Himelblog: Biology Education Fun

Collection by Edward Himelblau

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Cartoons and activities for biology classrooms.

Edward Himelblau
Biology Cartoons and biology teaching from Ed Himelblau, Biology Professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo chemist chemistry, chemistry for kids, chemistry labs Science Cells, Science Biology, Science Education, Life Science, Ap Biology, Forensic Science, Higher Education, Computer Science, Science Penguin

Mitosis Limericks: Prophase

Download the images for this post. I was on a limerick kick a few years ago and I did my best to come up with a poem for each phase of mitosis. Surprisingly these manage to capture most of the main events that students learn from each phase. Since every textbook has great pictures and descriptions of the phases of mitosis I like to take an alternative approach and use the limericks in class. (This is the first in a series...four in all. Stay tuned!) After showing this limerick I point out…

Biology Cartoons and biology teaching from Ed Himelblau, Biology Professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Science Cartoons, Science Puns, Science Biology, Science Education, Life Science, Physical Science, Earth Science, Science Experiments, Science Penguin

Mitosis Limericks: Telophase

Download the images for this post. Here's the last in the series of mitosis limericks (see my previous posts on prophase, metaphase, and anaphase). I've used these in class to highlight important events during mitosis without showing cell images. Students will see high quality images of mitosis in in their textbook. I have to admit that Telophase is the weakest of these limericks primarily because...it really isn't about telophase! The poem really applies more to cytokinesis in an animal…

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Thank You Teachers!

Here's an email I sent to my California State Representatives this week: A few days ago I had the pleasure to attend a conference at NASA for about 50 current and future science teachers. All were either in their first two years of teaching or about to start their training. I was moved and impressed by this group of TALENTED, CREATIVE, DEDICATED people. California is very lucky to have people like these devoting their energy and intellect to helping our kids. They are doing the most…

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Mitosis Limericks: Anaphase

Download the images for this post. Here's the third in the series of mitosis limericks (see my previous posts on prophase and metaphase). I've used these in class to highlight important events during mitosis without showing cell images. Students will see high quality images of mitosis in in their textbook. Anaphase is my favorite of these limericks...both touching and accurate from a cell biology standpoint. In this poem a single piece of DNA is referred to both as a chromosome and a sister…

The student in the second row is offering a challenge to his zoology professor. There is general agreement that 150 million ye. Biology Memes, Science Memes, Funny Science, Teaching Science, Life Science, Biology Classroom, Biology Teacher, High School Classroom, Vet Tech Quotes

Coconut a Mammal?

The student in the second row is offering a challenge to his zoology professor. There is general agreement that 150 million years ago (the number on the chalkboard) is a reasonable date for the initial appearance of mammals (though mammal-like animals have been around for closer to 250 million years.)

Biology Cartoons and biology teaching from Ed Himelblau, Biology Professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Science Cartoons, Science Puns, Science Activities, Life Science, Biological Anthropology, Dna Synthesis, Molecular Genetics, Biology Classroom, Nerdy

Unzipped

It's finals week here at Cal Poly so I've got a short post. This is one of my most frequently-viewed cartoons. It's also one of my first (drawn in 1998). There are some recognizable organelles and molecules in the background...a mitochondria, a ribosome associated with an mRNA. As far as classroom uses go this cartoon could be used to reinforce that the hydrogen bonds that hold two single strands of DNA together are relatively weak and under normal cellular conditions will undergo temporary…

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Human Chromosome vs. Human Nucleus

I made this image to use in my genetics class. In the center is an image of a human cheek cell stained with methylene blue. The line running around the cell shows the length of human chromosome 21 (the smallest chromosome) relative to the cheek cell. (Click the image for a larger view.) Check out Part II of this post to see how this image would look with the biggest chromosome in the human nucleus (chromosome 1). Pretty cool! The nucleus looks so tiny. And of course there's not one but two…

Biology Cartoons and biology teaching from Ed Himelblau, Biology Professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Biology Classroom, Microbiology, Biotechnology, Kids Rugs, Science, Lettering, Teaching, Cartoon, Activities

Too Many PCR Primers!

When I order primers for teaching and research I use the Integrated DNA Technology (IDT) company. You enter the sequence online and each primer arrives in the mail in a separate tube. IDT primers come in a 2ml cylindrical tube with a white sticker and a blue cap (hence the color scheme for this cartoon.) The term "22 mer" refers to a piece of single stranded DNA that is 22 nucleotides long...a typical length for a PCR primer. So how many different DNA sequences can you make if each is 22…

This is my favorite pedigree to use in class because it requires student to develop an explanation based on evidence and their understanding. Biology Classroom, Class Activities, Knowledge, Teaching, Education, My Favorite Things, Trust, Fun, Students

My Favorite (Y-linked) Pedigree...Part 1

This is my favorite pedigree to use in class because it requires student to develop an explanation based on evidence and their understanding of sex chromosome inheritance EVEN in the face of expert knowledge (i.e. textbooks and/or instructors) that contradicts their interpretation. (See Part 2 of this post for ideas about how to incorporate bioinformatics and chromosome biology.) Most Genetics textbooks indicate that there are no Y-linked diseases or disorders in humans. I present my…

When Eyebrows Collide: Scientists Map the Genetics of Facial Hair

The Genes Behind Your Weird Hair

The hair that covers our heads and faces varies a lot in its color, thickness, and texture—even on the same person. Now an international team of researchers may have figured out why by analyzing thousands of people's genomes.

I Made a Genetics Meme

I Made a Genetics Meme

I've never really been sure about where memes come from...but someone must be making them. So I decided to make my own. I'm curious to see if and when it starts to get spread around on Pinterest. Whether you think it is any good or not you can have the pleasure of knowing that by reading this post you are witnessing the birth of a meme.

Bar graphs aren't really that funny. Here are my attempts. Those two are pretty good. The next one is just plain weird. Math Cartoons, Math Jokes, Math Humor, Biology Classroom, Bar Graphs, Trigonometry, Teaching Math, Pretty Good, Nerdy

Bar Graph Humor

Bar graphs aren't really that funny. Here are my attempts... Those two are pretty good. The next one is just plain weird...

Biology Cartoons and biology teaching from Ed Himelblau, Biology Professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Biology Classroom, Bart Simpson, At Least, Safety, Science, Teaching, Cartoon, Activities, Humor

Safety Glasses

Short Post this week...Just a cartoon and a plea for laboratory safety. If you have a topic for a future cartoon, please write it in the comment box...then look for it in a future post. Thanks!

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Erlenmeyer's Early Experiments

Two minutes of web searching revealed the amazing fact that Emil Erlenmeyer and Robert Bunsen, two giants of lab equipment, worked in the same laboratory in the 1850s. During that time Erlenmeyer converted his backyard shed into a lab so he could mentor students (something not allowed in the Bunsen Laboratory).

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Toothpaste Genetics?

The following picture is part of an ad that ran in McCall's Magazine in 1971. Weird models...right? But beyond that, the ad raises some questions. What do they mean by "strong"? (Does brushing make teeth strong or does it help keep strong teeth healthy?) Are they suggesting that the parents brushing behavior can influence the traits of their child? Lets examine some possible student answers to the question posed in the ad (I've modeled this after Paige Keeley's Formative Assessment Probes)…