Biology 30 Saskatchewan Curriculum Resources 

Direct brain injection. The wasp Ampulex compressa stings the cockroach Periplaneta americana in the head and injects venom into the brain (photo: Frederic Libersat).

Jewel Wasp Turning a Cockroach into a Zombie   …   Caught in the Act of Injecting Neuro-Toxins Directly Into the Brain   …   The neurosurgically altered victim recovers from its paralysis but now lacks the will to flee or fight. The wasp pulls on an antenna and leads the roach, like a dog on a leash, into a burrow. There she glues an egg to the underside of the roach. She leaves the burrow and seals it shut. In the darkness, the roach stands motionless as the wasp larva hatches from its egg and chews a hole into its side. The wasp feeds through the hole for a while, and then slithers inside. Later, it pops out as a full-grown adult.


Biology 30 Research Project Requirements 2022W

Experiment Project Guides 2022W

Personal Project Requirements 2022W

Biology 30 2021W Day Notes PDF

Biology 30 2021W Day Notes

Biology 30 Course Outline 2022W


The spy who loved the planet


Music is essential for the transmission of ethnobiological knowledge


Diagram of spectrun showing scale of wavelengths from radio to gamma rays.

Electromagnetic Spectrum


Reproduction of Ernst Haeckel's genealogical oak tree depicting the... |  Download Scientific Diagram

Tree of Life, by Ernst Haeckel, 1866

Mendel and Darwin: untangling a persistent enigma

OneZoom Tree of Life Explorer


Taxonomy of Living Things

This classification system is still evolving.  Various names and groupings have been used.



'Tree of life' for 2.3 million species released

‘Tree of life’ for 2.3 million species (2015)


Carl Woese (The Man Who Rewrote the Tree of Life)



Image result for solar flare sun earth space weather


India’s education minister assails evolutionary theory, calls for curricula overhaul




Flin Flon

Aerosols: Tiny Particles, Big Impact

Russel L. Honore' on Twitter: "And DuPont is polluting our Citizens in  Reserve Louisiana Tuma Registry say no problem but cancer in every home  @LSU… https://t.co/hKeZ5tKe5t"

A Systems Approach to Cancer Prevention (Polly Hoppin, 2020)



C8 (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – PFAS)  Made up of a chain of carbon atoms, surrounded by fluorine atoms.  PFAS is a nearly unbreakable compound. 

Do Not Eat the Fish PFAS (450x329)

PFAS exposure has been linked to an increased risk of testicular and kidney cancer, thyroid and immune system issues, and developmental problems in fetuses and newborns.  PFAS chemicals can potentially cause male infertility and smaller penis size.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s lifetime healthy advisory number is 70 parts per trillion.

What’s in your water?


“Dumb Kids Playing Cards On Freeway Get Smashed”


“Artist’s rendering of Ikaria wariootia.  The tiny, wormlike creature, named Ikaria wariootia, is the earliest bilaterian, or organism with a front and back, two symmetrical sides, and openings at either end connected by a gut.  [It is] the first ancestor on the family tree that contains most familiar animals today, including humans.”

Ancestor of all animals identified in Australian fossils

Image result for pseudobiceros hancockanus

Marine flatworm Pseudobiceros gloriosus. Lembeh straits, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.  Hermaphroditic dawn flatworms fight each other for the right inseminate the other, a process called penis fencing. (Jens Petersen, CC BY-SA 3.0)


Sea lamprey mouth

Sea Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus)

Fish eggs can hatch after being eaten and pooped out by ducks



Ichthyosaur.  About 26 meters (85 feet) long.  (Artist:  Nobumichi Tamura)

Ichthyosaurs appeared during the start of the Triassic, some 250 million years ago. Though they initially lived along coasts, they eventually moved to deeper water. At their height, they filled many niches, from ambush predator to suction feeder and were among the most successful animals in the oceans. But about 90 million years ago, almost 25 million years before the dinosaurs disappeared, ichthyosaurs died out.

Bid to reconstruct richness of prehistoric oceans


Native Range of the Four Apple Snail Species



This picture shows (from bottom to top) bearded dragons that are: normal, heterozygous mutant (it received only one copy, either from its mother or from its father, of the mutated EDA gene) and homozygous mutant (it received two copies of the EDA mutation: one from its father and one from its mother). The homozygous mutant lacks all scales, while the heterozygous mutant has scales that are reduced in size. Photo by Michel C. Milinkovitch

Naked lizard proves hair, scales and feathers descend from single reptilian ancestor    …suggests all of these animals, including humans, descended from a single reptilian ancestor approximately 320 million years ago.   …   This picture shows (from bottom to top) bearded dragons that are: normal, heterozygous mutant (it received only one copy, either from its mother or from its father, of the mutated EDA gene) and homozygous mutant (it received two copies of the EDA mutation: one from its father and one from its mother). The homozygous mutant lacks all scales, while the heterozygous mutant has scales that are reduced in size. Photo by Michel C. Milinkovitch



Taiwan Blue Magpie (Shao Huan Lang)

Study of Darwin’s Finches:  New Species in Two Generations

Image result for rose breasted grosbeak half male and female

A “grosbeak observed at Powdermill Nature Reserve, Pennsylvania, in 2019.  The condition, called bilateral gynandromorphism, means the bird is both male and female, with one ovary and one testis. … Since usually only the left ovary is functional in birds, and the left side of this bird is the female side, the bird could still theoretically lay eggs and reproduce.” Details. 


Magnetoreception in Birds and Its Use for Long-Distance Migration -  ScienceDirect

Do animals use the magnetic field for orientation?


Yukon Winter Tick Monitoring Project's Journal · iNaturalist.ca

Fossil discovery reveals the earliest relative of modern mammals

Image result for Adalatherium

Adalatherium skeleton, about 66 million years old. ~3.1kg live weight.


Skull of humankind’s oldest-known ancestor discovered

Seven Million Years of Human Evolution (AMNH, 6:22)

An Evolutionary Timeline of Homo Sapiens

Thumbs gave a 'formidable' advantage to our early ancestors - CNN

How Dexterous Thumbs May Have Helped Shape Evolution Two Million Years Ago

Fingers can detect nano-scale wrinkles even on a seemingly smooth surface

Image result for stone age lion man

The lion-man sculpture from Germany (dated to 37,000 years ago) must have been first imagined by the artist by mentally synthesizing parts of the man and beast together and then executing the product of this mental creation in ivory. The composite artworks provide a direct evidence that by 37,000 years ago humans have acquired prefrontal synthesis.  [More details here.]



Image result for weyburn mental hospital stories

Weyburn Mental Hospital, 1960.

Three Thrown Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Are the ‘viral’ agents of MS, ALS and schizophrenia buried in our genome?


Image result for brain activity while stoned

In her new book, “Conscience: The Origins of Moral Intuition,” Churchland makes the case that neuroscience, evolution, and biology are essential to understanding moral decision-making and how we behave in social environments. [Details.]

Archaeologists find richest cache of ancient mind-altering drugs in South America

Image result for cannabis indigenous rights




Eye, photographed by Suren Manvelyan


The Original Ghostbuster  “Apparently the combination of the fan and the geometry of the room had produced a standing sound wave at a frequency of just under 19 Hz. This frequency, part of a region of frequencies dubbed infrasound, is just out of the range of normal human hearing, but is very close to the average resonant frequency of a human eyeball. This caused the lab workers’ eyes to vibrate very slightly, prompting the curious optical illusions.”

Human Vision and Color Perception

Image result for tooth crystal structure

Crystal Misorientation Toughens Human Tooth Enamel

The enamel that covers the exposed surface of human teeth is the hardest tissue in the human body. Incredibly, this protective layer enables our teeth to last a lifetime. In contrast, mouse teeth grow continuously as they get worn down. In sharks and parrotfish, a new row of teeth is always ready to move forward and take over for failing ones. In crocodiles, when a tooth falls out, another one erupts. None of this happens with permanent teeth in humans, despite the fact that our teeth must withstand chewing pressures on the order of 1 GPa—comparable to pressures found 30 km underground—applied hundreds of times each day for a lifetime. How does enamel achieve such spectacular performance, despite the tremendous pressures to which it is exposed?


Towards Neuroscience-Grounded Artificial Intelligence | by Vincenzo  Lomonaco | Towards Data Science

The Remains of Doctor Bass

The Solitude of Alexander Selkirk




Smell    The human nose has roughly 400 types of scent receptors that can detect at least 1 trillion different odours.


Why “Hands-On” Learning is So Effective

Touch  The smallest pattern that could be distinguished from the non-patterned surface had grooves with a wavelength of 760 nanometres and an amplitude of only 13 nanometres.


Normal hearing ability decay with age.



Coronavirus.  This image of the virus is from a transmission electron microscope. (NIAID-RML)

Coronavirus Crisis (Special Series, NPR)


Rate of death from COVID-19, by province, since Aug. 1
Lines indicate the number of deaths over the previous 14 days per 100,000 population in each province.

Rate of death from COVID-19, by province, since Aug. 1 [2021] Lines indicate the number of deaths over the previous 14 days per 100,000 population in each province.


Over the last 14 days, the national average of COVID-19 deaths was 1.2, with 4.1 for Alberta and 4.0 for Saskatchewan. (RCI, September 28, 2021)




A bar along the bottom indicates size of various objects. At the far right is a from egg at approximately 1 mm. To the left are a human egg and a pollen grain at approximately 0.1 mm. Next are a standard plant and animal cell which range from 10 – 100 µm. Next is a red blood cell at just under 10 µm. Next are a mitochondrion and bacterial cell at approximately 1 µm. Next is a smallpox virus at approximately 500 nm. Next is a flu virus at approximately 100 nm. Next is a polio virus at approximately 50 nm. Next are proteins which range from 5-10 nm. Next are lipids which range from 2-5 nm. Next is C60 (fullerene molecule) which is approximately 1 nm. Finally, atoms are approximately 0.1 nm. Light microscopes can be used to view items larger than 100 nm (the size of a flu virus). Electron microscopes are useful for materials from 1.5 nm (larger than an atom) to 1 µm (the size of many bacteria).

Choanozoan and picozoan marine protists are probably virus eaters

How Can the Ocean Have This Many Types of Plankton?

Picozoans Are Algae After All: Study


Giardia  Parasite.  About 10um long.  Causes diarrhea.  Tolerant of chlorine.

The body: The great skin safari     …  The local wildlife includes fungi, viruses and mites, but bacteria are the most common denizens. With hundreds of species, they dominate the skin microbiome – all the microbes and their secretions that live on the surface. There are 1 billion bacteria per square centimetre – more than 1.6 trillion over the 1.8-square-metre surface of the average person….


Fluid Identity  “When a caterpillar enters the chrysalis stage, it is not merely sprouting wings to become a moth or butterfly. Enzymes inside the chrysalis completely dissolve the entire caterpillar⁠—brain, organs, and all⁠—into a nutrient-rich slurry of protein. Only a few cells remain alive. Once the caterpillar has self-digested, an alternate section of DNA inside the few remaining living cells is expressed, and the cells use the nutrient soup to multiply and develop the new organism. In essence the animal is a chimera; the caterpillar lives and dies, and an entirely new organism emerges from its remains.”

Amber fossils unlock true color of 99-million-year-old insects


arachnid diversity



Neutrophil (white blood cell) engulfing anthrax bacteria, taken with a Leo 1550 scanning electron microscope. Scale bar is 5 micrometers.


Naked amoeba in the genus Mayorella


Mealworms safely consume toxic additive-containing plastic


Bristlecone pines

Bristlecone Pine, California’s White Mountains, ~5067 years old.

Plantae (American Society of Plant Biologists)

Image result for 100 million year old flower

Valviloculus pleristaminis flower, in amber, ~100 million years old.  ~2mm across.


Agency Provided Fire Perimeters

Canadian Wildland Fire Information System – Forest Fire Perimeters, 1980 – 2020

Wildfire in Saskatchewan

Image result for australia fire from iss

Warming Climate is Implicated in Australian Wildfires


mycorrhizae-roots by David Read (450x583)

A small pine tree grown in a glass box reveals its underground network of mycorrhizae (fungi that live symbiotically between and within plant roots).  Photo credit: Professor Sir David Read (Source)

Fungi Classification


Benjamin Wolfe on Twitter: "Colonies of Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolated  from sourdough as part of our collaboration with @YourWild_Life. Look at  those gorgeous wrinkles!… https://t.co/7o5bYSMOb9"

Colonies of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast) isolated from sourdough.

Sour Dough Bread & Wild Yeast Starter


Lichens are composed of algae(s) and fungi(s) living in symbiotic relationships.

About Lichens (US Forest Service)


Coccolithophores, from whence comes Chalk

Study reveals profound patterns in globally important algae | EurekAlert!  Science News

Tiny algae called coccolithophores, such as this Discosphaera tubifera, play a major role in the global carbon cycle. 

Lith size: 3->8µm; Coccosphere size: 12->20µm; Liths per sphere: 35->70   

µ = micrometer, or 1/1,000,000 of one meter, or 1/1,000 of one millimeter

After death of the algae, the chalky shell sinks to the ocean floor and becomes an abundant component of sea-floor carbonates. Over millions of years these shells have accumulated to form thick sediment layers, with the chalk cliff of the German island of Rügen being a prominent example. Due to the incorporation of trace elements from the waters surrounding the cells into the chalk structures, which are produced inside the cells, the chemical composition of these sediments can give information about the climate and environment of the past.   https://www.mpikg.mpg.de/5677694/orakel-aus-dem-ozean

Coccolithophore Blooms near Falkland Islands

Blooms of a tiny algae called coccolithophores near the Falkland Islands are visible from space as bright turquoise swirls. New research shows that coccolithophores are mysteriously scarce in one of the most fertile and productive regions of the Atlantic Ocean.

They bind million tons of carbon dioxide yearly, removing the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. Each chalky coccolith that ends up on the sea-floor removes carbon from the atmosphere-ocean cycle for thousands of years. The acidification of the oceans due to raising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations poses a threat to biological chalk formation and the consequences of this on our climate are poorly understood.  https://www.mpikg.mpg.de/5677694/orakel-aus-dem-ozean

Welcome to the Plastisphere    Plastics are energy-rich substances, which is why many of them burn so readily. Any organism that could unlock and use that energy would do well in the Anthropocene. Terrestrial bacteria and fungi which can manage this trick are already familiar to experts in the field. Dr Mincer and Dr Amaral-Zettler found evidence of them on their marine plastic, too.

 They noticed many of their pieces of debris sported surface pits around two microns across. Such pits are about the size of a bacterial cell. Closer examination showed that some of these pits did, indeed, contain bacteria, and that in several cases these bacteria were dividing and thus, by the perverse arithmetic of biological terminology, multiplying. Though the two researchers have not yet proved the bugs in the pits are actually eating the plastic, that hypothesis seems a good bet. And if they are, it suggests plastic pollution in the ocean may not hang around as long as has often been feared.

 Less encouragingly, Dr Mincer and Dr Amaral-Zettler also found cholera-like bacteria in their tiny floating ecosystems. Both fish and seabirds act as vectors for cholera (the former bring it into human settlements when caught by fishermen, the latter when resting ashore or nesting), so anywhere that such creatures might pick up cholera bugs is something worth keeping an eye on.


BBC - Earth - Origin of bed bugs revealed

A bedbug magnified 50 times. (Volker Steger/Photo Researchers)

Bed Bugs:  A New Debugger   …   The new trap could be used both to assess whether a hotel room or apartment is infested and also to kill the insects without dousing everything in insecticide—which is, in any case, an increasingly futile exercise, as many have now evolved resistance.

Body Hair:  The Not-So-Naked Ape   …   When the bug was on a hairy patch it was detected, on average, every four seconds. When it was on a shaved patch, more than ten seconds elapsed between detections. Moreover, the bugs seemed to find it harder to locate a good spot to bite when they were surrounded by hair.

Bed Bug Control   …   Want to Un-Friend your new BFF?


An existential discussion: What is the probability of nuclear war?

Health Canada declares gene editing safe

Opinion: Saskatoon ‘perimeter freeway’ plan deserves attention

Turkish Lake Helps Scientists’ Search for Ancient Life on Mars

UFO Report: No Sign Of Aliens, But 143 Mystery Objects Defy Explanation