Hans Christian Oersted (1777–1851), a Danish physicist, was performing an experiment in 1820 when he noticed that whenever an electric current from a battery was switched on or off, a nearby compass needle was deflected. Through additional experiments, Oersted was able to demonstrate the link between electricity and magnetism. The following year, English scientist Michael Faraday (1791–1867) created a device that produced “electromagnetic rotation.” This device is known as a homopolar motor since the motor requires no commutator to reverse the current.
A motor converts electrical energy to mechanical energy. The simple motor in this activity changes the electrical energy output by the battery to mechanical energy as the copper wire is set into rotational motion. Any current-carrying wire produces an associated magnetic field. The electrons in the wire are subjected to a magnetic field and experience a force—referred to as the Lorentz force—that is perpendicular to both the magnetic field and the direction of movement. At some point along the length of the wire, the electrical current is not parallel to the magnetic field. The resulting Lorentz force is tangential and induces a torque on the copper wire. This torque causes the copper wire to spin.
From the smallest single-celled organism to the largest creatures on Earth, every living thing is defined by its genes. With recent advancements, scientists can change an organism’s fundamental features in record time using gene editing tools such as CRISPR. But where did this medical marvel come from and how does it work? Andrea M. Henle examines the science behind this new technology. Continue reading
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the genetic material found inside the nucleus of eukaryotic organisms. The information coded by DNA determines the characteristics of an organism, including its size, shape and other unique features. How can this genetic material be isolated and identified? This activity describes one of the most common techniques used to examine DNA—electrophoresis. Continue reading
This site provides tonnes of useful animations for your senior biology class including transcription, mRNA processing, cellular processes, energy conversions and more.
Click here for more
Thanks for sharing Natalia!
Basic biotechnology lab experiments involving the isolation, digestion and analysis of DNA are an exciting part of the modern biology curriculum. Today’s students are eager to learn about forensic investigations, DNA forensics and other biotechnology applications. This safety note discusses safety issues associated with forensic inquiry and biotechnology experiments. Continue reading
In DNA Interactive: Code, learn about the scientists who made the discoveries and the mistakes as the mystery of the DNA code was unraveled. This simulation may require a flash plugin.
Thanks for sharing Natalia!
Explore the Human Genome Project within us. Learn about DNA and genomics role in medicine and society at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Continue reading