Archive | March 2017

IB Past Paper Questions: Carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids (incl. DNA replication)

How_proteins_are_made_NSF

This is a collection of multiple choice and long answer questions on molecular biology, from old IB papers. Especially for SB. Try to complete at least the MC questions before next Tuesday.

eyyy-edited-tiny

Advertisements

Nose-dive!

article-2253117-16A5E991000005DC-434_634x374

Sorry folks! The Blog did a nose-dive yesterday Thursday 9th March. Did I press some button in error? Probably! I am trying to get everything back in order.

eyyy-edited-tiny

Enjoy dissection? Watch this one, of an Amur tiger

Siberian tigers

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 the largest home range of any tiger species – needing to cover huge distances in order to get subsistence from the inhospitable terrain which they inhabit.

A team in Scotland made a dissection of an Amur tiger and carefully recorded and annotated it on video.

Here is the full link to the BBC Earth web page: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20170302-discover-how-the-amazing-body-of-an-amur-tiger-works

eyyy-edited-tiny

Gene therapy is successfully used to cure sickle celled anaemia. A first!

_94914829_m1080063-sickle_cell_anaemia-spl

GENE THERAPY SUCCESSFULLY USED TO TREAT A 13 YEAR OLD PATIENT WITH SICKLE CELLED ANAEMIA

2nd March 2017

Here is a link to a BBC summary about the way in which, for the very first time, gene therapy has been used to ‘correct’ the abnormal mutation which causes sickle celled anaemia. A 13 year old French boy with an advanced condition of sickle celled anaemia had bone marrow removed and then genetically modified using a lentivirus vector, before being reintroduced back into his body, where it has subsequently been producing largely faultless red cells. http://www.bbc.com/news/health-39142971

This hugely successful and significant gene therapy procedure  was described formally March 2nd 2017 in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), from where it cannot be freely accessed. A version of the story with much more detail and science than the BBC version can be accessed on the Medscape web pages:  http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/876505

In the field of gene therapy this procedure is hugely, hugely significant. For some decades now the dream has been that gene therapy will offer ‘wonder’ cures for several genetically inherited diseases but so far, successes have been limited. From the University of Utah’s Genetic Science Learning Center (Learn.Genetics), here is a summary of the more important successes:  http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/genetherapy/success/

(Let me plug, yet again, the University of Utah’s Genetic Science Learning Center. A fabulous resource!  http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/)

Check out Topic 3.1 Genes, on this Blog, to learn more about sickle celled anaemia:  https://johnosborneabcbiology.wordpress.com/genetics-topics-3-10/3-1-genes/

eyyy-edited-tiny