Week 8

Hox Animals Categories: Pig/Boar

           The lecture on May 21st introduced the honors students to different animals of the zodiac under various categories. The Hox gene, also known as homeotic genes, was also discussed in class. These genes are a group of genes that control the body plan of an embryo along the anterior-posterior (head-tail) axis. The reason humans have 2 eyes, 10 fingers, and 2 feet is because of the Hox gene. Every living creature on earth, from the pig to the human, have the Hox gene.

Water: A Triple Threat

            The topic last week was very eye opening and also simple. Much of what comes to mind when considering art are things that are unique and complex. However, after learning about water, I feel that intricacy in art is overrated. The fact that water can be a subject of art seems so rare, yet in my opinion seems to fit well. I have been exposed to water being used as a medium art in the simplest form: as a child playing water cups with different water levels was a usual experience in grade school.

Honors 177 Waterbodies.org Project: Ganges River

The sun shone fiercely and my senses succumbed to the smell of burning body. It’s shocking how particular smells evoke memories. I was on the first of many travels to India, floating down the Ganges River. My mother stressed this trip would give us a deeper understanding for distant people. Dazed from minimal sleep, and disoriented by the foreignness of an unfamiliar environment, a part of me yearned to be back at home. But the pungent scent that hung heavy in the air forced me to realize: I was in Varanasi, India, watching a sunrise over traditional Hindu cremation ceremonies.

Beekeepers Reported Losing 42 Percent Of Honeybee Colonies Last Summer

First of all -- your blogs on the bee workshop are great -- I need a volunteer to pull them all into one document and save as a pdf so we can send it to Jason Fahrion. He will be so happy to see the impact he made! Also, just the other day, NPR had a whole feature on the alarming rate of bee colony collapse -- 42% -- in the last year! Hear and read: 

 

Week 8: Earthlings and Strange Bonds

Anthrozoologists have tried to explain how our species bonds with other species of the animal kingdom for years. Even with a lot of the research findings about us loving other species that can make anthropomorphic expressions back at us, we can't explain just how strong these bonds get and what behaviors are exchanged between two organisms.

Decoding the Waggle Dance: Evidence for Animal Consciousness

The waggle dance is a form of communication used by honeybees to convey the location of food source. Honeybees manipulate two variables in their dance to accurately locate the food source: direction is encoded in the angle of the dance in relation to the sun (i.e., vertical direction), and distance is encoded in the duration of the dance, with one second waggle equating to a forging distance of 750 meters. Due to the great distance between the sun and the earth, the sun remained fixed relative to the bee’s motion.

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