Methods Project Discussion

Submitted by sfairfield on Fri, 02/22/2019 - 15:47

          The differences in framing were likely the result of a combination of standing in a different position when taking the photographs and holding the camera at a different height or angle. For instance, in image “a” of Figure 2, the whole framing appeared as though shifted up relative to image “a” of Figure 1, such that the edge of the koi pond was not visible along the bottom and more of the roof of the greenhouse was visible along the top. This was probably due to the camera being held at a higher height at the time of the photograph. This may be the same reason the edge of the walkway along the bottom of image “b” of Figure 1 was not visible in image “b” of Figure 2. Images “a” and “b” likely showed a different side of the tree and vine due to the photographer standing in a slightly different position when taking the photo. The leaves of the vine in image “c” of Figure 2 likely appear larger than in image “c” of Figure 1 because the photographer was standing closer to the subject when the photograph was taken.

Medical Ethics

Submitted by cynthiaguzma on Fri, 02/22/2019 - 12:50

D.W Brock assesses the ethical issues amongst human clothing, he looks into the pros and cons that come with cloning. Brock belives that human cloning will change the way that people think of human life. He believes that human life will be seen as something that can be manipulated and adjusted for what a person desires. Some human lives as well as some clones might be viewed as having lesser values then others. If genetic cloning occurs, then the value for human life starts to degrade.

    Brock argues that when human cloning occurs the clone is given specific abilities and has desirable attributes given to them, so human life will be seen as something that can be easily manipulated and controlled. This can create the clones as being seen as objects and is what causes the degradation of human life since clones are copies of human forms.

Draft: Methods Discussion

Submitted by aspark on Fri, 02/22/2019 - 12:13

The photographic differences between figures 1A and 2A and figures 1B and 2B are because the photos in figure 2 were taken at a further distance. This is because the location of the top of the steps were misinterpreted for photo A, and the distance at which photo B was taken was not specified in a detailed manner. The differences in tree exposure in figures 1C and 2C were also due to the photos in figure 2 being taken at a further distance. The description for where photo C was taken was relative to the distance at which photo B was taken, which was already taken further than in the original. The lichen in figure 2C was also not centered because that was not specified in the Methods, and the angle at which the photo was taken was also not discussed. The car in the background of figure 2C, which was not present in figure 1C, is because the tree is on a busy street with constantly changing conditions, and the blue tint in the photo was probably due to the sunlight being shaded at the moment the photo was taken.

Lastly, the difference in font for the boxed letters was because the Methods specified for the default font settings, which may be different on different computers. The instructions for the figure layout must have been relatively clearer than the instructions for the photography because the layouts between the figures were nearly identical.

PP: Music Theory's Ridiculous Fundamentals

Submitted by tokiokobayas on Fri, 02/22/2019 - 11:13

    The complexity that exists when learning music theory formally is abundant. When a child learns how to play a note on the piano or on any instrument, they are taught to hear that specific sound and to associate it with a note name, such as F. Yet when learning music theory from a college student’s perspective, the idea behind “what is a note” and “what is a sharp”, are all asked. The importance behind such ideas are important to be formally addressed, but is it entirely necessary to be taught in order to understand music theory? At the end of the day, a child who has been playing the piano for half a year, can most likely tell an introductory music theory student what simple concepts are, such as what is a half note is, or what is a sharp. The way they express it might not be formal or coherent, but they still able to understand what these relatively simple concepts. It’s important to note that an understanding of music theory is not necessary in order to create music as well. For example, those who have been considered “musical legends” such as John Lennon, did not know how to read music until he was well into his career as a well-established musician. Thus, the idea that music theory is a necessity and must be as complex as it is in order to create music is incorrect, and albeit most likely unnecessary in a fair amount of cases.

P53 Based Treatments

Submitted by ewinter on Fri, 02/22/2019 - 10:34

P53 has been the direct target of many potential treatments over the years.  The drug Gendicine delivers wild type p53 on an adenoviral vector, and was approved by the China Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of ovarian cancer (Ayen, 2018).  Advexin, a similar drug, was blocked by the FDA in 2008 for reasons that were not officially disclosed (Osborne, 2008). However, it is known that adequate therapeutic effects for trials involving adenoviral delivery of p53 did not exist (Zeimet, 2003).  One logical explanation for this is that p53 is quite upstream in the apoptosis pathway, leaving lots of room for downstream over-amplifications or mutations that allow the tumor to evade apoptosis. There are several ongoing clinical trials in which the p53 gene is inserted via an adenoviral vector (Ayen et al. 2018).  These clinical trials represent the revitalization of p53 based gene therapy, after it was concluded to have failed over a decade ago (Zeimet, 2003).


Wealth is Health

Submitted by cnwokemodoih on Fri, 02/22/2019 - 10:23

In every sense, society is stratified, by race, sex, sexuality, religion, economic status, religion and so on. All these identities sum up an entire individual and all play a role in determining the kind of interactions said individual has with the social institutions. Health and medicine is one of them. Instinctively, one might guess that people lower in the socioeconomic ladder generally experience poorer health due to lesser access to healthcare. That is in fact true but that isn’t the only reason why. Low working class people actually have higher odds of falling ill because they are exposed to higher levels of stress. These absurdly high levels of stress come from the uncertainty that accompanies being in the lower class of society. Working class people are constantly battling fears of job insecurity while also resisting the other pressures that comes from being in the working class. This was revealed in study where people of varying socioeconomic statuses were infected with a virus. Results showed that those lower down in the ladder were more likely to respond to the virus than others. These results indicated a compromise of their immune systems, possibly due to increase in cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Therefore, we can postulate that income level, as well as job security, affects the quality of health individuals have.

Code breaking

Submitted by ddoyleperkin on Fri, 02/22/2019 - 09:55

Code breaking is a method by which certain animals gain a leg up on their competition by adapting the behavior of another species. Code breakers are interesting because they have gained the ability to learn certain niche behaviors of other species and use them to their advantage. For example, fireflies have the ability to bioluminesce. Male fireflies flash their thorax many times in pursuit of females. Each species of firefly have different flashing patterns. Males will flash continuously, looking for a female, while a female will flash once or twice very quickly to let the male know she wants to mate. There is a species of firefly that will use the flashing pattern of another species to attract a male. Once the male has flown over to the culprit, it will promptly be eaten. This code-breaking behavior is not as rare in organisms as one might think. Even humans have unknowingly become code breakers. Earthworm grunting is an example of human code breaking. Worm grunting is a method of harvesting earthworms and it involves placing a wooden stake in the ground, vibrating that stake with a flat iron, then waiting for worms to rise up from the ground. The vibration of the wooden stake mimics the burrowing of a mole, causing earthworms to leave their burrows and come up to the surface of the ground. Code breaking is an efficient way for one species to gain an advantage over its prey.

Mammalogy exam review notes

Submitted by rharrison on Fri, 02/22/2019 - 09:54


I have a mammalogy lab exam on coming up on Monday. One third of the test is on marsupial phylogenetic orders and families. Marsupials are mammals without real placenta. Non placental mammals are in a subclass of Mammalia called called Theria and whithin that an infraclass called Metatheria. Within the infraclass of Metatheria there are seven orders. The common synapomorphies of the metatherians include the presence of palatal vacuities (holes in the palate, a hooked angular process in the dentary bone  (except the koalas), a deciduous premolar, twinned entoconid and hypoconulid, and stlyar shelf with cusps on the upper molars

In Order Diprotodontia there are eight families. Potoroidae, Acrobatidae, Petauridae, Pseudocheiridae, Macropodidiae, Vombatidae, Phascolarctidae, and Phalangeridae.

In Order Peramelemorphia there is on family which is Peramelidae.

In Order Dasyuridae has one family - Dasyuromorphia.

In Order Didelphimorphia it is also monotypic with familiy Didelphidae and same with Order Microbiotheria with family Microbiotheriidae. 




Draft 2/22

Submitted by lpotter on Fri, 02/22/2019 - 09:47



For the course writing in biology students were instructed to create a figure representing an interspecific interaction. The goal of the assignment was for each student to write a methods section that could be followed by a peer in the class. The peer was ultimately attempting to replicate the original figure based solely off of the methods section. The replicate figure was compared to the original and analyzed for the purposes of writing a scientific paper.


For selecting an interspecific interaction subjects were observed around the campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In the North East area of campus an interspecific relationship was observed between a dog and the dogs owner. This was a clear example of an interspecific relation, this relation would be the one documented. The observation of the relationship was controlled by designating an area of observation. Another control was time of day, the relationship was observed in daylight, a necessity to capture photos of the subject.



Subscribe to Writing in Biology RSS