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 Role of Enzymes in the Human Digestive System

In eigth/ninth grade Biology you’ve learned about compononts of a healthy diet and how a healthy diet contributes to our well-being. You also learned that our diet consists of nutrients that contain energy (carbohydrates, lipids and proteins) and other components that contain no energy (water, minerals, vitamins).

In this sequence you’re researching on the organs of human digestion and cellular processes taking place in the human digestive system (with special regard to the role of enzymes).

Use your workbook, the IB Biology 2nd Edition Website and other internet resources to …

… explain the properties of enzymes and the role of enzymes in metabolic processes.

… outline the stages of digestion in the human body and the function of the human liver.

… illustrate the biochemical properties of carbohydrates in general and the specific structure of glucose, starch and glycogen

… illustrate the structure of proteins and how amino acids form a three dimensional protein.

… describe and distinguish condensation and hydrolosis reactions.

These animations are useful to begin exploring the different topics:

Organs of digestion

Digestion metabolism overview

Enzyme action and the hydrolysis of sucrose

This independent learning sequence is designed for three hours and two homework sessions. You can individually choose to complete tasks in writing full texts or making notes, visualizing ideas in a mindmap/ concept map/ figures.

We are going to discuss and present results next Tuesday.

Active Membrane Transport: Resources for Independent Learning

While passive transport processes don’t require energy as substances move along their concentration gradient, active transport processes require energy because they move substances up a concentration gradient or involve the intake of larger particles.

These interactive tutorials or animations are brilliant resources for further independent learning (including a quiz to test your knowledge) and illustrate some of the principles of active membrane transport:

Primary Active Transport

Secondary Active Transport


Endocytosis and Exocytosis 

Active Transport by Group Location

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

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