More Punnet squares

On Tuesday, February, 2nd, a worksheet called "More Punnet squares" was assigned for the next class. That worksheet was then corrected on Thursday, February 4th. That worksheet was basically the same thing as the first one, Except the "Mother of all Punnet squares" was used more often. As I see, Gregor, the previous scribe, did not explain what this "mother of all Punnet squares" is.
This Punnet square isn't very different from the basic Punnet squares. There are 16 squares, and multiple phenotypes are crossed . Let's say "R" stands for hitchhiker's thumb, "r" stands for no hitchhiker's thumb, "T" stands for attached earlobes and "t" stands for unattached earlobes.
There is one of the possibilities when using those phenotypes:

This is the great "Mother Of All Punnet Squares".
I see that I forgot to explain what Phenotype is. Well, the word phenotype comes in a pair with genotype. These two words are closely related to all this genetic stuff. Phenotype is a person's physical appearance whereas genotype his genetic makeup. That means that genotype s a mix of all the alleles in a body that create a drawing of the phenotype, which is it's realization in 3D.
Near the end of the class, our teacher told us about the Quest that is coming next Thursday and that we have to "cool STUDY!!! STUDY!!! STUDY!!!smile".

By Daniel
Next scribe will be Joe.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Grade 8 Science, Punnett Squares

February 2, 2010

Today February 2, 2010 in science class we worked on the Punnett Square Problems Worksheet that was assigned in the previous science class. We checked the worksheet that was for homework and then we continued a few problems that were not assigned. Through out the class time we talked only about the punnett squares problems which was more fun than we expected.

The last twenty minutes of class we were working on numbers 10 and 11 which the teacher responded to, "These two problems are the mother of all punnett squares." Meaning these two problems are really hard and it is the hardest that she will give us. The two problems were really hard however a student managed to understand them. Which he later explained to the other students how it is done.

This is an example of number 4 on the Punnett Square Problems worksheet:

50% chance that the offspring will have straight fingers

50% chance that the offspring will have bent fingers.

This is a link to a youtube video featuring the very basics to solving punnett squares:

  1. #11 (Last problem) on the Punnett Square Problems worksheet
  2. The More Punnett Square Practice worksheet

By: Gregor
Next Scribe Post: Daniel

Monday, February 1, 2010

8th Grade Science, Cloning and Punnet sqaures

Today Thursday 28, January 2009. We were assigned a punnet sqaure sheet which talks about hybrid( hetrozygous ), purebred ( homozygous ) (Tt, tt ). The punnet sqaure sheet used spongebob as a object and we needed to describe his genotypes and phenotypes, phenotypes are physical apperance such as brown eyes, freckles etc and genotype is the makeup of genes and cells,allels that do not ussually show on your physical apperance.
The last 30 minutes we talked about cloning and some of the religous veiws related to cloning. And the morals. Also the successful clone of a sheep which was named Dolly during the class we also talked about the clone of a specific person and if it would share the same emotions as him/her or would he/she have the same actions. We finally concluded that if the clone grew up in the same backround as the particular person there is a slight chance that the clone would have the same behavior, And how there are many protesters and what is the reason for cloning since the world is over populated. A think the biggest part of the conversation was the emotions, actions and other things although a classmate asked why we could not clone humans.
The two pictures are... Dolly the cloned sheep on the left and a fairly simple Punnet sqaure on the right
The next scribe will be Gregor