Hinton Scholars Student Tutoring Group 7

School: Community Academy of Science and Health
teacher_hinton18_atobin.jpgAP Bio Teacher: Autumn Tobin
grp7_hinton18_clandeta.jpgTutor: Cristina Landeta

Travis Adamson
Lucy Ayala
Star Clarke
Kaylie Jeffers
Kandi Lomax

Aslaniz Porrata
Perla Hernandez

LABORATORY 1 - Enzyme Catalysis
Thursday, October 12, 2017
TMEC 128 All students: Tutors join students in the lab.
Labs: 344

Dear students Star, Aslaniz, Kandi, Lucy, Kaylie, Travis and Perla,
Hope you're all having a nice week. I'm so excited to see you all again, specially excited to study Enzyme Catalysis with you. This topic is actually my everyday life as a scientist and I'm very passionate about it. I'm sure you'll find it interesting! We'll study the enzymatic activity of turnip peroxidase!! which performs a reduction-oxidation reaction and let me tell you redox reactions are extremely important in many processes related to health and life.

We discussed in our previous meeting a little bit about the building blocks of PROTEINS which are the amino acids, here you have the 20 amino acids with structures... have fun with their names =).
I also wanted you to see the schematic representation of a peroxidase's structure (from a close relative of turnip, horseradish). It's formed of 6 molecules which are in different colors, each cylinder or ribbon represents the peptide chains formed by amino acids. The little gray balls are calcium ions and the yellow balls are the iron centers which are important for the peroxidase activity!
Screen shot 2017-10-31 at 2.59.03 PM.png

See you tomorrow!

PS. Hopefully the images will be inserted where I attached them in the text, otherwise they go in order.

LABORATORY 2 - Photosynthesis
Thursday, November 2, 2017
TMEC Tutoring room: 117
Labs: 344

Dear students,
I hope you are having a nice Halloween/Dia de muertos week. I'm excited to see you all again on Thursday.
This time we will investigate about photosynthesis, an important process to generate chemical energy using carbon dioxide and light. This is a very complex process but we'll try to understand it by measuring the production of oxygen from plant extracts. This is something very similar to our previous investigation where we measured the activity of the horseradish peroxidase, where we detected oxygen production by the color change of guaiacol to brown. Here instead will use plant extracts and DPIP (dichlorophenol indophenol) which is blue.
In photosynthesis, the energy from light is captured by plant pigments which are the chemicals that give color to plants (see below). The one with higher transfer energy is Chlorophyll.
plant pigments.jpg

I also want you to revisit the electromagnetic spectrum because because it will help you understand light and the principles of the detection methods that we're using such as the spectrophotometer.

When we think about photosynthesis we tend to think about plants (chloroplasts) but other organims (microorganisms) like bacteria and archaea are also responsible for the photosynthesis on Earth. For instance cyanobacteria, like Synochococcus in this picture.

Enjoy the rest of the week and see you soon,

LABORATORY 3 - Cellular Respiration
Thursday, December 7, 2017
TMEC Tutoring room: 117
TMEC Learning Studio 106 for Lab

Dear students,
Hope you are having a nice week. Tomorrow we'll study cellular respiration, a very important process in the life on Earth that generates energy. In our investigation we will measure the carbon dioxide (CO2) that is being produced by pea cells through this very complex process. Whenever a cell needs energy, in the form of ATP, it will burn glucose (or other carbon sources) and this will produce the energy. That means that every cell of all organisms RESPIRES in order to produce ATP for any task, right now your cells are respiring because the process of thinking requires lots of ATP.
Cellular respiration is very effective with the presence of oxygen, which is called aerobic respiration but it can also happen anaerobically, that is in the absence of oxygen. Isn't that amazing?! Without oxygen the process generates less ATP than when oxygen is present, but I wanted you to know that the reason oxygen appeared in this equation is the way life on earth evolved. Our earth did have a reducing atmosphere billions of years ago, but it became oxidizing when oxygen appeared and this event allowed the generation of cells capable of using this power to generate energy and with that more complex processes. We'll talk about it tomorrow, meantime I found this video that explains really well the overall reactions. Watch it if you're interested:

As always excited to see you again,

LABORATORY 4 - Transpiration

Thursday, January 11, 2018
TMEC Tutoring room: 314


LABORATORY 5 - DNA Analysis with PCR & Gel Electrophoresis
Thursday, February 8, 2018
TMEC Tutoring room: 117

Dear students,
I hope your week is going well with lots of interesting things going on, mine is starting differently to previous weeks. Today I started a new job at a biotech company that was started by a famous professor at Harvard, George Church. There I'll be engineering microorganisms that produce cool chemicals useful for our everyday lives. My job as a scientist is to modify the DNA's microorganism so that we could find one that produces more of the chemical. The lab investigation that you have on Thursday will be about manipulating DNA (which I'll be doing everyday!) and analyzing the samples in a process that allows you to distinguish between two different people. It's going to be so interesting!!! Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend the last two investigations due to my new job at Medford. However, I found the best person for you to explain PCR and gel electrophoresis. He's Manuel, he is a very talented scientist in the Neurobiology department at Harvard that studies how the brain develops in mice and ultimately in humans. He also tries to understand something called the "epigenetic marks" that allow changes in the localization of neurons in the brain. Very cool stuff that he'll tell you more on Thursday!! My area which is Microbiology or the study of bugs, is very simple compared to the complexity of what he and other neuroscientists study. I'm sure you'll find quite exciting/fruitful this lab with him!

Best wishes,

LABORATORY 6 - Transformation
Thursday, March 15, 2018
TMEC Tutoring room: 117

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Final Event: May 10, 2018