Pea-NA

I extracted some DNA from peas (which was not quite as exciting as it sounds).

First, I had to let the split peas soak overnight in distilled water. Afterwards their soak I added the peas to salty water.

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Next, I transferred the peas to a mortar, and began to mash! When the peas were properly mashed up, I strained the liquid through a cheesecloth. To that liquid I added a few drops of dish detergent, and let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

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After pouring the chilled, green liquid into a test tube, papain powder (meat tenderizer) was added, followed by an amount of cold isopropyl alcohol. The whitish liquid about the green in the test tube (pictured below) is the DNA. Hard to see here, the DNA was a cluster of stringy white filaments.

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I extracted a drop of the whitish DNA liquid and prepared a slide in order to view it under a microscope. The image below, though not a great quality, shows the little clusters of DNA (the dark ‘spots’) at 200X.

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The Eagles

Not the band, the bird!

This election year brings many great changes, the best thus far being a pair of Bald Eagles choosing to nest in the U.S. National Arboretum for the first time since 1947.

If you’re bored with your normal Netflix routine, you can watch these birds, affectionately named “Mr. President” and “The First Lady”, live 24 hours a day at the D.C. Eagle Cam. The website is also full of information and facts for any questions that may arise.

Two eggs have been laid, and one has already begun the hatching process!

“High up on his own, the eagle flies alone and he is free”

Ants: Day 14

It’s been about 2 weeks since the ants arrived! Here we are:

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Did you know you can tell the gender of an ant by dropping it in water? Female ants sink, boy ants float! (This is a joke: boy ant, buoyant. Haha, not that funny… Please don’t drops ants in water, I don’t think they can swim.)

Magic Arrow Flip

I have drawn two nearly identical arrows on a piece of graph paper.

Arrows

I will now flip the bottom arrow horizontally, using only a glass and water!

Voila! Is it magic, or rather the science of light bending through water? I’d say magic!

Thank you to Kelson, for the inspiration!

 

Ants: Day 10

The pANTemonium continues! Well, mostly. Action has been rather subdued the past few days. It’s harder to count the ants now, with all the tunnels and gel mountains on top, but it appears the remaining 34 are alive and well.

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Ant Fact: Ants do not have lungs; oxygen enters through tiny holes all over the body and carbon dioxide leaves through those same holes.

Ants also don’t have blood vessels; their heart is a long tube that pumps colorless blood from the head back to the rear, and then back up to the head again.

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Anyone who studies ants is considered a myrmecologist. Early myrmecologists considered ant society as the ideal form of society and sought to find solutions to human problems by studying them. If only we were as simple as ants…

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Almost there little ants!

Ant Cam: