Science education

Modified from the original post. i-e0bb5e70117b600f9bf2a270d7bc69f1-telomere1.gifPlaying around with molecular structures is one of the more entertaining activities that you can do with digital biology. I've become totally entranced with molecular structures, both because they're a fascinating art form and because every structure has its own story. I learned this because I ended up writing 69 different structure stories for ... Read more
Today, we're going to look for rainbows in double-stranded DNA and see what they can tell us about DNA structure. First, we're going to get a structure for a double-stranded molecule of DNA and open it in Cn3D. 1K9L If you want to do this at home and you haven't already downloaded a copy of Cn3D, you may want to read these instructions and get a copy. These directions ... Read more
The Ask a Science Blogger question of the week asks if organic foods are really worth the hype. I'm afraid my answer can't fit into one blog post. Let me start by telling you about my garden. i-3008345f8680c3660165cbe38bfbe739-cat.jpgThis year my garden has been a home to local wildlife, but during the years that I do garden, I have a semi-organic garden. I don't use any pesticides but I do occasionally break down and ... Read more
i-1b1eed7059f467a3112cb1b7920b3402-flower.gifA long time ago, I saw a Star Trek episode where the crew encountered aliens who lived at a different frequency. I may have this backwards, but I think the aliens moved so quickly that no one knew they were there. And until problems struck, our heroes were happily oblivious to the existence of the others. The Plants In ... Read more
"And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard, And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall. " - BoB Dylan Tired of Simpson reruns and the exploits of Friends? [From the WSTA] NOVA is broadcasting an entire series of shows on hurricanes, Katrina, and what the experts predicted would happen should a hurricane ever hit New Orleans. Check out the schedule below.
NOVA Presents "Storm That Drowned a City" Broadcast: Tuesday, September 12, 2006 ... Read more
Why do I love Cn3D? Let me count the ways. What does Cn3D do? (Hint: say "Cn3D" out loud). Seriously, Cn3D is a program that draws lovely pictures of molecular structures by using experimental data from techniques like X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Surprisingly (to some), and in contrast to many bioinformatics programs, Cn3D is really easy and fun to use. Have you ever used programs like MS Office? Using Cn3D is at least 10 times easier. An added benefit is that you don't have to try and find old copies ... Read more
No biology course is complete these days without learning how to do a BLAST search. Herein, I describe an assignment and an animated tutorial that teachers can readily adopt and use, and give teachers a hint for obtaining the password-protected answer key. Development of the tutorial and the activity were supported by funding from the National Science Foundation. This is reposted from the the original DigitalBio blog. This popular activity, designed to accompany the BLAST for beginners tutorial, has been updated to ... Read more
How can you win a nerd contest if you don't dress the part? Last year, I started a shop at CafePress to help distribute lab materials and fund my adventures in science education. Part of the fun has been making molecular merchandise to help show everyone that molecular models are beautiful, in their own special way, and help people engage in random acts of science education. Here are some of my suggestions for molecular wearables that can help you ... Read more
If we compare sections 1, 2, and 3, we see that section 2 matches very well in a number of different samples, and that there are differences between the sequences in sections 1 and 3. i-bed5846063bbebc59fa0a4516d917562-small_mito_mut.gif We also learn something about the ... Read more
i-5e05c7070b9ee8a38eb30b5847ac7647-colors.pngHave you ever wondered about Cheeze Whiz? why new cars have a distinctive smell? or what makes golf balls so springy? Chemical and Engineering News, published by the American Chemical Society, has a wonderful section that you will certainly appreciate. "What's that stuff?" is a ... Read more

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