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Ecology P1

Submitted by ameserole on Fri, 03/09/2018 - 12:54

Nutrients are constantly moved between these patches, with aquatic animals being eaten by terrestrial, and terrestrial animals dying and having their nutrients being washed back into the pond. The local roads and houses affect all of these patches, with chemical runoff coming from numerous sources such as road salts and lawn fertilizers. These chemicals affect the wildlife, but the chemicals found in the fertilizers heavily affect the plants. This can mean plants that grow better, but can also lead to an overabundance of algae in the pond.

Stroop Test - Gait Lab

Submitted by ameserole on Wed, 03/07/2018 - 13:38

The Stroop Test is a way to measure selective concentration as well as reaction time. It requires finding a baseline reading of how quickly you can do a simple task, and then requires you to do a similar task but while ignoring certain stimuli. Exercise improved reaction time in both cases. I believe this is because an elevated heart rate leads to a higher level of alertness, which leads to an improved reaction time. Biologically this makes sense as an elevated heart rate would often coincide with important, possibly dangerous situations where higher alertness would be beneficial.

Function of Arms in Upright Walking

Submitted by ameserole on Fri, 03/02/2018 - 12:54

The arms allow the force on the torso to be displaced without the use of extra energy by muscles. If arm swing is done incorrectly while walking or running, extra energy will be used by your core muscles to keep proper posture. This extra energy is inefficient. A study conducted on people while walking and running showed that the swing of the arm is powered by the movement of the legs and not by the muscles in the shoulders, and that the arms act as a “passive damper” reducing head and torso rotation (Pontzer, Holloway, Raichlen, & Lieberman 2009).

What is the Effect of Exercise on Cognitive Function?

Submitted by ameserole on Fri, 03/02/2018 - 12:33

A study was conducted on diet-induced obese mice, in which some mice remained obese, and some mice were exercising on a treadmill. It was found that in the mice that exercised, hippocampal neuroplasticity was increased, thus increasing cognitive function. This conclusion suggests that exercise can help to protect against obesity-induced cognitive impairment.

Biodiversity P2

Submitted by ameserole on Thu, 03/01/2018 - 21:36

I think that the divide between a scientific definition and a “societal” definition wouldn’t be each group having its own definition, but rather the scientific definition would include whatever information is pertinent to that study (i.e. including species richness and density), while the societal definition would simply be how many different kinds of organisms live in a certain area. The layperson wouldn’t typically need a complicated definition for their uses, and if they did, they could add on specifications that are needed as they see fit. Representing an entire ecosystem as a single “diversity” value is something that is hard to do, but is something that is necessary when comparing environments.


Submitted by ameserole on Thu, 03/01/2018 - 15:09

I believe biological diversity should be defined in the same way for both scientific and practical purposes as these are, to me, the same thing, although there could be cases where certain information is more pertinent than others. I would define biological diversity as how many individual species live in a given area, while also considering how many individuals of each species live there. This would give a general idea of the biodiversity of an area, but would still leave out information like species evenness. In some cases omitting certain information would be suitable, and would help to simplify the point being made. This is good for both the person doing the study, and someone reading it.

Methods Project - Results

Submitted by ameserole on Thu, 02/22/2018 - 21:39


Both figures showed the natural range of C. japonica labeled as part A, and both maps showed the same locations, China, North Korea, South Korea, and Japan as where the plant can be found naturally. Both the original and the replicate figure had two images with a single flower as the subject. Both figures also had an image of the entire plant. The main differences between the figures appears to be the lighting in the images of the flowers, and the distances at which the camera was from the subject of the pictures. The original images are brighter than the replicate. The content of the images in the original and the replicate is nearly identical. Another purely aesthetic difference is how the images are arranged, with the original having transparent space between the images, and the replicate having no empty space at all.

Mercury in Songbirds P2

Submitted by ameserole on Wed, 02/21/2018 - 19:32

Songbirds have a varied diet, and there are many components which contribute to the levels of mercury in their bodies. What the results of this study tell us is that by volume, arachnids contribute a much larger amount of mercury to these songbirds than any other food source. There could be multiple reasons for these elevated levels of mercury, such as the spiders themselves eating insects that incidentally contain high levels of mercury, or it could be that these spiders use elevated levels of mercury in their bodies. Whatever the case is, these arachnids contribute much more mercury, even in absolute terms, than the moths and butterflies that make up more of the songbirds diet.

Mercury Consumption by Songbirds

Submitted by ameserole on Tue, 02/20/2018 - 15:03

We can confidently say that the increase in mercury found in songbirds when eating spiders is due to biomagnification. This is the concept that consumers on higher trophic levels will consume more “magnified” amounts of trace elements, as their food also consumes other food rather than producing it. The reason that this happens is that when an organism consumes trace elements, or any substance that its body isn’t familiar with, the organism will hold much of that substance in its body and will have a hard time excreting it. Over time the substance builds up even though all of the “normal” waste is excreted. When the higher trophic level predators come and eat these organisms with elevated mercury, they will consume a large amount of mercury at once and will also not process it well, holding it in their bodies. This effect is why toxins tend to build up in larger amounts at the top of food chains

PP Nuclear Arms Race P2

Submitted by ameserole on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 16:55

This is where the two paths diverge. With the discovery of nuclear fission both countries started nuclear programs, but the amount of resources dedicated to them varied greatly. In the US, the program started slowly. At the start of the program the idea of a nuclear weapon was a distant thought. In a letter written to Winston Churchill by Bohr in 1944, he recalls that a few years prior the idea of a complete and functioning bomb was a “fantastic dream” (Bohr Letter). Allied British scientists thought that the bomb wouldn’t be a weapon of this war, but one for the future due to the vast amount of resources needed to produce it. The American’s estimated the costs of the project to be much lower than they actually were when the project was complete. This misplaced optimism may have played a part in their decision to put what is now equivalent to $30 billion dollars into the creation of these weapons. This project was never guaranteed to pay off, and putting this enormous of an effort into something during wartime is a big risk. The German nuclear project was run differently. Instead of focusing only on a nuclear weapon, the Germans set out to harness all facets of nuclear power, including nuclear energy. This meant that the already limited resources of a country at war were to be spread even thinner, making the bomb even less of a priority for Germany (Walker 24-25).


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