Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chernobyl Article

Name: Natalie Kim and Hannah LaBrecque
Read the article, Chernobyl’s effects linger on ( and answer these questions.

1. When was this article published?
On Wednesday, 10 May, 2000 this article was published.

2. Why will restrictions on some food continue in the United Kingdom and former Soviet Union for another 50 years?

Restrictions on some food continue in the UK and former Soviet Union for another 50 years because researchers have found that radioactivity levels are very high.

3. Where have high levels of radioactive caesium been measured?

High levels of the element caesium have been found in fish in Norway and Cumbria. Also in earthbound plants and lake water.

4. What happened to the levels of radioactive caesium during the first five years after the Chernobyl accident?

The caesium’s half-life rose during the first five years of Chernobyl.

5. Describe why levels of radioactive cesium are not decreasing anymore.

Radioactive caesium are no longer waning because the environment is not cleaning itself and the caesium is not totally immobilised.

6. Why is diffusion of radioactive cesium back into the environment occurring? Explain the physical principle behind this diffusion.

Radioactive caesium is spreading into the environment again because with chemical processes, there are usually back reactions. As Doctor Jim Smith says, a concentration gradient causes the diffusion to occur, which then causes the radioactivity, the water, and the soil balance, and then is sucked into the soil itself. When balance alters, the gradient levels out, and the alteration between take-up and release differs.

7. How long will the United Kingdom have to continue restrictions on sheep from the Cumbria region as a food item for humans?

The UK will have to further the restrictions on Cumbrian sheep as food for 10-15 years, which is much longer than they expected.

8. How long will forest berries, fungi, and fish from parts of the former Soviet Union remain restricted?

Forest berries, fungi, and fish from parts of the former Soviet Union will remain restricted for fifty years.

All rights reserved. Science NetLinks Student Sheets may be reproduced for educational purposes.Chernobyl’s Effects – E-Sheet Questions

Lesson Title: The Chernobyl Disaster Page 2 of 2
Now read Chernobyl Children Show DNA Changes and answer these questions.

1. Who are the children that this article is about? To whom were they born?

The children this article is about are mutated children of Chernobyl. They were born to people who cleaned up the explosion.

2. What are “liquidators”?

Liquidators is a term used to refer to people of the clean up team for Chernobyl. The USSR gave the nickname to 800,000 people.

3. Why are scientists studying the children?

The scientists are studying the children because of their exposure to chemicals/waste.

4. What are the controls in this study?

The controls of this study are internal, the children of parents who were exposed to radioactivity, and external, the children of people who were not exposed.

5. Describe what scientists discovered about the children’s DNA.

Scientists found that children had unexpectedly high amount of mutations after 1986.

6. Describe the factors that may be linked to the number of DNA changes observed in children.

The factors that are connected to the number of DNA alterations are that their parents were expose to chemical debris.

Read Nuclear Energy Agency: Health Impact and answer these questions.

1. Describe what happens to DNA, cells, and organs after low and high doses of radiation.

When DNA receives low doses of radiation it may be able to heal most of the cell, if it receives high doses then the DNA cell will most likely die. At low doses cells regenerate, but at high doses they will be destroyed and cause problems with organs.

2. Describe the acute health effects of the Chernobyl disaster.

Some acute health effects of Chernobyl disaster are immediate death from being hit by explosion, thermal burns, and coronary thrombosis. There were a total of 31 deaths post-accident. There were 499 people taken in for examination and 237 were quickly diagnosed with acute radiation syndrome.

3. Describe the chronic or late health effects of the Chernobyl disaster.

There were many diseases such as thyroid cancer that were found later on.

All rights reserved. Science NetLinks Student Sheets may be reproduced for educational purposes.

Conversation of the People

  • Animals are being endangered from drugs, such as vultures and wild dogs
  • Preserving biodiversity for its own sake is not an effective conservation strategy
  • We need to focus on protecting ecosystems, because it can be vital to human health
  • Saving sites will preserve biodiversity
  • Hot spots are very important to protect because they have high plant and animal diversity
  • We
    need to identify threatened areas with high plant diversity and protect
    them -the usual tactics are establishing national parks or reserves
  • It is key to protect communities and habitats-they typically house endangered species
  • many different ecosystems, such as wetlands and mangroves, protects people from lethal storms and weathers
  • some
    governments and the public are increasingly trying to create efforts to
    preserve biodiversity as elevating the needs of plants and animals
  • The hot spot phrase is not succeeded in capturing the public imagination or interest
  • A recent survey showed that only 30% of Americans have heard the term biodiversity
  • Many of the world’s least diverse regions are proven to be important seasonal homes, migratory stops or nesting sites
  • countries with harbor life raft ecosystems are conservation priorities
  • Ecosystem services are provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting
  • Critical and endangered habitats need to be protected
  • Conservation and human needs need to be aligned to help protect the environment and biodiversity
  • Conservation needs principles to guide it
  • humans are threatened when ecosystems and natural cycles break down
  • our environment will consist mainly of human-influenced systems
  • conservation and social issues don’t have many ties so it is hard to get public support to help
  • we need to protect the natural water and also wildlife
  • Poor
    farming and logging practices in the vicinity of the condor rejected
    area because of the new income it had serve and farm animals grazing too
    close to stream and river channels are the culprits.
  • Because
    our environment will consist mainly of human-influenced systems,
    biodiversity protection must be pursued in the context of landscapes
    that include urban centers, intensive agriculture, and managed forests
    and rivers, not just nature preserves.
  • Ironically, protected areas will most likely need to be intensely supervised to retain their “wildness.”
  • “DUST
    from degraded grassland ecosystems in sub-Saharan Africa travels far
    afield in wind, harming coral reefs, tourism and fisheries in the
  • Protecting important ecosystems in one part of the world can also help people an ocean away.
  • Without
    a close connection between conservation and social issues, policies
    that protect biodiversity are unlikely to find much public support.
  • areas
    with a higher rate of poverty are basically more dependent on natural
    systems and their ecosystem services are severely degrading
  • In 2000 the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Nature Conservancy
    and local Ecuadorian partners established a water fund
  • The fund has collected $4.9 million for supporting conservation, education and water projects upstream from Quito
  • more than 3.5 million trees have been planted in order to reforest denuded watersheds
  • "by
    eliminating wolves and mountains, people in the eastern USA triggered
    an explosion of deer and deer tick populations which has resulted in
    more than 20,000 new cases of Lyme disease annually
  • they are going to use cute, iconic figures to represent
  • Life Raft ecosystems are places that are stricken with poverty

New words or terms:
  1. harbor life raft
  2. hot spot
  3. endemic

Summary of the article:

The article was basically about the conservation of the bio-diversities.
The article talked about how scientists look at the conversation. The
article discussed some of the different biodiversity and how we were
trying to preserve them. They talked about the different ecosystems and
what was important about them, and how the country that they were
located in, where trying to preserve them.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Giant Galapagos tortoise is a very fascinating organism. It spends 16 hours a day taking a nap. The speed of the tortoise is very slow, and it is the largest species of tortoise in the world. One tortoise, named Jonathan, set the world record of the oldest organism on Earth, which is 175 years of age. They can weigh up to 400 kilograms which is 882 pounds and can reach a length of 6ft. The tortoise does not have to compete for food because there are no other organisms similar to it. They are cold blooded, so they need 1 to 2 hours to absorb heat from the Sun. They are most active between early morning and late afternoon. The tortoise has a mutualistic relationship with the Galapagos finch and other small birds. The birds get to eat the parasites on the tortoise while the tortoise is ridden of pests.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

1. If being flashy and colorful attracts predators, why do you think guppies are so colorful?

One reason that the guppies are so colorful is because the genes are passed done from past generations. The bright colors on the males also attract female guppies. The females are more drab and grey, which makes them less visible to their predators. The higher amounts of courtship the male guppy has, the more likely the chance they will be able to mate. Females preferred males with higher courtship rates.

2. After viewing the guppy gallery, pick the fish you find most interesting. What is the fish’s scientific name, origin and average size? Describe the coloration of the fish you chose.

The common name of the fish we chose was the Guppy or the millions fish. The scientific name of it is Poecilla Retriculata. The average size of it is 1.4 inches or 3.5 centimeters. The fish has an orange and black fin on its back and the back tail is a green. The main body of the fish has splotches of yellow and around it is a charcoal black. The lower fin, like the tail, is also green.

3. After viewing the predator gallery, pick the fish you find most interesting. What is the fish’s common name, scientific name, and origin?

The common name of the fish we chose was the Pike Cichlid. The scientific name is the Crenicichla Alta. The average size is 12 inches or 20 centimeters. The fish is mainly pink and it has different hues of the color. Some of the pink shades include, bubble gum pink, a purply pink, dark pink, etc.

4. View the guppy’s habitats, what habitat conditions would affect the predator populations?

Habitat conditions that could affect predator populations include natural rock dams, small pools, and open rivers. Guppies that live above small rock dams face a moderate amount of predators, while guppies that live above large rock dams enjoy little to no predators. Small pools of water can sustain small numbers of guppies, but are not deep enough for larger predators. The place where predators thrive are the large open rivers with lots of water and no hidden places.

5. Who is John Endler? What did he study and where did he study it?

He studied the evolution of guppies and how their colors affected them in Trinidad. DEGREES: B.A. in Zoology, honors with distinction, University of California, Berkeley, 1969. Ph.D. in Zoology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, 1973. Worked with profs. Bryan C. Clarke, Douglas Falconer, and Alan Robertson (Clarke was my Ph.D. supervisor).

6. For each of the three stream areas, describe the guppy coloration

Pool 1: In pool 1, the guppies are extremely bright with multi-colored, large spots. There is a total of 75 guppies in Pool 1. There is also a total of 12 predators in the pool.

Pool 2: In pool 2, the guppies are medium coloration on the body and tail, with medium sized spots. There is a total of 83 guppies in Pool 2 and 22 predators as well.

Pool 3: In pool 3, the males have drab coloration and they have very small spots concentration near the tail. There is a total of 110 guppies Pool 3 and there are 42 predators as well.

7. Develop your own hypothesis about guppy coloration. The hypothesis should answer the questions: Why do guppies in different areas of the stream have difference in coloration? (You can choose from the list on the simulation, or make up your own)

Predators are causing guppy populations to become more drab by preying on the most brightly colored individuals.

8. Describe how predators influence guppy coloration.

Predators influence guppy coloration by eating the guppies that are easiest to find. By way of illustration, if the most vibrant guppies are the easiest to find, the population of the drabbest guppies will surpass the population of the most vibrant.

9. Was your hypothesis correct, use your data to justify your answer.

Our hypothesis was incorrect because the predators preyed mostly on the more drab fish. The brighter fish, overall, had the higher population throughout the whole simulation.

10. What does it mean that “male guppies live in a crossfire between their enemies and their would be mates”?

Male guppies live in a crossfire because if they are brightly coloured they attract the most mates but have a higher chance of getting eaten, but if they are dark coloured they have a harder time attracting mates, but have a lower chance of getting eaten.

11. Why do you think guppies in different areas of the stream have different coloration?

We think that there are different areas of the stream have different coloration because there are different populations in each area. Not every area has the same number of fish. There could be a different amount of drab and bright guppy fish in the area. Unless the fish move from the one area to another, than the population will not change.

12. What would happen to mostly drab guppies that were placed in a stream with very few predators?

If mostly drab guppies were placed in a stream with few predators, their population would would level out with the vibrant guppies.

13. What would happen to brightly colored guppies that were placed in a stream with many predators?

When the bright guppies with all of the predators, they did not survive. The population was only at 1%, but when they there with only two of the predators, 78% of the population of the brighest guppies survived with the Rivulus and Acara. When with just the rivulus, they were at 54%. For Trail 4, their population was 65%. For the bright colored guppies, the population was surprisingly lower. The population started at 14%, and than 22% and 1%. For Trail 4, the bright had the highest percent at 30%.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


What are the ways in which the preserving biodiversity locally might have an global effect?

The protection and preserving of the many bio-diversities is key. The animals and plants can be helpful to scientists for medical purposes and helping to discover new species. If we preserve them, then we will not have to worry about the loss in future medical assistance and the preservation of the habitats. Every habitat in vital to the natural balance of the Earth, it is there for a reason. If one goes, it will upset the balance, and the entire world will be effected.

How do habitat destruction and loss of species effect more than just one area?

Weather patterns can affect more than one area, and they can change for the loss of a certain biodiversity. Also there is a destruction in the oceans is major and it will affect the population of certain species of fish and sea life. The sharks are being killed for their fins, to create shark fin soup, which is a delicacy in Japan. Sharks are the greatest predatory fish, and without them the population of their prey will dramatically increase. Whaling is also has an impact on the ocean's populations. Without whales, who is there to eat the krill and plankton? With no one to eat them, their population grows. Habitat destruction is not only at sea. It affects inland, too. 12.5% of Earth's plants are rare and the rate in deforestation is going up. If we cut down too many trees, our oxygen and carbon dioxide balance will not be even. This will affect more than one area. Humans are dependent on oxygen to survive, and trees are one of the main producers of it. Without the trees, how do we breathe? It is VITAL to us.

How does preserving biodiversity enhance the life of people?

There are many medicines that have not been discovered, and if we destroy the fragile bio-diversities we will lose this benefit. There can be the cure for cancer for all we know it, but we may never know this. In the last 20 years, there has been a increase in the excitement for medicines from the variety biodiversity. Scientific American said, " Habitat loss and escalating, uncontrolled exploitation make a lethal combination to species of biomedical interest." 10% to 30% of species are threatened to be extinct. What if one of the species is the key to solving the next outbreak of disease or plaque? If we destroy them, we destroy the chance of longer lives.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gases and Climate Change

Combustion demo:
Hypothesis: If the rubbing alcohol is evaporating inside the bottle, then the gas with ignite when the fire is placed inside the bottle.

Observations:I was not expecting the reaction. When the lighter was near the gas, it flew away from the flame. There was a blue flame that was produced when the flame was near the rubbing alcohol. The bottom of the bottle was coated in a thin layer of soot. The bottle shot back at least 7 feet.

Human activities and the natural world both play a part in the emission of greenhouse gases. Nature releases its own greenhouse gases, but with the rise of human activity, there is more. We are contributing to the amount of gases that are put into the air. Factories and modes of transportation are other contributors to the greenhouse gas. The gas that they produce, goes into the air and because of the protective atmosphere, stays trapped up there.

CO2 gas demo:

Hypothesis: The carbon dioxide from the baking soda and vinegar, once placed near the candle's flame, will put out the two flames.

The flame of a candle needs oxygen to "survive". When it was introduced to the carbon dioxide gas, the flame was put out. The CO2 from the baking soda and vinegar, somewhat coated the flame, putting it out.

I would have to agree with Robert Fabricant, because I do not think that carbon dioxide is a pollutant. We just have an abundant source of it. Nature is not the one that is producing all of the carbon dioxide, it is us. We are cutting down trees and burning them, which is releasing it into the air. Nature has its balance of carbon dioxide, like with the animals and plants. When animals and plants die, they release it into the air.

Hydrogen Gas Demo:

Hypothesis: If the hydrogen gas is produced from the two elements being used, then a flame will ignite.

When the hydrochloric acid and the zinc where introduced to each together, the liquid started to bubble. When the flame was introduced, it fired immediately. Once the gas ran out, then the fire went out as well. The beaker was hot and the zinc pieces disappear, leaving smaller pieces. It produced an awful smell. Even after the flame went out, the liquid continued to bubble.

Only 8% of the world's energy is renewable resources. This shows how dependent we are on non renewable sources. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. There is no getting it back. So what to we burn off is no longer of use to us.

Air Pressure Demo:

Hypothesis: If the heated can is place in the ice cold water, the can will rise to the surface of the water, because heat rises.

Observations: The reaction was that nothing happened. When the can was placed in the water, the vapor gradually slower because the water inside the can was cooling off.

Hypothesis: If the can is placed in the water, then the can will raise and float, because heat rises up.

Obsevations: When the steaming can was placed in the ice cold water, the can became smushed together. The sides of the can caved in.

Differences Ideas:
When the can was placed in the water (2nd time) the gas did not have anywhere to go. We created a vacuum and there was a change in the air pressure. The water wanted to take up that space, but because it had no where to go, so it pushed it. In the first experiment, the pressure could get in through to the top, but on the second time, the air pressure had no where to go.

Scientists are saying that in the past 50 years, they have noticed a significant change in the air pressure. This is mostly due the affect humans have an the Earth. Air pressure is playing a large role in the climate change. It controls the circulation in the atmosphere, which therefore is in charge of how the moistures move. Because of the air pressure, then it will affect to rain fall and other things that can have a huge impact on the environment.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ten Years of the Chornobyl Era Questions

1.What are the effects when you turn of the safety systems? What will happen? When the machine then be considered not safe?
2. Why would the scientists test the experiment without removing citizens, (as a precaution), not knowing the effects?
3.Do you think that all the countries that were effected, like the USA, Germany, Japan, etc. help in the clean up process?
4.Why did the remainder of the citizens not leave after the explosion?
5. (goes along with the question above) Would it be their fault if they got sick because of breathing in the nuclear fumes for too long?
6. How did this effect other nuclear plants?