Properties of Magnetic Field Lines

Friday, January 21, 2022

Magnetic Field Lines

Magnetic field lines are visual tools used to represent magnetic fields.

Magnetic Field lines

compass magnetic field lines

Properties of Magnetic Field Lines

  • Magnetic field lines form closed loops from pole to pole.

  • They never cross.

  • They flow from north to south outside the magnet and south to north inside the magnet.

  • The closer the lines the greater the strength.

4 Types of Hydrocarbons

Friday, January 14, 2022

Hydrocarbons are often considered the simplest organic compounds and contain only carbon and hydrogen.

Let’s take a look at four different types of hydrocarbons

The alkanes, the alkenes, alkynes, and cyclic.

Alkanes contain only single bonds.

The general formula for alkanes is CnH2n + 2


Let’s look at two examples.

Methane is CH4 following the formula you have 1 carbon and for hydrogen, you take 1 x 2 + 2 = 4

Another example of a Alkane is Butane C4 H10

Hydrogen = 4 x 2 = 8 + 2 = 10

Alkenes contain at least one double bond. 

The general formula is Cn H2n


Let’s look at two examples.

Propene is C3H6 

Hydrogen = 3 x2 =6

Alkynes contain one or more triple bonds.

The general formula is Cn H 2n-2.


Two examples are

Propyne C3H4

Hydrogen = 3 x 2 = 6 -2 = 4

Butyne C4H6  4 x 2 =8 -2 = 6

Cyclic hydrocarbons have a carbon ring.

The general formula is CnH2n

cyclic hydrocarbon
Take a look at cyclobutane

Hydrogen = C4H8 

Hydrogen = 4 x 2 =8

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6 Types of Joints found in the Human Body

Sunday, January 9, 2022

The human body is an amazing machine. In order for a person to ride a skateboard, his feet, hips, knees, elbows, and shoulders must be able to bend and flex. However, what allows the bones to bend the way they do?

Joints are where bones come together. A synovial joint is unique because the bones have cartilage at the end they are attached by the ligaments and there's a space in between the two bones filled with a fluid called synovial fluid which acts as a cushioning agent.

synovial joint

Let's take a look at some of the different types of synovial joints we have in our body

types of joints
Ball and socket joints are found at your shoulder and your hip and they allow you to move your shoulders and hips up and down and back and forth and they have the greatest range of motion.

ball and socket

Condyloid joints consist of an oval-shaped end of one bone fitting into a similarly oval-shaped hollow of another bone. This type of joint allows the joint to move both side to side and up and down. An example of a condyloid joint is found at your wrist and fingers.

condyloid joint

Planar joints have bones that allow for gliding movements, and so the joints are sometimes referred to as gliding joints. The range of motion is limited in these joints and does not involve rotation. Planar joints are found in the carpal bones in the hand and the tarsal bones of the foot.

planar joint

Saddle joints are so named because the ends of each bone resemble a saddle, An example of a saddle joint is the thumb joint, which can move back and forth and up and down, but more freely than the wrist or fingers.

saddle joint

Hinge joints
can be found at your knees and your elbows and they allow for back and forth movement.

hinge joint

Pivot joints consist of the rounded end of one bone fitting into a ring formed by the other bone. This structure allows rotational movement, as the rounded bone moves around its own axis. An example of a pivot joint is the joint of the first and second vertebrae of the neck that allows the head to move back and forth.

pivot joint

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Parasitism: Definition and Examples

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Examples of Parasitism

A relationship between two species of plants or animals in which one benefits at the expense of the other, many times the parasite lives in or on the host and may even cause the host to die.

definition parasitism

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples. Plasmodium is a protozoan that causes malaria which is a worldwide disease. The Plasmodium enters the bloodstream of the host from a mosquito bite. It lives in the host’s blood but eventually infects the red blood cells which can lead to malaria.

Many worms are parasites. A very common example is a tapeworm that lives inside the intestine of an animal and will eat a portion of the food of the host. The tapeworms may lead to serious complications, including blocking the intestine.


Several arthropods are parasites like this tick. The tick drinks the blood of the host and some ticks may transfer Lyme disease to the host which can be a very serious disease. My daughter had Lyme disease. 

Plants can even be parasites. Mistletoe is a plant you will see high in trees and is actually a parasite. Mistletoe will attach to their host tree or shrub and then extract water and nutrients from the host plant.

Rafflesia is noted for producing the largest individual flower on Earth. It has a very strong and unpleasant odor. Rafflesia lacks any observable leaves, stems, or even roots, This plant grows thread-like strands of tissue that come in contact with surrounding host plants from which nutrients and water are obtained.

parasitic plant

So in summary parasites benefit from their relationship with their host and the host is either harmed or possibly dies.

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What is Ecology

Nuclear Energy Pro's and Con's

Monday, December 27, 2021

The Pro's and Con's of Nuclear Energy

Is nuclear energy with its carbon-neutral wastes an answer to our energy needs or a disaster waiting to happen?

In the ’70s people started getting excited about nuclear energy because it has the technology required to be used on a large scale. 

In fact, nuclear energy accounts for roughly 21% of the electricity produced in the US.

Compare this to all of the other renewables like solar and wind which combined only produce 12%

In addition, nuclear wastes are not pumped into the atmosphere like coal plants but instead are buried or stored in containers. This helps reduce the greenhouse effect and can be good for the atmosphere.

It is estimated that since 1976, 64 gigatons of co2 emissions have not been released into the atmosphere due to nuclear power. In other words, nuclear power can have a significant dampening effect on climate change.

So do you want dangerous wastes buried in a big hole or pumped into the atmosphere?

pro's con's nuclear energy

But, nuclear power has a dark side

Nuclear power plants can help create nuclear weapons. Nuclear fuel which is most commonly uranium 235 and plutonium 239 can be used to create nuclear weapons. Enrichment can be used with U-235 to produce a grade that will fission so quickly that it is an atomic bomb. The atomic bomb that exploded over Hiroshima, Japan, had highly enriched uranium as its explosive material.

nuclear energy

Nuclear waste is very toxic and can be toxic for thousands of years. Nuclear power plants produce roughly 2000 metric tonnes of waste each year.

Because nuclear waste can be poisonous for thousands of years storage of the waste can be challenging and dangerous. 

Deep geological storage areas can be helpful but few countries have these deposits available.

Accidents that occur at nuclear plants can have a negative long-term impact on the area around the plant and can create large areas of land unfit for human habitation.

A nuclear meltdown is always a possibility

There have been three major nuclear accidents, Three-mile island in the US,  Chernobyl in the soviet union,  and Fukushima in Japan

Each of these accidents has had a long term negative impact on the area that they were located

For example, in   "in the  County, where the Three Mile Island plant is located, the 1979 death rate among infants under one year represented a 28 percent increase over that of 1978, and among infants under one month, the death rate increased by 54 percent."

So is nuclear energy an answer to our growing energy needs or a disaster waiting to happen?

Alleles vs Genes | Genetics |

I enjoy most vegetables, but Brussel sprouts are very bitter tasting to me.

Why do Brussel sprouts taste very bitter for some people but not for others?

One type of taste receptor tastes for a bitter chemical. This PTC receptor is coded by a gene. 

As a result for some people like me, Brussel sprouts taste very bitter. For others, they do not.

Let’s figure out what is going on genetically in very basic terms and this interaction between genes and alleles.

Genes are portions of DNA that contain the code for a particular characteristic called a trait. For example, this portion of the DNA may code for height in a pea plant or this portion may code for the color of the flower of a pea plant.


A trait is a characteristic that can be passed from one generation to the next like the color of these apples. Gregor Mendel, who is considered the father of genetics, studied seven traits of pea plants.

notice that for each trait there are different forms, for example, the color of the flower can be white or purple the pea plant can be tall or short for all seven traits each trait has a different form these would be examples of alleles, different forms of the same trait.


Remember, an allele is a different form of the same trait back to the pea plants 

The seed can be round or wrinkled or take the form of full or constricted.

The pea plants received half of the genetic information from the male and half from the female.

Each parent contributes an allele. 

Together with the two alleles you inherit determine the type of trait you inherit.

The allele can be either dominant or recessive,

The Dominant allele is represented by a capital letter. A dominant allele will cover up or mask a recessive allele. You must inherit two recessive alleles represented by a lower case letter to express a recessive trait.

So in summary, a gene is a portion of DNA that codes for a particular trait.

Traits are characteristics that can be passed from one generation to another

and alleles are different forms of the same trait.



Nuclear Energy


When you look at the pictures of plant and animal cells, you can

see tiny dots on the ER and in the cytoplasm. These dots are ribosomes, but why are they

important to the cell?

plant animal cell ribosomes

Ribosomes are small protein factories found in cells. Ribosomes are found in plant, animal, and bacterial cells. The average eukaryotic cell has approximately 10 million ribosomes.

If you take a look at this picture of a ribosome you will notice a large subunit and a small subunit that contains both protein and RNA.


In both plant and animal cells, ribosomes are found floating in the cytoplasm and bound to rough er.

Free-floating ribosomes create proteins to be used within the cell while ribosomes attached to the ER create proteins that are either bound to the cell membrane or are used outside of the cell.

Ribosomes use a process called translation to create proteins. In basic terms here is what happens

First, mRNA that has been created at the nucleus leaves the nucleus and travels to the ribosome.

Next tRNA then travels to the mRNA and reads it in triplets called codons. The tRNA has an amino acid on one end. The tRNA reads the mRNA and strings the amino acids together in the correct order.

protein synthesis

Why is protein important? Protein is used for many functions in the

cell. Proteins are used as building blocks, for example, your skin, and tendons are made up of protein.

Some proteins help with digestion. Proteins help with muscle contraction and

carry oxygen around the body. These tiny organelles called ribosomes play a very important function

in helping organisms stay alive.


6 Kingdoms of Life

Bacteria Cell Structure

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