Nathalie's Wiki!!!

Hermin, the Planaria

Post #1

Cancerous Cells

starwars.pngHave you ever seen Starwars attack of the clones? The army of clones is made without the good guys knowing, then they do find out about them but they are ignorant of their double identity. The clones end up being the death for many of the jedi. So cancerous cells aren’t exactly like that. They are constantly dividing, and when we first see a tumor we don’t think that they are going to have any sort of good impact. Similarly though we can sometimes be ignorant to the existence of them, but when we do, it’s too late.
Cancer has been a topic talked of often enough. Most people can give you a pretty good definition of what it is. Some may know, though maybe not everyone, it is caused by damage to the DNA. Damage to the DNA can be caused by an enormous amount of variables. What I find interesting is people thinking cancer is hereditary, I’ve never been sure about how that works. It’s not cancer that is directly spread from generation to generation, it’s actually mutation. The risk of developing cancer is higher if you have a gene mutation.
Normal Cell
Cancerous Cell
Dies off after 50 generations
Never dies off
Stops reproducing when it comes in contact with other cells
Continuosly reproduces
Not Sticky

Characteristics of cancerous cells. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Phillips, T. (n.d.). What is dna?. Retrieved from
Fayed, L. (2005, June 4). Hereditary cancer. Retrieved from

Post 2

APOPTOSIS- cell suicide

A cell- smallest unit of life. Every living thing will someday die and it's no different for cells. When cells are ready to die they release caspases (type of protein) it goes around and starts to break down important parts of the cell necessary to survival. They also are the signal for a certain enzyme to come in that will degrade the DNA. The cell is now completely useless. It is shrinking and shrinking. If a cell is infected or viral a different cell (T-cell) will be the one to put it out of it's misery and stop the infection/virus. It will signal for apoptosis to happen, then the cell kill itself whether it wanted to or not.

Dask, P. (n.c.). Apoptosis. Retrieved from

Post 3

Generations going from Naughty to Nice

Have you ever wanted to take an animal from the wild and tame it? Well domestication of animals is being proven to be from generations of choosing the friendliest of animals and letting them reproduce, not changing an animals natural patterns. In an experiment done over a long span of time they brought in foxes from a fur farm. They chose the foxes who were not fearful nor aggressive and would let them reproduce. Each generation choosing only the friendliest foxes. The appearance began to change as well as the behaviours. Their ears began to droop done, they would wag their tails and they would howl.

If you watched the video, you would also see that even if you took an animal from birth to train, it's still going to react in an aggressive way, if that is in it's genes. So I wouldn't recommend taming a cute beasty anytime soon!

Post 4

Flower Power: Hydrangeas

hydrangea.jpgI worked in a garden centre last spring/summer, and there was one plant that really caught my eye. It was a hydrangea. From far away these plants look like a bush with big bunches, never really appealing to me before. Up close though is very interesting, asides from the intricate detail, the colours were outstanding.


There were two different colour bushes that we had, a pale pink and a beautiful indigo/blue. I told my manager and flower expert May that I thought the blue one was gorgeous and she told that a hydrangea will change colour depending on the soil. I found that very interesting and have been trying to convince my mom to up the aluminium level in our garden so that all of out hydrangeas will be blue. Looking into it a bit more though, there are some restrictions to changing the colours.

It's the aluminium that changes the plant to the blue colour, if you wanted to change them to pink you would have to put some lime around it to raise the pH levels and counteract the aluminium. It's can be harder to change a plant from blue to pink, unless it was already naturally occurring pink. Most soil naturally contains aluminium.

Hydrangeas can have bright bold colouring, even red in some places, the intensity of the colour however is not something that can be changed by changing the soil. It depends on the environment and weather conditions. I've noticed our plants to be a bit more pale, there are a few different types f hydrangeas, so I'm unsure of whether it was the weather or the type.

White bushes don't change their colour. In some cases when they've aged they may get random blooms with colour, but they do not completely change.

Fun facts about hydrangeas:
They are an perennial so they come back every year
There are five different species of hydrangea, not including subspecies.
They are a common wedding flower


Changing the color of hydrangeas. (n.d) retrieved from

Post #5

The Common Cold

It's that time of year again! The snow's melting, the air is heating, you think you may have made it through the winter without getting a cold, then the bug hits you, at least that's what happens every year for me. Maybe it's because I'm getting lazy about drinking plenty of water, or don't inhale antioxidant blueberries like I'd do in preparation for the cold months. Regardless, it found me, and many other victims.
The common cold can be caused by over 200 different types of viruses, with new ones developing all the time, which is why we are inclined to being captured in it's grasp; our bodies cannot build an adequate defence against the viruses. If you directly touch a surface that is contaminated, you can catch the cold. The cold virus can live on a surface for multiple hours. The cold is not a cause of the cold weather, but the close proximity that is more frequent in the winter, because of being kept inside from the cold weather, so I guess we can still blame the dropped temperatures.


stuffy and/or runny nose
sore/scratchy throat
low severity fever
watery eyes
body aches
decreased appetite

The virus can last normally at the longest up to two weeks, but can last as little as four days. Most people will be on the mend/mended by the end of the first week.

My coach says treat a cold, it'll be gone in a week, don't treat it and it'll last seven days. Taking medicine will not shorten the length of your cold, nor get rid of it, though it will decrease the symptoms, and make you feel better. To work on getting rid of a cold you have to be nice to your body and especially the immune system. Getting lots of rest and drinking lots of fluids is the way to go. Antibiotics are not the path to go down.

WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Or sanitize!)

Common cold. (n.d.) Retrieved from cold (n.d.) Retrieved from Retrieved from Retrieved from

Post #5.2VIRUSES

Are viruses alive? Well they do appear to have similar behaviour to bacteria, but that's only after they've attached to a host cell. Before the virus attaches to a host cell, it is referred to as a Virion, and it is dorment. Once the virus does find a host cell it becomes busy spreading. Depending on what type of virus it is, it will attach onto different host cells. It knows what cell is the right host cell because the protein outer layer of the virus can recognize what it's looking for. The virus goes through a five step process to reproduce itself; absorbtion, entry, replication, assembly, release. During the process The virus releases it's genetic information into the cell, and the enzymes begin to make parts for replicate viruses. Thousands of viruses will escape from the cell either by breaking the cells wall, killing the cell in the process, or by being pinched out in a layer of the plasma membrane. The viruses then can each repeat the same process multiplying very quickly. Your immune system reacts quickly also though. When you feel feverish it's your immune system slowing down the reactions in the cell by unbalancing it's homeostasis. The chemical that immune system released to raise your temperature is called pyrogen. The common cold is just one illness that is virus-caused, they can also be as severe as HIV/AIDS and rabies. So are they alive, well no, not technically. It does not have metabolic tracks. Scientist refer to them as "biochemical mechanisms"

Freudenrich C. How viruses work. (n.d.) Retrieved from
Rice G. Are virses alive? (n.d.) Retrieved from

Post #6

Pain is the body's warning, it's way of protecting itself and getting what it needs. Whether you're cut, burned or scraped the body will send the pain to say "THIS IS BAD!! STOP RIGHT NOW!!" It urges you to heal it as well, put on ice, or heat, stop the bleeding. We avoid dangerous situations to avoid the pain, this is thenervous system kicking in, it's a primal instinct. Survival. Pain is our protection from getting into situations that could lethally hurt us. Sometimes, pain gets out of control though, rather then being our protector, it becomes or enemy.

Pain takes the villain role now, it can become an illness. Chronic pain attacks 76 million americans, and the cause is not always defined. It can last days or weeks, and come back again and again. People more susceptible to pain would be cancer patients after they're done chemotherapy and people who've had surgeries. This type of pain has been recently been seen as a disease itself, not just a symptom. Doctors know how to relieve immediate pain, but are still looking for an effective long term medicine for patients with chronic pain.

Park. A Healing the hurt(2011) Retrieved from,8599,2057269,00.html

Post #7
Bad to the Bone…genetically

Okay, so being a risk taker isn't always a bad thing, but I liked the sound of that title! Studies have been showing that taking risks runs in the family, I was thinking that could be explained by "monkey see monkey do" but scientist are saying it's in or genes. Whether taking financial risks or taking a liking to extreme sports. Scientist Randy Larson says that the people who are always looking for a "high" could be called "reducers" because the stimuli of these exciting events is dramatically brought down from their point of view. However, being able to tolerate with more ease these high thrill events is not just it, these people are constantly wanting for it. That is why they may take up more extreme sports. This is opposite of low risk seekers, they are more of the "two feet on the ground" type person. Stimuli is heightened and after a small bit, they are not craving for more, because it has more then enough filled them up.

So what are you a risk taker or play it safer?
Roberts P Risk Retrieved from

Post #8
The convenient fruit… watermelon?

So we know watermelon are super healthy as in packed with antioxidants, decreases the risk of colon cancer, helps with arthritis, asthma and diabetes, but isn't is such a pain to prepare and store? Think about the chunky watermelon tottering on your fridge shelf and rolling side to side when you just want to cut a slice. Then tring to get the most of it but get juice all over your face as you eat the last bit off the outer skin layer. Well the japanese have come up with a solution. They decided to grow watermelon in a different shape, and what is more convenient then a sturdy square? They are not being sold in this part of the world, so don't get your hopes up next time you go to the grocery store, and even if they were, I don't think anyone would spend over 80$ on a fruit. Yes, they are that expensive right now. If you want one really bad though, you can try to grow one yourself! According to googled sources, you just grow it in a box!

Paulose. T 10 Health benefits of watermelon Retrieved from
Patterson T Japan corners the market on square fruit Retrieved from

Post #9

I've been reading The Hot Zone and it is an awesome book. There are times where I'm at the edge of my seat reading wondering if the person is going to be infected with the virus or maybe wondering if it is ebola that has been handled without knowing. I've been taking a great liking to the virus, though not enough to give it a home! There was a part in the book that stood out to me and it was when one of the characters was starting to work in the level four safety zone because she was unable to work in any zone that she needed a vaccine. She was marvelling at the idea of holding the virus in her hand (under a space suit and many other layers) I find that thought really exciting. Here's why. Before the ebola virus was discovered, it's cousin was found. The cousin virus is called Marburg, (when reading the expert from the book, that was actually the marburg virus) Marburg does the same things as ebola except that it kills 4/10 people rather then the 50%-90% death rate of ebola. Symptoms start with a headache and maybe some sore muscles. You will start to get a fever and possibly diarrhea. Your stomach will probably hurt and you will vomit a lot. You'll start to vomit internal organs that have started to become broken down. You will get blood clots, so when you start to bleed there will be no way for it to clot any more. Normally your eyes would be pretty red. You may have seizure type convulsions, or you may fall into a coma. Normally in the second week after getting a virus you'd die. If someone to perform an autopsy on you, your insides would just begin to look like goop. The virus is a quick and relentless predator. Just a small amount of viruses can take over the human body, mostly by direct contact, but it can be airborne.
Someone else in the book worked with many hot agents but never ebola. Somebody once asked him why he didn't work with that virus and he just responded with "I don't feel like dying". The virus is dangerous and scary. Another man, who was a ebola hunter, meaning he would travel into outbreak areas to try and figure out where the virus originated, would have nightmares every night of the virus. Waking up yelling "there's been an exposure" at times. Yet this virus has attracted these people to understand more about it. Where is comes from and how it works. What host it can actually survive in without killing it in such short time period?

There are five different types of ebola. Sudanebolavirus, Zaire ebolavirus, Cote d'Ivoire ebolavirus, Restonebloavirus, Bundibugyo ebolavirus. These five types of ebola along with marburg virus make up the family Filoviridae.

King J. Ebola virus Retrieved from
Preston R. The hot zone (book) Published by First Anchor Books Edition, 1995

Post #10
Pacific Sea Nettle
I had no idea what to do my wiki post on until I remembered two things, the video by Julian Smith "Jellyfish" and the part in Finding Nemo where Merlin and Dora are swimming through the jellyfish, so my search was over, a post on the family of the beloved "Squishy".

These jellyfish are not extraordinarily toxic to a healthy human like ourselves, but they are toxic enough to kill smaller animals and paralyze slightly bigger aquatic predators, so that it can escape. Although wewould not get paralyzed, we would feel a painful burning, prickling feeling for twenty minutes to half an hour after being stung.

These jellyfish unlike many others feed on more then just small plankton also are known to feed on a bit larger prey such as baby minnows, anchovy eggs, larva and even other jellyfish. They use therefancy pantsy nematocysts.

These jellyfish are partially transparent, the top (bell) is a perfectly toasted marsh mellow brown. It has a deathly colony of 24 trailing tentacles and the white thick lacy stuff in the middle is called oral arms, those are used for feeding.

Pacific seanettleRetrieved from

Sea nettle Retrieved from

Post #11
Intelligent Design

I watched a movie called "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" a year or two ago. It was about scandal of scientist talking about the possibility of Intelligent design, the thoughts after watching that movie never really go away.

The theory of Intelligent Designed is that all of earth is made by a Designer, not by random chance. Here's a good video that maps out the key concept of this theory.

Three main arguments that people give for this theory are: irreducible complexity, specified complexity, and anthropic principle.

Irreducible Complexity is defined as:"a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function of the system, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning." Without our core parts we could not survive. While parts were in the making and developing they would not be productive. The example given is if we didn't have an "eyeball, optic nerve and visual cortex a randomly mutated incomplete eye would actually be counter productive to a species" thus those species would be weaker and eliminated through natural selection.

Specified complexity is how there are patterns in the things species do. It states that randomness cannot have caused us to begin forming such complex patterns in nature. An example is "a room filled with 100 monkeys and 100 computers may eventually produce a few words, or maybe even a sentence, but it would never produce a Shakespearean play" `Monkeys randomly tapping on keys boards may be able to make simple sentences, so random chance may provide an explanation if there were just simple patterns in the world, but the patterns in the world are actually more complex then a Shakespearean play.

The third in the Anthropic Principle. (this one is my favourite) This principle is that our earth is fine-tuned for life. Should it be placed a few miles towards or away from the sun we could not sustain life. Or if the ratio of elements in our air was tampered slightly, we could not survive.

Intelligent Design is a theory, not a religion, it is not based around a God, and it looks at the earth and gives an answer to the questions rather then having the answer and looking for proof. This theory is believed by religious and by atheists. I think that it is interesting, but what do you think?

What is the intelligent design theory? Retrieved from:

Post #12
What system do you use when you run?

I got back from a track meet excited to write a wiki post because I decided on a topic that really interests me. My coach talks about whether we use aerobic or anaerobic systems a little bit, but it really tweaked my interest when I had to start explaining it to someone else. See I was warming up with some 100m sprinters doing something called accelerations (like short sprints where we accelerate into 100%) I told them just to do shorter ones, but I had to do longer ones because I was running a longer race and I need to tap into a different system. I tried explaining it to them but I was stuck with giving them brief, non-specific details. Here's what I could've informed them with.

Sprinters are using energy that is already stored up, although that only lasts about 10s, they spend very little time using the anaerobic lactic system, which is when lactic acid fermentation happens and your legs feel like bricks afterwards. Just doing short bursts to warm up gets the anaerobic alactic system ready. That is the short burst of speed, so this requires high intensity exercise.

It changes to the anaerobic lactic system like I said after ten seconds, tapping into the anaerobic lactic system. You continue using that system until you've been running for about a minute. So in my race, I'd mostly be in this system which makes sense because after a 400m done properly any athlete will tell you it is not a good feeling. By doing longer accelerations that system is already warmed up and ready to go. This also requires the high levels of intensity.

The more gentle, if you will, system is the aerobic. This is for all those who like to go out for a jog to those who want to run more then 800m on a track. Training and strengthening this system can be a little bit harder, having to run a lot longer.

So warming up I could now tell them that they do shorter accelerations so that they're sprinting energy system rather then the painful lactic acid system!! Last advice? Run like Usain Bolt.


The energy systems Retrieved from

Post #13
Running Barefoot

I've heard mixed things about pros and cons of running barefoot so I was ready to find out the truth! Will running barefoot be more beneficial in training or will it leave injuries not worth feeling the ground through my toes for?

Scientific studies show that running barefoot lessons the rate of needed oxygen. Meaning it's easier on your lungs, which should mean that you can get faster recorded times. This study was only done on more gentle surfaces like a treadmill and indoor track which did not cause further harm on their feet. This is only for getting faster recorded times, not about the training part of it. Studies have not been yet made on whether running long distance on a nice soft surface such as grass would bring down the record times!

In other studies, scientist have found shoes to be not a big step up from running barefoot. Worrying about strains and injuries isn't all that huge of a deal. Our bodies naturally have protection wired into our brains that turns on when we walk around barefoot. Extra absorbance and stability. However always wearing shoes makes those muscle less strong. When barefoot our brains are much more highly tuned and therefore also giving better reaction times, which complementary to the above information, makes sense why races are faster barefoot. On hard surfaces however, if you aren't worrying about your joints and possible strains, you can still bang up your feet pretty bad.

So there are benefits to running barefoot, it's still a bit of a controversial topic in the running world. I guess for now I'll stick to my shoes, well, until I find a soft surface to run on!

Barefoot running: scientifically the most efficient way Retrieved from
Should you be running barefoot? Burfoot A. Retrieved from,7120,s6-240-319--6728-0,00.html