SBI-3UO Biology

E- Portfolio
Nikkatan Balakrishnan
Mrs. Kaloshi


Table of Contents: Initial Letter……………………………………………………………………………………………………pg. 2 Concept Map……….…………………………………………………………………………………………pg. 3 Artefact Reflection…………………….……………………………………………………………………pg. 3 Article Response -> Article 1…………………………………………………………………………………………………pg. 4 -> Article 2…………………………………………………………………………………………………pg. 5 Career Research -> Career 1……………………………………………………………………………………………pg. 6 & 7 -> Career 2……………………………………………………………………………………………pg. 7 & 8 Canadian Scientist Report………………………………………………………………………pg. 9 & 10 References..………………………………………………………………………………………………….pg. 11


Initial Letter
Nikkatan Balakrishnan February 8th, 2013 Dear Ms. Kaloshi, A wise man once said that, “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration” that wise man was none other than Thomas Edison himself. My key to success all begins with hard work. This semester I have the courses Biology, Math, Accounting, and Computer Technology. Biology in my opinion is the study of all living things, small or large. I took Biology this year simply too see how it would be, and to see if it is something I am interested in. It wouldn’t make sense to ask someone else if Biology was interesting or not because everybody is unique; so I must experience it to judge it myself. Something that interested me the most about Biology is Evolution. I always had an interest in the science related theory in how humans came to live on planet earth and how we got evolved overtime. Although I took this course experimentally, my goal for it is to get a 85% and higher. This will give me a mark that can get me into any desired program if I choose to pick a career relating to Biology. Another reason why I picked 85% is because that it is a mark that I think is reachable and will provide me motivation till the end of the semester. To begin with, I think I can achieve this mark because of some of the prior knowledge I know from grade 10 science. I remember a lot of things involving Mitosis, Cell Cycles, and Organ Systems. I think background knowledge in these topics can help me as these are some of the main topics in Biology. I also remember hearing discussions last semester about pig dissection, knowledge of organ systems will really help me in that lab as it is hard to identify each part of the body. For me to achieve my goal in Biology which is a university level course I need to be pro-active. One of my main weaknesses which follow in every course is something every student can relate to, procrastinating. That is why this year I devised a plan to help stop this. This year I am not going to wait for the teacher to tell teach me something I don’t understand. Now I’m going to look it up myself and then check it with the teacher after. I am going to devise a schedule when I get major assignments and not finish it the day before it’s due. Another common problem I have with achieving high marks with studies is over stressing for the smallest of assignments. Over the summer I learned how to stay relaxed and calm and that is playing sports. Sports are one of my main hobbies. I love watching them, learning them, and most importantly playing them. Playing outside also gets my mind off my studies and relaxes me so I can actually think when writing labs or doing worksheets; because when I am stressed I write down anything that pops into my head and most of the time it won’t make sense. Some of my strengths include doing calculations, and analyzing that data. I am good at making connections with that data to real life situations and how to draw conclusions with that data. I know those strengths will help me in Biology, as it will involve a lot of labs. Sincerely, Nikkatan


Concept Map:

Artefact Reflection:
Plants Projects
These are pictures of my group’s power point presentation of corn for the plant projects. In this activity we formed groups of four and were told to choose a food/drink, a Medical herb, or manufactured goods. My group as I said earlier chose to do corn. We learned many things about corn, and came to the conclusion that it was a very underappreciated plant. I learned about the variety of uses of corn and how it can be found in almost any product. It can be found in juice boxes, protein bars, packaged beef, and many other products that would at first seem to have no corn in it. This activity was also significant because I also got to learn about other plants and products as well. For example, I got to learn about chia seeds; and how I can grow them at home just using a sponge. I also learned how healthy they are to the body. I can apply this knowledge to real life because many of the products described in class were healthy and good for you. So if I see these plants in stores now, I know to buy them because they can help my health. It also opened my eyes about what really goes into our foods. Before this activity I never knew how unhealthy juice boxes were until I did some research and found out that they contain high fructose corn syrup and how bad that is for the body. This project didn’t really help make me understand this unit better because it didn’t really show up on the quiz, and most groups didn’t really talk about how these plants act in an ecosystem, their structure, or their function. However, this activity did teach me a lot of important facts when it comes to buying products.


Article Responses:
Article (1): Chester Zoo team on the hunt for new species in Nigeria
A team of 12 from the Chester Zoo set out on a hunt to discover a new species in the mountainous regions of Nigeria, where many surveys had already been conducted. The team is beginning their biodiversity assessment in the Gashaka Gumti National Park, which is said to be home to one of the world’s most endangered species, the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee. The team is very excited to go on this expedition as they are confident in finding this and many other species. The team also has security tagging along because there have been many reports on murders on foreigners by the Nigerian Islamist militant group.

This was an article describing a team of 12 from the Chester Zoo setting out on an expedition in the mountainous regions of Nigeria to discover new species. They intend to start at Gashaka Gumti National Park, as that is said to be home for the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee; a much endangered animal. Lot’s or surveys, and research has been done on the ecosystems of Nigeria. They have spent years planning this expedition and intend on bringing back that chimpanzee and discovering a new species. For this article it is hard to say if I agree or disagree because it is not a statement, however I do believe these individuals will discover or find a new species. According to the national geographic approximately 86% of species are unclassified. Therefore, after reading how much this team has prepared, the years of assessments, and surveys; there is a high possibility of them finding a new species or at least locating the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee. If they indeed make a discovery it will impact many things. For one, if they discover new species, me as a student will might have to learn about that new species; how it was classified and grouped. This could be an advantage and disadvantage because for one it is a learning opportunity, however it is more work. For me as a citizen, the market might expand which is also again an advantage or disadvantage. Most of the products in the market are derived from plants and animals. If they were to discover a new species they will see what they can produce from it. This might raise/ decrease the prices of other products, and expand/shrink the market. For me as a professional it will be similar to that of a student because for one, I have new material, I might have the opportunity to experiment on these species, and possibly find out something that people never knew before. However, again it is more work added to my profession. This team spent years researching, and surveying the land and its ecosystems. They only step they would have to insure would be their safety; since the parks, and forests are under the Nigerian Islamist militant control, they can get hurt or killed.


Article (2): Researchers grow teeth from gum cells
A team from the King’s College London took epithelial cells from adult gum tissue cells and combined them with another type of cell collected from mice called mesenchyme to grow an actual tooth. The mesenchyme cells from mice acted like an instructor, as it told the epithelial cells to grow into a tooth. They say this experiment is evolutionary as using a readily available source of cells makes it one step nearer to being available to patients. However, many researches think that it will take many years before it becomes available to patients, as it is very expensive and impractical for clinical use.

This was an article describing an experiment held at King’s College in London where they grew an actual tooth taking adult gum tissue cells, and combining them with mesenchyme cells from mice. The time it took to grow the tooth and the money put in has not been released but one of the researchers said that this experiment was expensive to conduct. However, the researchers say they spent years studying how gum cells work, regeneration processes, and what builds a tooth. One, of the lead researches told the news article that it will be long before this type of technology will be available for walk in clinics and regular patients. Again, this isn’t an article where one can say, I agree or disagree, however I do think that this experiment will revolutionize dentist clinics everywhere. For me as a citizen, this is really an advantage and disadvantage. For one, if I were to lose a tooth or break it , I could never get it back. It would get filled but, it would lack the functions of a normal tooth. However, with this technology, I have the possibility to get back that tooth. The disadvantage is losing all of my money for it. Re-creating that tooth has a lot of technology involved and a long work process which is expensive. For me as a student, I do not really get affected by this as much except for the fact of gaining knowledge. If I were to become a dentist, then I would have to learn and know about this and its side effects. This is an advantage and disadvantage because again it is more work. As a professional, it is an advantage because now I have new technology that will bring me more patients. This could make me more money. However, the disadvantage is acquiring that technology as it would cost a lot of money. To improve this technology, I think they should reduce cost, or find other ways to make them more viable and practical for patients. Currently, they are making sure these bio-teeth are safe for a long period of time. These researches are taking many precautions before officially announcing they can make an actual functioning tooth, and I think that is ethically right by them; because if they announce they have made the tooth without fully experimenting on it, it will give some people false hope


Career Research:
Career (1) - Environmental Consultant:
Description:  Environmental consultants are scientists or engineers who assess and plan cleanups of polluted areas, such as rivers or industrial sites.

Core Tasks:

Find out how sites have been used in the past by searching records and interviewing people Assess the type and level of pollution in the area by taking soil and water samples Plan and oversee cleanups of polluted sites May deal with emergencies, such as oil spills Usually specialize in a certain area, such as air pollution or water pollution

   

Working Environment:
    

Employed by environmental or engineering consulting firms, or self-employed Work outdoors in the field and indoors in offices Work long hours, often under tight deadlines May be exposed to toxic substances Fieldwork can be physically demanding

  

At least a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering A master’s degree or PhD is required for advanced positions Courses: - English - Algebra & Geometry - Calculus - Biology 6|Page

- Chemistry - Earth & Environmental Science - Physics - Economics - Geography - Computers Salary:    Candidates with a bachelor’s degree can earn $35,000 to $45,000 a year in an entry-level position With experience, and in many cases further education, environmental consultants often earn between $45,000 and $80,000 a year Supervisory positions usually require a master’s degree, and can pay upwards of $80,000 a year

Career (2) - Wild Life Technician:
Description:  Wildlife technicians help scientists collect information about wild animal populations.

Core Tasks:
    

Track and catch animals in the wild Examine animals to assess health levels Attach tags to animals so they can be tracked Keep detailed logs and write reports Process and analyze samples in the lab

Working Environment:
    

Employed by hospitals, government agencies, universities, colleges, wildlife parks, and zoos Work outdoors in all kinds of weather The work is noisy, dusty, and physically demanding Most work a regular 40-hour week, though overtime is sometimes required Use microscopes, centrifuges, and other scientific equipment in the lab


   

Many positions require a college diploma Some positions, including many senior positions, require a bachelor’s degree Experience in wilderness travel or hunting can be helpful Courses in grade 12: - English - Mathematics - Biology - Chemistry - Earth & Environmental Science - Geography - Health & Physical Education - Electronics & Communications Technology

  

$25,000 to $70,000 a year for most The average is between $35,000 and $45,000 a year Income depends on level of responsibility, experience, and education


Canadian Scientist Report:
Dr. Doug Larson:
Doug Larson has achieved his B.Sc. at McMaster University, and his Ph.D. also at McMaster University. During his undergraduate and then graduate period at McMaster University he was given the opportunity to work on the tundra near the Hudson Bay to address the questions: Why is it that plants can survive in extreme environments that are largely unsuitable for humans? His work there provided a physiologically based answer. After that he joined the Botany Department of the University of Guelph, he expanded his investigation to include other processes and habitats. He now uses a more ecosystemic approach focusing on cliffs and alvar environments, which is a biological environment based on a limestone plain with thin or no soil and sparse grassland vegetation, in Northern America. These studies helped him study the physiological, morphological and behavioural mechanisms used by plants to thrive in these hostile environments. Larson’s work has been well received by his peers, other professors, and the general public. He won the Ralph Sherwood Conservation Award, Rolex Awards Honourable Mention, Canadian Wildflower Society Conservation Award, and the Friends of the Escarpment Award. He is also the member of the Canadian Botanical Association and Sigma XI, served on the Ontario Scientific Advisory Committee for Old Growth Forests and also edits the Canadian journal of botany. His work has made it to television, radio, magazines, and has been used by other researches as a basis/background.

Email: Research:
Cliff Ecology Research Group Team: graduate students, research associates and summer students Purpose: This group focuses on understanding the ecology of a cliff. By studying the cliff, they hope to gain a better understanding of how ecosystems work, excluding the traditional approaches. Cliffs are discrete and biologically unproductive which simplifies tasks. To date, research has shown that cliffs have interesting characteristics, including the fact that they support the least disturbed and oldest forest ecosystem in North America. Some of their current projects are described briefly below: 1) Plant invasion and habitat heterogeneity on cliffs and other rocky terrain Team: Dr. Doug Larson, Jeremy Lundholm, PhD candidate Purpose: This project analysis the limits of habitat invasions by invasive exotic species. The information gathered with this project will help make environmental changes to eliminate these species. 9|Page

2) Habitat-dependent plant invasion Team: Dr. Doug Larson, Margy deGruchy, MSc graduate Purpose: This project focuses on understanding the functions of alien plants in a habitat and its sensitivity to its surrounding environments. This research will help save these plants, identify them and possibly make new medication and products from the plants. 3) Effect of rock climbing on cliff vegetation and snails Team: Dr. Doug Larson, Michele McMillan, MSc graduate Purpose: This project analyzes and compares the structure and functions of biotic (once living) communities found on, and off the routes used by rock climbers. This information is going to be used to make new land-use policies. 4) Endolithic and epilithic organismsn Team: Dr. Doug Larson, Uta Matthes, Research Associate Purpose: This project examines the functions and structures of a community of organisms found, or attached to, the inside of rocks and cliffs. This information will help identify new habitats and give a better understanding of rock ecosystem. 5) Ancient trees on the Niagara Escarpment Team: Dr. Doug Larson, Pete Kelly, Research Associate Purpose: This project focuses on finding the location of the ancient trees in Niagara and mapping it on a map. This will help make an inventory of all of the ancient trees that once grew, and for other research purpose for example analyzing the changes of trees overtime. 6) Restoration ecology of Niagara Escarpment landforms Team: Dr. Doug Larson, Uta Matthes, John Gerrath, Margy deGruchy Purpose: This project’s purpose is to analyze and understand the conditions of disturbed limestone landscapes, cliff edges, cliff faces, and talus slopes so the information gathered can be used to restore the sites resulting in the protection of many plants and species.

10 | P a g e

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Article 1 Article 2 Career 2 Career 1 Canadian Scientist info Extra research done for Article 1 response

1) BBC News - Chester Zoo team on the hunt for new species in Nigeria. (2013, March 12). BBC Homepage. Retrieved March 18, 2013, from 2) BBC News - Researchers grow teeth from gum cells. (2013, March 8). BBC - Homepage. Retrieved March 18, 2013, from 3) Career Cruising . (n.d.). Wild Life Technician: . Retrieved March 18, 2013, from 4) Environment Consultant. (n.d.). Career Cruising. Retrieved March 18, 2013, from 5) Larson, D. (n.d.). Dr. Doug Larson Professor Emeritus. Department of Integrative Biology. Retrieved March 18, 2013, from 6) Watson, T. (2011, August 4). 86 Percent of Earth's Species Still Unknown?. Daily Nature and Science News and Headlines | National Geographic News . Retrieved March 18, 2013, from

11 | P a g e