Toucan Play That Game

A blog about life...literally

Mammal Monday – Take It To the Bank

Did you know?

The bank vole lives in woodland areas in Europe and Asia. Predators such as owls, foxes, and weasels take their toll on bank vole populations throughout the year. This may be because they are not easily frightened and can be readily seen climbing through the undergrowth during the day. You might say that, when it comes to their predators, the bank vole is generous to a vault.


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Winged Wednesday – Ancient Aeronaut

NYC pterosaur
Pteranodon (Pteranodon longiceps)
Image from Wikimedia Commons

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God Mode

Humans dream about being able to modify themselves to perfection, or to their satisfaction – “What if I’m just a little bit stronger, a little bit taller, or can focus really just a little bit more?” Genome editing, a technology that rose during the 1990s, although usually oversimplified, becomes a term that appears often in literature, movies, and video games.

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Winged Wednesday – Do You Hear What I Hear?

Did you know?

The call of the Northern Cassowary could be considered one of the least bird-like calls of any bird. As heard in the video below, they make grunting and hissing sounds.


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Climate Change and Its Unconventional Effects

Climate change has become a serious issue in today’s world due to the increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It has caused many detrimental things to occur such as air pollution which has left many humans ill of diseases such as lung cancer. However, what has really been hit by climate change is our planet’s once flourishing animal life. We all have seen the issues that can be tied to climate change from coral bleaching to the melting of the ice caps. Due to coral bleaching, not only have coral reefs been dying out, but the animals that sought out for them in seek of shelter have now lost their habitat. Due to the ice caps melting, animals such as polar bears have also been losing what they once called home. Scientists continue to find issues that connect to climate change almost every day, one of the most recent being a deadly skin disease that has hit marine life, such as dolphins, hard.

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Malleable mRNA

Messenger RNA plays a vital role in the biological process of protein synthesis. Through two main steps — transcription and translation — the single-stranded molecule carries transcribed genetic information from DNA to ribosomes, which read the mRNA and make the proteins. After understanding and observing this natural process, researchers began to develop methods and technology that would create mRNA sequences. Cells recognize these synthesized mRNA as if they are produced by our bodies, and the normal process of protein synthesis would then occur. This method allows scientists to produce one specific protein that could give the human body the ability to build immunity against or prevent a disease.

Ribosome mRNA translation en
The translation of mRNA in the ribosome
Image from Wikimedia Commons

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Cells Can Monitor Protein Synthesis Under Stress

Hundreds of thousands of ribosomes exist in a singular cell. Ribosomes are the sites in the cell in which protein synthesis occurs while using instructions from mRNA. These proteins are formed from monomers called amino acids, which are linked together to form chains. Cells can experience stress as a result of many things such as temperature shifts, misfolded proteins, and oxidative stress. If proteins continued to complete the process of protein synthesis during stress, cells waste energy, and damaged proteins can build up and lead to toxicity and disease. To prevent this, a new study shows that cells can quickly stop making proteins when under stress.

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Frog Friday – Take the Red Eye

The frogs above are exhibiting a behavior called amplexus, in which a male amphibian grasps a female with his front legs as part of the mating process.


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Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration and the Effect of Evolution

The unit of our textbook relating to photosynthesis and cellular respiration was one highly intriguing to me. It was like an applicable example of the processes of evolution of the organisms of our planet. Diving into the basic functions of both photosynthesis and cellular respiration along with their counterparts and sub steps really gave a clear picture of how resilient life can be, and how adaptable it can be.

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Photosynthesis

Generally, Photosynthesis is largely responsible for producing and maintaining the oxygen content of the Earth’s atmosphere and supplies most of the energy necessary for life on Earth. photosynthesis is a process used by plants to convert light energy into chemical energy that can later be released to duel the organisms’ activities. This chemical energy is stored in carbohydrate molecules, such as sugars, which are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water.

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