Junior Year Flashback

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Through out my entire junior year, I have learned the most valuable lesson, in my opinion. I have learned to turn in my work when it is due. Life is so much easier when you just do what you have to do, and turn it in at the right time. It doesn’t matter whether you finished it the night before or three weeks prior, as long as you turn it in on time.

This year I have made a video. Though the intense editing of the video made me not want to make a video every again, I did make the video.

I piece that I am most proud is the nine page novel that I started in Ms. Lewicki’s creative writing class. I am also proud of the Op-Ed that I wrote in the beginning of the year.

The most challenging objective was at the year in AP Biology. I had to read an entire book and write a summery for each chapter, in two weeks. That was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. But I overcame. I did it, and passed.

I would tell myself to not procrastinate. I would inform me of the extreme amounts of stress that comes with waiting until the last second to do a project, or with not studying.

My goals for next year is to graduate in the top ten in the class. Not top ten percent, but top ten ranks.

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Through the Stars

A cool breeze dances around the hot concrete, blowing up into the cool grass. While starring into the night sky, my mind drifts in and out of deep thoughts. It was then when I realized that I love space. It was then when I started to theorize about what is beyond the known universe, and what different dimensions hold.

If I had a ticket, I would go beyond the known universe. I would travel further than space reaches, or to where the next dimension begins. I want to enter a new plane where every equation that humans have made doesn’t apply. I want to go into a dimension where scientific laws are yet to be made. Where the entire world is ready for fresh discoveries and yearning for magnificent learners.

I have always been quietly curious. I’ve never asked people a lot of questions, I just watched and learned. But the question that I constantly ask myself seems to be, “What if.” If I were to travel passed the universe I would answer about 95 percent of those questions. I would know if there is an end to the universe, and if there is an end to the universe I would know what is passed it. On the way to the edge of the universe, I would travel to different planets for exploration. I would be on the ultimate search for new life. The vastness of space is too open. There has to be another planet where there is some kind of organism.

The only negatives to traveling that far is that I could find something that the human race is not ready for yet. I may happen to see something that we have no equations or even words to grasp the idea. Also the fact that traveling through space requires an unlimited amount of oxygen. I would have to be able to easily produce breathable air.

Besides finding new scientific evidence to further human’s knowledge of the cosmos, I want to see the sites. I can feel the experience of my eyes opening at the site of the wide colorful clouds of  stardust and other space particles. Of the glorious white stars that seem like they aren’t beyond my reach. Of the mesmerizing systems that have every color of the spectrum.

If was able to go anywhere in all of space and time, I would follow my childhood dreams. I would explore the unknown universe, and if the universe has an end, explore the next dimension. I would be back 11 years ago, wondering about space. But this time I’m not just going to look at the stars, this time I would be dancing with them.

Birds as Evidence of Evolution

Natural Selection: http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/widowbirds.pdf

Natural selection is when a species has a favorable genotype and the further generations have the favorable gene. A group of scientist observed Widowbirds to find mating and breeding cycles. They found that during the nonbreeding season of the Widowbirds both male and female birds have a brown color that assists them in hiding in grass and other vegetation. From this we can assume that Widowbirds with drab brown coloring had a greater chance of surviving attacks from predators, while those that did not could not survive and reproduce. to hide from predators during the nonbreeding season. We could also assume that there could have been Widowbirds that aren’t brown during nonbreeding season and we eaten because they could not camouflage.

 

Sexual Selection: http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/widowbirds.pdf

Sexual selection is when females of a species favor a certain phenotype. While studying the Widowbirds, the scientist also noticed that during the breeding season the males molt and produce black feathers, and characteristic red and other colored feathers. The scientist also found that the longer the tail length, the more active nests the males have. The graph below shows the results of the the tail length in birds and the amount of active nest they have.

Capture

Mutation: http://biologos.org/blogs/archive/evidence-for-evolution-in-the-mouths-of-birds

The reptilian ancestors of current birds have been found to have teeth. But it seems that birds without teeth have become dominant. To find what happened scientist conducted an experiment. They took a layer of cells in the mouth region of a mouse embryo and placed them in the mouth region of a developing chick embryo. Then after the chick developed, they found that within the beak of the bird they found teeth. From this we can assume that birds have the genetic material for teeth, but the gene is not active. These birds mutated a “shutdown” message that stopped the production of it’s own teeth.

 

Genetic Drift: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3634030/

Genetic Drift is when disasters happen to the species and a few are left to recreate the population. This causes there to be a large amount of the same alleles. The Mallee Emu-wren Stipiturus mallee is an endangered bird that lives in an area where it is prone to fire. The direct effects of large fires is population bottlenecks, serial local extinctions, and recolonization. This leads to low genetic variation. Low genetic variation means that there is a less chance of the best genes to prosper, and the species can’t evolve. These natural disasters are causing the Mallee Emu-wren to go extinct.

 

Gene Flow: http://txtbba.tamu.edu/species-accounts/monk-parakeet/

http://kut.org/post/why-plans-move-austins-monk-parakeets-could-get-nest-y

Gene flow is migration and mixing of two different gene pools. Monk parakeets moved from Argentina to the United States through a legal pet trade. They were considered pest in Argentina, so there was a lot of them. The species has become very common, and are growing rapidly. At first they were popular and widely purchased as pets, due to their low price and flashy personality. They were, possibly, set free by owners and now populate areas as wild birds. They seemed to grow more wild attitudes after their release. Now the University of Texas at Austin has to solve the problem of moving the snappy birds from their nest on top of telephone poles, to a bird sanctuary.

Final Proposal

  1. I am going to respond to prompt C.
  2. I chose this prompt because it is open for a lot of creativity. You can choose any place, being fiction or nonfiction.
  3. The genre I’m going to do is live story telling.
  4. I chose this genre because I strongly dislike making and editing videos.
  5. I plan to do this by May 25 by writing while I’m at home, and taking care of my business while I’m in class.

Cell Signaling Summative Project

My group and I researched how cells “communicate” in the brain neurons to create long-term memory. What we found is that, depending on how strong of a shock is sent, a certain amount of ligands, called glutamates, is released due to the shock. The glutamates will insert itself into a receptor, which in turn allows sodium (Na+) to enter the now open receptor. In the event of a strong shock, more sodium flows into the receptor. This positively charged sodium causes the positively charged magnesium (Mg+) to repel away from the other receptor which allows calcium (Ca+2) to enter. This strong shock is how long-term memory works in cells.

The video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5Sihv4gNfm_ME9fZmlkdVRteWM/view