Sunday, March 26, 2017

Reflection for Week of March 20-24

This week was all about getting back to basic genetic patterns (4.2 and 4.5), like Mendelian Genetics, and codominance (blood type and sickle cell disease).  We went over the basic terminology, like heterozygous, homozygous, dominant, and recessive, and began using Punnett Squares again.  Most of this was review from sophomore year, like generic monohybrid and dihybrid crosses, but some of it was new, like the way we learned to do dihybrid crosses by multiplying probabilities rather than making a four by four Punnett Square.  This new trick was SOOOOOOO incredibly useful, especially since we can now do, say, tetra-hybrid crosses (no, you don’t want to make a massive Punnett Square, as it turns out!).  We also dove back into Chi Squares, and while I still have some questions about the technical side of what exactly I’m looking at, not having taken Stats, I get the basic idea and can use them to analyze data.  Our last activity of the week was the fungus tetrad crossing over activity, and wow, fungus is weird.  I was very confused as to what I was seeing, but with some questions for Mrs. Cole, I mostly understood the strange lives of fungus and the activity made more sense.  Fungus are still weird, though.  
Overall, I feel pretty good about this week’s work.  Much of it was review, and it was good to get back to genetics, but even the new material wasn’t hard for me to understand, probably because there wasn't a ton of it for me to process.  I think I would like to take one more look at the fungus lab and really thoroughly take in the lifecycle of fungus, because it is so different from ours and I would like a more solid understanding of it.  I also need to work on my understanding of Mendel’s Laws of Segregation and Independent Assortment, as I feel a little rusty on those and where they are reflected in meiosis.  I will take another look at those, and come to Mrs. Cole with any questions I have. I would also like to better understand Chi Squares, but that is time-dependent.
Coding for genes and alleles is the purpose of DNA, so fits nicely into our information unit.  Understanding how genes are expressed is key to understanding how populations evolve and are acted upon, as was studied in Unit One, how the body synthesizes proteins, carbs, lipids, and nucleic acids, as discussed in Unit Two, and how our body is able to create and store energy, as was looked at in Unit Three.  Without genes, what would we be?  Wow, that’s a question my brain can’t even handle right now.  I’m going to stop there.  

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