Discovering Biology in a Digital World

Welcome to the new home of Discovering Biology in a Digital World.
Posts from ScienceBlogs, 2006 to 2017, can be found in the archive.

by Sandra Porter

Digital World Biology is happy this summer to be partnering with Shoreline Community College and NWABR to help students attending their summer camps, Project Biotech and Camp BIOmed, explore 3D structures of proteins, DNA, chemicals and other substances, in Molecule World.

At one time, scientists didn't even consider ... Read more

by Sandra Porter

National DNA Day has a fun challenge for teachers and classrooms using Pinterest. Your class can join a larger, national, effort to create a National DNA Day Pinterest board by making your own class Pinterest board on DNA, genetics, and genomics.

Some possible topics are:

  • Things to do with DNA
  • DNA and health
  • DNA and the Arts
  • DNA in the News

We're really excited about the topic on DNA and the Arts!

Here's how you can make some lovely DNA Art images for your Pinterest board in  ... Read more

A real family, struggling with a history of breast cancer provides the back story for this compelling lesson on genetic testing in the Bio-ITEST Genetic Testing curriculum strand.  We recently updated lesson 5 for students using Molecule World. This video shows how we used the Molecule World iPad app to locate a mutation site and see how the cancer-causing mutation affects the BRCA1 protein.

... Read more

This video shows how we used the Molecule World iPad app to make an image of a folded insulin peptide. Protein folding brings the amino acid at the beginning of the protein chain near the amino acid at the other end.

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by Sandra Porter

On pinene and inhibiting enzymes.

People of a certain age may remember a series of really funny commercials featuring Euell Gibbonsand his famous question about whether you've ever eaten a pine tree. "Some parts are edible" said Euell.

Perhaps some parts are, but other pine tree products aren't so nourishing. Read more

by Sandra Porter


In my last post, I wrote about insulin and interesting features of the insulin structure. Some of the things I learned were really surprising. For example, I was surprised to learn how similar pig and human insulin are. I hadn't considered this before, but this made me wonder about the human insulin we used to give to one of our cats. How do cat and human insulin compare?


It turns out, that all vertebrates produce ... Read more

by Sandra Porter


Molecules of sucrose tore apart in their bellies letting glucose course free in their veins.


Luckily for us, a system evolved long ago to capture that glucose and minimize it’s potential for damage.

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by Sandra Porter


In 1925, dog sledders raced through the frozen Alaskan bush to bring antiserum to the isolated village of Nome. The antiserum arrived in time, saved the lives of many villagers from the horrors of diphtheria, and inspired the Iditarod, a famous race in celebration of the dog sledders' heroic feat. West Africa could use a similar effort today.

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by Sandra Porter

Exploring a spider silk protein in Molecule World to learn more about the molecular switch. Read more

by Sandra Porter

Teachers attending the Amgen Biotech Experience workshops at Shoreline Community College get hands-on practice with both sides of the lab - wet and dry!

Dr. Dina Kovarik from Digital World Biology has been busily engaged this summer in the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) program at Shoreline Community College.The ABE program gives teachers a way to learn and practice biotech lab skills like micropipetting, agarose gel electrophoresis, PCR, purification, and cloning.

Thanks to Kovarik, teachers are doing a bit of bioinformatics as well. They' ... Read more