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If you’re a biology teacher for students K-12 and you’re currently or will soon be focusing on lessons about plants, then you may want to engage your students in some fitting experiments. The sky is the limit when it comes to choosing some experiments that pertain to plants. However, if you want to choose the absolute best biology experiments related to plants, then here are three possibilities.

Creating Oxygen in a Jar

Your school-age students will truly enjoy creating oxygen with this exciting plant-themed biological experiment. This experiment will show how plants undergo the process of photosynthesis in order to create their own food by utilizing the sun. Students can also learn how the leaf uses energy from the sun to change the water into oxygen from carbon dioxide, making the bubbles of oxygen visible. Here is an overview of this particular experiment that your students will find fascinating:

Materials needed:

  • Water
  • A wide-mouth glass jar
  • A freshly picked green leaf
  • A Magnifying glass

Instructions:

  1. Place the water into the jar and add the leaf
  2. Place the jar in a sunny location.
  3. Allow the jar to become warm before using a magnifying glass to examine the leaf
  4. Your students will be able to see thousands of tiny bubbles that have materialized on the leaf and inside the jar. The tiny bubbles are the oxygen that is being excreted from the leaf.

After performing this experiment with one leaf, you can have your students try the same experiment with other types of leaves and vegetables. You could even have them add salt or sugar to the water, use a straw to blow bubbles into the water before adding the leaf or vegetable, and more.

Growing Plant Seeds in a Jar

This is another biology lab experiment that your students will enjoy, and here are the materials that you’ll need as well as the instructions:

Materials:

  • A quart-sized glass or plastic jar/container
  • Water
  • Several paper towels
  • Various seeds of your choice (you can use dry beans from your kitchen, apple seeds, or any other type of seeds that you believe your students would enjoy watching grow.)

Instructions:

  1. Fill the jar with paper towels.
  2. Moisten the paper towels with water and make certain that you saturate them without filling the jar with water.
  3. Carefully place the seeds in the jar. Make certain that they are in a position that allows you to watch them as they grow. Ensure they’re in a comfortable position and cannot move.
  4. The more seeds you decide to experiment with, the more seeds your students can watch grow. Your students will also be able to determine which seeds thrive in this type of environment, and which don’t.

If you desire, you can vary this experiment in order to make it more interesting. You could ask your students to explain how the seeds obtain their water in order to grow. You can also have them write down the results that they find, which can be used for future reference.

Growing a Colony of Mold

Your students are likely to find this experiment extremely fun and interesting. Mold is usually a biological item that people want to refrain from growing but growing a full colony of mold for experimental purposes could be quite fun. Here is an overview of this experiment:

Materials:

  • A lemon
  • A jar
  • Water
  • Some aluminum foil
  • A magnifying glass

Instructions:

  1. Place the lemon in the jar and add a small amount of water.
  2. Using the aluminum foil, cover the lid tightly before placing the jar in a warm, dark place.
  3. Allow the container to remain in the chosen area for a week or more.
  4. Remove the lemon and use the magnifying glass to inspect the mold that has grown.
  5. Once you have finished inspecting the mold, throw the lemon in the trash and wash your hands thoroughly. Return the aluminum foil cover.

This experiment can be performed using different fruits in order to see if there are any differences. Your students will learn how mold is useful in breaking down organic material, as mold consumes the decaying fruit for food. You can also instruct your students to add salt or vinegar to the water to determine if this slows down the rate of decay.

These three plant-based biology lab experiments are just some of the many possible choices available. If you’re struggling to find new ideas for the latest and the best biology lab experiments and possibly even materials and equipment, then you should visit Modern Biology, Inc. Modern Biology, Inc. is a comprehensive online store that offers biology teachers and instructors access to a wide variety of everything needed in order to teach effectively and keep students interested and engaged. You can find unlimited biological experiments, supplies, equipment, and much more. Contact us and order yours today!

Whether you teach biology to middle school, high school, or college-level students, performing lab experiments is likely to be an important part of your curriculum. Lab experiments have the ability to stimulate your students’ interest as well as their level of comprehension through exciting hands-on experience. However, choosing the most successful biology topics for lab experiments can sometimes be a challenge for many different reasons. One main reason why it might be such a challenge is that you may not know your students well or what topics they might be most responsive to. Regardless of why you might experience difficulty determining the best biology topics, here is an overview of some of the most popular topics to choose from, courtesy of Modern Biology, Inc.

Nurture a Butterfly from Birth to Adulthood

Butterflies undergo a fascinating metamorphosis from a hatched egg into adulthood, as this beautiful and amazing insect hatches into a caterpillar, before becoming a chrysalis, and finally a butterfly. Each stage is absolutely amazing, and your students, regardless of age, will learn a great deal while thoroughly enjoying the entire process. You definitely want to give your students the pleasure of participating in this particular lab experiment, as it will be a memorable one.

Learn About Flowers Through Dissection

Nothing is more beautiful and captivating than a flower, which is why springtime is a favorite season for many. Instead of dissecting animals, which could be gross for some students, dissecting flowers can be a very pleasing alternative that can allow your students’ love of flowers to flourish even more. Not only will your students learn about the composition of a flower, but they will be able to examine the flowers step-by-step, which will enable them to gain a great deal of knowledge about them and how they grow.

Create a Seed Board

Your students are likely to find distinguishing the differences between various seeds of a multitude of plants very intriguing. There are numerous different seeds that your students can collect and compare in order to determine which seeds are similar, and which aren’t. Each student can choose which seeds they want to add to their board, as well as how they want the seeds positioned.

Examine Your Own Fingerprints

There aren’t many students that wouldn’t find examining their own fingerprints interesting and fun. Since everyone’s fingerprints are unique and unlike another person’s, your students will delight in examining each other’s prints, which will inspire them to learn as much as they can about anything related to their fingerprints.

Create a Habitat Diorama

Not only will your students enjoy choosing an animal to focus on, but they will also enjoy creating a habitat diorama. What exactly is a habitat diorama? A habitat diorama is a 3D model showing the specific details of an animal’s specific habitat. Habitat dioramas can be as detailed or as basic as a student desires. For your students who are extremely creative and artistic, you can expect that their habitat diorama will be so high quality that it might appear like an actual habitat.

By choosing the animal of their choice and then creating the habitat diorama of that animal, your students must conduct an immense amount of research. While they’re conducting research and building the habitat diorama, your students will learn a significant amount, and much of it will be retained, since they must gather some in-depth information in order to create a suitable habitat diorama.

Consume the Model of a Cell

A biology experiment that you can consume? This will almost always cause your students to become very enthusiastic as well as curious about the makeup of a cell. In addition to being curious about the overall makeup of a cell, tasting it will take their curiosity to the next level. What will the texture be like? The taste? The smell? Your students will discover the answers to these questions, and more. You can give the students a choice of different cell models to sample, such as gummy bears, Jell-O, or even lemonade or candy crystals.

Not many students are interested in the outdated biology lab experiments like dissecting worms, fetal pigs, or similar animals. Fortunately, the lab experiment ideas recommended in this article are fresh, contemporary, and extremely exciting. As a result of offering more interesting experiments, your students will be more eager and engaged. So, if you’re looking for additional biology lab experiment ideas or other ways to keep your students engaged, then you should visit Modern Biology, Inc. Modern Biology, Inc. offers an extensive selection of science-related equipment, experiments, and much more, which can dramatically improve your student’s level of engagement, as well as your access to stimulating, new material that will make teaching biology as enjoyable as it should be. Contact us today to order yours!

If you are a biology teacher at a junior high or high school, if you homeschool your children, or if you are simply a student who is fascinated by biology, you may be looking for some of the best resources to learn more about biology. Fortunately, the Internet has made it easier than ever to find out a lot about biology, including websites that offer very specific information or can even help with experiments. Read on to learn more about some of the best resources that are available for people of all ages to learn about biology.

iBiology

iBiology is a website that is committed to bringing the world’s best biology to you for free. The website has many different features on it which can be helpful to individuals of all ages, regardless of where they are in their biological journey and understanding. There are many free videos that help to teach you about modern biology. There are many features that help to show and explain how recent scientific discoveries were made. There are also forums where people can interact and ask specific questions and conduct their own research. In many cases, leading biologists chime in with their opinions and perspectives.

Microbes.info

Another great website that is a great resource for learning about biology is Microbes.info. This website has a focus on microbiology. If you are looking to learn more about microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, this is definitely the website for you. The site has many resources, including articles that you can use to study or cite information from, images so you can see exactly how microorganisms grow and look under microscopes, and a news section, which provides information on new case studies and experiments. This website is one of the best resources when you need information pertaining to microbiology.

The Biology Project

The Biology Project is a website that is maintained by the University of Arizona. The website is designed to be an interactive online resource to help people of all ages learn about biology. While many of the resources are geared toward biology students who are at a college level, there are some resources that younger individuals, including middle schoolers and high schoolers would find interesting. There are also higher-end pieces of information that can help medical students, teachers, physicians, and science writers. The website has a lot of information, including real-life applications related to biology, up-to-date research findings, and recorded experiments, ensuring students can watch along if they cannot participate in the experiment themselves. One of the features that this website has that most of the others do not is that it also has a careers section. This is a great resource for students who have a love of biology to learn about the various careers available to them in which they can use biology. This can help them find a career path that they may wish to go down in the future.

Allen Institute Resources for Teachers

The Allen Institute Resources for Teachers is a website that is primarily geared toward high school science teachers and college biology instructors. The website provides customizable lesson plans that help to introduce students to some of the most fundamental concepts in biology. These lesson plans also include guided experiments and real research experiences that students can use. This is a great resource because a lot of the lesson plans actually use information from the Allen Institute’s ongoing research projects. This ensures students are learning about biology in real time, as scientists are conducting experiments and research.

Modern Biology

Modern Biology is a website that is dedicated to helping science come to life. The website features all of the equipment that you will need to conduct science and biology experiments in a classroom setting. While the website is primarily geared toward teachers who are teaching large classes, there are also kits that individuals can buy to perform science experiments on their own. In addition to selling the equipment needed for these experiments, the website also provides resources to help you find experiments that you can perform in your class to teach.

Contact Modern Biology Today to Get the Equipment You Need to Conduct Experiments

There are many online resources that make learning about biology and teaching biology easier than ever. If you are a teacher who is looking for new ways to teach your students, or you are a student who is looking to learn on your own, these resources can make learning helpful and easy. Here at Modern Biology, Inc., we sell all of the equipment that you will need to conduct science and biology experiments in a classroom setting. Visit our website or contact us today if you need to order science equipment for science experiments.

You may not realize everything plants bring to our lives. Yes, we see how they beautify our landscaping, enjoy the shade of a tall tree, and enjoy eating them in our favorite recipes. Plants are a very important source of life in our world. They are the reason we have oxygen to breathe thanks to photosynthesis, food to eat, and many raw materials that are used to manufacture everyday products we rely on.

The study of plants is called botany. It’s a scientific term in biology that comes from the root word, botanic; a Greek word, botane. Someone who studies plants is a botanist. Botany is the world’s oldest natural science and has evolved throughout the years to include structure, properties, and biochemical processes. Botany also studies how plants interact with the environment and plant diseases.

Six Reasons We Need to Study Botany

Agriculture

Farmers are constantly facing issues with their crops and livestock. Too much rain, not enough rain, disease, insect infestation, animal illnesses, etc. These problems are not just on the farm. They affect everyone in the food chain including right down to the consumers. Understanding plants and what issues are encountered, botanists can recommend solutions to help create better seeds for better crops, give advice on healthier food for livestock, offer scientific based knowledge for organic gardening and help prevent future outbreaks and infestations.

Gardening

Gardening is part of agriculture but focuses on plants. Questions for landscapers and other gardeners include what plants will grow and thrive in what environment and climates? Botanists study everything about plants and their individual needs so we can eat fresh, healthy foods throughout the entire year.

Plant Based Textiles

Most fabrics you are familiar with are plant-based. Cotton and linen are the most common. However, through the years, plants have been used in creating modal and lyocell, newer blends. In addition to clothing, other everyday items are possible thanks to botanists and the study of plants. This includes furniture, shoes, bedding, flooring and so many other products. Botanists study and research new ways to improve these everyday household products that make our everyday lives better.

Construction

It’s common knowledge that most of the wood used in constructing homes and other structures comes from trees and hardy plants like bamboo. Many home improvement products rely on plants as their foundation. Botanists study how to sustain our forests, while coming up with innovative ways to grow trees and other plants more rapidly to keep up with the demands of a growing population. They are also responsible for providing information that assists other branches of science to maintain forests and the ecosystems within.

Energy

Plants are now playing an important role and are essential in providing the world with a new source of energy. As we become more dependent on the depleting fossil fuels and other countries for energy sources, plants are coming to the rescue. Botany is key to studying how to develop biofuels to use as alternatives to fossil fuels. Studies are ongoing that have proven photosynthesis can be converted into electrical energy. Botanists and researchers delve deep into a plant’s composition and find innovative ways like this for future generations.

Medicine

Plants are a key ingredient in medicine for hundreds of years and date back to prehistoric times. Botanists study how plants, especially herbs, grow and synthesize different chemicals that work to improve health, treat ailments and illnesses, fight off diseases, prevent cancer and other autoimmune disorders. The bark of willow is responsible for creating aspirin, the most notable pain reliever. Plants are also used to create products that prevent insect and pest infestations. As new illnesses enter the world and common ones evolve, plants will play a key role and function in creating effective medicines. Botanists also study what plants are poisonous, also critical in creating medicine.

How Did Botany Improve Life on Earth?

Botany constantly plays an important role in improving life. Learning more about plants can make life better and could save one too. As mentioned earlier, plants not only provide oxygen for the air we breathe, and medicine to keep us healthy but they also provide ingredients for the food we eat and clothes we wear, cosmetics for beauty, and the list goes on and on. Botanists study and research new innovate ways that plants can continue to play an important role in our lifestyles in the future. The bottom line is that plants nourish us with food, provide us with shelter, fuel, energy, clothing, beauty and so much more.

Best Ways to Learn Botany

Modern Biology, Inc. has a variety of quality educational courses, experiments, and equipment to help any student learn about botany. Have questions about throw to get started with our educational materials? Contact us today and let’s get started.

There has never been a better time to teach biology.

Biology is unquestionably relevant. Students want to understand pandemics, genetic differences, the effects of climate change, and the potential for biology to change their lives.

Biology labs are all about planting beans in cups and dissecting frogs anymore. Modern Biology, Inc. brings the equipment every school lab needs to keep biology teaching on the cutting edge. Even in high school, students can have hands-on experiences with Western blotting, electrophoresis, and enzyme kinetics.

And there have never been as many avenues for biology students at all levels to pursue careers in the life sciences.

So, what can biology teachers do to be even better? Great biology teachers make sure every student participates in the learning process. Here are six ways they can do that.

1. Give your students time to think about what you are teaching.

There is value in the pregnant pause. Students often struggle to keep up with difficult concepts. Give them time to take notes, reflect on what you are teaching them, and ask questions. For some teachers, this means curbing your excitement over your topic just enough to make sure every student can keep up. On that topic,

2. Make sure your lessons are inclusive of every student.

Every class has shy students. These are students who aren’t sure enough of their knowledge, or their vocabulary, or that they know the lesson well enough to sound informed. Some students just aren’t comfortable asking questions in front of the whole class.

So, make sure students participate in a different way. Get a pack of index cards. Chances are that you can find them for under $1, at least in the continental United States. At critical points in the lecture, ask each student to jot down three facts, or three open questions, about your discussion topic. Then have the students pass the index cards to the front. Answer questions and acknowledge understanding without revealing the name of the student who turned in the card.

3. Encourage students to raise their hand before they speak.

Graduate biology seminars have a way of becoming discussions. There should be an easy exchange of ideas as students “read” each other’s body language to know when to speak.

But in undergraduate and high school biology classes, there are students who have to work up the courage to speak so the entire class can hear. These students need to have the time to phrase their questions and comments without the interruption of an over-eager student’s speaking over them. Setting a policy of having students raise their hands to get your acknowledgement and permission to speak makes participation easier for students who are in the process of gaining self-confidence.

4. Multiple hands, multiple voices.

Good teachers don’t let the same student answer every question. 

Encourage multiple students to answer questions. Tell your students that you would like several of them to raise their hands to answer your question. Then, invite the participation of every student who responded to you. Confirm the right answer but call on other students to amplify and clarify the discussion.

5. Set up a participation lottery.

Whether you have a class of 7 or 70 or 700, one way to ensure participation is to take a lottery approach to student participation. Write each student’s name on a popsicle stick. Place all the popsicle sticks in a jar. Reach into the jar to pull out a stick, calling the student whose name is on it, when you want student participation. Reward participation with points toward final grades.

6. Around the class.

Assign open-ended questions for homework. Then ask every student in the class for the answers they wrote for their homework assignment, going around the class, making sure every student is called on to participate.

On the first day of class, you could ask each student what their prior experience of studying biology has been. Or you could assign every student to find an example of how understanding biology can make their own lives better. Going around the class, making sure students spend only a few seconds giving their answers, increases each student’s sense of belonging in the class.

Great biology teachers encourage verbal exchanges of facts and ideas, and they also reinforce what they teach in their lectures with their lab work. 

7. Integrate Modern Biology, Inc. into your biology curriculum.

Modern Biology, Inc. helps students use scientific facts to learn scientific method. Every Modern Biology, Inc. experiment is designed to give students an opportunity to state and test a hypothesis, based on your lectures. Then your students go into the lab, all the materials needed for the experiment provided by Modern Biology, Inc., and exercise scientific thinking to answer their own questions.

Modern Biology, Inc. reinforces verbal learning with kinesthetic learning. It teaches your students essential laboratory skills and laboratory techniques they will use through every course they take in high school or as an undergraduate. And Modern Biology, Inc. offers these learning experiences and individual biology experiments at a price you can fit into your budget.

Do you have questions? Call Modern Biology, Inc. at (765) 446-4220 or send us an email today!

If you expect to grab the attention of your students so they can become enthusiastic about learning biology, then you need to make it interesting. If you find that your students are distracted, disinterested, and bored while you’re teaching class, then you obviously need to make some changes, and fast. Once you’re able to capture the attention and the interest of your students, regardless of grade levels, they will be anxious to get to your class and see what you’ll be teaching next. 

What Strategies Can Be Used in Teaching Biology?

There are numerous strategies that can be used in teaching biology, but if your intent is to make it as fun as possible, then there are some great ways to do so. First of all, you need to incorporate a variety of materials to support your teaching. You can’t expect to maintain the interest of your students if you insist on lecturing the class on a daily basis. However, if you use videos, interactive apps, field trips and hands-on experiments in your teachings, then your students will show a lot more interest. You will also increase their chances of retaining what you’re teaching.

Another great teaching strategy for use in biology is to promote discussion among your students. If you come up with interesting topics and ask your students questions and for their opinions about the lessons, they will likely respond favorably. Students enjoy sharing their opinions, and it can make learning more fun than simply taking notes as you drone on about atoms. 

A third teaching strategy that you should incorporate into your biology class is creating some fun and interactive experiments for your students to participate in. Nothing is more fun than actually participating in something hands-on. If you come up with regular experiments, your students will look forward to coming to biology class, and you will soon see them thriving.

What Are Some Good Science Projects for 7th Graders?

If you teach seventh graders and you’re trying to come up with some fun and interesting science projects to assign them, then there are many to choose from. One good choice is a project demonstrating the length of time it takes painkillers to dissolve in the body. This project is simple, fun, and can teach your students a great deal about how painkillers work as well as which ones work the fastest. 

Another great science project to assign to your seventh-grade class is making eggs explode. What seventh grader wouldn’t love conducting a science project that actually explodes? This project teaches students about chemical reactions, which they are guaranteed to find interesting and extremely fun.

A third science project that would be fun and appropriate for seventh graders is designing a solar oven. Your students will have fun using household items to build a real, working solar oven. 

Best Biology Experiments for High School

When it comes to high school students, you will need to come up with some experiments that will hold the interest of older learners. Fortunately, there are plenty to choose from, so there should never be a shortage of ideas. One biology experiment that might be especially fun and informative for high school-age students is extracting DNA from a strawberry. By enabling your students to actually extract DNA from this popular fruit, it will not only expand their learning, but it can also help them to understand how DNA analysis works. It will definitely be memorable for your students, and it could even spark an interest in pursuing a career in biology.

High school students might also enjoy making plants move with light. Again, actually conducting a hands-on analysis of this phenomenon can make understanding it a great deal easier as well as fun. You can instruct students to work as a team or individually. Either way, they are likely to enjoy this biological experiment immensely. 

Yet another experiment that high school students might like participating in is testing the five-second rule. Many people go by this rule and will quickly pick up a dropped piece of food and eat it. Students will find out if this is accurate or not, or if they need to throw away food that has fallen on a contaminated surface. 

So, if you’re looking for some easy ways to make teaching a lot more exciting so you can entice your students to become more interested in science, then you need to check out Modern Biology, Inc. When you contact us, you can access an abundance of exciting biology materials that can help you to spice up your biology class in no time. You can purchase supplies for science experiments, programs, equipment, and so much more. Check them out today.

Lab technicians utilize a variety of different blots to identify the presence of whichever molecule they are focused on, including RNA, DNA, or protein, when they are testing a complex combination of related molecules. The process of blotting refers to the transfer of macromolecules, including proteins and nucleic acids, from a gel that is placed onto the solid surface of an immobilized membrane so that the specific molecules can be detected. All blotting techniques share a very similar workflow, which is why different methods have to be used to differentiate them from each other. Those methods are referred to as the Northern Blot, the Southern Blot, and the Western Blot methods.

The Western Blot: A little explanation

Western blotting is used to locate specific proteins in a substance, while the Northern Blot is used to determine the size and the number of RNA transcripts from a gene the lab technician is interested in.

Southern and Northern Blotting

Southern blotting was first developed in 1975 by Edwin Southern, hence its name. It was created as an analytical technique used in molecular biology research that allows users to measure the amount and size of very specific DNA sequences that are located in a complex combination through the immobilization of the target sequence to a solid support. It is then sized with a complementary DNA prep. Northern blotting was created not long after the Southern blotting method, so the two could be used in conjunction with each other, since they both share a similar workflow. This workflow includes using a sample preparation of a very purified and high-quality RNA within a substance and utilizing gel electrophoresis to separate the nucleic acid fragments by their sizes before then transferring, or in this case will refer to it as blotting, to a solid support area that will immobilize the isolated nucleic acid that has been targeted. The preparation and hybridization phase then occurs in the nucleic acid probe so that the detection of the nucleic acid probe can be determined.

The Processes

When lab technicians or students prepare a sample to be used in this experiment, keep in mind that Southern and Northern blots can both begin nearly the same way. The target DNA or RNA is purified from the samples by using nucleic acid extraction. The most common techniques to be used in this process are filter-based, spin basket extraction, and magnetic particle methods.

Gel Electrophoresis

The next step in both the Northern and Southern Blotting processes is the gel electrophoresis phase. It is used to isolate different proteins and their markers along with RNA and DNA bands. This system separates it out.

Blotting

After the electrophoresis is done, the DNA or RNA is transferred over to a membrane of nylon that is positively charged. The kit by Modern Biology, Inc. has everything you need to complete the entire process and allows for a much quicker outcome of the process. You will not even need any liquids or buffers, which will make the whole thing come to completion even sooner.

Next Steps

The next step in the process is probe labeling. In this step, a probe is used on the nucleic acid to facilitate the homologous to the sequences that are targeted. They are then labeled with a dye, an enzyme, or through radioactivity which generates a chemical signal to let you know that it is luminescent after incubation.

Next up is the hybridization process in which the labeled probe is incubated with the DNA or RNA fragments that are on the blot so that hybridization can occur. This process within the kit by Modern Biology, Inc. takes less than two hours to complete.

The last step is to go over your results to see if the marker that you were looking for has been detected.

Contact Us

For the best in biology experiment kits and other equipment, contact us today.

In Modern Biology, Inc.’s new experiment, IND-32: Plant Pigment/Peroxidase Analysis, students choose a variety of vegetables and fruits. They then extract pigments and peroxidase the fun way, with a mortar and pestle. Finally, students do electrophoresis against cytochrome C and hemoglobin-albumin to characterize the pigments they extract.

Modern Biology, Inc.‘s experiments are self-contained hands-on experiences of scientific method. Your students will state and test their own hypotheses about the molecular structures of the pigments they release from plant matter with mortar and pestle and hydrogen peroxide. But how can you make the topic even more relevant and memorable?

We suggest that you proceed this lab with a discussion of plant pigments in well-known fruits. This can answer the question “What are photosynthetic pigments?” in a way that your students will understand and remember.

Start your lecture with some show and tell. Display either a photo of an unripe fruit, or an actual unripe fruit. Then show your students either a photo of a fully ripe fruit, or an actual ripe fruit. Then ask them “What’s the difference?”

The answer, of course, is flavor, softness, and color! Even if you only have a photo of fruit to show your students, chances are that all of them will have a concept of the differences between ripe and unripe fruit.

This is the time to point out that plants get their colors from pigments. But what advantage does having pigments confer to the plant?

Fruits contain pigments. They also contain seeds. Plants depend on animals to disperse their seeds, and the green, yellow, red, purple, orange, and blue pigments in fruits, berries, and vegetables make them more attractive to the animals that the plants need to spread their seed around.

The green pigment chlorophyll is essential for photosynthesis. Without the capture of photons of sunlight by chlorophyll in the chloroplasts, plants could not transform water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates.

Red, blue, and purple anthocyanin pigments also help plants attract animals to pollinate their flowers as well as to eat their fruit. But these antioxidant pigments also protect chlorophyll. They shade the chloroplasts from the effects of excessive sunlight. The longer the fruit stays in the sun, the more protection its chlorophyll needs from excessive UV rays, so the darker and deeper the red, blue, and purple pigments become.

Orange and yellow carotenoid pigments stabilize the chemical bonds between chlorophyll and proteins in the plant. They also act as a kind of sunblock for the plant. In the presence of sunlight, carotenoids combine with oxygen to become xanthophylls. They capture free radicals of oxygen and prevent them from damaging the DNA inside active cells.

Carotenoids and xanthophylls make it safe for the plant to produce oxygen in the process of photosynthesis. Otherwise, the oxygen released by photosynthesis would damage the organelles that produce it.

By protecting the process of photosynthesis, plant pigments power the process of ripening in fruits. They enable the fruit to continue to manufacture the sugars that make it sweet. A fruit that doesn’t look ripe is almost never sweet. It can’t be, because its chloroplasts cannot use chlorophyll to make the sugars we desire in the fruit.

Your students may also be interested in the role plant pigments can play in human health. The human body can transform carotenoids such as beta-carotene, gamma-carotene, lutein, astaxanthin, cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin into vitamin A. This ability makes vegan diets for humans nutritionally possible. But some of our pets, notably cats, don’t have this ability and have to get their vitamin A from animal fats.

Modern Biology, Inc. has dozens of experiments for introductory, AP, and college biology classes. Every kit provides all the test materials, reagents, and experiment-specific equipment students need for a laboratory experience of an important concept. Everything Modern Biology, Inc. supplies to schools is thoroughly tested and non-toxic, and every experiment comes with a teacher’s guide.

Have questions? Modern Biology, Inc. has answers! Call us weekdays at (765) 446-4220 or contact us anytime.

DNA fingerprinting, also known as DNA testing, DNA profiling or DNA typing, involves collecting cells from an individual’s body. These cells are specific to each and every person, and no two cell profiles are the same. The cells can be taken in different ways, such as swabbing the inside of your mouth, scrapping skin cells from your body, getting DNA from the root of your hair, or getting cells from bodily fluids, such as saliva, sweat or blood. Once the cells are collected, chemicals then separate the DNA from the cells and a DNA profile, or a DNA fingerprint, is extracted. Since DNA is unique to each person, DNA analysis can be used in a lot of unique ways, making it extremely important. Here are some of the unique ways a DNA fingerprint can be used.

Connecting Individuals to Crimes

One of the reasons why DNA fingerprinting is so important is because it is often used to connect individuals to a crime. When a crime is committed, the individual who committed the crime often leaves behind their DNA in some way. They may leave behind skin cells when they touch a door or a window, may leave behind bodily fluids if they sexually assault their victim, or may leave behind blood if they are injured during the course of the crime. Detectives use DNA fingerprinting to connect individuals to crimes or to disconnect suspects to a crime.

Proving the Identity of a Dead Body

Bodies decompose. Unfortunately, this makes it hard to identify dead bodies that may have been buried, placed in water, or may not have been discovered for some time. Another way that DNA fingerprinting is being used these days is to help identify dead bodies that otherwise may be unidentifiable. This can help to bring closure to families who may not know where their loved one is or what happened to them.

Establishing Who Is Related to Who

Most people are familiar with Maury Povich and him telling guests you are the father or you are not the father. But have you ever wondered about the science involved in proving whether someone is or is not the father of a child? DNA fingerprinting is the science involved in determining who the father of a child is. While this science is most commonly used in paternity tests, it can be used to determine if a child put up for adoption has truly found their long-lost mother or if two people share any type of familiar relationship.

Matching Organ Donors with Transplant Patients

DNA fingerprinting is most commonly used to establish paternity or for identifying suspects in a crime. However, DNA fingerprinting is also being used to make some important breakthroughs in the medical community. One of the ways that DNA fingerprinting is being used is to help match organ donors with transplant patients. This type of technology allows doctors to determine who may be the best fit when matching available organs with available transplant patients.

Identifying Disease That Can Be Passed Down Through Families

Another medical use for DNA fingerprinting is to help identify diseases that can be passed down through families. For example, the breast cancer gene, BRCA, is identified using a DNA fingerprint and profile. This type of technology helps doctors determine who may be at risk for certain diseases. This helps these individuals to be monitored for diseases so they can be caught early on and one day may become the key to preventing these diseases from happening altogether.

At Modern Biology, Inc., we are committed to ensuring that students have access to high-quality science experiments and lab equipment. If your students are planning to do science experiments utilizing DNA fingerprinting, our team can help. Contact us today to see what experiment kits we have ready to go and start teaching your class about DNA and how it can affect their life in many different ways.

Many students, as well as adults, may be wondering what buffers do in biology. Buffers are actually the combination of weak acids and their salts of strong bases. Buffers can also be a mixture of weak bases and their salts of strong acids. Buffers assist in maintaining a normal pH level in biological systems. This means that when an acid or even an alkali is added to a substance, it will change the pH of the solution if there are no buffers present. In other words, buffers are chemicals that are used to help a liquid resist a change in its aesthetic properties when chemicals are added that otherwise would change the composition of the pH level. Keep in mind that buffers are imperative for living cells because they maintain the correct pH of a liquid.

You may be wondering what is pH? Well, it is basically a measure of how acidic a liquid is. For example, if you test the pH level of lemon juice, it will have a very low pH level of about two or three since it is extremely acidic. This process is very similar to the chemical makeup in your stomach since the acid is used to break down the food that you eat. Since acidic levels are able to destroy proteins in cells that are made up of an abundance of proteins, all cells need to have buffers both inside and outside of them to protect the protein in them. The pH level inside a cell is about seven, which is considered to be extremely neutral, just like water is.

What Do Buffers Do in Biology?

If a chemical is an acid and the opposite would be a chemical that is a base, then both can exist in any type of liquid. An acid releases a hydrogen ion into whatever liquid you are working with, while a base takes the hydrogen ion out of the liquid. The more the hydrogen ions, which are free-floating, are in a liquid, the more acidic that particular liquid will become. This means that acids make a liquid more acidic while bases make a liquid more basic, or less acidic. Buffers are chemicals that are able to very easily release or eliminate hydrogen ions in a liquid. The pH scale is used to measure how many hydrogen ions are in each liquid. The pH scale goes from zero to 14, which means a pH from zero to seven is considered to be acidic, but if the pH level is seven to 14, it is considered to be basic. A pH level that is seven, which is right in the middle, is considered to be neutral like pure water. Different buffers can maintain different pH levels, but the ones that are found inside a cell, as we said in the paragraph above, have a pH level of around 7.2.

pH Affects Protein Shape

The pH level can affect the shape of the proteins in a cell, which is troublesome since the proteins only work correctly when they have their normal three-dimensional type of shape. This means that the inside of a cell gets too acidic or too basic and the proteins can begin to lose their shape and will no longer work correctly. The buffers inside a cell will prevent this from happening.

Buffers in Science Experiments

Buffers can be used in scientific experiments so that students can see this whole process taking place in real-time. To be able to conduct proper scientific experiments, it is important that you buy buffers and other items for science experiments from a trusted and reliable source. Modern Biology, Inc., has been producing top-notch products for science experiments since 1986. Call them today or visit the website.