Tagged: biology

scientist 70: the biotechnologist – biosciences for Africa BFA (2014)

A Cambridge project seeks to improve farming practices in Africa by sharing advances in biotechnology. They’re called Biosciences for Farming in Africa (www.b4fa.org). Chris Creese meets one of their founders Dr David Bennett. There’s a ‘demonstration...

Play

aerobic and anaerobic respiration

When a living thing, such as yeast, respires it produces heat. It may do this in the presence or absence of oxygen. These processes are called aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration. How would the...

photosynthesis

How are plants affected by light? During photosynthesis oxygen is produced. How much photosynthesis occurs depends on how much light there is. You can measure the amount of oxygen produced using sensors connected to...

warm germinating seeds

When seeds germinate they use energy and give off heat. To test this, you can use temperature sensors which will continuously monitor any heat produced. You will set up some seeds in an insulated...

when do plants grow

It’s not easy to measure how fast a plant grows. You would probably not be too keen to take measurements every few hours – and especially not overnight. There are ways, however, of seeing...

energy in food

As food burns it releases energy. This energy can be used to heat up water. If you know how much water you used, and how hot it gets, you can calculate the food’s energy...

lipase and milk fat

Fats, such as the fats in milk, need to be digested by your body. They are broken down into fatty acids and glycerol by an enzyme called lipase. You can do this in the...

fermentation

In the manufacture of yoghurt, bacteria turn lactose into lactic acid. The acid denatures or spoils the milk protein and sets it solid. In the process, the milk starts to taste sour and its...

how the pulse changes

The speed of your pulse changes as you go about your day. It changes as you sit, walk or exercise. It is quite easy to record your pulse using the computer. You used to...

monitor breathing

Is your breathing steady while you sit restfully? How does it change when you talk? How does it change when you exercise? How quickly do you recover after exercise? To find out you can...

changes in an aquarium

Life in any aquatic habitat has to be supported by oxygen. We are all too familiar with rivers and streams where the oxygen supply has been exhausted and the river dies. The production and...

investigating the enzyme amylase

Amylase catalyses the breakdown of starch into sugar. How is the activity of this enzyme affected by temperature? You can start to find out by monitoring the activity at different temperatures. You use Iodine...

measuring visible change in liquids

Measuring the appearance of cloudy sulfur when we mix acid and sodium thiosulfate is a popular science teaching activity. We can change the temperature or concentration of the reagents, and see whether the mixture...

data on pupil heights and weights

Datasets (files) like the one below are useful in science. They have data to analyse by drawing graphs. The file below is in a ‘CSV’ format. Open it in your spreadsheet or Datalogging Insight program...

data on breakfast cereals

Datasets (files) like the one below are useful in science. They have data to analyse by drawing graphs. The file below is in a ‘CSV’ format. Open this one in your spreadsheet or Datalogging Insight...

monitor fermentation in a compost heap

Is mown grass in the compost heap really dead? When you cut the grass you remove its source of vital materials and the cut leaf ‘dies’. But when you feel a pile of cut...

pH data on souring milk

The label on my milk bottle tells me how long the milk will ‘last’ at different temperatures. What do they measure to make this assessment? Is it the pH? I summoned patience, collected a glass...

why we use IT in science teaching (1994)

Scientists need to measure and communicate, to handle information and model ideas. In essence, they need to process information. Young scientists have similar needs. When they write, draw graphs, do maths and make measurements,...

measure pulse with a sound sensor

You can sense the human pulse cheaply using a sound sensor. While pulse sensors can now be found even in phones, using a sound sensor works too. Hold a sound sensor over where your...

measure lipase enzyme activity

If you’ve a couple of pH electrodes and sensors, the following is one of the most successful enzyme measurements I’ve tried. Before bothering further, connect the pH electrodes to a data logger and ensure...

plant transpiration using a pressure sensor

Transpiration and a pressure sensor A sensitive barometric pressure sensor can be used to demonstrate transpiration. The picture here shows a low pressure sensor (as it was called) with a tube sealed onto the...

scientist 66: the science journalist – report from the MRC LMB Cambridge (2014)

Dr Chris Creese and Roger Frost tour the LMB-MRC open day exhibition and learn about body clocks and worms. Follow-up link Read more at Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology www.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk

Play

scientist 64: the molecular biologist – Hugh Pelham at MRC LMB Cambridge (2014)

The Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge is credited for landmark discoveries and cutting-edge techniques. This podcast offers an overview of what the LMB do. On the occasion of the Medical Research Council centenary, and a visit by...

Play

scientist 63: the molecular gastronomist – Peter Barham on gastronomy (2014)

We talk with Peter Barham, a professor of ‘Molecular Gastronomy’ about what his delicious subject entails. He wrote the book “The Science of Cooking”. His idea is that “a kitchen is like science laboratory”...

Play