Planaria Ripping Themselves Apart

Planaria are little flatworms with triangle heads, beady eyes, and the ability to regenerate after being cut in half. Bet you didn't expect that last part, did you? Unlike cell division, planarian fission is violent and ... well, weird. To stimulate these little guys to split, you have to first decapitate them. Unlike mitosis, planarian…

Getting Through Tough Times

Living organisms have come up with lots of interesting ways to get through tough times. Sometimes, "tough" means stuff like... winter. Other times, there might be a food shortage or the puddle dries up. Whatever the stressor, being adaptable is the key to survival. In this post, we'll take a look at how 3 weird…

Electronic Tongues

I do this lab with my advanced biology class called "The Mystery Milk" lab. I give them 4 unknown liquids and they have to use a series of indicators to figure out what these milk-like products are. The students always ask me if they can taste the products (Answer: No, it's a science lab). But…

Holding Up the Line: RuBisCo

With all the extra CO2 we've been putting into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution, the age of global warming is finally upon us. In our scramble to find new sources of energy, some scientists have turned to algae. The logic is there: plants take CO2 and make O2. More plants = less CO2. It's…

Carbon Neutral

Carbon In, Carbon Out What does it mean when an energy source is carbon neutral? Does using it still emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere? What are some examples of carbon neutral sources of energy? Are all renewable sources carbon neutral? You've already learned about molten-salt reactors as a possible new source of energy. In…