It’s always nice to see Kevin Costner with a mustache.

American Flyers

VO2 max (also maximal oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen uptake or aerobic capacity) is the maximum capacity of an individual’s body to transport and utilize oxygen during incremental exercise, which reflects the physical fitness of the individual.


Period 1-2

We completed our first practical to explore the relationship between diffusion and cell size by experimenting with model “cells.”

Those are the instructions on how to prepare the agar solution. As a first experiment, I do not give any written instructions to my students. We have a 10 minute briefing and then they have to come up with their own experiment. They are not used to that kind of freedom in a lab and it gives them a taste of what the experiments in biology will be like.

They have their first attempt at completing a full lab report.

Period 3-4

More theory on Topic 2.1 Cell Theory.

Homework:  Complete page 1-2 from Stephen Taylor‘s review.

Period 5-6

I teach SL and HL at the same time. It’s always a hard decision to make but this year I began the first semester with Option H Further Human Physiology with HL. Not an ideal start, but I keep in mind that they will have the October break to revise and complete more Paper 3 questions and also during their summer break I will give them a nice packet of Paper 3 questions.

It shows my HL students that they will have to work hard right away if they expect to pass the class.

If you have a better suggestion on the subject, please do let me know.

Period 1-2

Introduction Day with presentation of my website.

I started Topic 2.1 Cell Theory with this great video on BBC iPlayer: The Cell: The Hidden Kingdom.

A few interesting ideas to spice up section 6.6 on Reproduction.

An interesting Podcast with Carl Zimmer on the origin of sexual reproduction.

Book The red queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature by Matt Ridley.

This reminds me of another one by Olivia Judson: Dr Tatiana’s Sex Advice to all creation.

I did not have a chance to read the latest book by Mary Roach The curious coupling of science and sex, but she is giving this 20 minute lecture on Ted about 10 things you don’t know about orgasm.

Also in the New Scientist. Everything you always wanted to know about female ejaculation (but were afraid to ask)

Bonne lecture…

You are looking for scientific articles related to your extended essay and you are having a hard time finding something relevant.

Here is a nice website giving you a few tips to facilitate your research.

It is always interesting for students to link a section of the syllabus with a real life application.
In the french blog from journalist Valérie Bord we learn that 80% of all medical isotopes used around the world are produced by just two nuclear reactors.
One is installed in Canada and the other one is in The Netherlands.
The problem is that those two reactors are getting old: the first reactor was built in 1945, and the other one in 1961. The prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, decided in 2008 to abandon the maintenance of the reactor leaving the world with little option but to replace it.

It is worthwhile to point out to the students the importance of those nuclear reactors  that are producing medical isotopes as opposed to electricity.

Here is a nice post on the blog of Bob LeDrew on the same issue with an interesting point of view from Dr. William Leiss including a possible solution.