"Science Netlinks is a great resource website for science teachers. I came across it while I was compiling a list of the best science games for students. Science NetLinks is a project of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. At Science NetLinks, you'll find teaching tools, interactives, podcasts, and hands-on activities, and all of it is free! Science Netlinks provides a wide variety of science lesson plans and other materials that teachers can use with their students in class."
Via John Evans
“After years of failed attempts, researchers have successfully generated stem cells from adults. The process could provide a new way for scientists to generate healthy replacements for diseased or damaged cells in patients”After years of failed attempts, researchers have finally generated stem cells from adults using the same cloning technique that produced Dolly the sheep in 1996.
A previous claim that Korean investigators had succeeded in the feat turned out to be fraudulent. Then last year, a group at Oregon Health & Science University generated stem cells using the Dolly technique, but with cells from fetuses and infants.In this case, cells from a 35-year-old man and a 75-year-old man were used to generate two separate lines of stem cells.
The process, known as nuclear transfer, involves taking the DNA from a donor and inserting it into an egg that has been stripped of its DNA. The resulting hybrid is stimulated to fuse and start dividing; after a few days the “embryo” creates a lining of stem cells that are destined to develop into all of the cells and tissues in the human body. Researchers extract these cells and grow them in the lab, where they are treated with the appropriate growth factors and other agents to develop into specific types of cells, like neurons, muscle, or insulin-producing cells.
Reporting in the journal Cell Stem Cell, Dr. Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer at biotechnology company Advanced Cell Technology, and his colleagues found that tweaking the Oregon team’s process was the key to success with reprogramming the older cells. Like the earlier team, Lanza’s group used caffeine to prevent the fused egg from dividing prematurely. Rather than leaving the egg with its newly introduced DNA for 30 minutes before activating the dividing stage, they let the eggs rest for about two hours. This gave the DNA enough time to acclimate to its new environment and interact with the egg’s development factors, which erased each of the donor cell’s existing history and reprogrammed it to act like a brand new cell in an embryo.
The team, which included an international group of stem cell scientists, used 77 eggs from four different donors. They tested their new method by waiting for 30 minutes before activating 38 of the resulting embryos, and waiting two hours before triggering 39 of them. None of the 38 developed into the next stage, while two of the embryos getting extended time did. “There is a massive molecular change occurring. You are taking a fully differentiated cell, and you need to have the egg do its magic,” says Lanza. “You need to extend the reprogramming time before you can force the cell to divide.”While a 5% efficiency may not seem laudable, Lanza says that it’s not so bad given that the stem cells appear to have had their genetic history completely erased and returned to that of a blank slate. “This procedure works well, and works with adult cells,” says Lanza.The results also teach stem cell scientists some important lessons. First, that the nuclear transfer method that the Oregon team used is valid, and that with some changes it can be replicated using older adult cells. “It looks like the protocols we described are real, they are universal, they work in different hands, in different labs and with different cells,” says Shoukhrat Mitalopov, director of the center for embryonic cell and gene therapy at Oregon Health & Science University, and lead investigator of that study.
VIDEO: Breakthrough in Cloning Human Stem Cells: ExplainerMORE: Stem-Cell Research: The Quest Resumes
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
"Do you love watching starts at night? How about some iPad apps that can render your star gazing a wonderful and informative experience? Below are some of the popular apps I would recommend for you. With these apps installed on your device, you will be able to explore the marvels of the sky and delve into the secrets of planets without having to be an astronomer."
Via John Evans
"Technology provides teachers with a great way to provide evidence with artifacts of their effective practice. Across the country this has been a priority for schools that are incorporating a teacher evaluation based on the Danielson Framework. The model contains various components organized into the following four domains."
"Thinking Blocks is a nice site for elementary and middle school mathematics teachers. Thinking Blocks provides interactive templates in which students use brightly colored blocks to model and solve problems. As students work through the problems they are provided with feedback as to whether or not they are using the correct sequence to solve each problem. There are templates and problems for addition, multiplication, fractions, and ratios. You can also develop your own problems using the modeling tool."
Via John Evans
The 100 Greatest Science Books list contains a mixture of classic and popular works, chosen for their accessibility and relevance. Most of the books selected are suitable for a well educated layman with only a few being for a more serious reader. The list covers the obvious subjects: biology, chemistry, and physics, as well as mathematics, the philosophy of science, and the history of science. It also includes several biographies.
Via Dennis T OConnor
NASA calls it the most colorful image ever captured by the Hubble Space Telescope--and the most comprehensive. It has to be one of the most spectacular.But the image--the remarkable payoff of a new survey called the Ultraviolet Coverage of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field--is more than merely beautiful. It may also help fill in some gaps in our understanding of how stars form.Previous versions of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field captured wavelengths of light from visible and near-infrared as well as the far-ultraviolet (UV), Alan Boyle wrote on the NBC News website. But near-ultraviolet light wasn't covered nearly as well.When you add the UV light, you get quite a view. And what a view it is! The new image, a false-color compilation of shots taken during the course of 841 orbits of Hubble between 2003 and 2012, contains roughly 10,000 galaxies in a vast variety of shapes and sizes."The galaxies show every possible shape and size, astronomer Phil Plait wrote on Slate. "Many are distorted, victims of collisions with other galaxies, their mutual gravity pulling them into weird shapes like taffy quadrillions of kilometers across. Many are very blue, showing active star formation, while others are exceedingly red, probably galaxies much farther away, their light taking far longer to reach us. Note that most of the very red galaxies are smaller dots, another indication of their tremendous distance."Named after astronomer Edwin Hubble, the Hubble Space Telescope is a venture of NASA and the European Space Agency. It was launched in 1990 and has been wowing us ever since.
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
"A long-tested curriculum for middle schoolers that blends algebra and geometry concepts with the programming of games is getting a new boost. Bootstrap, which has been around for about six years, is teaming up with Code.org and the New York City Foundation for Computer Science Education (CSNYC) to help educators learn how to teach students algebraic and geometric concepts with computer programming. The middle school curriculum http://bit.ly/1mvgIVV developed by Bootstrap, is free and aligns with the Common Core math standards. The organization also offers paid professional development workshops at locations around the country."
Via John Evans
"Throughout middle school and high school conducting lab experiments was my favorite part of every science class that I took. There was something about the hands-on aspect of science labs that always got me excited about learning."
Via Beth Dichter
“In the past decade, the US honeybee population has been decreasing at an alarming and unprecedented rate. While this is obviously bad news for honeypots everywhere, bees also help feed us in a bigger way -- by pollinating our nation's crops. Emma Bryce investigates potential causes for this widespread colony collapse disorder.”
Via Beth Dichter
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