Thursday, April 26, 2012

... Here Is My Letter ...

 Dear my family,

     Lately, life has been really hard for us, well, at least for me. Due to global, warming, not only sea level increase, but also ice layer become thin. I know that we have been known as great swimmer. Our fur has been designed by our Creator to be repellent against water to guard our hair and our dense hair. The problem is the distance we have to travel. We can't go too far without resting on ice Mom, Dad. There are killer whales out there and due to global warming, the storm is getting rougher and rougher days by days. No wonder that our population is shrinking, and in turn put us as one of the endangered species. 
     Well, Mom, Dad, we can always visit our cousins, the grizzly, in northern Alaska or northern Canada. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if we stay over there for a couple weeks until the ice layer formed later in fall. Even so, there are no seals in the land of Canada nor Alaska. We might have to eat berries like our cousins. The problem is, our molar is designed to chew meat, not to grind vegetables. We might die due to starvation. Life is really hard, Mom, Dad. I wish you all the best. Be safe, Mom, Dad.


Patrick the Polar Bear

Me posing in Canada

Me and my paws
 My picture stalking seals

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Symbiosis: predator/prey, mutualism, commensalism, & parasistism

Symbiosis is a relationship between one organism and another. There are 4 kinds of symbiosis. First of all, there is symbiosis mutualism in which both organisms get benefit from each other. Second, there is symbiosis commensalism, in which one organism is benefited and the other organisms is neither benefited nor disadvantaged. Another symbiosis is parasitism in which one organism is benefited and the other organism is disadvantaged. Last but not least, predator/prey is a relationship between organisms in which stronger organism eat weaker organism to fulfill its need of energy.

An example of symbiosis mutualism is butterfly and flower. The butterfly gets to have the flower nectar, and the flower has the butterfly helps its pollination. In this case, both organisms are benefited.

An example for symbiosis commensalism is shark and remora fish. Remora fish lives attached to a shark or other big fish and survive by eating the leftovers of the bigger fish. The shark is neither benefited nor disadvantaged, but the remora fish is definitely benefited.

An example for parasitism will be denque mosquito and human. Denque mosquito lives by eating human or other animals blood, and not only that those mosquitos are often bringing sickness along with them. The infected human or other organisms, besides losing their blood, they have a chance of getting sick as well.

Last but not least, an example for predator/prey relationship will be lion attacking wildebeest. Wildebeest survived by eating plants as a herbivore, but lion is not a herbivore like wildebeest. The only way for a lion to survived is by eating other organisms to get their energy.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Food Web: Aquatic Ecosystem

That is a picture of an aquatic food web. It starts off with algae, grass, and diatoms (a kind of phytoplankton), the producers in this ecosystem. The energy produced by algae, grass, and diatoms first go to herbivores. Herbivores are organisms that eat producer, they also called Primary Consumers. In this picture, the primary consumers are zoo-plankton, crickets, and snails. Going further on, organisms that eat primary consumers are called secondary consumers. In this picture, the secondary consumers are small fishes, heron, frog, duck, and the black bird. In this picture, heron is both secondary and tertiary consumers. Besides eating snails, heron also eats small fishes. Another tertiary consumer in this picture is snake. Lastly, the quaternary consumer in this picture is the snake-eating eagle. However, it is not over yet. There is one more group in this food web. Yup, it is decomposer. Decomposer is a group that decipher the dead organisms body into components that in turn will help the producers becoming more fertile in nutrition. And that is all about this aquatic food-web.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cloning Issue : * What are some of the social challenges a cloned child might face?

As all of us know, cloning might result in either longer chromosome or shorter chromosome. Both of them are not good for any cloned organism to have. Shorter chromosome will cause the organism going through aging faster at a faster rate, and longer chromosome will cause the organism going at a slower rate. Not one of those can make the cloned children avoid social challenge they will meet in the future.

Let's say for a children with shorter chromosome, which will cause them to aging at a faster rate than common children. As an adult or parents, we don't want to see those children to face embarrassment from their friends. Those children might be bigger in face or have an older face, but brain-wise, they are no more than children at their age. That embarrassment might cause a deep pressure for the children. On the other hand, longer chromosome is not better than shorter chromosome. Longer chromosome, too, will cause embarrassment for the children in a different way. As it will aging slower, the cloned children, even though have the same level of education and equal in intelligent, they are smaller in size and younger in face. Both defects of chromosome that common in a cloned organism will cause social challenge that cloned children have to face, they can't avoid those problems.

Actually, there is more than social challenge, cloned organism might also suffer from health challenges that have chance to kill them. How if, in the cloning process, an error happened in the cell differentiation process? Isn't it will cause a serious health problem that the child have to face?
Cloning has serious risks that the cloned organisms themselves have to bear, not the researcher nor the creator. Both social and health problems will cause unavoidable challenges that they have to face.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Transcription, Translation, and Protein Synthesis

Transcription is the process in which RNA copy the sequence of DNA. First of all the DNA unzipped, promotor attached, then RNA synthesis at the promotor, and finally DNA zips back up.

Translation is a process in which RNA language is translated into DNA language. The first thing that happened is amino acid attached to tRNA. Then, tRNA attached to ribosomes and later on attached to the mRNA. Next thing that happened is another tRNA comes in and repeat until they make a single RNA, which is the exact copy of the original DNA.

Last but not least is protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is basically meaning the building of protein starting from amino acid, which is the basic single unit of protein, just like carbohydrate is composed of a lot of monosaccharides.

Nucleotide BLAST! Gene sequence and summary

Gene 2

Gene sequence 2:

Gene 2 summary:
This gene encodes a protein that is one of the two components of elastic fibers. The encoded protein is rich in hydrophobic amino acids such as glycine and proline, which form mobile hydrophobic regions bounded by crosslinks between lysine residues. Deletions and mutations in this gene are associated with supravalvular aortic stenosis (SVAS) and autosomal dominant cutis laxa. Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]

Gene 3

Gene sequence 3:

Gene 3 summary:
Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients with an inherited form of the disease carry mutations in the presenilin proteins (PSEN1 or PSEN2) or the amyloid precursor protein (APP). These disease-linked mutations result in increased production of the longer form of amyloid-beta (main component of amyloid deposits found in AD brains). Presenilins are postulated to regulate APP processing through their effects on gamma-secretase, an enzyme that cleaves APP. Also, it is thought that the presenilins are involved in the cleavage of the Notch receptor such that, they either directly regulate gamma-secretase activity, or themselves act are protease enzymes. Two alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms of PSEN2 have been identified. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]

Gene 5

Gene sequence 5:

Gene 5 summary:
This gene encodes a member of the fibrillin family. The encoded protein is a large, extracellular matrix glycoprotein that serve as a structural component of 10-12 nm calcium-binding microfibrils. These microfibrils provide force bearing structural support in elastic and nonelastic connective tissue throughout the body. Mutations in this gene are associated with Marfan syndrome, isolated ectopia lentis, autosomal dominant Weill-Marchesani syndrome, MASS syndrome, and Shprintzen-Goldberg craniosynostosis syndrome. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]

Gene 6

Gene sequence 6:

Gene 6 summary:

The protein encoded by this gene is a negative regulator of the cell cycle and was the first tumor suppressor gene found. The encoded protein also stabilizes constitutive heterochromatin to maintain the overall chromatin structure. The active, hypophosphorylated form of the protein binds transcription factor E2F1. Defects in this gene are a cause of childhood cancer retinoblastoma (RB), bladder cancer, and osteogenic sarcoma. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]

Saturday, January 21, 2012


First of all, because I know that this disease spreads the quickest through sex contact with others, the only thing I could do is to forbade free sex. I would not allow people having sex for fun or to fulfil their desires anymore. I am aware that this might have a lot of controversies with people who support free sex and for those who offer themselves for money. However, I am more concerned with the health of the whole nation. I believe that if people could stop this bad habbit, it will definitely cut down the spread rate of the virus and we could save more lives in United States. It is true that by technology, people can use contraception products to prevent themselves from being infected by sex transmitable disease, but I also want to improve the moral standard in United States. It will be amazing to live in the world that filled with manner and harmony. Overall, I believe that ToGeTheR, we can stop Ebola!


Dominant vs. Recessive

Dominant trait is a type of trait from one of the parents which typically stronger and have bigger chance to be passed to the child. On the other hand, recessive is a trait from the other parents which typically weaker and have less change to be passed to the child.
Here is an example to explain both dominant and recessive. There are two roses that ready to be crossed to produce an offspring. One is a red rose with genotype RR, the other one is a white rose with genotype rr. In this case, red color is dominant toward white and therefore the chance of the offspring has redish color is bigger than whitish color. However, there might be special case in which the two colors could blend in together and form a pink rose with genotype Rr. Here are the pictures of each roses.



How Chlorophyll Makes Sugar

Obviously, plants that have chlorophyll can make their own energy in form of glucose, sugar. In a process called photosynthesis, plants make glucose and oxygen by using water and carbon dioxide with the help of sunlight. Chlorophyll is principal pigment of plants and other photosynthetic organisms that captures light energy. Without chlorophyll, plants cannot capture sunlight and without sunlight, plants will not be able to create their own energy. Chlorophyll is really an essential part of plants that needed in order to create energy because sunlight is what needed to transform the material into energy. This is how chlorophyll helps plants make sugar. 


How to make tempeh?

Making tempeh is very easy. Here we explain how to make tempeh from 100% soy. This is the traditional tempeh as it is consumed in the country of origin: Indonesia. To make 500g tempeh you need the following ingredients:
- 300 g whole soybeans
- 4 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 teaspoon tempeh starter
Step 1: Cracking the soybeans
The easiest way is to crack the soybeans with a loosely set grain mill. Ideally each soybean is cracked in half. On the left you can see a picture of a Family Grain Mill. This grain mill can be bought on the internet for les than $100. With the Family Grain Mill you can split the 500 g soybeans in a few minutes. Daniel informed us that the Porkert Universal Grain Mill can also split the soybeans. It is a Czech made grain mill that is all hot dipped steel, easy to take apart and lasts a long time. If you know other grain mills that can do the job, please inform us!
When buying a grain mill consider that you can also use the dehulled soybeans to make soymilk. If you don't have a grain mill or dehulled soybeans continue with using whole soybeans, you will have to remove the hulls later by hand. If you are lucky, you can find a store that sells dehulled soybeans. Industrial tempeh producers normally buy dehulled soybeans. Maybe they will sell you some soybeans!
Step 2: Soaking and dehulling soybeans
Soak the soybeans in 2 liter water for 6 - 18 hours. If you use whole soybeans you should split them by squeezing them with a kneading motion. Stir gently causing the hulls to rise to the surface, then pour off water and hulls into a strainer. Add fresh water and repeat until most hulls are removed. Don't worry if a few hulls remain attached.
Step 3: Cooking the soybeans
Put the beans in a cooking pot and water to cover the soybeans. Add 3 tablespoon vinegar and cook for 30 min. Drain off the water and dry the soybeans by continue heating them in the pot on medium heat for a few minutes and until the beans are dry. Allow the soybeans to cool down to below 35°C.
Step 4: Inoculating the soybeans with tempeh starter
Sprinkle the soybeans with 1 teaspoon of tempeh starter. Mix with a clean spoon for about 1 minute to distribute the tempeh starter evenly. It's very important to mix the tempeh starter very well: it reduces the risk for spoilage and the fermentation will be faster. To promote the home production of tempeh we will send you a free sample of tempeh starter.
Step 5: Incubating the beans
Take 2 plastic bags 18 x 28 cm and perforate them with holes at a distance of about 1 cm by a thick but sharp needle. A normal needle is too thin, you need a fat needle or small nail (about 0.6 mm in diameter). This will allow the mould to breathe.
Divide the soybeans in the two bags and seal them. Press them flat, making sure that the total thickness of the beans is max 3 cm. Place the packed beans in an incubator at 30°C or at a warm place for about 36- 48 hours during which the tempeh fermentation takes place. Then the container should be filled completely with white mycelium and the entire contents can be lifted out as a whole piece.
Now you know how to make tempeh. We hope that you will enjoy the home making of tempeh and ... the eating of it!
Taken from :


This is how the fermentation cooked the soybean and transform it into tempeh :
first we have to spread the tempeh starter (the yeast) evenly all over the tempeh. After that we let the tempeh being incubated for a period of time. During this period of time, fermentation happened and cooked the tempeh inside out. How fast or how slow the process the might be depend on how well we spread the starter evenly all over the tempeh. After all of that, we just have to wair until the tempeh cooked and ready to be fried.

The Movie Osmosis Jones and its Similarities + Differences to our immune system

In the Movie Osmosis jones, we could learn how our immune system works. However, even though there are some similarities of how the system works in the movie and in our body, there are some differences that happen. Let's start with the similarities that we have in our immune system and in the movie. The different kind of cells in the movie represents the differences of cells that work in different part of ours body. This fact help us realize that in this one body, there are so many different kind of cells that work together to form a uni-system. The other similarities is the fact that a virus often come together with other particle of germs through the food we eat. In the movie, we could realize that the disease makes the host suffer, initially from the fallen eggs that he eats. Other than those two, the ideas that a deadly disease might camouflage itself as an undeadly disease to make the host not worry. In the movie, we could analyze that the symptomps are similar to flu which actually is way more deadly than flu.

There are also some differences we might have in our body from what we have watched in the movie. First of all, our immune system will never work with medication we might have by taking pills or etcetra. But in the moive, we find out that Jones works together with the flu pills to drive out the enemy. The second difference we will have is our immune system will never fall in love to other cells in our body. In the movie, we find out that Jones find the cell he loves that work in the brain. Other than those two, the other difference is there will never be an election to decide what is going to happen in our body unlike what is in the movie. In the movie, there is an election that determines who will be the president of the Frank City. Those are some similarities and differences we might have by comparing our immune system and the movie Osmosis Jones.


Positive Benefits of Fungi

Even though fungi might cause diseases to human and other organisms and often tend to be parasites toward others, fungsi also have positive contributions to earth. First of all, many kinds of mushrooms serve as food supply that rich in nutrition with its delicious and unique taste. Other than food supply, certain groups of fungi form mutualistic relationships with plants called mycorrhizae. Fungi in the plant roots help to gather water and mineral from the soil, in return, the fungi gets energy supply from the plants through photosynhesis. Plants that do not form mycorrhizae with fungi might not be able to gather enough materials needed to make energy. Those two are the perfect examples of postive benefits of fungi to living organisms.

ViRtUaL ePiDeMiC

Combinations which cause the worst deadliest epidemic are the contagiousness and the virulence of the disease. The distribution of the population is not as necessary to cause the deadliest epidemic compared to the contagiousness and the virulence of the disease. Based on what I do on the epidemic simulation, I found out that high number of contagiousness and the virulence of the disease could kill a lot of people in a short 'run' in this case the time. When I increase the number of people that would be sick from Health to carrier and Carrier to sick, and also the number of people from Sick to death, I found out that it will need less term of runs necessary to kill most of the populations.

What is Fascinating from HOT ZONE

Hot Zone is a novel by Richard Preston which tells us the spreading of Ebola virus which originated from Africe to all over the world. One thing that make me fascinated is the fact that the virus was able to kill its prey in this case human in a short period of time. This virus originated from Kitum Cave, Africa. Based on what I read, this virus spreads from Africa to all over the world because of this one person called Charles Monet. He know that he was sick of a new disease, but he still used the plane to fly to Europe seeking for medication. This virus unfortunately spread through air, each time Monet was coughing in the plane, the small amount of the virus particles indirectly being circulated in the plane. This disease also spreads from sexual contact with others. How this disease spread is also a fascinating fact for me to know. Overall, the book Hot Zone is an interesting novel to read for all of its fascinating facts that could enrich our knowledge in virology and how it spreads.

Vaccination, Say No to DISEASE

Vaccination is an injection of a weakened pathogen to produce body immunity toward certain diseases. Antibodies in our body will respond toward this weakened pathogen as a threat to our body. The purpose is to have a memory B cells. Memory B cells will protect our body in the future if we were to be attacked by the same diseases that we have suffered before. Without Memory B cells, it might be hard for our body to produce antibodies faster than the spreading diseases to other part of our body. Overall, that's how vaccination can prevent our body from being infected by certain diseases in the future.

Movements in Cell

Types of  cell movements are diffusion, active transport, exocythosis and endocythosis. Diffusion itself is divided into 2 movements which are facilitated difusion and osmosis. And endocythosis consist of phagocythosis and pinocythosis. Below are the description of each movements.

Diffusion is a process in which cells become speciailzed in structure and function.

Osmosis is diffusion of water through a selectively permeable membrane

Facilitated Diffusion is movement of specific molecules across cell membranes through protein channels.

Active transport is energy-requiring process that moves material across a cell membrane against a concentration difference.

Endocytosis is a process by which a cell takes material into the cell by infolding of the cell membrane.

Phagocytosis is a process in which extensions of cytoplasm surround and engulf large particles and take them into the cell.

Pinocytosis is a process in which a cell takes liquid in from the surrounding environment.

Exocytosis is a process by which a cell releases large amounts of material.

my biology textbook is my source and I also use google to search for the images