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Bioscience Rocks

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Bioscience Rocks is a shop that specialises in resources for A-Level Biology and Applied Science students. The resources include a range of activities, starters, worksheets and powerpoints, all of which have been used successfully with students of a wide range of abilities. The author is a National Expert Teacher of Science (awarded by National Science Learning Centre) and also a National Space Academy Lead Educator with a long track record of producing high quality educational resources.

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Bioscience Rocks is a shop that specialises in resources for A-Level Biology and Applied Science students. The resources include a range of activities, starters, worksheets and powerpoints, all of which have been used successfully with students of a wide range of abilities. The author is a National Expert Teacher of Science (awarded by National Science Learning Centre) and also a National Space Academy Lead Educator with a long track record of producing high quality educational resources.
Haemophilia - interpreting the results of a Royal Family pedigree
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Haemophilia - interpreting the results of a Royal Family pedigree

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A resource aimed at advanced biology students, this worksheet requires students to interpret the British Royal Family pedigree chart and explain the inheritance of haemophilia from Queen Victoria (thought to be where the mutation first arose) onwards. Keywords: pedigree, chart, genetics, haemophilia, gene, allele, mutation, probablility
The Phosphorous Cycle - Draw It!
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The Phosphorous Cycle - Draw It!

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An activity aimed at A-Level Biology students. This activity involves a series of statements that can be given to a class at the start of a lesson with the instruction that they draw the phosphorous cycle based on this information. Students should initially do this in pairs but can then be teamed up in larger groups to show, discuss and explain their own diagrammatic interpretations of the phosphorus cycle. Finally, the whole class can be brought together to discuss the best way of joining these statements together into an agreed phosphorous cycle. Key words: Phosphorous, cycle, ATP, NADP, weathering, phosphates, fertilisers, glycolysis, kinase, phosphorylation
Counting bacterial colonies on an agar plate
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Counting bacterial colonies on an agar plate

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This worksheet is aimed at either GCSE or A-Level students studying microbiology. The worksheet is an ideal lesson starter to use following preparation and incubation of agar plates that have been inoculated with bacteria (from unpasteurised milk in this example, but easily adaptable for any other source of bacteria). The worksheet introduces the idea of binary fission and the concept of a visible colony being made of many thousands of individual bacterial cells. The worksheet also includes an activity on counting bacterial colonies and estimating numbers based on dilutions that would set students up well for a subsequent lesson where they did this activity using their own agar plates. Key words: Agar, bacteria, colony, estimate, milk, pasteurisation, binary fission
Food tests - practical instructions and worksheet activity (GCSE Biology)
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Food tests - practical instructions and worksheet activity (GCSE Biology)

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A resource aimed at GCSE (14-16 year old) biology students, this resource consists of a series of instructions for four food test investigations (testing for a reducing sugar, protein, starch and fat), each of which can be printed out and positioned at various locations/work stations in a laboratory. The resource also contains a worksheet for students to fill in as they complete each investigation - students should test a known sample of a food substance first in order to see for themselves the positive result/colour change before then testing an unknown mixture.
Gene therapy research task
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Gene therapy research task

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A worksheet aimed at advanced biology students, this resource provides a research task for students to understand the principles, mechanisms and applications of gene therapy. The worksheet includes a series of prompts/questions and also provides several weblinks to online resources. Key words: gene therapy, vector, disease, virus, liposome, cancer, somatic, germ line, gametes
Surface area:Volume - the basic principles and applying knowledge
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Surface area:Volume - the basic principles and applying knowledge

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A resource aimed at biology students studying surface area: volume ratio. This worksheet discusses the nature of surface area:volume ratio and why it is important in terms of gas and heat exchange in living organisms. The first worksheet covers basic principles of calculating surface area and volume of cubes of varying sizes, followed by calculation of surface area:volume ratio. Unlike many textbook resources, this worksheet emphasises the fact that surface area is linked to the ABILITY to exchange whereas volume is linked to the NEED to exchange. The second worksheet considers how this principle is applied to adaptations for heat exchange in different species of fox and finally how metabolic rate is influenced by the size of an organism and its ability to exchange heat with the surroundings. Key words: Surface area, volume, ratio, exchange, cube, heat, gas, metabolism, fox, ears
Codominance questions
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Codominance questions

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A worksheet aimed at advanced biology students, this resource consists of eight questions that focus on both multiple alleles and codominance. The examples chosen include fur colour in cats, hair colour in cattle and the appearance of the (fictional) American Bigfoot! A good resource to use as either a starter or plenary exercise to test understanding of either codominance or multiple alleles and phenotypic ratios. Key words: genetics, phenotype, codominance, multiple alleles, monohybrid
The Nerve Impulse - a step by step interactive worksheet
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The Nerve Impulse - a step by step interactive worksheet

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A comprehensive six page worksheet aimed at advanced biology students, this resource deals with all the major aspects of how a nerve impulse originates and is propagated along a neurone. The worksheets include diagrams that show the different open and closed positions of sodium and potassium channels with space for students to show their own positions of the relevant ions (this is with reference to an online animation - weblink included on the worksheet). The worksheet also has a labelling exercise for the classic action potential graph as well as details on saltatory conductance and factors affecting speed of impulse transmission. Key words: nerve, neurone, depolarisation, repolarisation, refractory period, action potential, resting potential, sodium, potassium, diffusion, ATP, ATPase pump
Blood doping
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Blood doping

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A resource aimed at advanced biology, applied science or physical education students, this worksheet provides several questions that lead students through the topic of blood doping. Lance Armstrong is used as a contextual example of an athlete that has been disgraced following the revelation that he was involved in blood doping; the worksheet provides questions on the effect of EPO, the impact on blood cell counts and how haematocrit tests could be used to provide evidence. The worksheet also has follow up questions on the use of steroids and diuretics in sports. Key words: Sports, Blood, doping, haematocrit, EPO, steroids, diuretics, lance armstrong, blood volume, steroids
Aseptic technique
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Aseptic technique

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A resource suitable for use with both GCSE and A-Level students as a lesson starter, this worksheet provides an account of aseptic technique from an instruction manual; after each step in the instructions, students are required to comment on the reasons why each technique or precaution is necessary. A useful exercise to use at the beginning or an investigation involving microbiology. Key words: aseptic, bacteria, agar, contamination
Evaluating aseptic technique
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Evaluating aseptic technique

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A starter activity suitable for GCSE and A-Level microbiology students, this resource provides a written account of a very badly organised practical session (the misfortunes of 'aseptic Adam'). Students are required to identify the problems in this investigation, explain the problems and solve the problems - ideal as an introduction to an evaluation on student's own investigations if they have recently completed a microbiology experiment. Key words: aseptic, contamination, bacteria, agar, incubate, colonies, evaluate
ECG plenary/review/recap
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ECG plenary/review/recap

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A resource aimed at advanced level biology, applied science or physical education students, this worksheet comprises of a series of questions that discuss the nature of an ECG and its interpretation. The worksheet also includes questions on abnormal ECG traces and diagnosis of conditions such as tachycardia and bradycardia. A useful resource to use as a lesson starter or plenary once this topic has already been taught.
Colorimeters - how they work and sources of error
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Colorimeters - how they work and sources of error

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A worksheet aimed at advanced level biology students, this resource is useful as a review of how colorimeters work and how they should be operated. The second worksheet contains a list of questions on different types of error that may result from laboratory investigations, some of which may be experienced when using a colorimeter: zero errors, systematic errors and random errors. The third worksheet is a differentiated version of the above, with an emphasis towards more simple ideas on the difference between qualitative and quantitative errors and calibration curves.
Restriction enzymes - how they work and choosing the right one
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Restriction enzymes - how they work and choosing the right one

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A worksheet aimed at advanced biology students who are studying a topic on gene technology and the role of restriction endonucleases. The worksheet consists of task where students are required to choose the most appropriate restriction enzyme to cut out a gene from a piece of DNA. Students are given four different examples of restriction enzymes, together with information about the recognition sequence for each enzyme. Using this information, students must then select the most appropriate enzyme to cut out the gene. Key words: restriction endonuclease, gene, recognition sequence
Cell organelles - comprehension task
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Cell organelles - comprehension task

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A worksheet aimed at advanced level biology students, this resource provides a lengthy written passage about the structure and function of cell organelles. The worksheet provides a useful written summary of organelle function in eukaryotic cells for student's revision notes but also requires students to process this information in order to label a diagram of animal cell ultrastructure and explain differences between animal and plant cells.
Using methylene blue as an artificial hydrogen acceptor in respiration - practical activity
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Using methylene blue as an artificial hydrogen acceptor in respiration - practical activity

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A resource aimed at advanced biology students, this is a practical activity worksheet that concisely describes the classic experiment involving methylene blue as an artificial hydrogen acceptor in respiration. The experiment involves setting up three test tubes (two with yeast and methylene blue, one without yeast as a control) and observing the decolouration of methylene blue as it is gradually reduced due to the respiratory activity of yeast. The activity sheet contains the technical details of solutions required, a table for students to record their observations and a series of questions that probe student's understanding of the biochemistry involved with these observations. Answers to the questions are provided on the second, duplicate, worksheet. Key words: Respiration, glucose, NAD, methylene blue, reduction, oxidation, yeast, control
Nitrogen Cycle - independent learning task
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Nitrogen Cycle - independent learning task

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A worksheet aimed at A-Level Biology students which sets out a series of research tasks for students to learn about the nitrogen cycle. A good resource to use at the start of this topic as homework or in class by dividing out each piece of key research among the class. Internet websites are listed which provide useful animations and information for students to use as they complete their research. Key words: nitrogen cycle, deamination, ammonification, denitrification, nitrification, nitrogen fixation, nitrogen, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ammonium ions, symbiotic
Control of the cardiac cycle - electrical activity in the heart
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Control of the cardiac cycle - electrical activity in the heart

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A resource aimed at Advanced Biology students, this worksheet provides a diagram and questions on how the cardiac cycle is under myogenic control. The worksheet begins with a labelling activity, requiring students to recall key vocabulary such as sino-atrial node, atrioventricular node, Bundle of His and Purkinje fibres. The next task requires sequencing of the appropriate events that occur as electrical impulses are generated within heart muscle. Finally, the worksheet provides some questions requiring more detailed understanding as to why these events happen in the order that they do. An ideal resource to use as either a plenary or lesson starter to recap and consolidate knowledge. Key words: sino-atrial node, atrioventricular node, Bundle of His, Purkinje fibres, systole, diastole, atria, ventricles
Amino acids
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Amino acids

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Worksheet starter task to recap the basics of amino acid structure
Lung disorders and disease - Fick's Law
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Lung disorders and disease - Fick's Law

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This resource is aimed at A-Level Biology students and lists the mechanisms behind each of four different lung diseases and disorders: asthma, tuberculosis, pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema. As well as being a useful collection of revision notes in itself, the task here is for students to explain how each of these diseases causes a reduced tolerance to exercise - this is often asked in exam questions and requires students to apply their knowledge of Fick's Law. Each disease will impact on surface area, concentration gradient and/or thickness of exchange surface thereby reducing the rate of diffusion; the challenge is for students to explain this