WELCOME to Esther's wikispace :)

Did you know that amphibians are the world's most threatened group of animals?

A coalition of organizations established the Amphibian Survival Alliance this month
to conserve species threatened by deadly fungus, habitat loss, pollution, pesticides and climate change. The scientists said amphibians are the world's most threatened group of animals. Though they thrived on Earth for more than 360 million years, and as many as 122 species have gone extinct since 1980.

Amphibians have so much to offer humans. Many have an arsenal of compounds stored in their skin that have the potential to address a multitude of human diseases. But as amphibians die out, so do opportunities to develop new medicines. The southern gastric brooding frog, for instance, could have led to the development of a treatment for human peptic ulcers had it not gone extinct.

external image vancouver-poster-if-frogs-go-extinct-youll-notice1.jpg?w=278&h=403

* We simply cannot afford to let the current amphibian extincion crisis go unchecked!
What we can do then?

1 Make a garden pond to encourage frogs to breed.

2 Frogs spend most of their lives on land so give them long grass, leaf and log piles, trees and shrubs in your garden to feed and hibernate under.
3 Pass on your knowledge of frogs to others.
4 Do not keep endangered frog species as pets and never release a pet frog into the wild.
5 Organise a clean up of rubbish from local ponds and streams.
6 Take part in the Hop To It Irish Frog Survey and help us learn more about the status of frogs in Ireland.

Amphibians are the world's most threatened group of animals. (2009, September 19). Retrieved from www.cnn.com

3 Win Novel for Ribosome Research

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Three scientists who showed how the information encoded on strands of DNA is translated into the thousands of proteins
that make up living matter will share the 2009 Novel Prize, the Swedish Academy of Sciences said Wednesday.

(I just wanted to inform this news on my wiki to let you know that we should study hard now
cuz this subject might get us nobel prize later if because i know that many of us want to become scientist)

For the further information : http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/08/science/08nobel.html?_r=2&ref=science
OVERBYE, DENNIS. (October 7, 2009 , october 7). 3 win nobel for ribosome research . Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/08/science/08nobel.html?_r=2&ref=science

Secrets of the Cell

Self-Destructive Behavior in Cells May Hold Key to a Longer Life !!

Increasing our body’s ability to self-destruct may, paradoxically, let us live longer

Our cells build two kinds of recycling factories.
One kind, known as the proteasome, is a tiny cluster of proteins.
It slurps up individual proteins like a child sucking a piece of spaghetti.
Once inside the proteasome, the protein is chopped up into its building blocks.

For bigger demolition jobs, our cells rely on a bigger factory: a giant bubble packed with toxic enzymes, known as a lysosome.
Lysosomes can destroy big structures, like mitochondria, the sausage-shaped sacs in cells that generate fuel.

Self-destruction may seem like a reckless waste of time and energy.
Yet it is essential for our survival, and in many different ways.
Proteasomes destroy certain proteins quickly, allowing them to survive for only about half an hour.
That speed allows cells to keep tight control over the concentrations of the proteins.
By tweaking the rate of destruction, it can swiftly raise or lower the number of any kind of protein

It has long been known, for example, that animals that are put on a strict low-calorie diet can live much longer than animals that eat all they can. Recent research has shown that caloric restriction raises autophagy in animals and keeps it high.
The animals seem to be responding to their low-calorie diet by feeding on their own cells, as they do during famines.
In the process, their cells may also be clearing away more defective molecules, so that the animals age more slowly.

Biological Recycling
Biological Recycling

Self-destructive behavior in cells may hold key to a longer life . (2009, October 5). Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/06/science/06cell.html?_r=1

Cell Phones and Possible Health Hazards

Do you know that all the chitchats on the phone may cause some health problems?

Researchers are investigating whether ordinary use of cell phones causes health problems.
Researchers are investigating whether ordinary use of cell phones causes health problems.

Normal phones are harmless because they transmit
sound as electrical pulses through those wires
that snake through pipes or tunnels underground.
Cell phones use a different strategy.
Every word you speak into a cell phone becomes a digital message
that gets sent out into the air as pulses of microwave radiation.

Some people worry that letting all that radiation pulse across your brain
can cause serious health problems, including cancer.
Now, scientists in Sweden report evidence that radiation from some cell phones kills brain cells in rats!!
No one's sure what this means for people.
No other studies have so far uncovered significant health effects in animals or people,
and other scientists have yet to confirm the Swedish results.
Just in case, however, it might be wise to keep your calls short
and to use a hands-free headset to increase the distance between you and your cell phone.

Cell phones and possible health hazards. (2003, Feburary 26). Retrieved from http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/articles/20030226/Note2.asp

You can study biology through the vidoe games!

Video games aren't just for kids!

Researchers are now using the same technology that runs games to create realistic simulations of biological systems.
As ScienCentral News reports, this approach could speed up research into diseases and drug therapies.

It's easier and more fun to learn those biological systems.
I would really want to get those video games!
Imagine studying biology while you play a video game!
It's so awesome:)

Video games and biology. (2008). [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTRV4FKDNvo

Would you choose your child's gender?


Genetic screening techniques that allow parents to choose their children's gender are now more accurate than ever
and are becoming increasingly mainstream, but experts are divided over whether the technology should be used in this way.

A technique called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) was originally developed two decades ago
to allow embryos to be tested for genetic disease. It requires parents to use in vitro fertilization, where eggs are fertilized outside the womb.

With PGD, the embryos are tested for genetic disorders and only those that are free of disease are transferred to the mother's uterus.
It means that parents who carry genetic defects can ensure they don't pass on a genetic illness to their children.
But PGD also can also be used to allow people undergoing in-vitro fertilization to select the gender of the embryo implanted in the mother's uterus.

Would You choose your child's gender?. (2008). Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/12/08/video.wall.gender.baby/index.html

Sea Urchins Reveal Medical Mysteries

Sea Urchins' Genetics Add To Knowledge Of Cancer, Alzheimer's And Infertility

Sea urchins might not seem to have much in common with human beings but scientists with the Sea Urchin Genome Sequencing Project, recently completed sequencing of the genome. They found that the sea urchin genome is very similar to that of humans, and may hold the key to preventing and curing several human diseases.

Researchers are using the sea urchins to study and understand diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and muscular dystrophy. Although they are invertebrates, the creatures share a common ancestor with humans and have more than 7,000 of the same genes. With a complete map of their DNA, scientists can learn how to treat and prevent diseases in humans better.

external image Purple-sea-urchin.jpg

A genome is all of the DNA found in an organism, including its genes and DNA that does not contribute to genes. Every animal and plant has its own unique genome. Genetic DNA carries information for making the proteins required to sustain a living organism. The genome of the purple sea urchin is comprised of 814 million "letters" that code for 23,300 genes. Of those, it has 7,000 genes in common with humans, including genes associated with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's diseases, as well as muscular dystrophy. Despite having no eyes, nose, or ears, the creature has genes involved in vision, hearing and smell in humans.

Sea urchins' genetics add to knowledge of cancer, alzheimer's and infertility. (2007, March 1). Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2007/0304-sea_urchins_reveal_medical_mysteries.htm

How to Determine Your Blood Type

  • Ask your doctor
. If they have this information, this is the easiest way of finding out.
  • Donate blood. When you go in, ask them if they can tell you your blood type after you're done. They typically won't be able to tell you right away, as the unit of blood (or the specific component -- red blood cells, plasma, platelets) needs to undergo several tests, including typing.
  • Look on your birth certificate. Your blood type may be listed there.
  • Guess at what your blood type might be. Blood type is genetically inherited, so if you know your parents' blood types, you can find out yours (or at least narrow it down).
  • Find a "bed-side blood type test" (SeraFoil(tm) or similar). If you or someone you know happens to work in a medical setting, see if you can get your hands on one of these tests.-----Depense one drop of your blood to each field on the test card. Use a sterilized needle.
    The fields contain antibodies, which will provoke a reaction with antigens on your red blood cells.
    -----Use a new toothpick for each field to mix the blood with the impregnation, creating an about dime-sized smear.

      • If you have blood type A, clots will appear in following fields: anti-A
      • If you have blood type B, clots will appear in following fields: anti-B
      • If you have blood type AB, clots will appear in fields anti-A, anti-B
      • If you have blood type O, no clots at all appear.

    (2010). Retrieved from http://www.wikihow.com/Determine-Your-Blood-Type

Wake Up, Sleepy Gene!!

See full size image
See full size image

  • Genes tell our bodies and brains what to do.
  • People have about 40,000 genes, and each gene can have different forms.
  • So, for example, certain forms of some genes make your eyes blue.
  • Other versions of those genes make your eyes brown.
  • In a similar way, new research suggests that
  • a gene called period3 affects how well you function without sleep.
  • The discovery adds to older evidence that period3 helps determine whether you like to stay up late or get up early.
  • The period3 gene comes in two forms: short and long.

  • Scientists from the University of Surrey in England studied 24 people
  • who had either two short or two long copies of period3.
  • Study participants had to stay awake for 40 hours straight.
  • Then, they took tests that measured how quickly they pushed a button
  • when numbers flashed on a screen and how well they could remember lists of numbers.
  • Results showed that the people with the short form of period3
  • performed much better on these tests
  • than the people with the long form did!!

That suggests that people with the long form of the gene need
  • more and deeper sleep to keep their brains working at top form.
I wish everyone in this class have a short period 3 gene!!

Sleeping Soundly for a Longer Life

If you know what's good for you, you'll go to bed on time.
Now, scientists are saying something more about going to sleep.
And you may lose more than just TV privileges if you don't listen.
You might end up shaving years off your life.

Sleeping soundly might lead to a longer life.
Sleeping soundly might lead to a longer life.

For 19 years, psychologist Mary A. Dew of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine tracked 186 healthy elderly adults,
who were mostly between 60 and 80 years old. Part of the research involved monitoring brain waves of the people as they slept.
At the end of the study, the people who had trouble falling or staying asleep
were more likely to die sooner from natural causes compared to those who slept well, the researchers reported.
Scientists aren't yet sure why losing sleep might shorten lives.
Some experts think sleep deprivation weakens the immune system, making it harder to fight off illnesses.
Other studies have linked sleep disorders to heart and brain diseases.
The new study focused on older people. But there may be a lesson here for all of us:
Work hard, play hard, sleep well. You just might wake up to a longer future.—E. Sohn

Sleeping soundly for a longer life . (2003, Feburary 12). Retrieved from http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org

Wonders of the Human Bod y

This is the video that my brother watched in his biology class.
This video examines the marvels and mysteries of the human mind and body.
From brain implants to artificial intelligence, they explore the complexity and achievements of the human mind.