Friday, March 9, 2012

Got an ITCH for Biology?

Some of the most interesting functions (or malfunctions) of the nervous system are the things we understand the least. Why do amputees often feel their long-lost limbs? Why do we perform compulsive behaviors - like scratching an itch - when there isn't actually anything making us itchy? Read Dr. Atul Gawande's article 'The Itch,' and you need to respond and participate in this online discussion by the end of the day on Tuesday. You can use the questions below as a launching point, but it should be a discussion, responding to the article and other people's responses. (for 10 points, yes--better than a reading quiz!)
Some Questions to start your discussion:

1. What did you find interesting/fascinating/horrifying from this article? What would you like to explore more?

2. The patient 'M' experiences a strong, persistent itching sensation, but her doctors were not able to identify a medical basis for her itch. Do you think that M's itch was 'physical' or was it 'all in her head?'

3. Gawande states: "perception is the brain's best guess about what is happening in the outside world." How does this description of brain function relate to phantom limb pain?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Are Kids with Down Syndrome on the Road to Extinction?

We've just finished hearing about human genetic disorders. For most of these there is actually minimal treatment options and only support groups for parents. Here's an interesting article on one of the most common genetic disorders - Are Kids With Down Syndrome on the Road to Extinction?
What are your thoughts?
Please post by class on Monday, December 5th.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Power outage in San Diego

When I was checking up on the news this morning, I ran across this article on the black out in San Diego. I was curious to see what had happened, so I started reading it...and quickly became frustrated.

Why? What would make this article more valuable, if you were trying to prevent future occurrences, or even diagnose what went wrong?

Click here to read it.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Are you connected to the BioBlog?

Hey there, send me a quick note telling me and your classmates something about yourself.

Me? I love to sing and I enjoy hearing about new bands. See if you can figure out where I am in that shot of my a Capella group.

You should be able to sign into blogger using your College Prep email. Please include your name & period in your posting name so I can easily tell if you're in 5th or 6th period biology. Thanks!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Endocrine Hypothalamus and Pititary

Click here for a great animation, overview and quiz about the regulation and interaction of hormones.