Monday, September 26, 2011


Today in Biology we did the Enzyme lab. In the lab we used Catalase,hydrogen Peroxide, water, Sucrose solution, HCI solution, distiled water, NaOH sulution and three different temperatures to test the different speeds of reations by measuring bubbles made in each test tube. There were four different parts of this experiment.
in each of the four peices of the experiment, three testubes studied

Part I. Does catalase break down one specific substrate?

In each of thees three experiments 1 CM of one substance and 5 CM of another substance were added to each other in their test tubes. After the second substance was added to the first it was immidiatley swirled to mix and then after 20 second of waiting, each test tubes bubles were measured.

Part II. Effect of temperature on Enzyme activity

This experiment is very similar to the first as in measurments of substsnaces added but after the first substance was added to the three test tubes each one was put into one of three temperature controled areas. An incubater, a fridge, and boiling water. After 15 minutes the second substance was added to the tube, then swirled and measured.

Part III. Effect of Enzyme Concentration Catalase Activity

The first testube followed the same procedures as all the test tubes in Part I. Tube 2 followed the same instructions except the first mark was two centemiters and the second was six. As before, tube 3 follows the same procedures except the measurments were 3 and 7 centimeters.

Part IV. Effect of pH on Catalase Activity

The three test tubes in this last part only are simmilar to the other parts as in they were still swiredl to mix and waited 20 seconds before measuring but this time, before the swirl the tubes must si with the sullotion out for a minute and the measurments were different. the measurments were 1 CM, 3 CM, 7CM. Each tube had 1 CM of Catalase and two other substances.

The h0mework for tomarrow is pre lab on pages 23-26

Next Scribe: Jackson

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Today in class, we picked up where we left off in our yellow notes packet (from "What is an ENZYME?"). Some key vocabulary as defined in the packet:

  1. Enzyme: specialized proteins which function as catalysts
  2. Catalysts: speed up the rate of a chemical reaction without being used up itself (it is reused, or recycled)
  3. Activation Energy: the amount of energy needed to stimulate the reactants to react in a chemical reaction.
  4. pH: (potential hydrogen) the measurement of how acidic or basic a liquid solution is
  5. Ion: a charged particle that has either gained or lost an electron
  6. Acids: chemical compounds that give H+ ions to solutions
  7. Bases: compounds that accept H+ ions and remove them from a solution
  8. Neutral: a solution in which the concentration of H+ and OH- ions are equal
  9. Substrate: a specific molecule that an enzyme recognizes to bind with
And then important ideas we discussed in class (also from the yellow notes packet):

  • Protein Structure:
a. Primary Structure:

a SPECIFIC sequence of amino acids (any slight change could cause the protein to
not function properly)

b. Secondary Structure:
Held together by hydrogen bonds along the backbone (an alpha helix/pleated sheet)
c. Tertiary Structure:
Held together by chemical bonds between the side groups (3D in shape)

d. Quaternary Structure:
protein that consists of 2 or more polypeptide chains + the bonding of these chains

  • Proteins are polymers of amino acid monomers
  • Types of proteins= structural, storage, contractile, transport, defensive, signal, enzymes (important for our bodies to function)
  • Ways to speed up a chemical reaction:
  1. heat mixture in a lab (however, not for cells--too much heat may result in the shutting down of cells)
  2. decrease in activation energy:
the enzyme binds to the reactant molecules making it easier to break their bonds
  • Enzymes are affected by:
  • temperature
  • pH
  • concentration
  • specificity
  • UP p. 7-18 ("Enzymes are Everywhere" lab)
  • Extra Credit Sheet
  • Internet Biochemistry Tutorial p. 4 (for review)... Site on p. 5, #3 under "More Internet Activities"

Also, we got our Chapter 18 and 19 quiz back. Be sure to prepare for Monday's "Enzymes are Everywhere" lab!

Next Scribe: Michael

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Today we started Unit 2, which is about cells and organic chemistry. We took notes in our yellow packet. Here are some important notes:

  • Carbon atoms can bond to four atoms

  • Carbon skeletons can be long and may be branched or unbranched

  • Four macromolecules (biological molecules) are: proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids (DNA & RNA)

  • Hydrocarbons are the simplest organic compounds

  • Three different ways to show bonds are: structural formula, ball-and-stick model (they are 3D and show that the angles are congruent for each atom), and the space-filling model

  • Functional groups are reactive

  • A molecule can have one OR more than one functional groups attached

  • Amino acids have 1 hydrogen atom, 2 functional groups (amino and carboxyl), and a side group (R), which is different for all 20 amino acids

  • Monomers: A chemical subunit that serves as a building block for polymers

  • Polymers: A macromolecule consisting of many monomers (identical or similar) bonded together (form a peptide bond, a polypeptide has around 100 amino acids)

  • Dehydration Synthesis: (Dehydration = removing water) Monomers form a polymer - taking H (hydrogen) from one molecule and OH (alcohol) from the other molecule

  • Hydrolysis: (Hydro = water, lysis = to break) A polymer is broken down into monomers - splitting


  • Monosaccharides: (Mono = single, sacchar = sugar) Simple sugars (formula for sugar is C6H12O6)...ex. glucose and fructose

  • Disaccharides: (Di = two) Formed by dehydration synthesis of two monosaccharides...ex. maltose and sucrose

  • Almost all carbohydrates are hydropholic (water loving - dissolves in water)


  • Poly = many

  • Starch ~ found in plants, glucose monomers, linear

  • Glycogen ~ found in animals & human livers, stores excess sugar, branched

  • Cellulose ~ found in plants, most abundant organic compound, can't be hydrolyzed (broken down by water...remember hydrolysis)


  • Fats

  • Hydrophobic: (water fearing - don't mix with water)...Oil and water

  • Glycerol + 3 Fatty Acids (triglyceride)

  • Use dehydration synthesis to bind glycerol and fatty acids


  • Hydrophobic - classified as lipids

  • Cholesterol: necessary for body functioning, base to produce other steroids

  • Anabolic Steroids: variation of testosterone, makes muscle cells enlarge

  • Steroid use causes many medical issues, like organ damage, infertility, and birth defects

  • Effects on Teens: life expectancy goes down, livers grow tumors, guys grow breasts/girls grow beards (gender mix-up), messes up hormones


  • Primary Structure: Specific sequence of amino acids, linear, slight changes can affect proteins ability to function

  • Secondary Structure: Alpha Helix (like a spiral staircase) and pleated sheet (like a folded piece of paper) - held together by hydrogen bonds

  • Tertiary Structure: 3D, held by chemical bonds between side groups

  • Quaternary Structure: Protein - consists of two or more polypeptide chains

  • Proteins are polymers of amino acid monomers

  • Types of proteins: structural, storage, contractile, transport, defensive, signal, and enzymes

  • Enzyme: type of protein that acts as a catalyst (speeds up rate of chemical reaction, "recycled" - doesn't use itself up), lowers activation energy (amount of energy needed to stimulate reactants to react in a chemical reaction)

  • Metabolism: Chemical reactions occuring inside an oganism collectively


  • Provide directions for building proteins

  • DNA (genetic material - genes) & RNA (helps translate genetic code to make proteins)

Next Scribe: Emma

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ch. 20 cont.

Today was pretty laid back. First we finished the last page of our chapter 20, which was about why other animals/biodiversity matters, and the nagetive effect of humans on the enviorment, and the dangers of further expoloitation.
Then we had to do pages 73-75. In those pages, you get 20,000$ to spend on things that would help the enviormens, each costing a different amount of money. After doing that, we had to write a paragraph about what we chose to fund, and why. we didn't do
Lastly, we got an article about global warming, whether it is a hoax or not, and a worksheet called "The Last word..." with a few questions on the back about if you think global warming is or isn't a hoax.
next: Kiran

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ch. 20- Human Impact on the Enviroment

First watched one movie.
Key points:
Ecological succession
the process of biological community change resulting from disturbance; transition in the species composition of a biological community, often following a flood, fire, or volcano eruption.
There are two forms of ecological succession: primary and secondary
primary succession- community arises in a virtually lifeless area with no soil
secondary succession- occurs where a disturbance has destroyed an existing community but left the soil intact
Ex. of primary succession: glaciers, starting clean slate
Ex. of secondary succession: fire, landslides, farming
There are three steps in primary succession: 1. lightens 2. colonize 3. mature forest
Solid rock supports life because primary succession starts on rocks. Soon soil formation break the rock's edges and then early colonizers like fungi and low levels of nitrogen grow creating a mature forest. A mature forest consists of a diversity of tree species, slow growing, as well as more nutrients.
Basically creation of barren land is succession.


Humans have greatest impact on the communities worldwide. Examples include logging, cleaning for housing, farming, reduction of species diversity


Environmental problems:
Introduced species: humans accidentally or intentionally move species which they prey on native organisms and out compete native species.
e.x. zebra mussels, fungus, European starlings..
Eutrophication: over fertilization of lakes because sewage outflow, agricultural fertilizers, and pesticides which create heavy algal and bacteria which can suffocate aerobic life including fish.
Deforestation: amount of nutrients leaving an intact forest ecosystem is controlled by plants: no trees=loss of nutrients
Toxic chemical: Store up in fat and magnify up the food chain which creates biological magnification
e.x. DDT, PCB, mercury
Global Warming- marked increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations because of burning of fossil fuels and wood/deforestation
warming of 2 degrees C=melting of polar ice caps, raise sea level, coastal cities would be underwater, alter precipitation affecting agriculture
Ozone Layer Depletion- Use of chlorofluorocarbons(refrigeration and aerosol cans)
ozone layer protects us from IV radiation which could increase incidence of skin cancer, cataracts, damage crops, and phytoplankton.
ozone layer over Antarctica
Biodiversity Crisis: decline of Earth's diversity in ecosystems
losing species
3 main reasons:
habitat destruction(land, wetland)
introduced species-eliminate native species(starlings and pigeons replaced native birds)
Overpopulation-too much harvest or hunting(whales, rhino, marine turtles)



Monday, September 12, 2011


1. Tundra
Climate: Cold, harsh winters
Temperature Range: 0-10 degrees Celsius
Annual Precipitation: Less than 25 cm
Precipitation Type: mostly snow, but water thaws during summer
Soil: Frozen layer of topsoil, 1 meter thick, called permafrost
Flora:Short growing season (due to permafrost and dark months) yield shrubs, mosses, lichens and small vegetation. Nothing large can be sustained.
Fauna:Wolves, foxes, caribou, polar bears, wolverine, raven
Video (on trophic structure of tundra):
  • Wolves: keep caribou populations collectively healthy by removing sick and elderly. They hunt as a pack, pick an ailing caribou to hunt, and then injure it. They follow the scent and bright red trail of the blood in order to make the final kill. Once killed, each adult member of the pack eats about 20 lb of flesh before leaving the carcass for other members of the community.
  • Caribou: Prey of many predatory species. Has developed acute sense of smell to locate food under permafrost and avoid predators.
  • Raven: Scavengers which look for blood in the snow to find caribou carcasses
  • Wolverines: sometimes challenge wolves for caribou carcasses and eat off their kill
  • Foxes: Do not bother wolves or wolverines, just take what they can and leave the carcass


2. Coniferous Forest (Taiga)
Climate: Long cold winters, short wet summers (warm but not hot)
Annual Precipitation: 35-75 cm
Precipitation Type: mostly snow
Soil: Nutrient poor, thin, acidic
Flora: Coniferous evergreens such as pines, spruce, and fir
Fauna: Mountain lions, moose, wolves, black bears, birds, hares

3.Temperate Deciduous Forest
Climate: Very cold winter, hot summer. Definite seasons.
Temperature Range: -30 to 30 degrees
Annual Precipitation: 75- 125 cm
Precipitation Type: Even precipitation, varied precipitation type
Soil: Rich in nutrients (composed of decomposed leaves)
Flora: Deciduous trees (elm, beech, maple), layers of vegetation
Fauna: Foxes, opossums, deer, squirrels, bees, cardinals, moose, bears,

4. Temperate Grasslands
Temperature Range: 5-22 degrees Celsius
Annual Precipitation: 25- 75 cm
Precipitation Type: Uneven rainfall (enough to support grasses but not trees)
Soil: Enriched by glacial deposits, decaying matter. Good for farmland.
Flora: Grasses dominate with scattered trees. Humans have introduced corn and wheat crops as agricultural products farmed in this biome.
Fauna: Bison, antelopes, grasshoppers, gophers, hawks, prairie dogs

5. Chaparral (Temperal Shrubs)
Climate: Mild rainy winters, hot dry summers
Temperature Range: 10-30 degrees Celsius
Annual Precipitation: 20-60 cm
Soil: Periodic fires release nutrients and cause some seeds to germinate
Flora: Spiny shrubs, evergreen trees
Fauna: Deer, birds, rodents, lizards, snakes

6. Savanna
Climate: Warm year-round. Two dry seasons and one wet season.
Annual Precipitation: ~120 cm per year
Precipitation Type: Rain, collected in scattered watering holes
Soil: Average.
Flora: Drought and frequent fires prevent many large trees from growing, but grasses and some scattered trees are present.
Fauna: Giraffes, cheetahs, lions, large grazing mammals, gazelles, gophers, snakes, mice, zebra, antelope

  • One third of the continent of Africa is savanna
  • Large amounts of lush grass to feed on
  • During dry season, the grass dies down and grazing species must move elsewhere to find food


7. Desert
Climate: Dry for most of the year, hot during the day and cold during the night
Annual Precipitation: Less than 25 cm
Precipitation Type: Sparse flash floods cause fast but intense flooding a few times each year.
Soil: Dry, can sustain little vegetation
Flora: Sparse and widely spread vegetation, cacti
Fauna: Birds, rodents, lizards, snakes,hawks

  • Subtropic
  • Rain shadow- warm, moist air (from areas such as ocean coasts) is pulled towards mountains through orographic lifting (air mass moves higher in altitude as terrain rises). The top of mountains are much cooler due to higher altitude, and the moisture in the air condenses over the mountains and leaves the air in the form of precipitation. When the air finally travels to the other side of the mountain, it is very dry. The lack of moisture creates deserts.
  • Usually extremely dry, except for the occasional flash flood
  • Plants have adapted to the dryness of the desert by storing water inside them (cacti), conserving water (growing in the shadow of others to prevent water loss through evaporation), or tapping into underground water reservoirs
  • Animals have adapted to the scorching hot days by finding shelter from the sun
  • Mostly herbivores, small insects and mammals, lizards and scavengers- desert cannot sustain much loss of biomass through too many trophic levels


8. Rainforest
Climate: Near equator, so temperatures are relatively constant. Warm,wet, and humid, with no cold season.
Temperature: ~25 degrees Celsius
Precipitation: Over 200 cm, daily rainfall, high humidity
Precipitation Type: Lots of rain
Soil: Fertile but thin.
Flora: Incredible biodiversity, including epiphytes, carnivorous plants, a variety of trees and flowers
Fauna: Incredible biodiversity of amphibians, snakes, lizards, mammals (such as a wide array of monkeys), insects (such as leafcutter ant), hummingbirds, etc.

  • One third of Earth's species reside in rainforest habitats
  • Human deforestation causes extinction of many species and disturbs many communities


*The picture button wasn't working, but if I can get it to work later I'll post some more*


Sunday, September 11, 2011


ch. 19 notes
properties of a communtiy
-form of vegitation
-trophic structures
interactions in communities
-interspecific competition
-ecological niche
-resource parting
-predator abdaptation
-plant defence
-animal defence
-batesian mimicry
-mullerian mimicry
-keystone mimicry
symbiotic relationships
disturbances in ecosystems
-ecological succession
-primary succession
-secondary succession
-pioneer species
-climax community
ecosystem dynamics
-energy flow
-chemical cycling
-food chain/ food web (producers, herbivoresprimary consumer, canrivores, secondary comsumers, tetriary consumers, quaternary consumers, detritivores[decomposers], omnivores)
chemical cycling in ecosystems
-nitrogen cycle
-phosphorus cycle
-water cycle

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Movies on Population and Communities

Watched 2 movies.
Key points:
Movie #1: populations
Populations grow and change
different populations grow @ different rates
will always eventually stop
niche= way population gets thing it needs and interacts w/ surrounding area, other species
populations depend on each other
small organisms with high birthrates and a short life span typically have boom-bust growth cycles
Small Predators can have a greater impact on prey populations
some birds have behavior instincts that reduce crowding and competition
populations can be impacted by interactions w/ same species

Movie #2: Communities

can be open or closed
open=can have interactions w/ other communities
closed=residents are trapped
4 types of relationships: Symbiotic, parasitism, mutualism and cominsolism sorry don't know how 2 spell :(
Symbiotic= species are totally dependent on each other
cominsolism=one benefits, other is unharmed
parasitism=one benefits, other is harmed/killed
if killed=predation
mutualism=both benefit

Next scribe: JakeP

Wednesday, September 7, 2011