Sunday, December 14, 2008

Raw Data for Digital Cameras

Raw format for data taken in photos is increasingly being used in scientific publications. I am adding some resources here related to this topic. I will add new information periodically to this post.

Digital Camera Raw


Compare RAW, TIFF, and JPEG

RAW Conversion

How do I change the picture format from jpeg to raw?
(By the way, such a change can save you about $900.00)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Play and Win: Nobel Prize Games---Learning key current information in a jovial way.

Nobel Prize games: Learn current information from top thinkers and do-ers by playing games.

"Karl Landsteiner's work made it possible to determine blood types and thus paved the way for blood transfusions to be carried out safely. For this discovery he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1930."
Source:, Accessed 12/12/08.
"The compartments of the cell, the organelles, are so small that it was impossible to study their structure until the electron microscope became available in 1938. Albert Claude, Christian de Duve and George E. Palade were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1974 for developing methods making it possible to take a closer look at the organelles and for discovering some of them."
Source:, Accessed 12/12/08.
"All organisms consist of cells that multiply through cell division. An adult human being has approximately 100,000 billion cells, all originating from a single cell, the fertilized egg cell. In adults there is also an enormous number of continuously dividing cells replacing those dying. Before a cell can divide it has to grow in size, duplicate its chromosomes and separate the chromosomes for exact distribution between the two daughter cells. These different processes are coordinated in the cell cycle." Source:, Accessed 12,12.08.

"Watson and Crick used stick-and-ball models to test their ideas on the possible structure of DNA. Other scientists used experimental methods instead. Among them were Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins, who were using X-ray diffraction to understand the physical structure of the DNA molecule.

"When you shine X-rays on any kind of crystal – and some biological molecules, such as DNA, can form crystals if treated in certain ways – the invisible rays bounce off the sample. The rays then create complex patterns on photographic film. By looking at the patterns, it is possible to figure out important clues about the structures that make up the crystal."
Source:, Accessed 12/12/08.

"Sound is caused by changes of pressure in the air that is transformed into nerve impulses in the inner ear."
Source: Accessed 12/13/08.
"The electrocardiogram or ECG (sometimes called EKG) is today used worldwide as a relatively simple way of diagnosing heart conditions. An electrocardiogram is a recording of the small electric waves being generated during heart activity."
Source:, Accessed 12/12/08.

"Amino Acids Make Up the Protein

"Proteins can vary in length and size and look very different, but they are all composed of smaller units, i.e. molecules called amino acids. Inside our body there are 20 amino acids all with different chemical and physical properties. In the table below their names and abbreviations can be found.

Name Abbrev. Short Abbrev.
alanine Ala A
arginine Arg R
asparagine Asn N
aspartic acid Asp D
cysteine Cys C
glutamine Gln Q
glutamic acid Glu E
glycine Gly G
histidine His H
isoleucine Ile I
leucine Leu L
lysine Lys K
methionine Met M
phenylalanine Phe F
proline Pro P
serine Ser S
threonine Thr T
tryptophan Trp W
tyrosine Tyr Y
valine Val V

"But how does the organism know how to assemble these proteins compromising of the different amino acids? How can the organism "read" the RNA, the blueprint copy, and how is the information written in the RNA?"

Source:, Accessed 12/15/08.

"Malaria affects huge numbers of people worldwide: up to 300 million clinical cases, mainly children, emerge each year causing 1.5 to 2.7 million deaths."
Source:, Accessed 12-12-08.

"'White rice can be poisonous!' ... Christiaan Eijkman declared in 1896 on his return to the Netherlands, after ten years of research in Batavia, Java in the Dutch East Indies (now Jakarta, Indonesia)."
[Source:, accessed December 12, 2008]
Reflection questions:

Are you eating brown rice? Why or why not? Did you play the game 0n vitamin B1? Will you add brown rice to your menu?

Nobel and Honeywell:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Old Oak Tree and it's Life Cycle

Oak trees have been around and are a part of our culture for a long time. Perhaps you remember the song, "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'round the old Oak Tree?" Ot, perhaps you recall Celtic folk tales.

Here is a story of the oak life cycle told by Teresa Guardiola, who has been featured previously on Read about it. It is based on Wendy Pfeffer's book. Can you write and tell science stories?

Neuroscience for Kids in Spanish, Slovene, Chinese, Portuguese, Italian, Korean, Dutch, Japanese, Turkish. and Standard American.

Here's a link:


花香-公園中散步的回憶 -踩到釘子的痛。 這些奇妙的感受皆來自於我們腦中三磅重的組織─!!

小小神經科學 是針對所有想要瞭解神經系統的學生和老師,所創作設計的網頁。



Neurociências para crianças

O cheiro de uma flor - A lembrança de um passeio no parque - A dor de pisar um prego. Todas estas experiência são possíveis por 1,5 kg de tecido nas nossas cabeças... o CÉREBRO! Neuroscience for Kids foi criado pelo Dr. Eric Chudler para todos os estudantes e professores que queiram aprender mais sobre o sistema nervoso. Neurosciences for Kids Portugal é a versão portuguesa deste site.


Esplora il Sistema Nervoso
Il cervello, il midollo spinale, i neuroni, i sensi...che saranno mai?

Please add your comments on this program

Click, "Comments," below to add your experience with this program.

A reminder on definitions...

Remember you can double-click words in posts to obtain definitions.

Excel ^(TM) in Education

In math and entertainment:
A use of Excel to model Sudoku is presented in a paper available on-line at:

Related papers of interest are found at:

In all subjects and in science:
Dr-J has found that student use of Excel^TM to create indexes of their notebooks (including class and lab notes, as well as homework and handout sheets), enables students to see what is important to both the teacher and to themselves. It enables students to prioritize study time while customizing their own learning toward their own interests and value systems. Indexing also helps students link concepts they are studying, teaches job skills (computer and organizational). Familiarity with a spreadsheet program in this way encourages students to see how the same spreadsheet can be used to create tables, analyze laboratory data, and see how skills in science class are transferable to other subjects.

Excel is a registered trademark of Microsoft.

[Under development]

Monday, December 8, 2008

Help improve Science a Text Book

If you don't like science or if you do, you can write and be considered for publication in a WeBooks science book. You can join if you are interested in improving science education. You can join in if you home school, or go to a public or private school. You may write in any language as long as you include an English translation. You must be of legal age to submit work, however, a parent or guardian may submit for those under age. The entries will be edited prior to publication in a text. In a way, this is global, "brainstorming," for a new book. Your participation is welcome. What you post may also guide the development of interactive technology and laboratory exercises for science classes. Please do join in and improve science literacy.


Here's one reason why! :-)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What does driving have to do with bacteria and chickens?

Click here to find out:;_ylt=AtyxeluaYr4C_.t8Zz2lZ0.s0NUE


Sciences, like biology, have many new words...readability in current topics in science could mean people would have to read beyond a college level... But, we need to read difficult material sometimes to get information to make our lives better. Reflect and comment on this topic.

Additional information to guide your reflection:

See also..."Reach Reading" (Use "search bar," top left on this blog.

[Under development]

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"The ADVANCE Program awards several Marie Tharp Fellowships each year to women scientists on their way to becoming the best in their fields."

Source of quote in title at link below, accessed on Nov 25, 2008.

Find out how you can get one:

Carl Sagan and Nick Sagan Portals Science Movies


Click here to see an article on new causes of epilepsy. Here's an excerpt:

A study of mice showed how immune cells sticking to blood vessels in the brain caused inflammation that contributed to epileptic seizures, Gabriela Constantin of the University of Verona in Italy and colleagues reported.

Footprints in sand, snow and rock...

[Under development]
Yesterday evening, I went to a dinosaur lecture presented at SUNY Orange. It covered dinosaur fossils from the Hudson River Valley (NY, USA), Palisades and Northern New Jersey (NJ, USA), Virginia (USA), Morocco, Poland and dinosaur and dinosaur footprints from many other places.
It was presented by Paul E. Olsen, Storke Memorial Professor of Earth and Environmental Science at Columbia University's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory (see video). You may be aware of Dr. Olsen's research which addresses evolution of continental ecosystems, including the pattern, causes and effects of climate change on geological time scales and how these in turn relate to mass extinctions and other biogeological events. The lecture was fascinating and presented views of many dinosaur and crurotarsians finds. Also discussed were the roles of pollen and of iridium in providing clues about dinosaurs. Given a chance to hear Dr. Olsen speak, I recommend going. You will get updated on dinosaurs, enjoy the depth of his knowledge and also his intelligent sense of humor. (Children attending might do well to be prepped before the talk, as it does go at a rapid pace. ) If you do not have that opportunity to hear Dr. Olsen speak, try reading his research. Next time you see him on a documentary, you can say to yourself, "I've read his papers."

Following the lecture, some went out for coffee and a discussion of the highlights of the talk, among thee topics discussed were footprints. Did you know footprints can give an overview of course taxonomic values (...Not to genus and species in other words, but to major groups)? We learned this point, along with many others, at the lecture. And at our coffee klatch after the talk, we discussed many of the points and then veered-off on a discussion of footprints.

Perhaps this discussion path was followed because one of us had worked tracking game for research purposes and had seen first hand how much the local professional trackers could discover from seemingly innocuous footprints. Then it happened that today I was reading, Billions and Billions (by Carl Sagan), and I came across this quote,
From a jumble of hoofprints, we can accurately tell how many animals passed; the species, sexes, and ages; whether any are lame; how long ago they passes; how far away they are.
It is through the lecture, discussion and Sagan book that I came to post on footprints in sand snow and rock. Have you left footprints in the sand at the beach or in the desert? Have walked through snow and made an imprint? Have you seen deer tracks?

[more coming soon]

Friday, November 21, 2008

Do you know about LORs and are you using them?

Here's some recent research on LORs:
What Will Make Primary Educators Use LORs: A Better Interface or More Free Time? by Loreen Powell and Carl J. Chimi

Here are some examples LORs:

Read about it
(This site...You are on a LOR. Please use the search bar, top left, or e-mail in your suggestions. or, leave a comment.)

Australia's free online network for educators

Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching

Please add a comment or e-mail on LORs and your use or non-use of them. Tell us what you do and why. If you use other LORs, please add the links. Also, tell us when and how you use LORs. If you home school, do you use LORs? Parents, do you use LORs? If you are a museum or other organization, please add your LOR. Thanks.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Science Teacher Education--Global network

If you are interested in science teacher education, please send an e'mail to Specify your area of interest or your question. Put, `Read about it,` sci ed,` in the `Re:` line. Thank you. Dr. J

Monday, November 10, 2008

Educating Children and Teachers about Trees

I went for a walk in the woods yesterday: In New York, there are still a few trees with a spectacular array of color. Most leaves are on the ground. Children and the young at heart find frolicking in the downed leaves brings great joy. The cautious and those feeling old, though they may be young, worry a bit about the leaves being slippery if they are wet but join in autumn reverie. Fall scents fill the air.

Twigs and bark are easily visible. Leaves can be examined readily. Autumn is a time for learning about trees.

"There can be so many leaves. Which trees are they from? Are these all oaks? How do we tell them apart?"

"How do you tell a swamp maple from a striped maple, from a red maple, from a sugar maple? How can we make maple syrup?"

"Look at the bark on that tree. It looks like one tree near the ground and like a completely different tree five or six feet up!"

The air is also full of inquisitiveness. It is a, "teachable moment."

Here is a resource to assist both teachers and students with tree education:

Enjoy the fall. Since these activities carry over into winter, enjoy the winter, too!

Dr. J
(c) 2008. J. S. Shipman

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Time to build immunity in your classroom?

"Immunity and You," Curriculum Available
This curriculum from Cornell will enable you and your students to learn about immunity.

I have posted related vocabulary words here. You can therefore double click on them for meanings and pronunciations. You might also want to use them to create a, "Word Wall," in your classroom. Perhaps each student could design a card and write the definition, too, for the wall.

AIDS Allergy Amino Acid Antibody Antigen Antihistamine Bacteria Disease Fungi Genes Histamine Genetic Recombination Homeostasis Immunity Immune System Insulin Lipid Microbes Organs Pancreas Parasites Pathogen Quarantine Receptor Molecule Recombination Synthesis Template Tissue Trait Tumor Vaccine Virus

Get rest, eat healthily, play healthily, and enjoy life. Build your immunity.

Here is a link to various sustainability issues that also lets you send e-cards.

Posting this link does not imply support, or lack of support, for any of the issues presented.

Science Teacher Education and Curriculum Development: Questions for Reflection

Reflection directions: Read through the questions and then write a reflection about what you think. Feel free to post ideas in the comments.

Do you have input for teacher education and curriculum development? You might if you are an employer needing employees with math and science skills. You might if you are a parent of a young child. You might if you are a researcher with knowledge of new scientific developments. You might if you are already teaching science at any level. You might if you are a student.

To have a science that educates us for sustainability, many of your experiences contribute to developing and implementing a leading curriculum for science.

Skilled scientists and/or global citizen, we all need science education. To have it reflect the situations of the world and support diverse needs, science education continually needs to be updated. Higher-order thinking skills, critical thinking skills, are necessary to learn what we need to know to be effective global citizens building sustainability.

Science is not easy for everyone. How can the knowledge we need be transmitted? How can people stay current as times change?There is so much to know and more data available every day. How do we not get overwhelmed? How do we use the new technologies to improve science education? How do we account for diversity of experiences, linguistics, and cultures in curriculum design? How do we expand our curriculum and instruction forum to increase multiculturalism?

How can the programs developed engage the learners? How do we imagine better science education programs? How do we evaluate/assess science learned? How do we help individuals, male and female, old or young or in-between, of any culture or race or mixed races, to recognize their potential to do contribute positively to the global community?

How do we use science education to foster the desire to learn continually? How do we encourage use of science knowledge to improve the world?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Old Fields Restoration Ecology

Click here for details...
on Dr Viki Cramer & Prof Richard Hobbs' book about restoration ecology

[under development] Please check back in a few weeks.

International ecological restoration

Perhaps you are interested in how fields are studied. What techniques are used?

Koalas for School....

Try visiting Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Australia, or, checking out their educational programs.

If you can't get there, look up Australia on a map and create a virtual visit or design a travelogue for a pretend visit.

What is special about the animals found at this sanctuary?

Have you been there? Tell us about it.

One of my Boston students did get a chance to go there. She is now a scientist that works on marsupials. We raised grant money for her to go. You might be able to raise funds for your own studies there.

Try using Google map (and comparing it to plotting the same trip using a paper map, in case the computer is down...) to go from:

90 South St
Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia


Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Jesmond Road, Fig Tree Pocket Qld 4069, AUSTRALIA

and, then, to:

Sydney Airport
The Ulm Building
1 Link Rd, Sydney International Terminal, NSW 2020, Australia

for the trip home to your own country.
Dr. J

Friday, October 31, 2008

Solar panels and wind turbines for home and school...

[Under development]

Lesson plan ideas for sustainable energy systems for home and school coming soon...

One Viewpoint on Global Health Care (Available in Several Languages)

Posting this link does not indicate support or lack of support for the ideas presented. In other words, the view of the blogger is not, or is not necessarily, presented.

The viewpoint presented is that of the company IBM and suggests a sustainable health care system from its perspective:

It is presented to serve as a discussion starter. Your viewpoints and comments are welcome in the comments (Click on, "Comments," below the post.) For Earth to have sustainable systems, all our voices, ideas, and effort are needed. Yours are welcome!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Internet II; Internet 2 Commons Link

" develop and deploy advanced network applications and technologies, accelerating the creation of tomorrow's internet."
Security: Email [Internet] Educational CyberPlayGround website; 2004 [cited 2008 October 30]. Available from:

Science Education, Worldwide...

Please submit science education news and teaching ideas from your part of the world. You can add news in, "comments," or submit an e-mail to Dr-J: shipmanjs(at) Also give feedback on lesson ideas you have tried or links you've found. Specify your contact information if you would like responses or ask that your name is withheld. Children and youth under 18 need to have adults submit their information.

Math Challenge

Try this:

Hints from Bob Dorsett, MD

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


At one can see a demonstration on making and using potato batteries to light an LED. The video does use a fair amount of vocabulary on basic electricity, however, it does show well how to use meters and how to connect batteries in parallel and in series.

An interesting activity is to show how common battery cells can be linked together inside of a larger battery container to make a battery with more voltage.

A tour to a battery factory would be a nice follow-up. It would help show real world applications for the lessons.

Love to cook? Here's a way to start reading journal articles in science.

Do you love to cook? Or, do some of your students or their parents or grandparents love to cook? Spices provide an interesting and potentially economically interesting link to the technical science literature that you may all find exciting. An introduction to journal articles is perhaps easier if you have another interest, such as cooking, to which you can link new skill in science reading.

For example, Coriandrum sativum L., the spice coriander and also fresh coriander greens, which in Spanish is, "Cilantro," is the subject of the following primary source article, or..."lab report:"

Coriander Under Irrigation in Argentina

Gustavo Luayza, Roberto Brevedan, and Rosana Palomo

Take a look at it and see if you can find the various parts that are common among laboratory reports around the world.

  • Introduction
  • What did you find?

  • Materials and Methods
  • What did they do? What did they use to do it?

  • Results
  • Are there charts, graphs, photos, verbal descriptions? Explain what you found. (Opinions should not be located in this part of the laboratory report. Are there any here?)

  • Discussion and Conclusions (Summary)
  • What opinions are expressed (Here, they can be expressed!)? Is public policy suggested? What do the authors say about more experimentation? Are other sources of information used in the discussion?

  • Literature Cited
  • Did the authors site primary sources? Secondary sources? Personal communication?

Reflection: Do you use similar parts in your laboratory reports? What do you think about what you read? Could you understand it? Perhaps you could just get one or two ideas. If you are just starting to read journal articles, that is certainly to be expected. (Even if you are familiar with journal articles in one field, looking at them in another field may require more vocabulary development and other "Reach Reading" skills.) So do not worry if journal articles seem hard.

So, spices and cooking can provide an introduction to the technical literature. To make the introduction here on coriander relate to other experiences in your life, you might try some foods made with this plant. (Do remember not to eat in the laboratory, however. Follow safety rules.)

Add in some geography: Look at the places where coriander is grown and the countries that use the herb and seeds of coriander in their cuisine.

Coriander/Cilantro Recipes

About Coriander

(c) 2008 J S Shipman

Potential New Crop Plants via Australian Portal

Here's a link to potential new crop plants

Have you thought about new crops?

What is the benefit of diversifying agriculture?

Do you need to think about, "invasive species," when introducing a plant to a new area?

Should a lawn be composed of several species? Why or why not?

What is a monoculture?

I've given you some open-ended questions for a brisk fall day's science discussion.

Have fun.

Dr. J

FYI: New Crops Authors

(c)2008 J S Shipman

Here's a chance to try some HOT Skills...

You may have heard about bacteria building up resistance to antibiotics, or, about using antibiotics in soaps, dish detergents and animal feeds leading to super germs. If not, do a search and see what you can find out about that topic.

Then, compare that to what you think might happen if fungal extracts are added to animal feed.

Here is an article to get you started on that topic:


Authors: A.O. OGBE1, L.O. MGBOJIKWE1, A.A. Owoade4, S.E. ATAWODI2 and P.A. ABDU3
  • 1Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology,
  • National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Nigeria.
  • 2Department of Biochemistry, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
  • 3Department of Veterinary Surgery and Medicine, Ahmadu Bello
  • University, Zaria, Nigeria.
  • 4Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
See what you think. Use higher order thinking skills to develop a hypothetical public policy.

(c)2008 J S Shipman

Monday, October 27, 2008

History of the Periodic Table: BrentjChristy's You-tube and Ways to Learn Science

What do you think about these video's? Did you learn from them?

Do you think you would learn more if you created your own video on this topic?

Compare this video clip to the videos you've just seen:

or, this one...

Which video was easiest for you to remember the content? Why? Have you thought about how you learn and store information? Does a story about the information make it easier to remember?

Come up with ways to help you remember information that you are learning. Invent a song or create a video (or both) to help you remember information. Think about experimentation...Does doing experiments help you learn science? Why or why not?

(c) 2008 J S Shipman

New Math ...Reflection...

Many people make fun of the, "new math," lots of baby boomers were taught in the USA. Here is an example: and another version of the same song:

I studied the New Math. It meant I did Boolean algebra in 4th grade (age 8 and 9). I loved it. It also helped me a great deal when I did my doctorate and when I used engineering skills at work. I get tired of hearing people bad-mouthing New Math because I believe it helped give me a basis for understanding all sorts of computerized lab equipment and also wave and tide recorders used in the field to predict tsunamis.

We did not memorize the (base ten) times tables, however we could multiply and divide in bases 2, 8, 10, and, 16. We could readily set up and solve problems. And, we could do all these things without a calculator and even without a slide rule. I do feel memorizing the times tables for base ten would have been useful and therefore, taught them to myself so I could do freshman chemistry problems quickly. That helped with rapid responses in physics, too. But, engineering courses and logic were much easier having had the bases and the Boolean algebra background in grade school.

So, based on my own experience, I suggest adding times tables and also radians to the, "New Math," but, I would not trade my, "New Math," experience. I loved it and found it very helpful toward my science career and to every day life in a computerized world. I understand the 1's and 0's so prevalent today.

I have come across a way of teaching math that I like that uses languages. More on that another day.

(c) 2008 J S Shipman
Publish Post

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Views of Linnaeus: the botanical garden he tended, ecological ideas...

At this link, you can read and hear (in a computerized voice...) ideas about Linneaus beyond binomial nomenclature and Latin. Enjoy it.
If you press the speaker button marked, "Listen," you can hear the text read to you.

Latin and Science...English equivalents of Latin abbreviations

When Latin words, or other foreign words for that matter, are used in English or Standard American, they are italicized. Names of species and genera, for example, are italicized, e.g., Lactobacillus rhamnosis. Alternatively, such words may be underlined.

Often, students forget the spelling rules that apply to Latin names. The genus name is capitalized:Lactobacillus. The specific epithet is not: rhamnosis.

Many times in scientific (and other) writing, Latin abbreviations are used. For example, "et al," as found in the citation:
Delineation of HER2 Gene Status in Breast Carcinoma by Silver in Situ Hybridization is Reproducible among Laboratories and Pathologists. A. Carbone, G. Botti, A. Gloghini, G. Simone, M. Truini, M. P. Curcio, P. Gasparini, A. Mangia, T. Perin, S. Salvi, et al. (2008) J. Mol. Diagn. 10, 527-536
The following chart which is only slightly modified from the Mozilla Writer's Guide: accessed October 25, 2008, provides some helpful translations for Latin abbreviations.

Abbreviation Latin English/Standard American
cf. confer compare
e.g. exempli gratia for example
et al. et alii and others
etc. et cetera and so forth, and so on
i.e. id est that is, in other words
N.B. nota bene note well
P.S. post scriptum postscript

N.B. (Note well) Be careful not to confuse "e.g." (for example) with "i.e."(that is, in other words).

Historically, Linnaeus was the person who started us with the Latin genera and species names, reducing confusion and even preventing poisonings. (Click on the links for a pod cast and a word game on Linnaeus.) If you'd like to read more on Linnaeus, try writings by Linnaeus at the Linnaean Correspondence.

Enjoy using Latin in your scientific work. It is one thing that lets us know we are speaking of the same organism despite differences in our languages or differences in local names.

(c)J S Shipman 2008

Did you ever want to try tech writing?

Mozilla Firefox has wiki manuals, which means that you can help write and edit the manuals. Here is a link to get you started:

Friday, October 24, 2008

What mathematician did the calculus of variations, the theory of point set measure, and the theory of functions of a real variable?

What mathematician did the calculus of variations, the theory of point set measure, and the theory of functions of a real variable?

Other references:

On Watson: News from Mitsuo Saitoh in Japan

The day before yesterday, I attended the lecture
of famous biologist, Dr. James D. Watson at the
University of Tokyo on Oct, 22,2008.
Sincerely yours,
Mitsuo Saitoh
NINS International Forum on Molecular Biology
Dr. James D. Watoson and Dr. Joan A. Steitz
Organizer: National Institute of Natural Science
James D. Watson
Joan A. Steitz

"Lupus, Snurps and the Expanding Universe of Small
RNAs" by Dr. Joan A. Steiz (Professor of Molecular
Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University)

"Personal Overview of My Life up through Sequencing
My Genome" by Dr. James Watson (Chancellor Emeritus
of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory)

The Lecture of Dr. James D. Watson,
(1) Learning how to do science at Indiana University.
Indiana Univiersity
(2)Finding the Double Helix with Francis Crick at
Cambridge Univeristy.
Francis Crick
Double Helix
Rosalind Elsie Franklin
University of Cambridge
(3)Working with graduate students at Harvard Univiersity
to learn how proteins are made on ribosome.
Harvard University
(4)Transforming my Harvard lectures to undergraduates
into The Molecular Biology of Genetics.
Molecular Biology of the Gene
(5)Creating a non-fiction novel about how science and
personal titles came together to reveal the Double Helix.
(6)Preserving the essence of Cold spring Harbor Laboratory
through making it a power house for cancer research.
- A turning point in CAncer Research sequecing the Human
Genome by Renato Dulbecco -
(7)Getting the Human Genome project started.
(8)Broading CSHL through education innovation.
(9)Following Judah Folkman to make cancer without disease.
(10)Using High throu-out, low cost Genomes to understand
psychiatric disease.
The Society of Practical Education in Biology
Saitoh Institute for Biology Education

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Australian Ideas for Science Education

Here is a link to Australia K-6 ideas:

For example, you can take a virtual field trip to Australia.

You might like to compare and contrast Australian environmental weed control methods with Control of invasive species in your own country.

Refereed journal articles may be a mouthful...

Here's the opening line of the abstract from, "Patrick J. Neale, Anastasios Melis' article on a small green organism: "Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was grown at photon flux densities (PFDs) ranging from 47 to 400 μE.m-2 s-1." Now, unless you are a phycologist (double-click any word for the meaning), then you've probably found three or four words you don't know, even if you are a great reader, right in the first sentence. This "jargon" is typical of refereed journal articles, by the way. A poor reader might become discouraged with the words found in journal articles, but, those of you familiar with my, "Reach Reading tm" technique, or, with Einstein's ability to stay on one paragraph till he figured it out, know that that is just a challenge of reading in science. You won't let yourself worry about a new set of vocabulary! As my sister, a reading specialist, says, "No one knows all the words."

The abstract continues, "The total cellular content of chlorophyll (Chl) was twice as high in the low light (LL) versus high light (HL) grown cells." Phew, you got some of that! I mean most of us learn the simplified equation of photosynthesis when we are children and we can recognize light, cells, perhaps chlorophyll, and, other words here. We can also get the gist of the article...A ha! We are reading about plant response to light... I mean, there might be more, but, there is something we can get.

Let's try some reach reading and look up some words. Let's see what else we can understand. In this way, reading an article becomes like finding treasure in a computer game. Let's see who can find the most treasure. Try to then use the words to paraphrase what you think the authors are saying.

In this way, elementary and secondary school, children and teens (and for that matter, adults), can build technical reading skills. They are playing a game.

Let's look at the ending of the abstract, "Thus the stoichiometry of electron transport complexes changes in response to growth PFD and this change is correlated with the response flexibility of algal photosynthesis in diverse light environments." Though there are difficult words, we're not afraid of them now. It is a challenging game, perhaps, but, it is fun. High school students should recognize, "stoichiometry," from chemistry classes. Here they get to see it in a, real "laboratory report," the refereed journal article.

I hope reading just this tiny bit of the abstract of the article has gotten you interested in reading more. You might be interested in contacting a phycological society, or, getting the full article via inter-library loan, or, you might wonder about plant pigments, or have other questions that could become wonderful experimental designs. Typically students winning science fairs use such journal articles, even in elementary school.

Try reading more of these authors' works. Do you know how to find them? Please feel free to ask questions in the comments. Jargoning is typical in many fields outside of science, too. So, what you learn about "playing" with science words in journal articles is applicable in all subjects.

Dr. J

[under development]

Patrick J. Neale 2 1 Anastasios Melis 1. 1986. Algal photosynthetic membrane complexes and the photosynthesis-irradiance curve: a comparison of light-adaptation responses in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (Chlorophyta)1. Journal of Phycology. 22:4. 531-538 (1 Patrick J. Neale 2 Anastasios Melis 1
1 Division of Molecular Plant Biology, University of California. Berkeley, California 94720) DOI: 10.1111/j.1529-8817.1986.tb02497.x"

Links to Phycological Societies and Information:
Phycology Section of the German Botanical Society

Asia Pacific Phycological Association (If this doesn't open, click it, then, delete the http:// and then hit enter) Or, try this one.
(c) J S Shipman

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Science Education in Latvia

Click here for a link to science education ideas found on the Latvian site: which was found by searching Meklētie vārdi: science education and Serveris: Rigas Tehniska Universitate (Technical University)

AWIS and other Scholarships for Women in life science, engineering, or physics

Nathaniel Hawthorne and You: floral Displays, beautiful and unusual Trees at Leamington Spa

Overlapping humanities and science is a way to get more students interested in science. A stroll through Leamington Spa, or view its gardens on-line, for example, and you will share something with Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Our Old Home, by Nathaniel Hawthorne describes, in a section on Leamington Spa, the gardens and their beauty. Students interested in literature, or especially in Hawthorne, may find a connection to science through the gardens of Leamington.

A stroll through gardens in your own vicinity might encourage students to write, as Hawthorne did of the gardens of Leamington Spa, of their beauty. By writing, a student can educate others as to the beauty of gardens and of nature in general, and this, in turn, may contribute to the sustainability of the Earth.

(c) 2008 J S Shipman

Malawi: Information, Floras, and, Herbals

Do you know much about Malawi? Can you find it on a map? Here are some links to some resources on Malawi's economic botany and other information on Malawi. If you know more, please add them in the comments section.

 Chewa Medical Botany (herbal)

 The Flora of Zomba Plateau, Phase II: 1996-2000

 The Survey of the Algae of Zomba Water Bodies: 1990-2000

 The Inventory and Conservation of the Flora of Lunyangwa Forest Reserve: 1990-2000

 The Revision of the Phaseoleae (Leguminosae) of the Flora Zambesiaca region (Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia): 1986-, and

 The Biodiversity and Conservation Status of Protected Areas in Malawi: 1992-.




Have you been to Malawi? Share your science stories from Malawi.


Dr. J

Science of Transistor Radios

Today's column listed an article on the transistor radio:
Transistor radio story posted October 18, 2008

The story offers a good way to interest some people in science and engineering. For example, a comparison and contrast could be done on the effect of transistor radios and MP3's on teen culture, someone might want to build a transistor radio or a computer, one might study electricity, someone else might study sound waves. A news story on historical development of the transistor radio could, thus, lead to a class full of students working on science activities, all different, yet, linked by the transistor radio. Because the students could select something of interest to them, it is likely they would be engaged in their studies.

More Sources:
  8. [Please add more in comment sections, if you know of good links. Thanks.]

Have fun,

Dr. J

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kipepeo: Build your science vocabulary in Swahili! is the site for a butterfly farm in Kenya.

"Kipepeo," is the Swahili word for butterfly. Visit the link to learn more about kipepeo.
Sustainability through science education is a major theme of this blog. In order to have a global audience, I try to add topics of interest to scientists and science educators, and the general global community. By increasing communication among different people, all over the globe, I hope to enhance global sustainability. So, today, I have chosen to add a link to Kenya. I hope to encourage all of us to get a better understanding of each others' cultures and science applications throughout the World. Please add more links from Kenya or other parts of the World.
Dr. J

For more information on science in Kenya:

Finance, Integrity, Energy Solutions, and, Botany all in one great film

Frank Capra's 1938 film, You Can't Take It with You, staring, among others, James Stewart, Jean Arthur, and Lionel Barrymore, foreshadows sustainability.

Tony Kirby (James Stewart) dreams of finding out how the, "green stuff," in plants can solve the World's energy needs. While the film has a touch of romance, covers family values, and, and provides social commentary on finance, the film could serve as a unique introduction to the study of photosynthesis, or, to how film can contribute to scientific reality, or, to the overlap of finance and science.

Use the film to jump-start an inspiring study of global energy, starting with the producers, the, "green," plants. You know, energy leads to money and money being called, "green," could have been providing a huge hint all these years to solving the energy problems of the world. Use your ideas. Go back through the critical and higher order thinking skills as you study. Relate the science knowledge you discover to the choices you make in your life, to public policy, to how you vote, how you choose your food. You make a positive difference by wise choices. Thank you.

Dr. J

P.S. I recently found this link: which might help with Americans wanting to use science knowledge to help decide their choices for the upcoming election. I haven't reviewed all of the points on the site, however, so, use your own judgment.
(c)2008 J S Shipman

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

An exercise in comparison and contrast.

[under development]

Bird's nest fungi have interesting spore dispersal mechanisms. These organisms are found among those in the Kingdom Fungi.

Jewelweed are found among organisms in the Kindom Plantae (Plants). These flowering plants have interesting seed dispersal.

It might be an interesting exercise to do a comparison and contrast of these two organisms. That would involve telling differences between the two kingdoms and between the dispersal mechanisms and the features of the organisms themselves.

This comparison and contrast could be done with an essay, a chart or a Venn diagram.

Additional sources of information

(Feel free to add some more sources to the comments or e-mail them to Dr J.)

Bird's Nest Fungi OF FUNGAL SPORES.pdf

Now for this link, remember that fungi are not considered plants any longer. Fungi are in their own kingdom. Still, there is other good information.

Seed Dispersal in Jewelweed and Other Plants

Comparison and contrast is important to science. Consider the case of the, "control." Read about: Control, Kontrollieren and Compare

Metal [and other] molecules main concept of Paris Festival in November

Science Days this November (2008) will feature ideas about metals. Check the link here for more information:

For example, "Organometallic chemistry of transition metal used for life sciences," might sound like a mouthful, but researchers will be on hand to explain it, in terms simple or complex, depending on the needs of the listener. The École nationale superieure de chimie de Paris's Laboratoire de Chimie et biochimie des complexes moléculaires:,, will present ideas from their research.

However, such complicated ideas of complex molecules will be presented in an easily understandable format and with enjoyable family activities, for all ages, as found on the festival's program including:
  1. cuisine[ cuisine],
  2. molécules en bonbon [molecules of candy],
  3. secrets de chefs [chefs' secrets] ...),
  4. alliage à mémoire de forme [Shape memory of alloys],
  5. piles à combustibles [combustible batteries],
  6. corrosion [corrosion, rust]...
  7. une exposition présentera quelques grands chercheurs européens. [An exposition of presentations of some great European researchers]
  8. des animations pour les jeunes : [cartoons(?) for youth]
  9. un coin pour les enfants, [infants' corner]
  10. de la magie, [magic]
  11. des jeux sur les couleurs [a game of colors]…
So if you are in Paris, or near by, for

Fête de la Science, samedi 22 et dimanche 23 novembre 2008

don't miss this exciting science festival.

Nobel Prizes 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thank you for visiting!

I am very happy to announce that recent visitors to this science education/global sustainability blog have been from many places on the globe. Most recent visitors have been from the following countries:

Australia * Canada * Colombia * France * India * Japan * Maldives * New Zealand * Pakistan * Phillipines * Portugal * Singapore * Switzerland * United Kingdom * United States of America

What a wonderful global forum. Please add your comments and suggest posts. Each person might contribute something on his or her own educational system, how science is taught, new research to discuss and other science ideas. Welcome.

You may contact me via my e-mail, or, by leaving a comment.

Dr. J

The Public Library of Science

For information on the Public Library of Science, click here.

Please add your comments and reviews.

There is an article in one of the journals on. "the general paucity in the literature of negative data." (Source:, accessed 11-13-07).

Remember that, "no," to a hypothesis still gives valuable information. This point is important to convey to science fair judges, participants in science fairs, the general public who ultimately fund what could be un-biased research, and to scientists and journal editors.

Dr. J

(c)2008 J S Shipman

Double-click Definitions: New Feature to this Site!

You can now double-click a word to get its definition.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bridging from Children's Science Activities to Current Science Concepts

[under development, but, nearly done...]
Click these words for a link to a site full of children's science activities.

If you pick an activity, see if you can find how it relates to current (or, sometimes old-but-still-relevant) science research. For example, as we have a few warm days after the frost... a time reminiscent of and feeling like our summer, it might be fun to make ice of the fifth grade (USA, around age 10) activities.

As you can imagine, this is also about freezing point depression. So, what does freezing point depression have to do with current scientific research? Do you know? A search using a search engine can quickly come up with a huge list. Here is a small selection of what is available in the technical literature that involves this topic--- freezing point depression. It covers mammals (including rats and humans), fish, urine, veins, Vitamin C, sugar, protein, diabetes, salt, water, electricity, fluids, and other topics. In other words, there's a little something for everyone. If you can't find something in this list, it's probably out there in the other available research. A reference librarian should be able to help you find something. Be sure to let him or her know you are looking for difficult-to-read, refereed journal articles (primary sources).

  1. The freezing pointdepression of mammalian tissues

  2. Ascorbate Restores Endothelium-Dependent Vasodilation ...

  3. Structurally Caused Freezing Point Depression of Biological Tissues

  4. The freezing point depression of mammalian tissues after sudden heating in boiling distilled water

  5. Freezing point depression of rat kidney slices during water diuresis and antidiuresis

  6. The relationship between the freezing point depression and specific gravity of urine under varying conditions of metabolism, and its clinical value in the estimation of sugar and albumin

  7. Freezing point depression of NaCl-KCl-H2O solutions

  8. Freezing point depression of aqueous sodium chloride
  9. vbA method for the determination of the freezing point depression of aqueous solutions..

  10. Freezing-point depression: New Method for Measuring Ultramicro ...
  11. Freezing resistance in some antarctic fishes
  12. Freezing-point depressions in stabilized soil aggregates

  13. Structure-function relationships in an antifreeze polypeptide. The ...

  14. Detection of freezing point by dielectric measurements

  15. A method for the determination of the freezing point depression of aqueous solutions.

For fifth graders, the goal is not to have them understand everything in all of these articles, nor, even to have them understand everything in one article. The "Reach Reading" goal at this age is to have students understand that:
  1. The lessons learned in making ice cream do apply to and are "real" science. Science can be fun.
  2. There is technical research, in the form of laboratory reports found in journal articles that uses this research.
  3. They can get a few new ideas from such articles, even if they don't understand everything (...or, even if they don't understand 99.9%).

Such ice cream and other fun science activities can also be adapted to children of any age--- Here's a song (to Frere Jaques) I wrote for a similar activity when my son was in pre-school:

Freezing point depression
Freezing point depression
Makes the ice cream freeze
Makes the ice cream freeze
Salt particles lower the temperature
Salt particles lower the temperature
The ice cream's cold
The ice cream's cold

In what other timely topic(s) does freezing point depression play a role?
One added point: Click here for some winter science ideas.

(c) 2008 J S Shipman
"Reach Reading"is a trademark of J S Shipman