Pandoravirus, bigger and unlike anything seen before

Pandoraviruses, which are physically and genetically unlike any previously known viruses, are now the biggest known viruses.The discovery of the giant Mimivirus and Megavirus amazed virologists (and also many others). Their virions (750 nanometers) and DNA genomes (1,259,000 base pairs) were the biggest ever discovered, shattering the notions that viruses could not be seen with a light microscope, and that viral genomes were smaller than bacterial genomes.

See on www.virology.ws

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The making of an embryo: information and mechanics

Is the general audience “black board” talk at KITP today, giving an overview of the quantitative approches to morphogenesis program currently unverway. Symmetry breaking and mechanics.

jlinzel‘s insight:

Development of organisms tells us a great deal about how the diversity of metazoans [animals] could have occurred. Genetics explains development. Ecology selects the winning genetic algorithms. We are beginning to understand how it works. 

See on scienceblogs.com

The Origin of Life » American Scientist

As the frontiers of knowledge have advanced, scientists have resolved one creation question after another. We now have a pretty good understanding of the origin of the Sun and the Earth, and cosmologists can take us to within a fraction of a second of the beginning of the universe itself. We know how life, once it began, was able to proliferate and diversify until it filled (and in many cases created) every niche on the planet. Yet one of the most obvious big questions—how did life arise from inorganic matter?—remains a great unknown.

jlinzel‘s insight:

Are you interested in these ideas? 

See on www.americanscientist.org

Homework to be completed by Friday, August 16th. Educational Leadership:Early Intervention at Every Age:The Perils and Promises of Praise

The wrong kind of praise creates self-defeating behavior. The right kind motivates students to learn.”

We often hear these days that we’ve produced a generation of young people who can’t get through the day without an award. They expect success because they’re special, not because they’ve worked hard.

Is this true? Have we inadvertently done something to hold back our students?

I think educators commonly hold two beliefs that do just that. Many believe that (1) praising students’ intelligence builds their confidence and motivation to learn, and (2) students’ inherent intelligence is the major cause of their achievement in school. Our research has shown that the first belief is false and that the second can be harmful—even for the most competent students.

As a psychologist, I have studied student motivation for more than 35 years. My graduate students and I have looked at thousands of children, asking why some enjoy learning, even when it’s hard, and why they are resilient in the face of obstacles. We have learned a great deal. Research shows us how to praise students in ways that yield motivation and resilience. In addition, specific interventions can reverse a student’s slide into failure during the vulnerable period of adolescence.

Home Assignment:  One

  • Read the article. [click here]
  • Reflect upon your own mindset
  • State two areas of your life you feel you have a fixed mindset and two areas you feel you have a growth mindset.
  • Describe steps you can implement to achieve a growth mindset in Biology class.

Home Assignment: Two

See on www.ascd.org