Toucan Play That Game

A blog about life...literally

Frog Friday – The “Pobblebonk”

Did you know?

This species of frog is also called the “pobblebonk” after its distinctive “bonk” call, which is likened to the sound of a banjo string being plucked.

Listen to the sound below:

Listen to the call of the Eastern Banjo Frog

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New and Efficient Method of Developing Protein Therapeutics

Effective therapeutics have been a large component of creating a healthier world population. Medications, such as insulin, developed from therapeutic proteins are essential to the health and safety of many throughout the nation and the world. Many of these medications are derived from a process known as glycosylation, the joining of proteins and sugars. Glycosylation is necessary in such therapeutics because the sugar structures attached to proteins enable the proteins to remain stable and continue functioning properly. However, until recently, the method used to study and create the biosynthetic pathways and resulting structures of glycosylation, involved a highly complex and time-consuming process that utilized mammalian cells.

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Winged Wednesday – Time Flies Like an Arrow…

…fruit flies like a banana (but only if it’s starting to go bad – it’s the sweet odor of fermentation in ripe fruit that they really love).

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Is Apoptosis the Cure to Cancer?

Throughout time, cancer has been proven to be the most puzzling disease for scientists and physicians to figure out. Again and again, cancer has been found to be almost unstoppable as it spreads rapidly throughout the body. However, apoptosis, otherwise known as cell suicide, might just be the answer.

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Unit 4 Exam – Monday, December 9th & Tuesday, December 10th

The Unit 4 Exam will take place on December 9th & 10th. The exam will take place on two traditional days, so the Multiple Choice section of the exam will be on Monday and the Free Response section will be on Tuesday.

The Unit 4 Guided Reading Questions, Unit 4 Review Videos, Class Notes, “My Dog is Broken!” Case Study, Cell Cycle Diagram, and Inside Cancer Website Worksheet are recommended study materials, along with the materials available on the Campbell Biology textbook website. The Mitosis BioFlix animation will also be crucial for you to review.

The questions from the in-class review game are a helpful study tool.

The online quiz that you took during this unit would also be helpful for you to review. You can access a review version of the quiz using the link below:

The 30 multiple choice questions on the exam will be taken on student MacBooks using the Respondus LockDown Browser. The written part of the exam will ask you to respond to one 10-point matching section and 2 out of 3 free response questions.

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Evolution of the Mitochondria and Chloroplasts

Millions of years ago, there were two prokaryotic friends living harmoniously together. Jerry was photosynthetic, which means he could make his own food with energy from the sun. His best friend Bobby could use oxygen from the air and take it in to make ATP. They functioned perfectly well alongside one another until the day when Tommy came into town. Not only was he a much larger prokaryote, but he was a bully. In an attempt to gain their special powers, he absorbed Jerry and Bobby, leading to a period of uncontrollable indigestion. Instead of breaking them down, he had merely engulfed them in his cytoplasm where they remain to this day. (Inspired by Amoeba Sisters)

When we think of a eukaryotic cell, we typically picture it as a living organism that consists of several non-living organelles like a nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum, or Golgi apparatus. These organelles can work together within the cell to aid in its day-to-day functions, but they could never survive on their own, right?

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Mammal Monday – Cloudy With a Chance

The clouded leopard is found in the Himalayan foothills of mainland Southeast Asia. Since 2008, it has been classified on the IUCN Red List as “Vulnerable.” The total population size of clouded leopards is suspected to be fewer than 10,000 mature adults.

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Benefits of Cloning

Appearing on many movie scenes, news headlines, and mass media platforms, cloning technology has been a relevant subject to the society ever since it was introduced to mankind in 1938. Cloning brought different perspectives regarding science and inaugurated revolutionary conceptions to human knowledge. And cloning technology plays an important role in our society today.

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Frog Friday – Toad-ally!

Did you know?

The cane toad is considered a pest in many of its introduced regions, particularly Australasia. Of particular concern with this invasive species is that its skin is toxic. Many native predators are killed after ingesting cane toads.

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Title Requested

Stress is something that many people face every day. The way that stresses are brought onto a person can be caused in a variety of ways. Stress can be caused from jobs, school, family issues and relationships. The struggle that many people have is how to deal with this stress. People turn to healthy methods of dealing with stress such as talking to other people about what is going on or taking a break from what may be causing stress to occur. People also turn to other ways to deal with stress like drugs, alcohol and stress eating. What people may not realize is how sleep can help with the stresses that are going on in someone’s life. Deep sleep is able to rewire the anxious brain and lower stress levels in the brain.

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Purifying Properties of Plants?

In recent years, a surge of indoor potted plants has popped up all over the US, a new trendy, fun, and healthy hobby to improve one’s quality of life. Succulents, ferns, cacti and more are used and advertised as a fun way to keep your life clean and cute. Plants are marketed as the miracle of modern life. They’re claimed to have seemingly magical properties like increasing productivity and happiness.  Another quality that life magazines such as Country Living like to market is that they can purify the air, removing harmful toxins.

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How A Change In Diet Could Be All It Takes To Prevent The Flu

As you are lying in bed with a high fever and body aches from the flu just imagine that a simple change in diet could have prevented you from getting sick in the first place. This diet is called the ketogenic, or keto diet that has become very popular among many people. The keto diet is a low-carb and high fat diet that lowers blood sugar and insulin levels. The reduction of carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. During ketosis your body turns fat into energy by releasing insulin from stores in large amounts, and transfers it into the liver where is becomes oxidized and used as energy. Some foods that follow the keto diet are greens, oils, and meats. The keto diet is also known to help some people with type two diabetes, and prevent epilictic seizures. Despite all these benefits the keto diet now has another major health benefit which is fighting off the flu.

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Winged Wednesday – Gobble, Gobble!

Read more about the life and times of the turkey here.

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Unit 4 Review Videos

Here’s a set of Mr. Andersen’s review videos that will help you learn about cell communication, cell cycle, mitosis and development. These are the major topics of Unit 4.

Here’s an extra video, just for fun.


Check out Mr. Andersen’s “bozemanbiology” channel on YouTube for more.

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Psychedelics: How They Work and Their Effect on the Human Brain

In the past century, many psychedelic compounds have been prohibited & more strongly monitored by major world powers. In the latter half of the twentieth in the United States, for example, the war on drugs began culminating with the Controlled Substances Act in 1970. Psychedelics were viewed as solely dangerous – until recently. In many studies, researchers are finding the capability of psychedelics to aid in curing mental illness ranging from depression to addiction.

John Hopkins University, an establishment pioneering the role psychedelics can have in aiding in mental illness, found “the [cigarette] abstinence rate for study participants was 80 percent after six months”, a substantial increase over varenicline (35 percent success rate). Furthermore, varenicline is known to be the most effective smoking cessation drug.

But how does it work?

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