Round and Round

A Look at Rotations in the Animal World

I spent countless hours watching one of my sons swimming his rounds in a pool and preparing for backstroke competitions (and winning quite a few of them). At that time I began to wonder about the mechanics of the “wheeling” motions of the arms of the back-stroking swimmers. Seeing how they thrashed the water reminded me of propeller propulsion. Yet, surprisingly, true rotation, in other words turning in circles relative to some other part of the body of a machine, is virtually absent from the living world. —>

zoology biology benno meyer rochow science blog calcium bones

“GFP” and Calcium

Calcium is an abundant and important element

“GFP”? No, it does not mean ‘Guns for Peace’ or ‘Golden Flower Pot’. It stands for Green Fluorescent Protein, a substance for the discovery of which the three scientists O. Shimomura, R.Tsien and M. Chalfie were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008. The GFP is inextricably connected with indicating the presence of calcium ions and calcium is one of the most important elements with multiple functions in our body ad that of animals. —>

zoology biology benno meyer rochow science blog moving in water Florian Nock

Moving in water : Screwing up (and down of course)

And spiralling around as well

A look at the diminutive, fantastically diverse life forms and their activity in a single drop of water can be a truly amazing experience – provided of course you have not chosen tap or rainwater. A drop of water from the edge of a weedy pond (or a puddle near a penguin rookery, which was my source for a study) examined under a simple light microscope does, however, reveal a microcosm of hidden life. In amongst the jittering soup of miniature plants and animals, it is the group of ciliated protozoans that are the greatest attention getters. The smallest may not even reach 50 microns, while Paramaecium and Euplotes maximally attain 1 mm and the biggest like Spirostomum may reach a length of 3-4 mm.