Tips for the future Bio1101 class


You’ve just completed a semester of General Biology at the college level. You may recall that one of my former students came to class to answer questions regarding his success in the class. What advice would you offer to others in future sections of this course? Please comment on the following (by class on May 23):

  • What were your expectations of the class coming in and what was your previous college/science background?
  • How would you approach the class differently now that you’ve completed the semester? Would you study differently? Would you read the book differently? Would you be more active in pursuing help? Would you try to find a friend in class to help? Would you take the Blackboard quizzes more seriously?
  • What was the most challenging part of the course? Topic? Personal circumstance?
  • How did your preconceptions change over the course of the semester? Did your prior knowledge influence/enhance/deter the way you learned?

Climate Change: Natural Causes Vs. Human-Activities Causes

  • Jonathan Leon: Secretary 
  • Stephanie Adamez: Speaker
  • Emefa Edoh: Speaker
  • Raheem Grenald: Writer 
  • Ethan Wellington: Writer 

Natural Causes:

*A greenhouse gas, is a chemical compound found in the Earth’s atmosphere. Acting as gases, these compounds allow sunlight to enter the atmosphere freely.
*Aerosols, are small particles in the atmosphere that often cause cooling by reducing incoming sunlight. Certain types can cause warming, and all of them change the way clouds behave.
*There are a variety of ways climate change can be caused naturally. Earth’s temperature depends on the balance between energy entering and leaving the planet’s system. The earth warms when energy from the sun is reflected by the earth system , the “cooling” of the earth is a result of the sun’s energy being reflected back into space. With that being said , changes in reflectivity plays a role in natural climate change.

Sunlight is reflected or absorbed depending on mainly the earth surface and atmosphere. Lighter colored surfaces and objects such as clouds  and snow , usually reflect sunlight  that results in a cooling effect while darker surfaces , such as forests and soil tend to absorb more sunlight , making the atmosphere warmer.

Solar radiation reflected from a object or surface (in other words albedo) altogether the earth’s albedo is  about 30% which means that 70% of sunlight is absorbed. The absorbed solar energy heats the earths land , water , and atmosphere.

Changes in the sun’s energy can also effect change in climate. The sun’s natural 11- year cycle has point were solar energy is weaker , and periods when solar intensity is considerably stronger.

Human Activities Cause:

*Pollution, has also been one of the main causes of climate change. Generally, when we talk about pollution, we talk about any substance that people introduce into the atmosphere and have damaging effects on living things and the environment. First, Carbon dioxide pollution is directly related to global warming and comes from cars, planes, power plants, and other human activities that involve the burning of fossil fuels such as gasoline and natural gas. Then, we have methane which comes from swamps and gas emitted by livestock and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were used in refrigerants and aerosol propellants. Finally, we have sulfur dioxide which is a component of smog and a cause of acid rain. With its elevated levels of hydrogen ions (low pH), acid rains can have harmful effects on plants, aquatic animals, and infrastructures. Although volcanoes used to be the main source of atmospheric sulfur dioxide, today people became its main source.

Governments of different countries have aimed for some solution to stop climate change. They are taking measures to limit emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. There have been agreements between countries to cut back on carbon dioxide emissions and to put taxes on carbon emissions or higher taxes on gasoline, so that people and companies will have greater incentives to conserve energy and pollute less. So countries also banned chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) because of their deteriorating effect on Earth’s ozone layer.

Reference: ***


Aqua/Hydroponics vs. Traditional farming


Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrients solutions, in water, without soil.

  • No soil is required, resulting in less space needed to grow plants.
  • Water is recycled so the cost of water is lower than traditional farming.
  • Can be utilized in cities, and on rooftops.
  • Plants no longer have to be seasonal, can be planted and harvested in any season.
  • With out soil, there are no pesky insects or other bacteria, and therefore there is no need for the use of pesticides, resulting in healthier fruits and vegetables.
  • Plants grow healthier.
  • No damaging pesticides used.

  • Some plants cannot be grown by the use of hydroponics (i.e. those with long roots such as the carrot and radish)
  • The Startup cost for building a hydroponic system is expensive, and intense knowledge is needed to preserve it.
  • With only one nutrient source, if something goes wrong, all of the plants and animals will die.(I.E. waterborne disease)
  • If anything goes wrong with the watering system, plants die rapidly.


Aquaponics is a system for farming fish and plants together in a mutually beneficial cycle.

  • You do not need a large space to cultivate your crops.
  • No weeding to be done.
  • Plenty of water yields plenty of oxygen for plants to produce a great crop.
  • Can reduce growth time by half.
  • To start up your aquaponics system is initially expensive.
  • Checking that the climate and lighting controls are working properly.
  • Some systems can use up a lot of man-made energy.

Traditional farming: 

The cultivation of animals, plants, fungi, and other life forms for food, fiber, biofuel, drugs and other products used to sustain and enhance human life.

  • Uses natural fertilizer such as animal waste and decomposed dead plants, resulting is healthier fruits and vegetables.
  • Large amounts of crops can be grown.
  • Helps keeps natural resources open.
  • The use of pesticides.
  • Crops  take longer to grow and harvest.
  • Dependent form of farming. A natural disaster such as a drought or flood could destroy many if not all crops.
  • Aide in pollution.

Extraterrestrial Life

Jacob, Liza: Secretary (Pro)

Grero, Naveen: Reporter 1 (Con)
Jaramillo, Edwin: Reporter 2 (Pro)
Lau, Kevin: Pro Debater
Pichardo, Teddy: Pro Debater
Rivera, Efrain: Con Debater
Zhou, Jiarong: Con Debater

Extraterrestrial and Biology

Naveen Grero, Lisa Jacob

Throughout history, humans have learned to associate the word extraterrestrial with aliens. Although that specifies to be technically true, extraterrestrial is also referred to anything that is outside of earth. Extraterrestrial is currently seen as one of the most controversial topics. There are two possible perspectives one can interpret when it comes to this topic: Either that there is lack of proof or that all work that men cannot possible do is only possible through extraterrestrials. Ancient civilizations observed and found by archeologist can give an insight to better understand this controversial topic.

During 1891-1898, a French archeologist unearthed a tomb containing the remains of Padi-Imen in Egypt, an official dating back to the early 2000 B.C. Among the various items discovered, a small bird shaped artifact made out of sycamore wood was found along with a papyrus scroll. The papyrus scroll, when translated, says: “I want to fly”. This artifact was called the Saqqara bird due to its origins in the Saqqara pyramid. After this artifact was found, it was placed with many other bird artifacts found in pyramids at the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo. It was considered a mere toy that was most likely used by kids to play with. During 1969, however, an Egyptologist named Dr. Khalil Messiha noticed something unique about the Saqqara bird when studying bird shaped artifacts found by early archeologists from various diggings. What he noticed sparked many questions and theories on ancient Egyptians. He discovered that ancient Egyptians had the knowledge of modern aerodynamics and what baffled him most was how it was possible to create such highly developed gliders.

“I think that people in ancient times were visited by beings coming not from this earth and they give us culture and scientific technologies to improve our life on earth coming from primitive to a higher level culture,” stated Dr. Algund Eenboom (Ancient Aliens Season 1, Ep.1.)

Furthermore, Colombia, located 7,000 miles from Egypt, was famous for its legendary city of gold, Eldorado. Many treasure hunters believe that the city of gold lies hidden here somewhere in a thick canopy of trees in Colombia. During early 20th century two robbers searched around the Magdalena River, where they stumbled upon a gravesite that dates back 1500 years to a pre-Colombian civilization known as the Tollinna. From this gravesite, they found hundreds one to two inch figurines, “Many of those looked like insects, fish; however out of those hundreds of that they found, they also found dozens that an eerily reminiscent of modern day fighter jets. They have a triangular shape, they have an upright tailed fin, stabilizers and a fuse allege, and they have nothing in common with anything similar in nature,” said Georgio Tsoukalos (Ancient Aliens Season 1, Ep.1.) This quote states that there could be an indication of ancient civilization, such as ancient Egyptians and Pre-Colombian Tallinna, having the basic knowledge of modern aerodynamics.

Tall buildings and landscapes are seen all throughout the world today. To build these, however, multiple machines powered by hydraulics are necessary for lifting objects, weighting up to a ton, and moving them to a specified position. Yet thousands of years ago, ancient civilizations were able to build monuments, statues and temples with massive stone blocks, each weighing around hundred ton to two hundred tons. A prime example of this would be the pyramids. Each pyramid contains hundreds of those massive stone blocks. How is it possible to cut and shape those huge bricks using simple tools such as hammers, chisels and copper wire?  How did they transport each hundred-ton brick from the quarry to the building area without wheels? And more importantly, how were they able to lift these massive stones to make the pyramid? Such questions still bemuse archeologists and Egyptologists.

“They [Ancient Egyptians] went to work every day using simple stone bolds, copper chisels or copper wires….. From what I have actually gathered over the years, the information, that seems to actually argue against the notion that they had simple tools” (Dunn, Christopher. Ancient Aliens Season 1, Ep.1). Dunn later examined ancient sites what he found was revolutionary yet controversial on the same time. When he was examining North of Giza, he found a granite block with a deep cut. “When I first saw it, I just didn’t know what to make of it, and it was only after puzzling over it for days and sometimes waking up at three o’clock in the morning scratching my head I’m thinking how they made this cut. And finally to realize that the only way they could cut that thing was with a saw that’s 35 meter in diameter.” Dunn even found these cut marks on statues and around many other areas where bricks were cut and used to build the pyramid.

Even though the theory on how the bricks were cut was determined, what still remains a mystery is how these hundred-ton bricks were transported from the quarry to the building site without wheels. Puma Punku, a large temple complex in Bolivia dating back to 2000 BC, is one example. “The interest of Puma Punku is not that the individual stoned it together perfectly, but the fact that the stones as such are tremendous design that require the concept of mathematics which are far beyond anything we are actually using right now.” (Coppers, Philip. Ancient Aliens Season 1 Ep.1). What’s more fascinating is that if you were to put enough pressure on the edges of the design in Puma Punku, you can cut yourself.


Kepler-62 e and Kepler-62 f orbits the orange dwarf star. These new planets are capable of sustaining life forms just like Earth and Mars once did in our solar system.

The newest studies show that there are more than 1000 planets are capable of sustaining life forms. But majority of them are not the right size, a gaseous state like Jupiter, or the right location for humans to live. Sure enough, NASA’s planet hunting telescope has found two new planets, Kepler-62 e and Kepler-62 f, orbiting the orange dwarf star. These two planets are supposedly capable of sustaining life forms just like Earth and Mars once did in our solar system. Moreover, living in these planets is stated to be not too cold and not too hot for liquid water. Even though the planets are twice as the size of earth, this is considered a huge discovery for the human species.


Nasa has revealed that during 2018, they will be releasing the JWST – a telescope so advanced, it is capable of detecting water and oxygen from outer space, among other capabilities.

NASA has also revealed that during 2018, they will be releasing the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a telescope so advanced, it’s capable of detecting water and oxygen from outer space in a planet that’s been orbiting a white dwarf. The JWST is also capable of detecting biomarkers such as oxygen and methane, which could possibly indicate that life exist beyond our earth. “Biomarkers will indicate about the presence of life,” says professor Dan Maoz. That’s a huge step in discovering whether we are the only living beings or whether we aren’t as along as we think we are.

Clearly, there are points that prove of extraterrestrial beings existing, though not scientifically. For instance, if we consider the theory on ancient civilization having the complex knowledge of modern aerodynamics, why haven’t we found any written records of such knowledge? Or why haven’t we found any evidence about gliding crafts created by ancient Egyptians. Also, in reference to the Pre-Colombian figurines that were found, Georgio from Ancient Aliens explains that most of the figurines are fishes and insects and amongst those, a dozen of them do not look like anything from earth. The issue I have with his statement is, why would pre-Colombian civilians mold gold into the shape of “modern day fighter jets” and place it in the category with other moldings of animals and insects? It simply could be a pre-historic animal that has yet to be discovered, or simply a molding done by Pre-Colombians for fun. Just because the figurine resembles a fighter jet does not mean there was a presence of a space ship.

When it came it building the pyramids, 20,000 laborers were responsible for that construction. With such a high number of laborers, it’s normal to assume that the building of the pyramids was possible without any help of extraterrestrials.


Showing the Egyptian laborers pulling big rocks from one place to another.

Showing the Egyptian laborers pushing big rocks from one place to another.

The pictures above show how the ancient Egyptians moved the big rocks from one place to another. During this period, wheels were not yet created but the movement of these heavy bricks was possible with the help of more than 200 laborers. While around 200 pulled strings from the front, two laborers were in the back pushing using two meters long stick to give a little steadiness while four more laborers picked up and placed cylinder-shaped wood panels on the bottom for the stone to roll easier. According to the deep cuts Christopher Dunn found around many pyramids, he mentions that the only way to do so is by the 35meter in diameter length saw. If so, why haven’t we found the 35meter in length saw yet? Theories stating that extraterrestrials helped humans are just that, theories. Without any evidence, they will continue to remain theories instead of proof.

The issues that arise from the two planets that have been discovered is that dozens of researchers who co-authored the study are still in the debate on which planet, out of the two, is more suitable for sustaining life. There is also the possibility that other life forms could exist on either of those planets. “This is the first one where I’m thinking ‘Huh, Kepler-62-f really might have life on it,” states David Charbonneau of Harvard. “This is a very important barrier that’s been crossed. Why wouldn’t it have life?” The other issue about these planets is the fact that its 1,200 light years away from planet earth. A light year is 6 trillion miles. To travel just 1 light year, at 157,000 miles, the speed of the fastest unmanned spacecraft, would take 4,250 earth years. So 6 trillion miles times 1,200, times 4,250, well, you do the math. It would take millenniums to just get there, let alone explore it.

The JWST project has many hopes on proving the existence extraterrestrial life. Sending the telescope to the planet that’s revolving around a white dwarf star has many complications, since, seeing as has white dwarf starts have a shorter life span, it would be dead by the time the telescope. According “NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to Find Life on Other Planets”, professor Avi Loeb says, “In the quest for extraterrestrial biological signatures, the first stars we study should be white dwarfs.” Finding out more about white dwarf starts, especially how long they last before fading away, could play a crucial role in depicting further actions to take.

Determining whether extraterrestrials exist is dependent on us humans. What could be a spaceship flying by to one person, could be deemed as a hallucination to another. Since there are believers and skeptics, it’s impossible to say that all will accept even the slight possibility of other life form on other planets. As more theories will arise, so will more criticism. Some will say it goes against their moral to believe in other living being, as they see humans being the only higher soles, some will say it goes against God to believe that he would create other creatures, and some will say it goes against science, as there is no valuable proof to back up the possibility of extraterrestrials. It’s because of these ongoing issues that extraterrestrials are considered to be a controversial topic.

Work sited

Kevin Burns.  Ancient Aliens Season 01 Episode 01. May 25th 2010

Fox News.  Perfect planets for life? Telescope sees distant world snot too hot, not too cold, and   not too big. April 19th 2013.

Ingela Maledevic.  NASA’s James Webb space telescope to find life on other planets. April 25th      2013.


Outline for Presentation (evidence is within the article above)
– Two new planets, Kepler-62 e and kepler-62 f, are supposedly capable of sustaining life forms like Earth (and Mars once did in out solar system). Not too cold and not too hot for liquid water (vs. Titan below).
-Ancient infrastructure (e.g. Egypt) was too advanced for the primitive tools then. There must have been some sort of help from life outside Earth.
-A stone dating back to 2000 BC in Bolivia has tremendous designs so perfectly that it requires mathematics which is far more advanced than what we are using currently.
-Europa and Titan: Moons with Life. Europa is covered with ice, but tidal heat could keep the inside of Europa warm enough to have warm water under the layer of ice. Therefore there can be organic compounds in the water. Titan (largest moon for Saturn) has a atmosphere made up of nitrogen. A rich assortment of organic molecules is found in Titan’s atmosphere, as products of the ammonia/methane chemistry. The mixture includes hydrogen cyanide, a compound in the path to the synthesis of amino acids. This finding has led to speculations that primitive life forms might be present.

– It is normal to assume that with an enormous amount of people were responsible for the building of the pyramids without the help of the extraterrestrials.
– Titan has a higher surface pressure than earth but is extremely cold. Although there is chance for ET life there, it is unlikely because of the extremely low temperatures.
– It is just theories that extraterrestrials helped humans. Without any evidence, they will continue to remain evidence, not proof.

Tobacco and Nicotine Products


Tobacco and Nicotine Products

Group Members:

• Leonora Gashi: Speaker { Electronic Cigarettes E-cigs }

NJOY- Electronic Cigarettes

When using NJOY, the act of inhaling triggers a vaporizing process that releases simulated smoke, which is a vapor mist that evaporates within a few seconds. Primary ingredients are glycerin and propylene glycol; both have been tested by the FDA, and considered safe.

 Why would people choose NJOY over a standard cigarette?

  • No ashes
  • Virtually odorless
  • Battery heated vapor
  • Less expensive
  • Can be smoked anywhere, including restaurants, bars, airports
  • Different flavors
  • Does not contain tobacco, no burning of harsh carcinogenic (cancer causing) chemicals, or the large amount of nicotine a standard cigarette contains

 What are the cons of using NJOY as an alternative?

NJOY is not as smoking cessation product.

  • Not FDA approved
  • Ingestion of the non-vaporized concentrated ingredients in the cartridges can be poisonous.
  • Not for people of health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, people with heart disease, taking depression medications
  • Contains nicotine- constricts blood vessels, which may lead to heart disease
  • Toxic by inhalation due to nicotine (nicotine is addictive and habit forming)


 Robin Ajello. (2012). E-cigarette maker njoy seen as takeover target amid innovation. In Ajello (Ed.),

Retrieved from


• Kaydeem Francis: Speaker{ Cigars and E-cigs }

Pros Cigars

  • The tobacco plant is a member of the nightshade family called Solanaceae.
  • There are more than sixty-four species of tobacco.
  • Smoke it for a good taste
  • Relaxation
  • Finer things in life
  • Great feeling and like smoking a pack of cigarettes at once.
  • It is handmade so it is natural and the strongest form of tobacco.
  • Back then it was said to be a rich people blend (only the rich smoke)
  • Something people do after they want to appreciate life or something that gives them great pleasure
  • Looking cool
  • And from stress as well
  • Help maintains weight (oral fixation)

Pros of e-cigs

• Better than a cigarette.

• Smoke itself causes lung cancer and the e-cigs don’t have any

• No ash.

• Smoke anytime.

• Does not discolor teeth.

• Affordable.

• Does not burn you or hurt you.

• No intake of tar.

• Stay with fresh breath.

• Do not cause cancer.

• Cyntori Cooper: Writer { Pipes and Cigarettes }

• Erica Desrouleaux: Writer{ Nicotine Patch and Nicotine Gum}

• Justina Amuaku: Secretary{ Snus and Hookah }

Snus: finely ground tobacco that can be dry, moist, or packaged in sachets



Changes the way the brain works—creating feelings of pleasure or satisfaction—and causes people who use tobacco products to crave more and more nicotine.

Filtered and low-tar cigarettes are every bit as addictive and are no safer than other cigarettes.


Hookah: Also known as narghile, shisha and goza, is a water pipe with a smoke chamber, a bowl, a pipe and a hose. Specially made tobacco is heated, and the smoke passes through water and is then drawn through a rubber hose to a mouthpiece.


Hookah smoke contains high levels of toxic compounds.

Exposure to more carbon monoxide and smoke than are cigarette smokers.

Linked to lung and oral cancers, heart disease, and other serious illnesses

Delivers about the same amount of nicotine as cigarette smoking

Hookah smoke poses dangers associated with secondhand smoke.

Pipes used in hookah bars and cafes may not be cleaned properly, risking the spread of infectious diseases


• Nerissa Baptiste: N/A

• Francisco Jara: N/A

Cloning and Stem Cells

There are two to make copies of cell and organism the first and most controversial is cloning and that is known as somatic cell nuclear transfer. In this process you take the cell you want to clone and  attach with egg and send an electric charge through the unit. This electric charge damages the membrane between the two in the nucleus of the cell clone dumps into that empty egg  and then after you add some chemical to the full unit and thinking its fertilized. Its starts providing with some action known as primplant  action embryo. After you can do one of two thing either you can place in petris dish where you can turn into embryonic stem cell. Which is the master cells of the body. After that it can turn in every cell type. And then the other alternative that you can place into surrogate animal to create an entire organism. There is another process called cell programming  and it leads to induced pluripotent stem cell. In this you start with semetic cell or piece of skin and you add some transcription factors and bring that differenciate cell back to the stage it was before very much like embryonic cell. And there are some new tenhnologine that turn whole cell into a new organism.

Argument  ( why i think human should not be cloned )

Should humans be cloned?

Physicians from the American Medical Association and scientists with the American Association for the Advancement of Science have issued formal public statements advising against human reproductive cloning. The U.S. Congress has considered the passage of legislation that could ban human cloning. See the Policy and Legislation links below.

Due to the inefficiency of animal cloning (only about 1 or 2 viable offspring for every 100 experiments) and the lack of understanding about reproductive cloning, many scientists and physicians strongly believe that it would be unethical to attempt to clone humans. Not only do most attempts to clone mammals fail, about 30% of clones born alive are affected with “large-offspring syndrome” and other debilitating conditions. Several cloned animals have died prematurely from infections and other complications. The same problems would be expected in human cloning. In addition, scientists do not know how cloning could impact mental development. While factors such as intellect and mood may not be as important for a cow or a mouse, they are crucial for the development of healthy humans. With so many unknowns concerning reproductive cloning, the attempt to clone humans at this time is considered potentially dangerous and ethically irresponsible. See the Cloning Ethics links below for more information about the human cloning debate.


  • -It has high failure rate
  • -Its against nature
  • -Its against my religion
  • -We don’t know the result/aftermath of what it could cause
  • -It may make the cycle of nature unstable

by Omar Hussain

DNA Repair and Preventative Surgery


Angelina Jolie has recently undergone a double mastectomy (as reported in this article) as a preventative measure. The actress has a family history of breast cancer and her mother died at an early age of 56 after battling breast cancer for a decade. She carries a defective version of the gene BRCA1, a DNA repair enzyme.
Protein BRCA1 PDB 1jm7

BRCA1 acts to repair double-strand DNA breaks through homologous recombination with intact DNA from the homologous chromosome, sister chromatid or within the same chromosome. Women who carry a mutation to BRCA1 are at greater risk of developing ovarian and breast cancer. In the article, she states:

My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman.
Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65 percent risk of getting it, on average.

Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65 percent risk of getting it, on average.

She goes on to indicate the hurdles genetic screening:

Breast cancer alone kills some 458,000 people each year, according to the World Health Organization, mainly in low- and middle-income countries. It has got to be a priority to ensure that more women can access gene testing and lifesaving preventive treatment, whatever their means and background, wherever they live. The cost of testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2, at more than $3,000 in the United States, remains an obstacle for many women.

Flood of invasives

Urban Roadkill
Photo:Urban Roadkill

Rains and flooding will cause the critters that live underground to emerge. Just be glad it’s been a relatively dry April. Here’s an article about something that can happen during extreme flooding as seen with Hurricane Sandy.

Here’s an image for you to get out of your head:

Sandy has brought a feast to their feet. New sources of food are washing out of the waterways and along flooded streets, including loads of rotting trash, other rats, pigeons, and fish. The well-fed rats will burrow beneath buildings under cover of night to establish new homes, sliding into holes as small as a half inch (1.3 centimeters)—the width of their skulls—even though their bodies can measure up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) long.

Carbon Neutral Fuel

Fishing egretPhoto: An egret fishes in a kettle full of algae

We often hear about “carbon footprint“. What does this actually mean? A carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent is being produced for an action or activity. When we refer to carbon neutrality, we’re speaking about ways in which the output of these gasses can be reclaimed to offset the production. Essentially, this means we are offsetting the carbon footprint.

We know that many of the “greenhouse gasses” come from industry, particularly with the burning of fuel. A recent article illustrates one possible way to address this.

The article states:

(Petroleum) was simply ancient algae that had been covered over by shallow seas and then was covered over by silt and dirt,” said Mayfield. “The algae’s proteins and carbohydrates degraded away, leaving the fat, which we call crude oil. So the algae we produce in ponds today makes the same stuff.

So indirectly, this is a roundabout way of harnessing solar energy… but less roundabout than before.

Creating new organs

Hanging out
Photo: Organs

Rat Kidneys Made in Lab

A recent development in bioengineering has resulted in the production of replacement kidneys that function in rats. This has a great potential for a shortage of organ donations in humans. You can read about this in this article.

About 17,000 people with end-stage kidney disease receive a donor organ each year in the United States, but more than five times as many patients are on waiting lists. In 2011, nearly 5,000 people died while awaiting transplants. Bioengineered kidneys, especially if made using nonhuman sources, could ease or eliminate this organ shortage.