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7.4 Matter Cycling & Photosynthesis - Unit Overview
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This unit on matter cycling and photosynthesis begins with students reflecting on what they ate for breakfast. Students are prompted to consider where their food comes from and consider which breakfast items might be from plants. Then students taste a common breakfast food, maple syrup, and see that according to the label, it is 100% from a tree.

Based on the preceding unit, students argue that they know what happens to the sugar in syrup when they consume it. It is absorbed into the circulatory system and transported to cells in their body to be used for fuel. Students explore what else is in food and discover that food from plants, like bananas, peanut butter, beans, avocado, and almonds, not only have sugars but proteins and fats as well. This discovery leads them to wonder how plants are getting these food molecules and where a plant’s food comes from.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
07/02/2021
ATP: The Fuel of Life
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CC BY-NC-SA
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The goal of this lesson is to introduce students who are interested in human biology and biochemistry to the subtleties of energy metabolism (typically not presented in standard biology and biochemistry textbooks) through the lens of ATP as the primary energy currency of the cell. Avoiding the details of the major pathways of energy production (such as glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation), this lesson is focused exclusively on ATP, which is truly the fuel of life. Starting with the discovery and history of ATP, this lesson will walk the students through 8 segments (outlined below) interspersed by 7 in-class challenge questions and activities, to the final step of ATP production by the ATP synthase, an amazing molecular machine. A basic understanding of the components and subcellular organization (e.g. organelles, membranes, etc.) and chemical foundation (e.g. biomolecules, chemical equilibrium, biochemical energetics, etc.) of a eukaryotic cell is a desired prerequisite, but it is not a must. Through interactive in-class activities, this lesson is designed to spark the students’ interest in biochemistry and human biology as a whole, but could serve as an introductory lesson to teaching advanced concepts of metabolism and bioenergetics in high school depending on the local science curriculum. No supplies or materials are needed.

Subject:
Life Science
Biology
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT Blossoms
Author:
Christian Schubert
Date Added:
07/02/2021
Adaptations for Bird Flight – Inspiration for Aeronautical Engineering
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Educational Use
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This activity first asks the students to study the patterns of bird flight and understand that four main forces affect the flight abilities of a bird. They will study the shape, feather structure, and resulting differences in the pattern of flight. They will then look at several articles that feature newly designed planes and the birds that they are modeled after. The final component of this activity is to watch the Nature documentary, "Raptor Force" which chronicles the flight patterns of birds, how researchers study these animals, and what interests our military and aeronautical engineers about these natural adaptations. This activity serves as an extension to the biomimetics lesson. Although students will not be using this information in the design process for their desert resort, it provides interesting information pertaining to the current use of biomimetics in the field of aviation. Students may extend their design process by using this information to create a means of transportation to and from the resort if they chose to.

Subject:
Engineering
Life Science
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Advanced Animal Behavior, Spring 2000
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CC BY-NC-SA
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Reviews selected issues including learning, cognition, perception, foraging and feeding, migration and navigation, defense, and social activities including conflict, collaboration, courtship and reproduction, and communication. The interacting contributions of environment and heredity are examined and the approaches of psychology, ethology, and ecology to this area of study are treated. The relation of human behavior patterns to those of nonhuman animals is explored. Additional readings and a paper are required for graduate credit.

Subject:
Biology
Psychology
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Schneider, Gerald
Date Added:
01/01/2000
Affect: Biological, Psychological, and Social Aspects of Feelings, Spring 2013
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CC BY-NC-SA
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This course studies the relations of affect to cognition and behavior, feeling to thinking and acting, and values to beliefs and practices. These connections will be considered at the psychological level of organization and in terms of their neurobiological and sociocultural counterparts.

Subject:
Biology
Psychology
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Chorover, Stephan
Date Added:
01/01/2009
Algae: Tiny Plants with Big Energy Potential
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Students are introduced to biofuels, biological engineers, algae and how they grow (photosynthesis), and what parts of algae can be used for biofuel (biomass from oils, starches, cell wall sugars). Through this lesson, plants—and specifically algae—are presented as an energy solution. Students learn that breaking apart algal cell walls enables access to oil, starch, and cell wall sugars for biofuel production. Students compare/contrast biofuels and fossil fuels. They learn about the field of biological engineering, including what biological engineers do. A 20-slide PowerPoint® presentation is provided that supports students taking notes in the Cornell format. Short pre- and post-quizzes are provided. This lesson prepares students to conduct the associated activity in which they make and then eat edible algal cell models.

Subject:
Engineering
Life Science
Biology
Chemistry
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Lessons
Author:
Lauren Jabusch
Date Added:
05/16/2017
Allied Health Microbiology
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CC BY-NC-SA
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In this textbook the focus will be on the bacteria and archaea (traditionally known as the “prokaryotes,”) and the viruses and other acellular agents.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Textbook
Provider:
Oregon State University
Author:
Linda Bruslind
Date Added:
07/07/2021
The Amazing Buckyball: How to Track Nanomaterials in the Human Body
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Students learn how nanoparticles can be creatively used for medical diagnostic purposes. They learn about buckminsterfullerenes, more commonly known as buckyballs, and about the potential for these complex carbon molecules to deliver drugs and other treatments into the human body. They brainstorm methods to track buckyballs in the body, then build a buckyball from pipe cleaners with a fluorescent tag to model how nanoparticles might be labeled and detected for use in a living organism. As an extension, students research and select appropriate radioisotopes for different medical applications.

Subject:
Engineering
Life Science
Biology
Chemistry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Diana Gano
Donna Tate
Date Added:
09/07/2018
Analysis of Biological Networks (BE.440), Fall 2004
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This class analyzes complex biological processes from the molecular, cellular, extracellular, and organ levels of hierarchy. Emphasis is placed on the basic biochemical and biophysical principles that govern these processes. Examples of processes to be studied include chemotaxis, the fixation of nitrogen into organic biological molecules, growth factor and hormone mediated signaling cascades, and signaling cascades leading to cell death in response to DNA damage. In each case, the availability of a resource, or the presence of a stimulus, results in some biochemical pathways being turned on while others are turned off. The course examines the dynamic aspects of these processes and details how biochemical mechanistic themes impinge on molecular/cellular/tissue/organ-level functions. Chemical and quantitative views of the interplay of multiple pathways as biological networks are emphasized. Student work will culminate in the preparation of a unique grant application in an area of biological networks.

Subject:
Biology
Chemistry
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Essigmann, John
Sasisekharan, Ram
Date Added:
01/01/2004
Animal Behavior, Fall 2013
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CC BY-NC-SA
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Most of the major categories of adaptive behavior can be seen in all animals. This course begins with the evolution of behavior, the driver of nervous system evolution, reviewed using concepts developed in ethology, sociobiology, other comparative studies, and in studies of brain evolution. The roles of various types of plasticity are considered, as well as foraging and feeding, defensive and aggressive behavior, courtship and reproduction, migration and navigation, social activities and communication, with contributions of inherited patterns and cognitive abilities. Both field and laboratory based studies are reviewed; and finally, human behavior is considered within the context of primate studies.

Subject:
Biology
Ecology
Psychology
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Schneider, Gerald
Date Added:
01/01/2013
Animal Diversity
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CC BY
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The lessons presented in this module on animal diversity are based on the social constructivist theory of learning. Learners construct their own understanding and develop their own skills, both individually and as part of a peer group. The activities presented here will help you, but a large part of the responsibility rests on you, in the aim of fostering learner empowerment.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Module
Provider:
African Virtual University
Provider Set:
OER@AVU
Author:
Rabotovao, Laurence Joséphine
Date Added:
07/13/2021
Antibiotics, Toxins, and Protein Engineering, Spring 2007
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The lethal poison Ricin (best known as a weapon of bioterrorism), Diphtheria toxin (the causative agent of a highly contagious bacterial disease), and the widely used antibiotic tetracycline have one thing in common: They specifically target the cell's translational apparatus and disrupt protein synthesis. In this course, we will explore the mechanisms of action of toxins and antibiotics, their roles in everyday medicine, and the emergence and spread of drug resistance. We will also discuss the identification of new drug targets and how we can manipulate the protein synthesis machinery to provide powerful tools for protein engineering and potential new treatments for patients with devastating diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy. This course is one of many Advanced Undergraduate Seminars offered by the Biology Department at MIT. These seminars are tailored for students with an interest in using primary research literature to discuss and learn about current biological research in a highly interactive setting. Many instructors of the Advanced Undergraduate Seminars are postdoctoral scientists with a strong interest in teaching.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Sassanfar, Mandana
Date Added:
01/01/2007
Avoiding Genomic Instability: DNA Replication, the Cell Cycle, and Cancer, Fall 2006
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In this class we will learn about how the process of DNA replication is regulated throughout the cell cycle and what happens when DNA replication goes awry. How does the cell know when and where to begin replicating its DNA? How does a cell prevent its DNA from being replicated more than once? How does damaged DNA cause the cell to arrest DNA replication until that damage has been repaired? And how is the duplication of the genome coordinated with other essential processes? We will examine both classical and current papers from the scientific literature to provide answers to these questions and to gain insights into how biologists have approached such problems. This course is one of many Advanced Undergraduate Seminars offered by the Biology Department at MIT. These seminars are tailored for students with an interest in using primary research literature to discuss and learn about current biological research in a highly interactive setting. Many instructors of the Advanced Undergraduate Seminars are postdoctoral scientists with a strong interest in teaching.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Randell, John
Date Added:
01/01/2006
Bacteria Are Everywhere!
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Students are introduced to the concept of engineering biological organisms and studying their growth to be able to identify periods of fast and slow growth. They learn that bacteria are found everywhere, including on the surfaces of our hands. Student groups study three different conditions under which bacteria are found and compare the growth of the individual bacteria from each source. In addition to monitoring the quantity of bacteria from differ conditions, they record the growth of bacteria over time, which is an excellent tool to study binary fission and the reproduction of unicellular organisms.

Subject:
Engineering
Life Science
Biology
Chemistry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Jasmin Hume
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Basic Cell and Molecular Biology 3e: What We Know & How We Found Out
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
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A grasp of the logic and practice of science is essential to understand the rest of the world around us. To that end, the CMB3e iText (like earlier editions) remains focused on experimental support for what we know about cell and molecular biology, and on showing students the relationship of cell structure and function. Rather than trying to be a comprehensive reference book, CMB3e selectively details investigative questions, methods and experiments that lead to our understanding of cell biology. This focus is nowhere more obvious than in the chapter learning objectives and in external links to supplementary material. The Basic CMB3e version of the iText includes links to external web-sources as well as the author’s short, just-in-time YouTube VOPs (with edited, optional closed captions), all embedded in or near relevant text. Each video is identified with a descriptive title and video play and QR bar codes.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Textbook
Provider:
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Provider Set:
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Digital Commons
Author:
Gerald Bergtrom
Date Added:
07/07/2021
Bench to Bedside: Molecularly Targeted Therapies in Blood Disorders and Malignancy, Fall 2009
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CC BY-NC-SA
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Where do new drugs and treatments come from? This class will take you from the test tubes and mice of the laboratory to the treatment of patients with deadly blood disorders. Students will learn how to think as a scientist through discussion of primary research papers describing the discoveries of several novel treatments. Topics such as gene therapy, the potential of drugs based on RNA interference and the reprogramming of somatic cells into stem cells for regenerative medicine will be discussed. This course is one of many Advanced Undergraduate Seminars offered by the Biology Department at MIT. These seminars are tailored for students with an interest in using primary research literature to discuss and learn about current biological research in a highly interactive setting. Many instructors of the Advanced Undergraduate Seminars are postdoctoral scientists with a strong interest in teaching.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Flygare, Johan
Wong, Bill
Date Added:
01/01/2009
Bio-Engineering: Making and Testing Model Proteins
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Students act as if they are biological engineers following the steps of the engineering design process to design and create protein models to replace the defective proteins in a child’s body. Jumping off from a basic understanding of DNA and its transcription and translation processes, students learn about the many different proteins types and what happens if protein mutations occur. Then they focus on structural, transport and defense proteins during three challenges posed by the R&D; bio-engineering hypothetical scenario. Using common classroom supplies such as paper, tape and craft sticks, student pairs design, sketch, build, test and improve their own protein models to meet specific functional requirements: to strengthen bones (collagen), to capture oxygen molecules (hemoglobin) and to capture bacteria (antibody). By designing and testing physical models to accomplish certain functional requirements, students come to understand the relationship between protein structure and function. They graph and analyze the class data, then share and compare results across all teams to determine which models were the most successful. Includes a quiz, three worksheets and a reference sheet.

Subject:
Life Science
Biology
Measurement and Data
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Beth Podoll
Lauren Sako
Date Added:
06/07/2018
Biobased Products for a Sustainable (Bio)economy
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Have you ever asked what “biobased” means or wondered about the key aspects in developing and commercializing biobased products? This course will answer those questions and more; highlighting the opportunities, hurdles, and driving forces of the bioeconomy.

Today’s industries face enormous global challenges when it comes to the fossil-based economy. Fossil resources are no longer a desirable feedstock for many products and governments’ climate goals put various limitations to its usage. Moreover, consumer perception has become an increasingly important factor. With biobased products as an alternative to the fossil-based economy, the bioeconomy can provide viable solutions to these challenges.

The course describes the different types of biomass, the methods of refinery and typical conversion technologies used for biobased products. You’ll also engage in a study of the practical and real-life examples emerging in the market: biopolymers, bioenergy, bioflavours, and biosurfactants.

The course has been developed by a team of experts from seven different institutions and universities in three different countries, all sharing their personal perspectives on the opportunities and challenges faced by the biobased industry. The three top-ranked institutions Delft University of Technology, RWTH Aachen University, and Wageningen University & Research offer additional, more advanced courses to continue your learning journey:

Industrial Biotechnology: a more advanced course that digs deeper into engineering aspects of bio-based products.
MicroMasters Chemistry and Technology for Sustainability: Help drive the transition from fossil sources to renewable energy ones and engineer a biobased future.
Sustainable Development: The Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Introduction to sustainable development and its relation to the Water-Energy-Food Nexus.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Biology
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
Delft University of Technology
Provider Set:
Delft University OpenCourseWare
Author:
Dr. A. Wahl
Dr. F. Hollmann
Prof.dr. Patricia Osseweijer
Date Added:
07/14/2021
Biochemical Engineering, Spring 2005
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CC BY-NC-SA
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This course focuses on the interaction of chemical engineering, biochemistry, and microbiology. Mathematical representations of microbial systems are featured among lecture topics. Kinetics of growth, death, and metabolism are also covered. Continuous fermentation, agitation, mass transfer, and scale-up in fermentation systems, and enzyme technology round out the subject material.

Subject:
Biology
Chemistry
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Prather, Kristala
Date Added:
01/01/2005
Biodomes
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Educational Use
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Students explore the biosphere's environments and ecosystems, learning along the way about the plants, animals, resources and natural cycles of our planet. Over the course of lessons 2-6, students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems - exploring energy and nutrient flows, basic needs of plants and animals, and decomposers. Students learn about food chains and food webs. They are introduced to the roles of the water, carbon and nitrogen cycles. They test the effects of photosynthesis and transpiration. Students are introduced to animal classifications and interactions, including carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, predator and prey. They learn about biomimicry and how engineers often imitate nature in the design of new products. As everyday applications are interwoven into the lessons, students consider why a solid understanding of one's environment and the interdependence within ecosystems can inform the choices we make and the way we engineer our communities.

Subject:
Engineering
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Christopher Valenti
Denise W. Carlson
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
11/11/2008