Opening (Home) Page

Posts on this Opening (Home) Page are current and often are directed at specific students or classes, and follow after this brief message. If not specific assignment Posts, they may be media articles, which later will be transferred to the media Pages. The most recent Post appears first as you scroll down. An important or…

Alpha-gal, ticks and allergies

This wonderful piece of biology starts with the knowledge that some people become allergic to red meat after they have been bitten by a tick. That knowledge sets off a whole bunch of questions and research lines to follow, which then turn up some fascinating learning, covering so many aspects of immunology, biochemistry and even…

1 in 10 of global mortality now attributed to smoking and its effects

Despite all the negative publicity, despite all the warnings, despite education on the risks, the number of people who smoke tobacco continues to rise and the mortality from smoking related illnesses now has reached 1 in 10 of all deaths. This article is from the BBC, 6th March 2017, quoting a report in the Lancet…

Enjoy dissection? Watch this one, of an Amur tiger

The Amur tiger almost became extinct in the 1940’s, with maybe just 40 individuals remaining in the wild. Their conservation and subsequent recovery, supported by WWF, has been slow work but now a population of about 550 exists in the far east of Russia, northern China and perhaps North Korea. They are the tigers with…

Drunken Monkey Hypothesis: some serious evolutionary and molecular biology

This has to be a good read! Not just because it might be amusing but also because there is some serious evolutionary and molecular biology here. Our craving for alcohol seems to have a long, long evolutionary history, with a neat mutating gene, ADH4 (No! Not anti-diuretic hormone but alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme), which speeds up…

Cytochrome c and cladistics – and much more!

I love the way the new syllabus can bring together different themes, concepts and understandings, through a focus upon one, seemingly small component. An understanding of cytochrome c might bring together and help a comprehension of this lot: protein structure structure (2.4 Proteins & HL 7.3 Translation) function in cell respiration as an electron carrier (8.2…

Showing SCALE in biology

Working out scales (of drawings or photomicrographs) is a common exam question in IB papers – usually in the Paper 1 Multiple Choice. It is most simply done with a scale bar. TIPS I think the most useful tip is to make sure that you have some idea of what real size actually should be:…