Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 307

Search results for: biology

307 Implementation of an Undergraduate Integrated Biology and Chemistry Course

Authors: Jayson G. Balansag

Abstract:

An integrated biology and chemistry (iBC) course for freshmen college students was developed in University of Delaware. This course will prepare students to (1) become interdisciplinary thinkers in the field of biology and (2) collaboratively work with others from multiple disciplines in the future. This paper documents and describes the implementation of the course. The information gathered from reading literature, classroom observations, and interviews were used to carry out the purpose of this paper. The major goal of the iBC course is to align the concepts between Biology and Chemistry, so that students can draw science concepts from both disciplines which they can apply in their interdisciplinary researches. This course is offered every fall and spring semesters of each school year. Students enrolled in Biology are also enrolled in Chemistry during the same semester. The iBC is composed of lectures, laboratories, studio sessions, and workshops and is taught by the faculty from the biology and chemistry departments. In addition, the preceptors, graduate teaching assistants, and studio fellows facilitate the laboratory and studio sessions. These roles are interdependent with each other. The iBC can be used as a model for higher education institutions who wish to implement an integrated biology course.

Keywords: integrated biology and chemistry, integration, interdisciplinary research, new biology, undergraduate science education

Procedia PDF Downloads 130
306 Exploring and Evaluating the Current Style of Teaching Biology in Saudi Universities from Teachers' Points of View

Authors: Ibraheem Alzahrani

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The Saudi Arabia ministry of higher education has established 24 universities across various cities in the kingdom. The universities have the mandate of sustaining technological progress in both teaching and learning. The present study explores the statues of teaching in Saudi universities, focusing on biology, a critical curriculum. The paper explores biology teachers’ points of view is several Saudi higher education institutions through questionnaires disseminated via emails. According to the findings, the current teaching methods are traditional and the teachers believe that it is critical to change it. This study also, reviews how biology has been taught in the kingdom over the past, as well as how it is undertaken presently. In addition, some aspects of biology teaching are considered, including the biology curriculum and learning objectives in higher education biology.

Keywords: higher education, teaching style, traditional learning, electronic learning, web 2.0 applications, blended learning

Procedia PDF Downloads 304
305 Gender Differences in Biology Academic Performances among Foundation Students of PERMATApintar® National Gifted Center

Authors: N. Nor Azman, M. F. Kamarudin, S. I. Ong, N. Maaulot

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PERMATApintar® National Gifted Center is, to the author’s best of knowledge, the first center in Malaysia that provides a platform for Malaysian talented students with high ability in thinking. This center has built a teaching and learning biology curriculum that suits the ability of these gifted students. The level of PERMATApintar® biology curriculum is basically higher than the national biology curriculum. Here, the foundation students are exposed to the PERMATApintar® biology curriculum at the age of as early as 11 years old. This center practices a 4-time-a-year examination system to monitor the academic performances of the students. Generally, most of the time, male students show no or low interest towards biology subject compared to female students. This study is to investigate the association of students’ gender and their academic performances in biology examination. A total of 39 students’ scores in twelve sets of biology examinations in 3 years have been collected and analyzed by using the statistical analysis. Based on the analysis, there are no significant differences between male and female students against the biology academic performances with a significant level of p = 0.05. This indicates that gender is not associated with the scores of biology examinations among the students. Another result showed that the average score for male studenta was higher than the female students. Future research can be done by comparing the biology academic achievement in Malaysian National Examination (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, SPM) between the Foundation 3 students (Grade 9) and Level 2 students (Grade 11) with similar PERMATApintar® biology curriculum.

Keywords: academic performances, biology, gender differences, gifted students,

Procedia PDF Downloads 155
304 Environmental Variables as Determinants of Students Achievement in Biology Secondary Schools in South West Nigeria

Authors: Ayeni Margaret Foluso, K. A. Omotayo

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This study investigated the impact of selected environmental variables as determinants of students’ achievements in biology in secondary schools. The selected environmental variables are class size and laboratory adequacy. The purpose was to find out whether these environmental variables can bring about improvement in the learning of biology by Senior Secondary School Students. The study design used was descriptive research of the survey type. Two instruments were used that is, Biology Achievement Test and School Environment Questionnaire .The population of the study consisted of all Biology students in both public and private Senior Secondary Schools class III (SSIII) in all the three selected states in South West Nigeria. A sample of 900 Biology students and 45 Biology Teachers from both public and private Senior Secondary Schools Class III were used. Two research hypotheses were generated for the study. The data collected were subjected to both descriptive statistics of mean and standard deviation; and the inferential statistics of regression Analyses was employed to test the hypotheses formulated. From the results, it was revealed that the selected environmental variables had influence on the students’ achievement in biology.

Keywords: environmental variables, determinants, students’ achievement, school science

Procedia PDF Downloads 363
303 Attitude towards Biology among Academic Talented Students in Term of Gender: Case Study of ASASIpintar Pre–University Programme

Authors: Sy Ing Ong, N. Norazman, H. W. You, A. Zahidi, R. Ahmad Faisal

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The decline in students’ involvement in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) worldwide is alarming. In Malaysia, this scenario also draws the attention of Ministry of Education due to the high demand for professionals in STEM industries and for the sake of country development. Intensive researches have been done worldwide to identify the best solution to improve the enrolment of students in science studies. Attitude is being identified as one of the key factors that will influence students’ interest and achievement in academic. Male students are always associated with negative attitudes compared to female students towards the study of Biological science. Hence, this study investigates the attitudes of students towards Biology in the setting of an academic talented institution in Malaysia namely ASASIpintar Pre-University Programme. A total of 84 students were randomly selected from 127 students as the samples of this study. The instrument of Biology Attitude Scale (BAS) from Russell and Hollander (1975) was used to identify the attitudes of samples. Based on the analysis, there was no significant difference in the students’ mean attitude towards Biology subject in this institution between genders with a significant level of p = 0.05. This indicated that gender is not a key factor that influences students’ attitude towards Biology in this study. Future research can be done on other factors that will contribute to the attitude of students towards biology in Malaysia, especially for academically talented students.

Keywords: academic talented, attitude, biology, gender

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302 Specialization in Biomimicry: A Rationale for a Proposed Curriculum for Structural Engineering Students

Authors: Austin Dada, Frederick Rutz, Wil Srubar

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This proposed curriculum details the general concept of biomimicry in structural engineering. The interdisciplinary study of biology and structural engineering is also discussed, along with methods for effective research and study of biomimicry-related topics. Also known as synthetic biology, biomimetics, and the study of bioinspired structures, biomimicry in structural engineering is an emerging field with a wide berth of possibilities. The purpose of this proposed curriculum is to determine a suitable curriculum of study in the pursuit of a research topic regarding biomimicry within the field of structural engineering. Four main manifestations of bioinspired structures are covered in this curriculum; the creation of new biomaterials for use in construction, the use or mimicking of biological processes to determine the properties of construction materials, the use or mimicking of biological processes or biomaterials to augment the properties of construction material, and the imitation of biology through the use of conventional construction materials. Microbiology, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, and ecology are among the biology topics that are compared and integrated into the proposed structural engineering curriculum to produce a suitable specialization.

Keywords: bioinspired structures, biomimetics, biomimicry, materials science, structural engineering

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301 Integrative Biology Teaching and Learning Model Based on STEM Education

Authors: Narupot Putwattana

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Changes in global situation such as environmental and economic crisis brought the new perspective for science education called integrative biology. STEM has been increasingly mentioned for several educational researches as the approach which combines the concept in Science (S), Technology (T), Engineering (E) and Mathematics (M) to apply in teaching and learning process so as to strengthen the 21st-century skills such as creativity and critical thinking. Recent studies demonstrated STEM as the pedagogy which described the engineering process along with the science classroom activities. So far, pedagogical contents for STEM explaining the content in biology have been scarce. A qualitative literature review was conducted so as to gather the articles based on electronic databases (google scholar). STEM education, engineering design, teaching and learning of biology were used as main keywords to find out researches involving with the application of STEM in biology teaching and learning process. All articles were analyzed to obtain appropriate teaching and learning model that unify the core concept of biology. The synthesized model comprised of engineering design, inquiry-based learning, biological prototype and biologically-inspired design (BID). STEM content and context integration were used as the theoretical framework to create the integrative biology instructional model for STEM education. Several disciplines contents such as biology, engineering, and technology were regarded for inquiry-based learning to build biological prototype. Direct and indirect integrations were used to provide the knowledge into the biology related STEM strategy. Meanwhile, engineering design and BID showed the occupational context for engineer and biologist. Technological and mathematical aspects were required to be inspected in terms of co-teaching method. Lastly, other variables such as critical thinking and problem-solving skills should be more considered in the further researches.

Keywords: biomimicry, engineering approach, STEM education, teaching and learning model

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300 Effect of Question Answer Relationship (QARs) in Science Reading on the Academic Achievement of Students in Biology

Authors: Helen Ngozi Ibe, Chimmuanya Ezere

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The study investigated the effect of Question Answer Relationships (QARs) in science reading on secondary school students’ achievement in Biology in Owerri Education Zone II of Imo State. The study adopted a quasi-experimental design and was guided by two research questions and two hypotheses. The sample comprised of 67 SS2 Biology students. The sample was drawn using random sampling technique. One researcher made instrument titled: Biology Achievement Test (BAT) was used for collecting the data of the study. The reliability of the instrument was established using Kuder Richardson formula (KR-20) which yielded a reliability index of 0.85 and Cronbach alpha for the BSIRS with an index of 0.71. Research questions were answered using mean and standard deviation. T-test statistics was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The major findings are that students exposed to QARs strategy in science reading had higher achievement mean scores in biology than students in the control group; there is no significant difference between the achievement mean scores of male and female students exposed to QARs. The researchers recommended that science teachers should teach students the Question Answer Relationship reading strategy and that science students should endeavour to use the question - answer relationship reading strategy in classroom and individual science reading in order to enhance high academic achievement in the subjects being read.

Keywords: academic achievement, biology, science reading, question-answer relationship

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299 Graphic Calculator Effectiveness in Biology Teaching and Learning

Authors: Nik Azmah Nik Yusuff, Faridah Hassan Basri, Rosnidar Mansor

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The purpose of the study is to find out the effectiveness of using Graphic calculators (GC) with Calculator Based Laboratory 2 (CBL2) in teaching and learning of form four biology for these topics: Nutrition, Respiration and Dynamic Ecosystem. Sixty form four science stream students were the participants of this study. The participants were divided equally into the treatment and control groups. The treatment group used GC with CBL2 during experiments while the control group used the ordinary conventional laboratory apparatus without using GC with CBL2. Instruments in this study were a set of pre-test and post-test and a questionnaire. T-Test was used to compare the student’s biology achievement while a descriptive statistic was used to analyze the outcome of the questionnaire. The findings of this study indicated the use of GC with CBL2 in biology had significant positive effect. The highest mean was 4.43 for item stating the use of GC with CBL2 had saved collecting experiment result’s time. The second highest mean was 4.10 for item stating GC with CBL2 had saved drawing and labelling graphs. The outcome from the questionnaire also showed that GC with CBL2 were easy to use and save time. Thus, teachers should use GC with CBL2 in support of efforts by Malaysia Ministry of Education in encouraging technology-enhanced lessons.

Keywords: biology experiments, Calculator-Based Laboratory 2 (CBL2), graphic calculators, Malaysia Secondary School, teaching/learning

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298 Efficient Sampling of Probabilistic Program for Biological Systems

Authors: Keerthi S. Shetty, Annappa Basava

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In recent years, modelling of biological systems represented by biochemical reactions has become increasingly important in Systems Biology. Biological systems represented by biochemical reactions are highly stochastic in nature. Probabilistic model is often used to describe such systems. One of the main challenges in Systems biology is to combine absolute experimental data into probabilistic model. This challenge arises because (1) some molecules may be present in relatively small quantities, (2) there is a switching between individual elements present in the system, and (3) the process is inherently stochastic on the level at which observations are made. In this paper, we describe a novel idea of combining absolute experimental data into probabilistic model using tool R2. Through a case study of the Transcription Process in Prokaryotes we explain how biological systems can be written as probabilistic program to combine experimental data into the model. The model developed is then analysed in terms of intrinsic noise and exact sampling of switching times between individual elements in the system. We have mainly concentrated on inferring number of genes in ON and OFF states from experimental data.

Keywords: systems biology, probabilistic model, inference, biology, model

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297 Attitudes of Secondary School Students towards Biology in Birnin Kebbi Metropolis, Kebbi State, Nigeria

Authors: I. A. Libata

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The present study was carried out to determine the attitudes of Secondary School Students towards Biology in Birnin Kebbi metropolis. The population of the study is 2680 SS 2 Secondary School Students in Birnin Kebbi metropolis. Proportionate random sampling was used in selecting the samples. Oppinnionnaire was the only instrument used in the study. The instrument was subjected to test-retest reliability. The reliability index of the instrument was 0.69. Overall scores of the Students were analyzed and a mean score was determined, the mean score of students was 85. There were no significant differences between the attitudes of male and female students. The results also revealed that there was significant difference between the attitude of science and art students. The results also revealed that there was significant difference between the attitude of public and private school students. The study also reveals that majority of students in Birnin Kebbi Metropolis have positive attitudes towards biology. Based on the findings of this study, the researcher recommended that teachers should motivate students, which they can do through their teaching styles and by showing them the relevance of the learning topics to their everyday lives. Government and the school management should create the learning environment that helps motivate students not only to come to classes but also want to learn and enjoy learning Biology.

Keywords: attitudes, students, Birnin-Kebbi, metropolis

Procedia PDF Downloads 319
296 Facilitating Written Biology Assessment in Large-Enrollment Courses Using Machine Learning

Authors: Luanna B. Prevost, Kelli Carter, Margaurete Romero, Kirsti Martinez

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Writing is an essential scientific practice, yet, in several countries, the increasing university science class-size limits the use of written assessments. Written assessments allow students to demonstrate their learning in their own words and permit the faculty to evaluate students’ understanding. However, the time and resources required to grade written assessments prohibit their use in large-enrollment science courses. This study examined the use of machine learning algorithms to automatically analyze student writing and provide timely feedback to the faculty about students' writing in biology. Written responses to questions about matter and energy transformation were collected from large-enrollment undergraduate introductory biology classrooms. Responses were analyzed using the LightSide text mining and classification software. Cohen’s Kappa was used to measure agreement between the LightSide models and human raters. Predictive models achieved agreement with human coding of 0.7 Cohen’s Kappa or greater. Models captured that when writing about matter-energy transformation at the ecosystem level, students focused on primarily on the concepts of heat loss, recycling of matter, and conservation of matter and energy. Models were also produced to capture writing about processes such as decomposition and biochemical cycling. The models created in this study can be used to provide automatic feedback about students understanding of these concepts to biology faculty who desire to use formative written assessments in larger enrollment biology classes, but do not have the time or personnel for manual grading.

Keywords: machine learning, written assessment, biology education, text mining

Procedia PDF Downloads 199
295 Breeding Biology and Induced Breeding Status of Freshwater Mud Eel, Monopterus cuchia

Authors: Faruque Miah, Hafij Ali, Enaya Jannat, Tanmoy Modok Shuvra, M. Niamul Naser

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In this study, breeding biology and induced breeding of freshwater mud eel, Monopterus cuchia was observed during the experimental period from February to June, 2013. Breeding biology of freshwater mud eel, Monopterus cuchia was considered in terms of gonadosomatic index, length-weight relationship of gonad, ova diameter and fecundity. The ova diameter was recorded from 0.3 mm to 4.30 mm and the individual fecundity was recorded from 155 to 1495 while relative fecundity was found from 2.64 to 12.45. The fecundity related to body weight and length of fish was also discussed. A peak of GSI was observed 2.14±0.2 in male and 5.1 ±1.09 in female. Induced breeding of freshwater mud eel, Monopterus cuchia was also practiced with different doses of different inducing agents like pituitary gland (PG), human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) and Ovuline-a synthetic hormone in different environmental conditions. However, it was observed that the artificial breeding of freshwater mud eel, Monopterus cuchia was not yet succeeded through inducing agents in captive conditions, rather the inducing agent showed negative impacts on fecundity and ovarian tissues. It was seen that mature eggs in the oviduct were reduced, absorbed and some eggs were found in spoiled condition.

Keywords: breeding biology, induced breeding, Monopterus cuchia, human chorionic gonadotropin

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294 A Basic Understanding of Viral Disease and Education Level Influences Disease Risk Perception, Disease Severity Perception, and Mask Wearing Behavior During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Ilse Kreme

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To the best of this author’s knowledge, no studies have been identified on the connection between a refusal to engage in health-protective behaviors and a basic understanding of viral biology among community college students, faculty, and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lack of scientific knowledge could prevent understanding of why these behaviors are important to prevent the community spread of COVID-19, even when they are not shown to offer much individual protection. In this study, a possible correlation was examined between a basic knowledge level of viral disease that comes from having taken a college biology course and disease perceptions of COVID-19. In particular, disease risk perception, disease severity percept and mask-wearing behaviors were examined as they correlated with having taken an undergraduate biology course. The effect of covariates of age, gender, and education level were investigated along with the main dependent variables. A representative sample of the population included students, faculty, and staff at Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC) in Phoenix, Arizona. Participants were recruited by an email sent to all students, faculty, and staff at PVCC using an all-college email distribution. Disease risk and severity perception were assessed with the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire 5 (BIP-Q5), which was modified to include questions measuring participant age, education level, and whether they took or ever took a college biology course. Two additional questions measured compliance of willingness to wear a face mask. The results showed an effect of gender on mask-wearing behavior and a correlation between having taken a biology course and disease severity perception. No differences were seen in mask-wearing behavior and disease risk perception as a result of having taken a biology course. These findings suggest that taking an undergraduate biology course leads to a greater awareness of COVID-19 disease severity through an understanding of the basic biological principles of viral disease transmission. The results can be used to modify existing health education strategies. Further research is needed on how to best reach target audiences in all education brackets.

Keywords: COVID-19, education, gender, mask wearing, disease risk perception, disease severity perception

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293 The Prediction of Evolutionary Process of Coloured Vision in Mammals: A System Biology Approach

Authors: Shivani Sharma, Prashant Saxena, Inamul Hasan Madar

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Since the time of Darwin, it has been considered that genetic change is the direct indicator of variation in phenotype. But a few studies in system biology in the past years have proposed that epigenetic developmental processes also affect the phenotype thus shifting the focus from a linear genotype-phenotype map to a non-linear G-P map. In this paper, we attempt at explaining the evolution of colour vision in mammals by taking LWS/ Long-wave sensitive gene under consideration.

Keywords: evolution, phenotypes, epigenetics, LWS gene, G-P map

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292 Microbial Bioproduction with Design of Metabolism and Enzyme Engineering

Authors: Tomokazu Shirai, Akihiko Kondo

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Technologies of metabolic engineering or synthetic biology are essential for effective microbial bioproduction. It is especially important to develop an in silico tool for designing a metabolic pathway producing an unnatural and valuable chemical such as fossil materials of fuel or plastics. We here demonstrated two in silico tools for designing novel metabolic pathways: BioProV and HyMeP. Furthermore, we succeeded in creating an artificial metabolic pathway by enzyme engineering.

Keywords: bioinformatics, metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, genome scale model

Procedia PDF Downloads 247
291 Construction of the Large Scale Biological Networks from Microarrays

Authors: Fadhl Alakwaa

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One of the sustainable goals of the system biology is understanding gene-gene interactions. Hence, gene regulatory networks (GRN) need to be constructed for understanding the disease ontology and to reduce the cost of drug development. To construct gene regulatory from gene expression we need to overcome many challenges such as data denoising and dimensionality. In this paper, we develop an integrated system to reduce data dimension and remove the noise. The generated network from our system was validated via available interaction databases and was compared to previous methods. The result revealed the performance of our proposed method.

Keywords: gene regulatory network, biclustering, denoising, system biology

Procedia PDF Downloads 153
290 Breeding Biology of Priacanthus hamrur (Forsskal) off Mangalore Coast, Karnataka, India

Authors: H. N. Anjanayappa, S. Benakappa, A. T. Ramachandra Naik, P. Nayana, D. P. Rajesh

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Fishes of the family Priacanthidae, popularly called big eye or bulls eye. Priacanthus hamrur is an important deep-water inhabitant of great commercial value. High percentage of landings of Priancanthids used as raw material for surimi, sausage and other fishery by-products. Presently, it has great demand in Singapore Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other countries. For the maturation studies, samples were collected from commercial landing centre, Mangalore. Studies on reproductive biology showed that Priacanthus hamrur spawns twice in a year, the spawning season extending from March to May and October to November. Based on the percentage occurrence of mature fishes in various size group it was inferred that male attained maturity at smaller size than female. This study will enable us to understand the spawning periodicity, cyclic morphological changes in male, female gonads and also it helps to improve stock size by enforcing fishing ban in particular season by assessing spawning periodicity.

Keywords: breeding biology, Mangalore, morphological changes, Priacanthus hamrur

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289 Reproductive Biology of Fringe-Lipped Carp, Labeo fimbriatus (Bloch) from Vanivilas Sagar Reservoir of Karnataka, India

Authors: K. B. Rajanna, P. Nayana, H. N. Anjanayappa, N. Chethan

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The ‘fringed - lipped’ peninsula carp Labeo fimbriatus is a potential and an abundant fish species in rivers and reservoirs of peninsular India. It contributes a part of the inland fish production and also plays a role in the rural economy in major carp deficient regions of India. The fish is locally called as ‘Kemmeenu’ in Karnataka. Month wise samples were collected from the Vanivilasa Sagar Reservoir fish landing centre and fishing villages around the reservoir. Present investigation on the reproductive biology showed the occurrence of ripe gonads more during October, November, December and January. Thus it is concluded that spawning season coinciding with monsoon season and the size at maturity was found to be 36 and 37 cm total length (M and F). This study will throw light on reproductive biology of fish for captive brood stock development, breeding and rearing of Labeo fimbriatus. Since this fish is commercial important the study would help to take up hatchery production.

Keywords: inland, maturity, peninsula carp, reservoir

Procedia PDF Downloads 177
288 Robustness Analysis of the Carbon and Nitrogen Co-Metabolism Model of Mucor mucedo

Authors: Nahid Banihashemi

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An emerging important area of the life sciences is systems biology, which involves understanding the integrated behavior of large numbers of components interacting via non-linear reaction terms. A centrally important problem in this area is an understanding of the co-metabolism of protein and carbohydrate, as it has been clearly demonstrated that the ratio of these metabolites in diet is a major determinant of obesity and related chronic disease. In this regard, we have considered a systems biology model for the co-metabolism of carbon and nitrogen in colonies of the fungus Mucor mucedo. Oscillations are an important diagnostic of underlying dynamical processes of this model. The maintenance of specific patterns of oscillation and its relation to the robustness of this system are the important issues which have been targeted in this paper. In this regard, parametric sensitivity approach as a theoretical approach has been considered for the analysis of the robustness of this model. As a result, the parameters of the model which produce the largest sensitivities have been identified. Furthermore, the largest changes that can be made in each parameter of the model without losing the oscillations in biomass production have been computed. The results are obtained from the implementation of parametric sensitivity analysis in Matlab.

Keywords: system biology, parametric sensitivity analysis, robustness, carbon and nitrogen co-metabolism, Mucor mucedo

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287 Aspects of the Reproductive Biology of Brook Trout Neolissochilus stracheyi (Day, 1871) in Northern, Thailand

Authors: Thapanee Pholdee, Apinun Suvarnaraksha

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Reproductive biology of Brook trout, Neolissochilus stracheyi (Day, 1871), were sampled in the Northern of Thailand during October 2010 - September 2011 from the fisherman, using gillnet of various mesh sizes. For the study of relationships between total length and body weight, spawning seasons, sex ratio and fecundity. At least 66 fish samples were used every month. The result showed that the total 821 Brook trout had 7.4-61(23.32±5.91 cm). There were 353 males that had fish samples there were 8.5-45.1 cm of TL (22.36±5.91cm) and 468 females that had 7.4±61 cm of TL (24.04±7.09 cm). The relationships equation between total length and weight was W = 0.008TL³.⁰⁶⁴ (r² = 0.940) for total fish, W=0.007TL³.¹⁰⁷ (r² = 0.946) for females and W=0.010TL³.⁰⁰³ (r² = 0.930) for males. The relative condition factor (K) of male and female was 1.090±0.067 and 1.116±0.102 respectively. The max of GSI was in June for male and female. The spawning season was found all year round with three peaks: January, June, and August. Estimated fecundity of mature ovaries ranged from 220 to 3,500 eggs. The estimated average fecundity was 1404.55 ±651.51 eggs. The relationships between fecundity and total length revealed F= 121.1TL-2100 and relationships between fecundity and weight revealed F= 4.535 + 128.78. The results from studies can be further applied to the economic culture, conservation, and management of the Brook trout in Northern, Thailand.

Keywords: reproductive biology, Neolissochilus stracheyi, Northern Thailand, Brook trout

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286 Different Roles for Mentors and Mentees in an e-Learning Environment

Authors: Nidhi Gadura

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Given the increase in the number of students and administrators asking for online courses the author developed two partially online courses. One was a biology majors at genetics course while the other was a non-majors at biology course. The student body at Queensborough Community College is generally underprepared and has work and family obligations. As an educator, one has to be mindful about changing the pedagogical approach, therefore, special care was taken when designing the course material. Despite the initial concerns, both of these partially online courses were received really well by students. Lessons learnt were that student engagement is the key to success in an online course. Good practices to run a successful online course for underprepared students are discussed in this paper. Also discussed are the lessons learnt for making the eLearning environment better for all the students in the class, overachievers and underachievers alike.

Keywords: partially online course, pedagogy, student engagement, community college

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285 Justitium: Endangered Species and Humanitarian Interventions in the Anthropocene Era

Authors: Eleni Panagiotarakou

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This paper argues that humans have a collective moral responsibility to help wild animals during the Anthropocene era. Seen from the perspective of deontic logic, this moral responsibility did not exist in the Holocene era (ca. 11,700 BC-1945 AD) on account of humanity’s limited impact on the natural environment. By contrast in the Anthropocene, human activities are causing significant disturbances to planetary ecosystems and by inference to wildlife communities. Under these circumstances controversial and deeply regrettable interventional methods such as Managed Relocations (MR) and synthetic biology should be expanded and become policy measures despite their known and unknown risks. The main rationale for the above stems from the fact that traditional management strategies are simply insufficient in the Anthropocene. If the same anthropogenic activities continue unabated they risk triggering a sixth mass species extinction.

Keywords: anthropocene, humanitarian interventions, managed relocations, species extinctions, synthetic biology

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284 Assessment of DNA Degradation Using Comet Assay: A Versatile Technique for Forensic Application

Authors: Ritesh K. Shukla

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Degradation of biological samples in terms of macromolecules (DNA, RNA, and protein) are the major challenges in the forensic investigation which misleads the result interpretation. Currently, there are no precise methods available to circumvent this problem. Therefore, at the preliminary level, some methods are urgently needed to solve this issue. In this order, Comet assay is one of the most versatile, rapid and sensitive molecular biology technique to assess the DNA degradation. This technique helps to assess DNA degradation even at very low amount of sample. Moreover, the expedient part of this method does not require any additional process of DNA extraction and isolation during DNA degradation assessment. Samples directly embedded on agarose pre-coated microscopic slide and electrophoresis perform on the same slide after lysis step. After electrophoresis microscopic slide stained by DNA binding dye and observed under fluorescent microscope equipped with Komet software. With the help of this technique extent of DNA degradation can be assessed which can help to screen the sample before DNA fingerprinting, whether it is appropriate for DNA analysis or not. This technique not only helps to assess degradation of DNA but many other challenges in forensic investigation such as time since deposition estimation of biological fluids, repair of genetic material from degraded biological sample and early time since death estimation could also be resolved. With the help of this study, an attempt was made to explore the application of well-known molecular biology technique that is Comet assay in the field of forensic science. This assay will open avenue in the field of forensic research and development.

Keywords: comet assay, DNA degradation, forensic, molecular biology

Procedia PDF Downloads 85
283 The Systems Biology Verification Endeavor: Harness the Power of the Crowd to Address Computational and Biological Challenges

Authors: Stephanie Boue, Nicolas Sierro, Julia Hoeng, Manuel C. Peitsch

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Systems biology relies on large numbers of data points and sophisticated methods to extract biologically meaningful signal and mechanistic understanding. For example, analyses of transcriptomics and proteomics data enable to gain insights into the molecular differences in tissues exposed to diverse stimuli or test items. Whereas the interpretation of endpoints specifically measuring a mechanism is relatively straightforward, the interpretation of big data is more complex and would benefit from comparing results obtained with diverse analysis methods. The sbv IMPROVER project was created to implement solutions to verify systems biology data, methods, and conclusions. Computational challenges leveraging the wisdom of the crowd allow benchmarking methods for specific tasks, such as signature extraction and/or samples classification. Four challenges have already been successfully conducted and confirmed that the aggregation of predictions often leads to better results than individual predictions and that methods perform best in specific contexts. Whenever the scientific question of interest does not have a gold standard, but may greatly benefit from the scientific community to come together and discuss their approaches and results, datathons are set up. The inaugural sbv IMPROVER datathon was held in Singapore on 23-24 September 2016. It allowed bioinformaticians and data scientists to consolidate their ideas and work on the most promising methods as teams, after having initially reflected on the problem on their own. The outcome is a set of visualization and analysis methods that will be shared with the scientific community via the Garuda platform, an open connectivity platform that provides a framework to navigate through different applications, databases and services in biology and medicine. We will present the results we obtained when analyzing data with our network-based method, and introduce a datathon that will take place in Japan to encourage the analysis of the same datasets with other methods to allow for the consolidation of conclusions.

Keywords: big data interpretation, datathon, systems toxicology, verification

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282 Solutions of Fractional Reaction-Diffusion Equations Used to Model the Growth and Spreading of Biological Species

Authors: Kamel Al-Khaled

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Reaction-diffusion equations are commonly used in population biology to model the spread of biological species. In this paper, we propose a fractional reaction-diffusion equation, where the classical second derivative diffusion term is replaced by a fractional derivative of order less than two. Based on the symbolic computation system Mathematica, Adomian decomposition method, developed for fractional differential equations, is directly extended to derive explicit and numerical solutions of space fractional reaction-diffusion equations. The fractional derivative is described in the Caputo sense. Finally, the recent appearance of fractional reaction-diffusion equations as models in some fields such as cell biology, chemistry, physics, and finance, makes it necessary to apply the results reported here to some numerical examples.

Keywords: fractional partial differential equations, reaction-diffusion equations, adomian decomposition, biological species

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281 Team Teaching, Students Perception, Challenges, and Remedies for Effective Implementation: A Case Study of the Department of Biology, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri Imo State, Nigeria

Authors: Daniel Ihemtuge Akim, Micheal O. Ikeanumba

Abstract:

This research focused on team teaching; students perception, challenges, and remedies for effective implementation, a case study of the department of Biology, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri Imo State, Nigeria. It seeks to address the misconception by students on the use of team teaching as a methodology for learning. Five purposes and five research questions guided this study. Descriptive survey design was used in the study. The students of biology department enrolled in both Bachelor degree and National Certificate in Education in Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, formed the population size. Simple random sampling technique was used to select the sampled students and 20% of whole lecturers were selected out of the whole given sample size of three hundred and forty (340). The instrument used for data collection was structured 4 point Likert scale questionnaire and analysis was made using mean method. The result revealed that poor time management by lectures, lack of lecture venues, manpower are some of the challenges hindering the effective implementation of team teaching. It was also observed that students perform better in academic when team teaching approach is used than single teaching approach. Finally, recommendations made suggested that teachers involved in team teaching should work together with their teaching strategies and within the time frame to achieve the stated objectives.

Keywords: challenges, implementation, perception, team teaching

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280 Analogy to Continental Divisions: An Attention-Grabbing Approach to Teach Taxonomic Hierarchy to Students

Authors: Sagheer Ahmad

Abstract:

Teaching is a sacred profession whereby students are developed in their mental abilities to cope with the challenges of the remote world. Thinkers have developed plenty of interesting ways to make the learning process quick and absorbing for the students. However, third world countries are still lacking these remote facilities in the institutions, and therefore, teaching is totally dependent upon the skills of the teachers. Skillful teachers use self-devised and stimulating ideas to grab the attention of their students. Most of the time their ideas are based on local grounds with which the students are already familiar. This self-explanatory characteristic is the base of several local ideologies to disseminate scientific knowledge to new generations. Biology is such a subject which largely bases upon hypotheses, and teaching it in an interesting way is needful to create a friendly relationship between teacher and student, and to make a fantastic learning environment. Taxonomic classification if presented as it is, may not be attractive for the secondary school students who just start learning about biology at elementary levels. Presenting this hierarchy by exemplifying Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, family, genus and Species as comparatives of our division into continents, countries, cities, towns, villages, homes and finally individuals could be an attention-grabbing approach to make this concept get into bones of students. Similarly, many other interesting approaches have also been adopted to teach students in a fascinating way so that learning science subjects may not be boring for them. Discussing these appealing ways of teaching students can be a valuable stimulus to refine teaching methodologies about science, thereby promoting the concept of friendly learning.

Keywords: biology, innovative approaches, taxonomic classification, teaching

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279 Students' Performance, Perception and Attitude towards Interactive Online Modules to Improve Undergraduate Quantitative Skills in Biological Science

Authors: C. Suphioglu , V. Simbag, J. Markham, C. Coady, S. Belward, G. Di Trapani, P. Chunduri, J. Chuck, Y. Hodgson, L. Lluka, L. Poladian, D. Watters

Abstract:

Advances in science have made quantitative skills (QS) an essential graduate outcome for undergraduate science programs in Australia and other parts of the world. However, many students entering into degrees in Australian universities either lack these skills or have little confidence in their ability to apply them in their biological science units. It has been previously reported that integration of quantitative skills into life science programs appears to have a positive effect on student attitudes towards the importance of mathematics and statistics in biological sciences. It has also been noted that there is deficiency in QS resources available and applicable to undergraduate science students in Australia. MathBench (http://mathbench.umd.edu) is a series of online modules involving quantitative biology scenarios developed by the University of Maryland. Through collaboration with Australian universities, a project was funded by the Australian government through its Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) to develop customized MathBench biology modules to promote the quantitative skills of undergraduate biology students in Australia. This presentation will focus on the assessment of changes in performance, perception and attitude of students in a third year Cellular Physiology unit after use of interactive online cellular diffusion modules modified for the Australian context. The modules have been designed to integrate QS into the biological science curriculum using familiar scenarios and informal language and providing students with the opportunity to review solutions to diffusion QS-related problems with interactive graphics. This paper will discuss results of pre and post MathBench quizzes composed of general and module specific questions that assessed change in student QS after MathBench; and pre and post surveys, administered before and after using MathBench modules to evaluate the students’ change in perception towards the influence of the modules, their attitude towards QS and on the development of their confidence in completing the inquiry-based activity as well as changes to their appreciation of the relevance of mathematics to cellular processes. Results will be compared to changes reported by Thompson et al., (2010) at the University of Maryland and implications for further integration of interactive online activities in the curriculum will be explored and discussed.

Keywords: quantitative skills, MathBench, maths in biology

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278 A Flipped Classroom Approach for Non Science Majors

Authors: Nidhi Gadura

Abstract:

To ensure student success in a non majors biology course, a flipped classroom pedagogical approach is developed and implemented. All students are assigned online lectures to listen to before they come to class. A three hour lecture is split into one hour of online component, one hour of in class lecture and one hour of worksheets done by students in the classroom. This deviation from a traditional 3 hour in class lecture has resulted in increased student interest in science as well as better understanding of difficult scientific concepts. A pre and post survey was given to measure the interest rates and grades were used to measure the success rates. While the overall grade average did not change dramatically, students reported a better appreciation of biology. Also, students overwhelmingly like the use of worksheets in class to help them understand the concepts. They liked the fact that they could listen to lectures at their own pace on line and even repeat if needed. The flipped classroom approach turned out to work really well our non science majors and the author is ready to implement this in other classrooms.

Keywords: flipped classroom, non science majors, pedagogy, technological pedagogical model

Procedia PDF Downloads 342