Professional Development
13 views | +0 today
Follow
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Rescooped by Laurie from Amazing Science
Scoop.it!

Ancient Plague's DNA Recovered From A 1,500-Year-Old Tooth

Ancient Plague's DNA Recovered From A 1,500-Year-Old Tooth | Professional Development | Scoop.it
“Plague may have hastened the fall of the Roman Empire. Its DNA reveals ancient roots in China.”Scientists have reconstructed the genetic code of a strain of bacteria that caused one of the most deadly pandemics in history nearly 1,500 years ago. They did it by finding the skeletons of people killed by the plague and extracting DNA from traces of blood inside their teeth. This plague struck in the year 541, under the reign of the Roman emperor Justinian, so it's usually called the Justinian plague. The emperor actually got sick himself but recovered. He was one of the lucky ones."Some of the estimates are that up to 50 million people died," says evolutionary biologistDavid Wagner at Northern Arizona University. "It's thought that the Justinian plague actually led partially to the downfall of the Roman Empire." The plague swept through Europe, northern Africa and parts of Asia. Historians say that when it arrived in Constantinople, thousands of bodies piled up in mass graves. People started wearing name tags so they could be identified if they suddenly collapsed. Given the descriptions, scientists suspected that it was caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis — the same kind of microbe that later caused Europe's Black Death in the 14th century.The bacteria get spread by fleas. After someone gets infected from a flea bite, the microbes travel to the nearest lymph node and start multiplying. "And so you get this mass swelling in that lymph node, which is known as a buboe," says Wagner. "That's where the term bubonic plague comes from."The Justinian plague has been hard to study scientifically. But recently, archaeologists stumbled upon a clue outside Munich.Housing developers were digging up farmland when they uncovered a burial site with graves that dated as far back as the Justinian plague."They found some [graves] that had multiple individuals buried together, which is oftentimes indicative of an infectious disease," Wagner says. "And so in this particular case, we examined material from two different victims. One of those victims was buried together with another adult and a child, so it's presumed that they all may have died of the plague at the same time."Skeletons were all that was left of the pair. But inside their teeth was dental pulp that still contained traces of blood — and the blood contained the DNA of plague bacteria.
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Laurie's insight:
Ok biology teachers, what will you do with this?
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Laurie from Amazing Science
Scoop.it!

Triple star system might reveal secrets of gravity

Triple star system might reveal secrets of gravity | Professional Development | Scoop.it
Astronomers have discovered a unique triple star system which could reveal the true nature of gravity. They found a pulsar with two white dwarfs all packed in a space smaller than Earth's orbit of the Sun.The trio's unusually close orbits allow precise measurements of gravity and could resolve difficulties with Einstein's theories. The results appear in Nature journal and will be presented at the 223rd American Astronomical Society meeting."This triple system gives us a natural cosmic laboratory far better than anything found before for learning exactly how such three-body systems work and potentially for detecting problems with general relativity that physicists expect to see under extreme conditions," said Scott Ransom of the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, VA."This is a fascinating system in many ways, including what must have been a completely crazy formation history, and we have much work to do to fully understand it."Pulsars emit lighthouse-like beams of radio waves that rapidly sweep through space as the stars spin on their axes. They are formed after a supernova collapses a burnt-out star to a dense, highly magnetised ball of neutrons. Using the Green Bank Telescope, the astronomers discovered a pulsar 4,200 light-years from Earth, spinning nearly 366 times per second.
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Laurie's insight:
And I thought gravity was old news...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Laurie
Scoop.it!

Preparing for the Common Core: Using Performance Assessments Tasks for Professional Development

Preparing for the Common Core: Using Performance Assessments Tasks for Professional Development | Professional Development | Scoop.it
RT @WestEd: Preparing for the #CommonCore: Using Performance Assessments Tasks for Professional Development http://t.co/TPxG0mfCQH #assessm…
Laurie's insight:
Use SLO's to connect teaching effectiveness to assessment. It's a great process for teachers.
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Laurie from iGeneration - 21st Century Education (Pedagogy & Digital Innovation)
Scoop.it!

'Build With Chrome' Lets You Play With LEGO In Your Browser

'Build With Chrome' Lets You Play With LEGO In Your Browser | Professional Development | Scoop.it
“ I don’t know about you but, as a kid, I spent A LOT of time building architectural masterpieces with LEGO bricks! I was especially proud of my huge police station and my medieval castle. Good times! If you were also a big LEGO fan then you’re gonna love this! Google and LEGO have launched a …”
Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
Laurie's insight:
Legos and Google come together!
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Laurie from iGeneration - 21st Century Education (Pedagogy & Digital Innovation)
Scoop.it!

How to Present to Millennials

How to Present to Millennials | Professional Development | Scoop.it

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
Laurie's insight:
In some cases, the millennialist are not the only ones who are comfortable being connected!
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Laurie
Scoop.it!

Bridging the Gender Gap: Encouraging Girls in STEM Starts at Home | Alicia Chang Blog | Huff Post.com

Bridging the Gender Gap: Encouraging Girls in STEM Starts at Home | Alicia Chang Blog | Huff Post.com | Professional Development | Scoop.it
The 21st century has been defined by rapid innovation in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields -- a trend showing no signs of slowing down. In 2011, women surpassed men in attaining bachelor's and advanced degrees for the first time, according to the U.S. Census. Despite these developments, a gender gap persists in the STEM workforce and is only getting wider. In computer science, only 18 percent of American college majors are women, a number that has been declining over the last 30 years (National Center for Women & Information Technology, 2012). When it comes to university professors, just 17 percent of tenure-track faculty in mathematics are female, and a paltry 11 percent in engineering (National Science Foundation, 2008). Even with vast differences in the pursuit of STEM careers, it is notable that standardized measures of math performance show no meaningful differences between males and females from elementary school through college. There are many factors that might influence a girl or young woman's decision to pursue a particular career path. While the majority of studies show no differences in STEM ability, a large divide in perceived competence starts as early as age five. One study found that by the spring of kindergarten, boys have a greater willingness to learn math concepts. By third grade, boys rate their own math competence higher than girls do, even though no differences in actual performance are found. If girls do not expect to succeed in math and other STEM domains as early as elementary school, it is not surprising that by college, their interests have shifted to fields in which they feel more confident. There is also a widely held stereotype that boys possess more innate STEM ability than girls, which has been found to impact children's performance. Girls as young as seven have been shown to underperform on math tasks when their gender has been made salient. Furthermore, several studies have found that children are socialized differently regarding mathematics based on gender. Boys tend to receive more encouragement in math from parents and teachers, and mothers overestimate boys' abilities compared to girls'. When discussing an interactive exhibit at a science museum, parents have been found to explain scientific concepts three times more often to boys than girls. And even at very young ages, children tend to receive gender-specific toys that may promote STEM skills such as building or spatial reasoning more to boys. Click headline to read more--
Laurie's insight:
At home, and at school, girls need exposure to successful women in STEM fields.
more...
No comment yet.