Gerry Clarin

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Recent Posts by Gerry

Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:15 PM in DNA and RNA
We just finished a DNA extraction Lab and we were able to take some of the DNA slime and dye it with methyl blue stain to see the strands under the microscope. Most DNA extraction labs you have to use a blender. If you don't have a blender you can use Wheat Germ and you don't have to blend it.

Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:07 PM in Rat Dissection
Has anyone ever did a rat dissection that lasted more than one period? Our school ordered white rats and all of our teachers only do it for one class period. I wanted to know if anyone does it for more than one period. Also if anyone could weigh in on the pros and cons for doing it one way or another.

Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:41 PM in DNA and RNA
I have a question on transcription. If someone asked you to transcribe an RNA sequence from a particular DNA sequence. For example GACTGCATA. Would the answer be this GACUGCAUA or this CUGACGUAU. For some reason by brain wants to pick the first answer because transcibe means to copy but when I looked at the answer key it was the second answer. This is my first year teaching biology could someone p...





Recent Reviews by Gerry


Tue May 22, 2012 2:57 AM
5 Science of Food Safety
This is a review of the Sci Guide Science of Food Safety This Sci Guide is broken down into four topics. 1 Understanding Bacteria, 2 Farm, 3 Processing and Transportation, 4 Retail and Home and 5 Outbreak and Future Technology. The flow of this Sci Guide takes you on the same journey your food goes on starting from the farm and ending on your plate. Bacteria is one of the leading causes of foodborne illnesses. It can be found everywhere and can spread extremely fast. In this part of the Sci Guide you have websites that help you classify various types of bacteria, information on the safe handling of food, and how the government responds to a report of contaminated food. My favorite website is a website http://www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsafety takes you through 4 lesson plans that give you tons of information about food safety. I especially like the acronym F.A.T.T.O.M. which explains the various factors that allow foodborne pathogens to grow: Food, Acidity, Time, Temperature, Oxygen, and Moisture. Food that contains harmful substances and / or pathogenic microorganisms can cause food borne illness. The section titled farm takes you to a list of websites that explain the various organizations associated with the government such as the USDA, FDA and the CDC. This section clarifies the various government departments associated with protecting us getting sick from our food. Food is cleaned and packaged before it’s shipped to various locations around the world. The section on processing and transportation takes you to various websites that explain the different ways food products can be treated to protect you from bacteria. Irradiation, pasteurization and UHP are highlighted in this section. Once food is in our care we need to educate ourselves on the steps we need to take to protect ourselves from foodborne illness. In the section called retail and home we take the responsibility of protecting ourselves from bacteria using the 4 C’s of food safety, chilling, cooking, cleaning, and combating cross contamination. In this section you will find helpful websites, lessons, and activities to educate yourself and your students on the 4 C’s. Even though our food system is as clean as it ever was. We need to protect ourselves from new pathogens and bacterial resistance to our methods of treatment. In the section titled outbreak and future technology we learn how epidemiologists can use molecular technology to trace the source of a foodborne illness outbreak. This Sci Guide provides more than enough material and information to make a robust unit on food safety. You have many angles and ways to use this Sci guide to teach food safety along with any biological topic you cover. If you’re teaching ecology you can tie that in to the farming section. If you’re studying DNA you can relate that to the way scientist use DNA finger printing to find patterns and points of origin.


Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:07 PM
4 Resources and Human Impact 9-12
The Resources and Human Impact (9-12) SciGuide is a great resource to help you integrate the study of population growth and alternative energy in to your curriculum. This SciGuide is organized by four themes  1) Addressing Resource Use, 2) Environment as a System, 3) Environmental Degradation and 4) Impact of Technology on Human Population Growth and the Environment. Addressing Resource Use was a collection of websites that took you through your use of electricity, your carbon footprint and your use of water. The websites contain various activities that are meant to show you how your daily activities impact the environment. The website http://science5.greenlearning.ca/sectionE.php takes the student through their home to investigate all the things that use electricity. I found that some of the links didn’t take you directly to the information but to the main website where you had to look around a bit to find what you were looking for. Humans in the ecosystem was a collection of websites that explained the different parts of the ecosystem and how human impact affects the environment. The urban ecosystems lesson plan would be a great starting point for your students because it is well designed and comes complete with assessments. Environmental Degradation was a collection of websites that takes you through the depletion of resources. There were lots of resources that emphasized the importance of clean water.  There are also many resources about human waste and how it affects air quality, produces acid rain and increases landfills. Impact of Technology on Human Population growth and the Environment was a collection of websites that talked about the relationship between the human need for alternative energy and its impact on the environment.  The following website http://www.technologystudent.com/energy1/engex.htm which was titled technology and the environment was the best resource in this Sci Guide. The website goes through a list of alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, sea/ tidal, wave, hydro, geothermal, bio fuels and nuclear.  There are also worksheets that can be printed out to use as a formal assessment. The Sci Guide also includes additional flash resources. I liked exponential bacterial growth which was a flash that showed how long it took for a single bacteria cell to grow in a pertri dish.  I found it to be a great way to get students think about limiting factors.  


Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:27 AM
4 Genetics
The Genetics High School Sci Guide is a good resource to help you teach how physical characteristics are transmitted from parent to offspring. The Sci Guide provides teaching resources organized into three themes Biotechnology, Inheritance and Molecular and Cellular Genetics. The Sci Guide touches on cloning, forensics, genetic engineering, genome mapping, genetic disorders, nature vs. nurture, gene expression and mutations. One topic that I enjoyed using was the topic of epigenetics. I really enjoyed showing the video Ghost in you genes which talked about how what you do in your life time can actually turn off and turn on the genes in your offspring. Along with video there are lots of interactive websites involving building DNA and Cell reproduction.