The structure and function of DNA

After you’ve read the letter that Francis Crick wrote to his son and found out about the structure and function of DNA, complete these interactive resources to be able to explain the structure and function of DNA inside a nucleus. The resources/ activities are for one school hour and one homework session.

On the side, complete the SoMi self assessment handout.

Animation and quiz: DNA structure

Learn Genetics: What are DNA and genes?

Learn Genetics: What are proteins (remember that making and processing proteins are main cellular processes: the genetic information to make proteins is stored in the DNA code).

Learn Genetics: Build a DNA molecule

Learn Genetics: Things you may not know about DNA

If you have more time, you can also review the interactive section Inside a Cell to review the structure of animal and plant cells.

The mechanism of DNA replication

The Meselson-Stahl experiment was a milestone in demonstrating the mechanism of DNA replication.

In this lesson you research about the Meselson and Stahl experiments. Based on your research, design a laboratory report from Meselson and Stahl’s point of view on the mechanism of DNA replication.

Animation: Meselson and Stahl experiment 

Interactive resource: Meselson and Stahl experiment

Homework for Monday, 18 January:

PARTNER A: Research about the experiments carried out by Avery and Griffith and outline the experimental design, procedure and result. Explain why the discovery of that experiment contributed to identify that DNA is the material of heredity.

PARTNER B: Research about the experiments carried out by Hershey and Chase and outline the experimental design, procedure and result. Explain why the discovery of that experiment contributed to identify that DNA is the material of heredity.

Cell Division and the Cell Cycle

The Biozone Biolinks section provides useful links for further internet study of the cell cycle and cell division. Watch some great online animations on Youtube, entering mitosis, cell division, or cell cycle as keywords for your query.

There are quite good interactive tutorials: The Cell Cylce & Mitosis Tutorial, an animated mitosis tutorial, mitosis & cytokenisis animations and a cell cylcle game.

Cancer and the Cell Cycle is an additional resources to our exam topic.

Here’s my personal favourite cell cycle animation with dramatic background music taken from Avatar:

O as Origin- The Evolution of Life

Watch this animation to learn about the recent hypothesis on the origin of life. First, watch the animation without stopping. Then, write down headings to divide the animation into sensible untis. After that, watch the animation again and make notes under your individual headings.It’s a good idea to make a word web, cluster or mind map.

Animation: O as Origin

Finally, answer these questions based on the animation and your background knowledge (you can include further research to answer the questions, of course):

  • What is the role of water in/ for cells?
  • What is the biological role of these organic molecules in a cell: carbohydrates, amino acids/proteins, lipids and nucleic acids/nucleotides.

You can (and should) also explore this brilliant simulation: Water in All Its States

Cell Biology

Here are useful additional links to study the biology of cells.

Make sure you pay special attention to the microscopy section and recognize Scales and Sizes in Cell Biology, the Hierarchy of Life, and Characteristics of Life

You’ll find thousands of excellent websites, this is just a selection of sites I apprecciate for their clarity. Furthermore, YouTube is a growing portal providing great Biology videos and animations.

Skills in Biology: Microscopy

Working with microscopic images requires that you are aware of scales and sizes in Cell Biology and the Hierarchy of Life.

Don’t forget how to use a microscope. This Google Search Result Page reveals good resources for students.

Then, there aresome excellent virtual light and electron microscope resources for students. Here’s a selection: Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc., the Virtual Electron Microscope, the Virtual Scope, and an extensive NASA supported software to download and use on your local computer: The Vritual Microscope