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Draft Methods

Submitted by matjbaker on Fri, 03/31/2017 - 11:46

In order to find the most abundant microorganism on various mosses, each group will be assigned a different species of moss that will be collected from greenhouses on campus. The cushion of selected moss should be just a little smaller than the petri dish that will be used for the experiment. It may be helpful to remove any excess soil that may be present. The moss is then to be placed upside down in the petri dish, which is then filled with water. The moss may absorb all the water in the dish, so some water may need to be added. The moss should soak in the petri dish for at least a couple hours. When ready to be inspected, any excess water should be removed from the moss by gentle shaking.

After removing the moss, the petri dish of water is ready to observe. Place a black background underneath the dish and place the dish under a dissecting microscope with a magnification of x20. Lighting from the side of the petri dish will improve the visibility of microorganisms. Lastly, observe the diversity of microorganisms that came off of the moss.

 

Auditory System Perfect Paragraph

Submitted by matjbaker on Fri, 03/24/2017 - 11:46

     The pressure wave enters our ears through the outer ear and proceeds to interact with the tympanic membrane, also known as the ear drum. At the ear drum, the pressure wave is converted to vibration that is passed from the tympanic membrane to small bones in the ear known as ossicles. The ossicles act as a lever and pass the force along to the oval window. The ossicles are able to act like a lever because of the difference in surface area between the tympanic membrane and the oval window. The same amount of force applied over a smaller surface area results in greater pressure and allows for amplification of the signal.

Auditory System Journal

Submitted by matjbaker on Wed, 03/22/2017 - 17:01

Auditory sensation is essentially the transmission of matter waves in the environment into neuronal firing in our body. The pressure wave enters our ears through the outer ear and proceeds to interact with the tympanic membrane which is also known as the ear drum. At the ear drum, the pressure wave is converted to vibration that is passed from the tympanic membrane to small bones in the ear known as ossicles. These ossicles basically act as a lever and pass the force along to the oval window. The ossicles are able to act like a lever because of the difference in surface area between the tympanic membrane and the oval window. The same amount of force applied over a smaller surface area results in greater pressure and allows for amplification of the signal. The oval window then leads to the cochlea where you can find the basilar membrane and the tectorial membrane. The base of the basilar membrane is narrow and stiff which allows it to be stimulated by relatively high pitched sounds. The apex of the basilar membrane is is wide and floppy which allows it to transmit information from sound waves of lower frequencies. Sandwhiched between the basilar membrane and the tectorial membrane are hair cells that make up the organ of corti. When a force is exerted on these hair cells forcing them to bend, a mechanical gated ion channel is opened allowing an influx of potassium ions. The shift in membrane potential of the hair cell results in voltage-gated calcium channels on the cell to also open. This influx of calcium triggers vessicles containing a neurotransmitter called glutamate to be released from the cell. This glutamate interacts with ligand-gated ion channels on the post syanptic cell resulting in the firing of an action potential in ganglion neurites that is sent to the brain through the auditory nerve, also known as the 8th cranial nerve. This information travels through the brain stem to the medial geniculate nucleus and then finally to the auditory cortex which is located in the temporal lobe.

Journal China National Parks

Submitted by matjbaker on Mon, 03/20/2017 - 14:00

    Officials in China are planning to establish a national park that will potentially be 60% larger than Yellowstone. The conservation efforts of the park focus on two endangered big cats. The Amur leopard and the Siberian tiger are two of the rarest big cats on the planet, with their numbers at one point reaching lows of 30 and 40 respectively. Although China has had many areas designated to protecting wildlife, they were plagued with mismanagement and general inefficiency. They are bringing in help from the Paulson Institute in Chicago to help create a national park that will be effective and comparable to other national parks on the international level. China will begin with a series of smaller pilot parks over a three year period. This will provide immediate conservation effects and allow the government to work out any issues with the current park system.

Perfect Paragraph

Submitted by matjbaker on Fri, 03/10/2017 - 11:08

    At the bottom of the plant, there are no branches, however, higher up in the plant there are numerous branches. The branches are not symmetrical and contain a varying number of leaves on a given branch. The branches have hair like protrusions around where the leaves connect to the branch. The branches also have nodes and some of them have branches growing out of those nodes. The leaves seem to be bilaterally symmetrical with one prominent stem running through the middle. The leaves also have striations parallel to the stem. Some of the striations are more pronounced than others. The leaves are smooth to the touch and are very thin. Additionally, the leaves all have very straight edges. 

Philodendron bipinnatifidum

Submitted by matjbaker on Fri, 03/10/2017 - 10:56

    There is a plant in the pond room of the Durfee Conservatory labeled

Philodendron bipinnatifidum. It is on the right hand side of the pond when entering from the Morrill entrance. I would estimate that it is about eight feet tall. It has seven stems with leaves extending from the base. The stems and leaves are both green. The base however is a light tannish color with patterns on it that are a deeper brown. These patterns are kind of eyeball shaped and each eyeball shape has a little circle with another circle inside of it. At the end of the stem at the leaf, the stem splits into three veins. The largest vein, the one supporting most of the leaf seems to always point away from the base, while the two other veins support significantly less of the leaf and both point back in the direction of the base. The base has light brown vines coming out of it that run towards the ground. All of these vines come out of one side of the tree. This plant also has two structures growing vertically out of the brown base that do not lead to any leaves. These two vertical structures are also both lighter in color than the green stems that have leaves at the end. The base of the tree does not grow straight up but rather curves, first growing almost parallel to the ground before going vertical. Also, the closer to the top of the base, the darker brown the patterns are. The darker brown parts of the base also have some things growing out them almost like eyelashes. 

feathery bamboo

Submitted by matjbaker on Mon, 03/06/2017 - 16:53

    In the pond room of the durfee conservatory there are many bamboo plants of the species Bambusa vulgaris. This species of bamboo is also labeled “feathery bamboo”. These plants are thin and grow relatively tall. The plant is divided into many sections separated by nodes. The distance between nodes seems to be correlated with how tall the plant as a whole grows to be. Some of the plants have internodes that are shorter and thicker than the rest of the internodes on the same plant. The internodes above and below these internodes are of different lengths as well to compensate for these stubby internodes. I have only been able to observe branches that grow out of nodes.

    At the bottom of the plant, there are no branches. However, as you look higher up in the plant there are typically numerous branches. The branches are not symmetrical and contain a varying number of leaves on a given branch. The branches have hair like protrusions around where the leaves connect to the branch. The branches themselves also have nodes and some of them have branches growing out of those nodes. The leaves themselves do seem to be bilaterally symmetrical with one prominent stem running through the middle. The leaves also have striations parallel to the stem. Some of the striations are more pronounced then the others. The leaves are smooth to the touch and are very thin. The leaves all have very straight edges. 

Plantain plant

Submitted by matjbaker on Thu, 03/02/2017 - 17:52

    One of the larger plants in the Durfee Conservatory is the plant on the side of the pond labeled “Musa species Plantain”. One of the most noticeable features of the plant is the enormous leaves that it has up top. These leaves are mostly green with small hints of red on most of them. They seem to be bilaterally symmetrical with both sides of the midrib being very similar. The leaves have many veins that run parallel to each other forming many tiny sections. The leaves have a large stem running through the middle of them. 

    These stems continue down through the base of the plant giving it an appearance similar to that of a tree trunk. However, a quick internet search reveals that the Musa genus does not contain trees as these plants do not contain wood. They are essentially giant herbs. The base of the plant, where all the stems come together, is green and brown. Parts of the base seem to be peeling away and have turned a light brown color. 

    From the middle of the plant, out from where all the leaves wrap together, a tall burgundy structure emerges. This structure is present in about half of the plants of this species in the Durfee conservatory. It kind of looks like a leaf all wrapped up. Perhaps that is how the leaves grow in these types of plants and it will eventually turn into a leaf like the others.

unlabeled plant Conservatory

Submitted by matjbaker on Wed, 03/01/2017 - 17:53

    In the Durfee conservatory there is a room with a small pond. This room has a vast array of different plants. There is one plant that I found pretty interesting although it does not have a label on it. The plant appears to be about 2 feet tall. It has long thin leaves that are green on the top and red underneath. These leaves are quite smooth and are surprisingly rigid. The leaves grow out in little tube-like structures that flail out. Out of these tube-like structures grow bright red stems that contain little berries on the end. 

    These little berries are pear shaped and orange in color. Towards the top of these little berry things the color turns more red. It seems that this plant has different berry parts at different stages in development because they all look a little different. Some of the larger berries, the ones I presume are further developed, have bluish green and purple things coming out of the top of them. There are smaller and duller berries near by. The stem holding these berries is also duller than the one with the bright berries. Additionally, this stem has brown leaves coming off of it that appear dead. 

    In the middle of the plant there is a shriveled up brown thing that resembles the colorful stems holding berries. I believe that this is an older part of the plant and has died already. Not far from this is a stem that is not fully blossomed yet.Tucked away in this unblossomed structure are small berries that are a modest green color but will eventually be bright and colorful. 

Perfect Paragraph Latrotoxin

Submitted by matjbaker on Fri, 02/24/2017 - 12:56

Latrotoxin has an especially high affinity for receptors located on neurons and endocrine cells. The protein is able to insert itself into the cell membrane of these cells.  Once embedded, latrotoxin works by essentially forming pores in the presynaptic membrane of neuronal cells. These pores are partially permeable to neurotransmitters, cations and water. Also, the venom may intereact with membrane bound transmitter release proteins and stimulate the depletion of neurotransmitters that way. But most importantly, the pores that the venom forms are permeable to positively charged calcium ions.

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