- Colin Purrington has created a blog page for Designing Conference Posters which has a lot of information about good layouts for scientific posters, as well as useful tips and templates. He also posted an example of a bad scientific poster, which is a nice one to discuss with students.
- This slideshow has three examples of scientific posters – the good, the bad and the ugly.
- A Powerpoint Template for a scientific poster from VicPhysics Teacher’s Network.
- Free poster templates here
Unit 4: Area of Study 3 in the VCE Biology Study Design provides details of the practical investigation that students are required to complete, worth one third of the school assessed coursework for Semester 2.
On the completion of this unit the student should be able to design and undertake a practical investigation related to cellular processes and/or biological change and continuity over time, and present methodologies, findings and conclusions in a scientific poster.
There are a great number of practical investigations suitable for students, however, careful consideration of the materials and equipment available and the time taken to achieve useful results is prudent. The following resources provide lists of practical investigations that may be of interest:
- Deadly Extended Experimental Investigation Ideas from Dr Richard Walding
- Ecological investigations in the field from Into Biology (Student projects – investigations with plants)
- Bugwise investigations from the Australian Museum
- Biology experiments to download
- Practical Biology from the Nuffield Foundation
When you have decided which investigation you are interested in and after discussion with your teacher, submit a proposal that includes the following information:
- Your name
- Title (up to ten words about the experiment)
- Hypothesis (what exactly are you testing?)
- Materials required (consumables)
- Equipment required (experimental tools, glassware etc)
- Estimated time for conducting the experiment and collecting results
- References (Where did you get the idea from and what other information do you need?)
Learning intention: Students will understand the energy transformations from sunlight to chemical energy in the process of photosynthesis.
Watch the following videos and take Cornell notes. Especially pay attention to the products and reactants of the light-dependent and light-independent (Calvin cycle) parts of the reaction.
- Photosynthesis by David Henderson (YouTube, 2.16min)
- Photosynthesis – converting light energy into chemical energy (YouTube, 7.24min)
- Photosynthesis – by Pearson marketing (YouTube, 3.39min)
- Photosynthesis from Bozeman Science (YouTube, 12.26min)
Learning Intention: Students will better understand the use of mass spectroscopy in the diagnosis of a medical condition and explore the implications of enzyme deficiencies in protein metabolism. They will also understand the effect of pH on enzyme activity and apply their knowledge of scientific method to writing the procedure for a practical experiment.
Success criteria: Students will complete the practical activity “Absent enzymes – phenyketonuria and albinism”.
- Liver contains an enzyme that catalyses the reaction to breakdown hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)
- Enzyme activity in this case is indicated by the production of oxygen – a splint re-ignites in the presence of oxygen.
- High temperatures denature proteins and prevent enzyme activity.
- Diastase in an enzyme in plants that converts starch into glucose at an optimum temperature of 20 degrees Celcius.
- The presence of starch in solution is indicated by iodine turning blue-black.
Your task is to devise an experiment that demonstrates the effect of pH on enzyme activity. Remember that pH is a logarithmic scale – a pH of 4 is ten times more H+ ions than a pH of 5.
pH and Enzymes
Effect of pH on enzyme activity
Second-hand data activity: PKU Genetics (YouTube, 5.00min)
Learning Intention: Students will understand the genetic code as a degenerate triplet code and the steps in gene expression including transcription, RNA processing in eukaryotic cells and translation. Students will also understand gene structure and regulation, especially start/stop, promoter regions, exons/introns and the lac operon.
Transcription – the process by which the DNA code is transcribed into messenger RNA in the nucleus of a cell. (DNA to mRNA)
RNA processing – the process by which introns are removed and the exons are spliced together, leaving a single-stranded mRNA molecule which travels through the nuclear pores into the cytoplasm.
Translation – the process by which the mRNA code is converted to a protein code by ribosomes adding amino acids that are attached to an anticodon that pairs with codons on the mRNA strand.
Gene structure and regulation
• the functional distinction between structural genes and regulatory genes
• the structure of genes in eukaryotic cells including stop and start instructions, promoter regions, exons and introns
• use of the lac operon as a simple prokaryotic model that illustrates the switching off and on of genes by proteins (transcriptional factors) expressed by regulatory genes.
Learning Intention: To understand nucleic acids as information molecules that encode instructions for the synthesis of proteins in cells and the processes of transcription and translation in cells. Students will also understand protein functional diversity and the nature of the proteome as well as the functional importance of the four hierarchal levels of protein structure. They will perform experiments that demonstrate the effect of temperature and pH on enzymes.
- Catalase is an enzyme found in liver extract that breaks down hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into water and oxygen.
- Hydrogen peroxide is a toxic product of digestion that needs to be eliminated from the body. Water and oxygen are the safe products of hydrogen peroxide breakdown.
- Primary structure of protein – order of amino acids
- Secondary structure – alpha helix, beta pleated sheets or random coils
- Tertiary structure – folding of the polypeptide chain due to disulphide bridges and other attractions or repulsions between molecules.
- Quarternary structure – two or more polypeptide chains folded together to form a complex protein.
- Basics of DNA (YouTube, 1.47min)
- Structure of DNA (YouTube, 5.58min) (3′ to 5′ structure,purines and pyramidines)
- Transcription and Translation (YouTube, 6.26min)
- 3D Animation of transcription and translation (DNA Learning Centre, 1.52min)
- Transcription and translation overview (YouTube, 13.17min) Neat drawings!
- Khan Acadamy (YouTube, 15.23min)
“Students will understand the role of different organelles including ribosomes, endoplasmic, reticulum, Golgi apparatus and associated vesicles in the export of a protein product from the cell through exocytosis and cellular engulfment of material by endocytosis.”
Ribosomes translate the messenger RNA into a protein by matching the 3-base pair codon with an anticodon on the transport RNA, allowing the production of a polypeptide. The endoplasmic reticulum allows the transport of polypeptides (protein chains) to the Golgi aparatus, where proteins are collected, packaged and distributed throughout the cell and exported through the cell membrane (exocytosis).
Osmosis is the passive movement of water across a semi-permeable membrane
Diffusion is the natural tendency of particles to move from a higher concentration to a lower concentration. It is a passive process – does not require energy to be expended.
Facilitated diffusion is when a protein channel is required to allow the passive movement of larger molecules through the cell membrane.
Active transport (as opposed to passive transport) means that energy is required for the cell to all transport of substances against the concentration gradient.
Phagocytosis is the movement of solids across a membrane, usually when the cell creates a pocket and engulfs the nutrient.
Pinocytosis is the movement of liquids across a membrane, for example, when a Paramecium expels liquid waste water.
Endocytosis is when substances move into the cell.
Exocytosis is when substances move out of the cell.
- Golgi apparatus animatic (YouTube, 3.32min)
- Endocytosis and Exocytosis (YouTube, 1.40min)
- Endocytosis and Exocytosis Animation (YouTube, 1.39min)
- And another one… (YouTube, 3.53min)
- Cell Transport (Phagocytosis, Pinocytosis and Receptor mediated endocytosis) (YouTube, 8.42min)
- Fluid mosaic model (YouTube, 1.26min)
- The plasma membrane (YouTube, 5.15min)
- Transport of molecules across a plasma membrane (YouTube, 14.28min)
- Khan Academy – Fluid mosaic model of the plasma membrane (YouTube, 8.46min)
Which molecules can move through the cell membrane passively (by diffusion)?
Which molecules can move through the cell membrane by active transport (requiring energy)?
Which molecules cannot pass through the cell membrane?
Welcome to the step up week for Year 12 Biology in 2017. This post is to let you know about some of the resources that are available for your studies. It is a new course for Unit 3 and 4 next year and we will be using the Heinemann textbook (3rd edition). You will also need a copy of the Heinemann Student Workbook for practical activities and revision questions.
The Hawkesdale Biology Quizlet page is where you can access learning activities for each Chapter to assist you with key terms and definitions. Please sign up to Quizlet and join the class.
Andrew Douch is a very experienced VCE Biology teacher who produces free weekly podcasts (Douchy’s Biology Podcasts) that are worth listening to. He also has a popular Facebook page where you can ask questions.
Mr Barlow has produced four apps, one for each Biology unit, which are available on iTunes. You may find these useful for revision.
Unit 3 – Area of Study 1 – How do cellular processes work?
Outcome 1: On completion of this unit the student should be able to explain the dynamic nature of the cell in terms of key cellular processes including regulation, photosynthesis and cellular respiration, and analyse factors that affect the rate of biochemical reactions.
Unit 3 – Area of Study 2 – How do cells communicate?
Outcome 2: On completion of this unit the student should be able to apply a stimulus-response model to explain how cells communicate with each other, outline human responses to invading pathogens, distinguish between the different ways that immunity may be acquired, and explain how malfunctions of the immune system cause disease.
Unit 4 – Area of Study 1 – How are species related?
Outcome 1: On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse evidence for evolutionary change, explain how relatedness between species is determined, and elaborate on the consequences of biological change in human evolution.
Unit 4 – Area of Study 2 – How do humans impact on biological processes?
Outcome 2: On completion of this unit the student should be able to describe how tools and techniques can be used to manipulate DNA, explain how biological knowledge is applied to biotechnical applications, and analyse the interrelationship between scientific knowledge and its applications in society.
Unit 4 – Area of Study 3 – Practical Investigation
Outcome 3: On the completion of this unit the student should be able to design and undertake an investigation related to cellular processes and/or biological change and continuity over time, and present methodologies, findings and conclusions in a scientific poster.
My class have identified three areas in each of Unit 3 and Unit 4 that they would like to do more work on before the exams:
Unit 3: Signatures of Life
- Photosynthesis – Light dependent and light independent reactions
- Respiration – Aerobic and anaerobic
- Immunity – Active/Passive, Natural/Induced
Unit 4: Continuity and Change