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IB Biology and the IB Learner Profile

How IB Biology satisfies certain aims of the IB Learner Profile, including, but not limited to, the Inquirers, the Risk-takers, and the Open-minded.

Shannon Butler

on 11 June 2010

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Transcript of IB Biology and the IB Learner Profile

IB Biology and the IB Learner Profile Aim 1: Inquirer Aim 4: Open-minded Aim 5: Risk-takers "They develop their natural curiosity"... by designing their own experiments conducting their own experiments analyzing their results
and understanding its implications In the United States, DNA testing is sometimes used for Immigrant Visa Applications the most commonly used method for acquiring DNA is by buccal swab of the mouth There needs to be at least a 99.5% certainty that there is a biological relationship only close relationships can be determined for accuracy, distant relationships cannot be proved reliably Despite this long and involved process, it does not guarantee a visa for biologically related immigrant "They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience"... by exploring topics, such as evolution, that may differ from their own personal views concerning religion and other beliefs The open-minded discuss their own personal views freely and confidently in an open forum. They are not afraid to ask questions of evolution and are willing to set their own views aside to try to understand the perspectives of others They do not reconcile their own beliefs in order to suit what the class teaches, but are open to learning another possibility for how everything came to be In doing this, the open-minded consider the possibility and validity of evolution. They are open to all the evidence that supports the theory without holding a personal bias against it. For instance, an open-minded person taking IB Biology might at first been skeptical about possibly being derived from monkeys, but during activities where we look at codes of DNA between humans and various animals, and where we look at fossils, the theory becomes more valid IB Biology crafts this open-minded individual which will help them globally through working with others without any prejudices or judgments Not only is the study of evolution important in the sense that it gives biological evidence for one of the greater questions of our existence - where everything comes from -but it is also an ever growing research project In previous years, DNA was simply a term used to describe some strange near-invisible mechanism that somehow controlled everything After conducting our gel electroflourisis lab, you learn how DNA is used to determine relationships, legality, the electronegativity of DNA, and more The most important concept that is defined through this activity was how just the structure of DNA can prove so much. It can provea Whodunnit, show paternity, and all of it is considered hard enough fact that it holds up in the court of law According to a Washington Post article, there are several ethical issues involved with the governemtn possibly requiring DNA testing to prove relationships Even with birth certificates and other official documents in order, many US consulate overseas have a simple "no DNA test, no visa" motto Of course, with the DNA test costing $800 this "requirement" has considerable financial impact on those seeking a Visa Simple arrangement of DNA testing also adds months of wait to Visa applications
Many believe that US consulars are being unduly prejudiced against third world nations whose documents may not seem reliable due to its lack of sophistication On the other hand, DNA testing can save considerable time and effort from scrambling with gathering as much evidence as possible "They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought" Risk-taking was achieved through doing Group 4 projects. Our group researched exactly how the HIV virus hijacks T-Cells and how many people are becoming resistant to the virus Coming up with an idea for what our Biological portion of the entire HIV group should do was not too easy.. To get anything done, someone had to emerge as a leader and take up the responsibility of representing the Bio section. This requires courage and confidence to put yourself out there. During Group 4 presentations night, having to present your findings and thoughts in front of a group of unfamiliar faces also requires some confidence. This activity allows you to prepare for a formal speech through giving your speech and answering questions on the spot. You must also be convincingly persuasive and at least sound like you know what you're talking about. Being confident in yourself is a concept that is riddled throughout not just IB Bio but every single IB class. The many presentations that we give in each class helps instill courage and independence that will undoubtedly carry through in a real world job scenario Having deadlines, requirements, working as a group and more creates a realistic environment and describes how an actual job would be if we ever decided to go into thfield of science Doing the Group 4 project in itself is an important topic alone. Studying a disease like HIV, which is unlike most of the diseases researched by other groups, becomes entirely personal at is it quite prevalent in our own backyard of DC. Because 1 in every 12 individuals has HIV, we in Northern Virginia are most definitely exposed to it. Truly, any person who is sexually active (which is a lot of people) risks infiltration of the HIV virus. Despite the harmful effects of the HIV virus, researching about how it functions does not necessarily show a horrible virus that is ugly and treacherous, but a virus that does amazingly well at its job. Because it immediately targets a person's T-Cells, it hits the chain of the immune system and causes it to shut down. It is super efficient and effective. And because it rapidly evolves, it remains resistant to many drugs. Through the biological perspective, the HIV virus has major skills. In particular, how the modern human brain came to be. According to a Science Daily article, pre-humans from 2 million years ago helped to jump start the size of the modern brain. Early hominids who resided in Kenya would eat a rather large variety of meat, including fish, which coincides with the thought of fish being great "brain food" Previously, scientists were not able to pin-point exactly what the pre-human diet consisted of due to lack of fossil evidence. However, in 2004 thousands of fossils were found in Northern Kenya consisting of tools and animal bone. Using fossil evidence, scientists were able to reconstruct the marshy enviorment that these hominids lived in and were able to conclude that they had feasted on various food, including turtles, hippos and crocidiles. This research supports the theory of how the size of the human brain was able to grow to the size that it is today. The environment that these pre-humans thrived in allowed for the protien and nutrients needed for the increase in brain size. The marshy environment also allowed for pre-humans to be top carnivores where other predators, such as hyenas, could not easily reach them. This would instigate the evolution of the human brain and, proportionally, the cutural evolution of human kind. The origin of the HIV virus has long been a dispute. In the beginnings, scientists believed that it had been around for millions of years based on the fact that many primates were able to coexist with the virus for years without presenting any signs of illness or disability. However, in an article by Science Mag, this turned out to not be the case at all. According to research conducted by students at the University of Arizona, Tuscon, where they took DNA samples from various monkeys with simian immunodeficiency viruses and compared the DNA sequences. According to the researchers findings, the first simian immunodeficiency virus to be found in the sooty mangabey was in 1808. It didn't enter into a human until 125 years later to form HIV-2. Another student from the same university discovered that the first SIV virus was caught in 1808 by comparing lymph tissue from humans from 1960 against HIV-1 blood samples from 1959. She discovered that the HIV virus was much more divergent, meaning it had evolved a lot within one year. She then compared this data with current DNA sequences to determine the origin of the HIV virus to be around 1808 and not what was previously thought to be 1931 (due to the evidence using just DNA from 1959). This particular research may not contribute a whole lot to curing those with the HIV virus or AIDS, but may help in estabilishing a point of origin of where to begin when looking at the behavior of HIV. It does suggest that there is a lot more to be discovered on how to have a less severe reaction to AIDS as the monkeys were able to do, and not because they had learned to evolve with the virus. This research mainly instills hope that the virus can be beat.
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