Sunday, January 31, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Thanks to reader, MB, for submitting this time link.
More clocks are found here:
Friday, January 15, 2010
Here's a link to the news article: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6045JT20100105
The article starts,"An acid found in pomegranates appears to block aromatase, an enzyme that converts androgen to estrogen, a hormone that plays a role in the development of breast cancer, the researchers wrote in the journal Cancer Prevention Research." It gives us a few clues.
Good: There are a few familiar items: acid, pomegranate, hormone, estrogen, breast cancer. Some might even be familiar with enzyme. A beginning step in Reach Reading(TM) is to identify any words we don't know and define them. Granted this takes time, but, ultimately, it speeds up comprehension. It is important to use articles on topics of interest to the student when doing reach reading. I would have students bring in the initial science articles that they find in the newspaper or on line. Ah, there is another clue, "Journal of Cancer Prevention Research."
Jot down a few ideas about what you know already:
- breast cancer
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=15844 Check it out:
The definition goes on and talks about breast cancer. You might want to come back to it later if it wasn't yet helpful, so, keep good track of where you got your information. Remember, we found this at:
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=15844. Accessed 14 Jan 2010.
French: "L’aromatase est une enzyme du groupe Cytochrome P450 qui permet de convertir les androgènes surrénaliens comme la testostérone en œstrogène ..." fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aromatase
German: "Die Aromatase (CYP19A1) ist ein Enzym der Cytochrom-P450-Superfamilie. Seine Funktion ist die Aromatisierung von Testosteron zu Estradiol und von .." de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aromatase, or, "ein Enzym im menschlichen Organismus, durch dessen Wirkung Vorstufen des weiblichen Geschlechtshormons Östrogen in das aktive Hormon umgewandelt ..." www.mamazone.de/obere-navigation/glossar/, or, "Ein Enzym, welches nach den Wechseljahren Androgene in Östrogene umwandelt. Aromatasehemmer blockieren das Enzym..." www.ueberleben-mit-brustkrebs.de/brustkrebs/service/glossar/content-121465.html
Portuguese: A aromatase pertence ao grupo das enzimas do citocromo p450 e age como mediador da aromatização de andrógenos em estrógenos. pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aromatase
Perhaps reading definitions in other languages will help you, though, often the science words are cognates and are very similar to eachother in many languages.
Now, you try finding definitions for other words you don't know, for example, if you don't know, "androgen," you can look that up.
We can scan the article and see if a scientist is mentioned. Yes, there, in the next paragraph, "Shiuan Chen." Looking further, I found this information via Google: "Requests for reprints: Shiuan Chen, Department of Surgical Research, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, 1500 East Duarte Road, Duarte, CA 91010. Phone: 626-256-4673, ext. 63454; Fax: 626-301-8972; E-mail: email@example.com." The Chen article is on white button mushrooms, however: http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/cgi/content/full/66/24/12026 (Anti-Aromatase Activity of Phytochemicals in White Button Mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus)
(Notice first, however, that the article gives contact information for the authors: "1 Department of Surgical Research, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, California and 2 Department of Human Nutrition, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.")
But at the January 2010 issue of Cancer Prevention Research, http://cancerprevention research.aacrjournals.org/current.dtl, we find, " Lynn S. Adams, Yanjun Zhang, Navindra P. Seeram, David Heber, and Shiuan Chen. Cancer Prev Res 2010 3: 108-113. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-08-0225[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF] ." There is the original source for the abundance of articles found in the news today about pomegranate. The article itself will give you a mouthful, for example, "On consumption, pomegranate ETs hydrolyze, releasing ellagic acid, which is then converted to 3,8-dihydroxy-6H-dibenzo[b,d]pyran-6-one ("urolithin") derivatives by gut microflora, " where every other word (or nearly so) is an unknown...(so, we can go back to the definition game...) If you have breast cancer, or, know someone that does, you'll likely want to understand every word (Or, if not, you might want to bring a copy of the article to you doctor's office, so he or she will know, you've, "Done your homework.")
I hope that this has made, "Reach Reading (TM)" fun for you. If not, we'll try again another day. My students love it, but, perhaps not being with me in the classroom, but, rather. on-line, it might not come across as as much fun. Please give me feedback and ask me questions.
P.S.: Either men or woman can get breast cancer, so, I hope that you found the article of interest. Now that you are one of the world's few that knows about , "aromatase." perhaps you'd like to Reach Read(TM) what it has to do with the prostate: http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=17598374.
(c) 2010 J S Shipman
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
is a link to an interactive resource that teaches about preserving freshwater resources around the World.
Give it a try and post feedback.
"PARA UNA MEJOR EDUCACIÓN FÍSICA" De Daniela Pace Profesora de Educación Física--->Science and Physical Education
How can science and physical education be linked? Just as we talked previously about the link between science and business, here we think about the link between science and physical education.
Once in a while, reading outside a narrow science field can bring new insight to the science field itself. Take a look and then jot down any ideas that come to mind related to the science that you typically do.
Even research fields can be turned into businesses. Sometimes we do not think as business people, and, indeed, it is good for us to think as scientists. But, not all students will be scientists. Some will be in business. It is good to let them think about how and where science and business overlap. Innovation can result.
(c)2010 J S Shipman
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Spend 10-days touring Sweden in
Carl Linnaeus' footsteps
Join Botanical Society of America member and Rutgers professor Lena Strewe and local guides for a 10-day educational, cultural and natural history tour of Sweden (May 29-June 6, 2010). Apply by March, 2010. Space is limited to 10.
Download Sweden Tour Brochure
02 Jan 2010 13:06:35
- The term [virtual herbarium], in general, has been used in many different ways, however, [botanists] tend to, "use it only for web sites that provide information about herbarium specimens online, preferably via images and a searchable database."
- Utah Valley University has a good one for a small herbarium - but it is not much use if you are not in that part of the world.
- Missouri Botanical Garden has a searchable database - tied the data base on names I think.
- The Pacific Northwest Herbaria collaborate in making their specimen information available - as are the California herbaria.
- Mary Barkworth chairs an initiative that has as its goals bringing all the US Herbaria on line - images and searchable database. (Mary.Barkworth--at--usu.edu)
Here are some related links:
- http://www.tropicos.org/ (great for names, incidentally for specimen information)
I (Dr. J) remind readers that the Botanical Society of America also has a plant image collection:
You can find images of plants here, too:
www.plantbiology.siu.edu/Faculty/nickrent/BotImages.html (Lists many virtual image collections from all around the globe)
For information on digitization of herbarium specimens in Kenya:
Other herbaria with African plant collections and a link to an article on an African initiative (an initiative for a virtual herbarium, sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation):
Latin American Plant Initiative (initiative is sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation):
Mireya Correa, herbarium director at STRI and the University of Panama, shared with SciDev.Net, that, "scanners today can take high-resolution images of both sides of a specimen....[which]... is much better than seeing the plants in a microscope [...] And you don't have to travel http://post-create.g?blogID=4227554902061100641to herbaria in other countries and spend a lot of money to see a type specimen. All the information will be in the digital database." Source: http://www.scidev.net/en/agriculture-and-environment/news/latin-american-botanists-to-get-plant-database.html. Accessed: 02 Jan 2010. More information at: ppbio.inpa.gov.br/Port/colecoes/workshop/palestras/LAPI.pdf
References to Asian plant image collections:
I hope that you have found this list helpful and that you will take a virtual tour of the herbaria around the globe. I have tried to include herbaria from all parts of the world. I am certain there are many other plant image collections. Please add any you feel were left out in the comments below. Thank you.
A special thank you to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation which has made the formation of several components of the virtual herbarium possible.
A reminder that philanthropy for the sciences, like botany, are especially important when the economy is down. Since plants provide food and oxygen, shelter, fiber, shade, and help prevent desertification, among other benefits, it is important that all aspects of botany are supported. Please contact the director or chair of your local herbarium if you would like to help support the plant images initiative near you. Thank you for support of and interest in the sciences, science literacy and science education.
Find scientists in your location, or, around the globe, and support them. Support research in areas you feel it is needed. Support science literacy and science education. Thank you. http://read-about-it.blogspot.com/2009/12/science-in-economic-downturn.html
I am getting DNS errors, or, getting the ads mixed into the posts. I am working to get this straightened out. Meanwhile, I've been able to translate into French, German, and, Italian. I'll keep at it. Let me know how the translations are. J
Read these ideas while thinking of experimental design and laboratory report format. At any grade level, you can compare and contrast control(s) to experimental(s), for example.
How will you collect the data? Have you prepared a blank table to write your observations in? Are you keeping a notebook of all experimental details?
How can you take ideas for science fair projects and turn them into well-designed experiments, rather than "laboratory activities?" What do you think?
Other posts on www.read-about-it.blogspot.com may be useful. You can put, "science fair," in the search bar of this blog and scroll down through the resulting list, or click on link(s) below (and scroll if necessary):
Here is a bit of a quote:
This Day in History
Here are the related links:
The, "Read more," link---
A poem, by Dr. J, relating this historical trial to science---
Using translation services in the classroom to help teach/learn science. Example: Pollution in the Arctic? Let me translate that and see....
L'environnement unique et fragile de l'Arctique est soumis à de multiples pollutions, qui, pour beaucoup, proviennent de l'extérieur : réchauffement climatique, substances toxiques transportées par les courants atmosphériques et océaniques vers le pôle...Source: http://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2010/01/01/l-arctique-est-souille-par-une-multitude-de-pollutions_1286508_3244.html#ens_id=1286584. Accessed 1-1-2010.
Using a translator like Babel Fish (http://babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_txt). one gets:
L' single and fragile environment of l' The Arctic is subjected to multiple pollution, which, for much, comes from l' outside: climate warming, toxic substances transported by the airstreams and oceanic towards the pole...
The L's we can guess mean, "the." And touching it up with high school French or best guesses, we get something like:
The singular and fragile arctic environment is subjected to multiple sources of external pollution: global warming, wind- and ocean-transported toxins which move toward the pole....It might not be the best translation, and, perhaps might not even be accurate, however, a foreign student can perhaps get a better idea and learn some vocabulary in the language in which the class is being taught.
If students have a group activity where they share news articles on science, some articles coming in with different languages and different perspectives than from our own countries can enhance our critical thinking and knowledge base. You will be happily surprised at the results of student discussions from science sources in different languages. Often, the science words are the same, or nearly so, and the students don't feel lost as a result. They realize students are learning the science words in the language of the classroom, too. They are not behind on these words. They and the native speakers are learning the science words together.
Students can also use translators to help them comprehend directions for assignments and teachers and parents might develop better communication skills with them.
If the translators are needed on a regular basis, talk to your school's computer professional to ensure that you are following laws and regulations concerning the translation software use.
Web pages are also translatable at the touch of a button in many cases. Use your search engine. Here is an example from a Google search:
[ Translate this page ] Ce Dossier est un résumé fidèle du rapport scientifique de consensus produit en 2004 par l'Evaluation de l'impact du changement climatique dans l'Arctique ...
www.greenfacts.org/fr/...climatique-arctique/index.htm - Cached - Similar -
Source: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&hs=Kh7&q=r%C3%A9chauffement+climatique+arctique&aq=8&oq=r%C3%A9chauffement+climatique&aqi=g10. Accessed 01-01-2010.
You might also look at a few foreign language journal articles and see the same, "lab report format," or review articles covering several experiments which are reported in the journals in, "lab report format," in the foreign (and own country's) journals. That similar format among nations' research articles helps students from other places feel included in the class. I find it amazing, but, I have heard more than a few students say they didn't know they had scientists in their own countries. It is a confidence builder when they see their own people doing science. They feel they can do it, too.
Here is a link to a French article, for example: http://documents.irevues.inist.fr/handle/2042/20120
Another follows here:
I have seen students of different languages make great progress in comprehending science topics when this, "International Approach," is used.
(c) 2010 J S Shipman
Friday, January 1, 2010
Many times childhood stories prepare us to understand, or share understanding with others who have the same stories in their background. That is, childhood stories, like, "The Spinning Contest," or, for that matter, "The Emperor's New Clothes," give us common bonds for ideas to link in our minds, so we can build knowledge within ourselves and also relate to others.
In teaching, I noticed that students having a hard time in science may have had difficulty because of a lack of childhood experiences like making cookies or sharing stories or visiting museums. These lacks could be compensated to some degree by doing these types of activities later on. I noticed, from my own experience, that any student wanting to learn was able to compensate for any lack in his or her prior life experience. But, some students got a helping hand when classes of different subjects were blended, showing connections between ideas to the students. Thus, I have decided to add this post on, "The Spinning Contest," as an example of ways to help students learn science and build science literacy.
The story begins, as many child hood stories do, "there once..." Here we go with the opening:
There once was an ancient city that lay across the Aegean...Sea from Greece, and in that city dwelt a certain maiden, Arachne... by name. Though her parents had been very poor, Arachne brought wealth and comfort to their little cottage through her great skill in weaving and embroidering. Source: Classic Myths to Read Aloud. Three Rivers Press, New York. 1989. Pp. 64-67.
Now, don't we all love a story. Children do, but, we adults do, too. Find a version of the story of Arachne that you enjoy. Read it. Then reflect...on ...spiders.
Reading the story on Arachne may help listeners connect spiders to the word arachnids.
Spiders have eight legs and two body parts, the abdomen and the thorax.
Source: http://www.kinderkorner.com/spiders.html. Accessed 1-1-2010.
Spiders have silk spinning glands to spin silk for their webs, however,
not all spiders spin webs. Source: http://www.kinderkorner.com/spiders.html.
Spider silk is used in dentistry to form a matrix for dental implants. Source: Dr. Bakheeta Almansouri. Personal communication. 2008-2009, many discussions.
Spiders are frightening to some people (Source: Personal communication with
many people 1968-72) but do many good things, too. Fear of spiders is
Arachnophobia. Source: http://www.kinderkorner.com/spiders.html. Accessed 1-1-2010.
Spiders belong to the Arachnid family. Source: http://www.kinderkorner.com/spiders.html. Accessed 1-1-2010.
There are more than 30,000 species of spiders. Source: http://www. kinderkorner.com/spiders.html. Accessed 1-1-2010.
Spiders are oviparous, which means "egg bearing." Their babies come
from eggs.Source: http://www.kinderkorner.com/spiders.html. Accessed
Most spiders have either six or eight eyes. Source: http://www.kinder
korner.com/spiders.html. Accessed 1-1-2010.
All spiders have fangs, through which venom is ejected. Spider bitesSpiders eat many types of harmful insects, and are a friend of gardeners,
can be quite painful, and a few can be fatal. Source: http://www.kinder
korner.com/spiders.html. Accessed 1-1-2010.
keeping the garden pest population down. Source: http://www.kinder
korner.com/spiders.html. Accessed 1-1-2010.
- Aesop's Fables: http://www.childrenslibrary.org/icdl/BookPage?bookid=aesaeso_00870637&pnum1=25&twoPage=false&route=advanced_503_0_0_English_0_all&size=0&fullscreen=true&lang=English&ilang=English
- http://www.americanarachnology.org/peucetia.html (Worldwide links on arachnids)
- The link, http://homepage.mac.com/cparada/GML/Arachne.html, accessed 1-1-2010. is one version of the story. If you can find the above referenced book, though, it is a version designed to read aloud. I found a simplified version here, but, it may be too watered down: , accessed 1-1-2010. Here is a link on history for children that covers Arachne: http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/greeks/religion/myths/arachne.htm, accessed 1-1-2010.
- http://www.senckenberg.de/root/index.php?page_id=171 (German spider society)
There is “a recognized tendency, even for knowledgeable biologists, to overlook, underemphasize or neglect plants when teaching introductory biology courses.”35 Too often, biology is “botany taught by a zoologist,” leaving students with “the popular delusion that biology is the study of animals.”29 This results in widespread ignorance about and underappreciation of plants.3,4,10,14,33,36
Source: http://www.actionbioscience.org/education/hershey2.html. Accessed January 1, 2010
Plants provide excellent examples and experimental subjects for all the life science standards (NSES p. 106) Source: http://www.actionbioscience.org/education/hershey2.html. Accessed January 1, 2010
Plant blindness can be costly. What values do plants bring to us? That is a good question to ask ourselves and our students. Try to make your own list, then, check out the following and other pages on the web. Visit your local botanic garden for more ideas. Don't forget the virtual Plants Cafe (here or top left of this blog for the link).
- http://www.mlswa.org/underwaterplantguide/value_of_plants.htm (Values of underwater plants...good photos)
http://www.suite101.com/blog/gypsyprincess/the_value_of_plants_in_the_medicinal_world (plants for medicines)
- http://www.oak-forest.org/pubworks/ValueofPlantsandLandscaping.asp (landscaping---aesthetic value---water conservation value)
- http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?Article on value of plants in arid environments...Reclaiming or preventing deserts anyone? Wadi Allaqi Biosphere Reserve, Egypt)
- http://www.sciencebuff.org/collections/research-collections/botany/botany-science/ (has many other education links)
- http://www.siu.edu/~ebl (economic botany ideas)
- http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien (on invasive species)
- http://www.science.siu.edu/parasitic-plants (Dan Nickrent's information on parasitic plants)
- https://www.georgiastandards.org/standards/Georgia%20Performance%20Standards/Botany.pdf (standards fromthe state of Georgia, USA, as an example)
- http://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu/education/eduBOYP.shtml (life science unit for K-4, lower primary grades, roughly ages 5-9)
- http://www.nbii.gov/portal/community/Communities/Plants,_Animals_&_Other_Organisms/Botany/ (What is botany? What are its subsets?)
- https://www.msu.edu/~cppt/Faculty/Nair/index.html (cherries as an example)
Happy, healthy, blessed, and, prosperous New Year.