Portal:Life Sciences

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The Life Sciences Portal

Welcome to the Life Sciences Portal!

This page connects Wikiversity visitors to the learning resources that have been developed by the various Wikiversity Life Sciences content development projects. Wikiversity participants who are interested in the Life Sciences are invited to create and develop learning projects and learning resources and help organize them by developing this portal.

Browse the major Life Sciences categories: Biology - Marine sciences - Medicine - Neuroscience - Plant Sciences - Zoology

Featured learning activity

Participants in the Human Genetic Uniqueness Project join in the search for genes that account for the genetic differences between humans and our closest relatives. Activities center on accessing genome databases and analysis of differences between human genes and the genes of other species. Background learning topics include learning about genes, and genome sequencing projects.

Selected picture
Argonaute-containing RNA destruction complex. Image source: Leemor Joshua-Tor.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 2007 was awarded to Andrew Z. Fire and Craig C. Mello for their research on RNA interference. RNA interference is a mechanism for control of gene expression inside cells. This diagram shows how an anti-sense RNA (the yellow strand in this diagram) targets destruction of complementary mRNA (orange strand). The active site of the enzyme that cuts the mRNA has the amino acid sequence amino acids Asp-Asp-His (DDH) at the active site.

Medical interventions that activate the RNA interference are being studied as possible future treatments of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Selected research
Apricot tree.

Participants in the Bloom clock project track and report the bloom times of wildflowers and other plants. Bloom clocks are kept by gardeners, ecologists, and others who record the time of year different plants are in bloom. This project attempts to reduce the effects of anomalous data in an attempt to generate maps of geographical "zones" that can eventually be used when describing a plant's expected bloom time in a particular region.

Did you know...
Cell layers of the retina.
Is the mammalian retina backwards? In the diagram, light enters from the left. The cells in the retina that detect light are at the deepest layer of the retina, to the right in the diagram. See human eye development.
Related portals
Content development projects

"...any variation, however slight and from whatever cause proceeding, if it be in any degree profitable to an individual of any species, in its infinitely complex relationship to other organic beings and to external nature, will tend to the preservation of that individual, and will generally be inherited by its offspring." - Charles Darwin

"Every college student should be able to answer the following question: What is the relation between science and the humanities, and how is it important for human welfare?" Edward O. Wilson.

Life Sciences learning projects
Earth life; are we alone?
Things you can do
To-do list for Portal:Life Sciences: edit · history · watch · refresh

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Life Sciences news

Participants at the Wikiversity Science Journalism Center develop learning resources about science journalism. The 2006 journal article RNA Silencing Sheds Light on the RNA World by Rachel Jones explored the implications of RNA interference for the molecular origins of life. See also: RNA World.