Wiki Post #1: Genetics

(March 24th, 2013)

Albino Animals


White color is expressed as clean and innocent color for a long time ago. Beside, in many book, angels are flying the sky wearing beautiful white dress. But, in nature, white color is the most dangerous color for the animals. Each animals have their own color to protect themselves or hide from the predators. White colors take the basic defensive measures from the animals and help the animals to be target for the predators easily. Most of albino animals cannot survive until they become adults. Also, because of their different appearance, their group usually do not accept them, so they found by zoologist or hunted by the predators alone. The animals called albino animals. With their unique appearance Albino animals are selling in high prices. According to the Associated Press, 7 alligators that smuggled in Brazil valued at $9,700 in U.S. dollars.



An albino animals has a white skin or furs with light colored eyes. The genetic disease called albino appeared to humans, mammals, reptiles, insect, and plant when an organism cannot produce enough pigment called melanin. Melanin make the color of skin, hair, and eyes. People with albino disease have a very pale skin with whitish hair and light eyes. Because of the blood vessels inside the eyes, the eyes can appeared as pink or red color.

A person with albinism usually have low eye vision, and can feel discomfort in bright light. Melanin helps protects the skin from UV(ultraviolet radiation), but their skin is lack the pigment, so the skin can burn easily under the sun. This problem can leads to the skin cancer.

The genes that results in albinism can be found in the chromosomes called “autosomal”. The chromosomes contain genes for general body characters. We have a two copies of chromosomes from our father and mother each. Albinism is a recessive trait, so a person without albinism can have high probability of carrying the albinism gene. Even though neither of parent does not carry defective gene, an albino baby can born with 25% chances.

Dinah the alligator

070514-white-gator_big.jpg 2011-01-18_0000342-596x396.jpg

By Jeff the zoo Guy.

An alligator named Dinah has an albinism and lives in Knoxville Zoo in Tennessee. Because reptiles are cold-blooded, they need to be keep warm by the sun. But, her skin is very sensitive, so unlike other alligators, she has to be inside under a heat lamp.

Snowflake the gorilla

Snowflake the gorilla
Snowflake the gorilla

Snowflake is the most popular albino animals. He lived most of his life at the Barcelona Zoo and had 22 non-albino babies. He was founded by farmers when they killed all the gorillas from his group. He died in September 2003 suffering a skin cancer which caused by his albinism.

Onna Birri the Koala

Onya Birri the koala
Onya Birri the koala

“Although albino koalas have been known to exist in the wild, Onya-Birri is the only one known to science.

Further Reading + Sources
About an albino alligator Dinah and the life of albino alligators.
The website provide many albino animals pictures and information
Information about ALBINO
Talking about albinism and albino animas' condition
Information about 7 famous albino animals

WIKI POST #2: Evolution (April 12th, 2013)

The Evolution of Amphibians

Transitional Fossil: Fish to Amphibians

  • Jennifer A. Clack, a professor of the Cambridge University researched a fossil from 370 million years ago. The fossil can support the evolution of fish to primitive amphibians.

During the Devonian period, an innovative event happened to vertebrates. Legs evolved from fins of fishes and the first amphibians formed. Amphibians are animals such as frogs and toads that can live both on land and in water. Most of amphibians are the member of cold-blooded vertebrates. Millions years ago, they had less competition for foods and could protect themselves from their predators, because they were the first animals to laded in the ground. Some fossils proved that the evolution of legs has happened inside the water.




  • Diagrams to show the postural shift in the paired limbs in the transition from fish to amphibian.
  • A to C, Pectrol limb; D to F, pelvic limb; A,, D, fish position; B, E, transitional stage; C, F, amphibian position

Devonian Period

About 390 million years ago, fished began to evolve themselves to become amphibians. As the results, lobe-finned fished called Crossopterygians formed. They developed their lung for the first time, but they still had to use their gulls in order to breath. Also, leg- like bone features fromed inside their fins. When Crossopterygians move, they used their bodies and tails while fins were used for balance. One of the type of Crossopterygians was Eusthenopteron. The animal was the one of the first fish to came out from the water. Scientist predicted that they may needed to find new pond during a drought.

The lines represent skeletons of the fish and the primitive amphibian.The fish used the body to move, the primitive amphibian used its legs.
At the end of the Devonian Period, a primitive amphibian called I chthyostega was a true tetrapod. It could walk on the land and live more comfortably with developing its lung and skeletons. Unlike Crossopterygians, the animal uses lungs directly to acquire oxygen. The stronger skeletons helped the animals to live on the land more comfortbly. The primitive amphibians used their limbs for locomotion and their tails for balance.

Carboniferous & Permian Period

Amphibians started to adapted to the life on the land from 310 million and 250 million years ago. Their nostril became functional for breathing air. Also, they evolved their hands and feet with five digits. The amphibian was enable to grow their body bigger as their backbone grow stronger. During the Permian Period, Rhachitomes were the dominant amphibian group and diversified. Etyops was the one of the group, and had a very strong skeleton with heavy armored skeleton. It could protect itself from its predators. Eytops main meal was a fish.
    • Through the evolution, a pectoral fin divided into many digit
    • The limb division cannot bridge the evolution of fishes and amphibians
Different types of amphibians were lived during the period. Microsaurs was a small primitive amphibians that lived in swaps. Diplicaulus was very common during this period. It ate other small amphibians. It is an arrow like amphibians that spent most of its life under the bottom of ponds and streams. While Sauropleurs did not have a leg, Aistopods had diminished limb structure.

Ventured out form the water is the biggest evolution in amphibians ever.

Further Reading

The site provides good quality of science images and footages

The site contains all kinds of articles that has explanations of how the world actually works.

This site updates the latest science research news

TreeHugger provides articles and videos within 9 different categories (design, technology, transportation, science, business, living, energy, slideshows, and social).



WIKI POST #3: Evolution (May 17th, 2013)

The Evolution of Birds

The picture shows the evolution of birds from dinosaurs to today's birds.

In Germany, about 150 million years old fossil discovered from a swamp in the 1860s. The fossilized creature named as an archaeopteryx which is the oldest bird fossil ever known. The creature contained many features of birds like wings, hands and feathers. The idea that birds evolved from dinosaurs became popular and many scientists tried to find the origin of birds by discovering many other fossil records


The structures of Archaeopteryx fossils; the organism contains features of today's birds.


Like birds, the archaeopteryx had feathers along with its wings and tail. It had three toes armed with claws, and long legs. The fossil clearly showed that it walked and flew like a birds in today. The spine was extended into a bony tail which was very similar to reptiles. Unlike the other birds, it had teeth and long bony tail. Furthermore, many of the bones in Archaeopteryx's hands, shoulder girdles, pelvis, and feet were distinct, not fused and reduced as they are in living birds.

downy2.jpgasymmetrical.jpgThe types of ancient feathers; the middle fossil is from a dromaeosaurid.


Small carnivore dinosaurs called theropods had unique features like the Archaeopteryx. When the fossils discovered in the 1970s, scientists made a hypothesis that the theropods were the ancestors of birds. They predicted that the dinosaurs were the first organisms that evolved feathers. The short and hair-like feathers grew on their bodies, especially on their heads and neck. Insulation also provided by the feathers. Their feathers were branched and downy, while the Archaeopteryx had a vane-like structure which was identical to feathers of birds in today. Also, dinosaurs from dromaeosaurid had a asymmetrical feather which may have been used for gliding.


A diagram about the evolution of bird's hand structures.

The first theropod dinosaurs used to have hands with small fifth and fourth digits and a long second digit. As they evolved, the fifth digit and the fourth digit disappeared from Coelophysoids and Allosaurids. Their hands become more helpful to move their joint to fly. From Ovlraptorosaurs, the short arms change to long wings. Later, they had long feathers with short forelimbs. The oviratorosaurs fossil from the Gobi desert proved that the feathers used for warming the eggs like chicken.


The oviratorosaurs dinosaurs covering the eggs in the nest.

After Archaeopteryx discovered, many scientist have been looking for ancient bird fossils to support their hypothesis. By discovering many fossils, they predicted that birds diversified rapidly. The most of the fossils was relating to the dinosaurs from Cretaceous Even though the ancient dinosaurs and birds extinct, today’s bird is increasing its population and diversities by the natural selection.

Bird Evolution and Adaptations

Made from Discovery Channel; the video explains the evolution of bird using information of feathers, bonds, and other characteristics.

Further Reading

  1. - contains all kinds of science news and explains very easily.
  2. - with many animations, the site helps you to understand science better.
  3. - have useful information about cells in our body.
  4. - student learning center about human anatomy



WIKI POST #4: Body Systems - Nervous

ANALGESIA(Congenital Insensitivity)

(June 13, 2013)

A person with analgesia is unable to feel the pain.

What is Analgesia?

According to The Free Dictionary, analgesia is a deadening or absence of the sense of pain without the loss of consciousness. Pain is the feeling that response to a stimulation which can harm the body, but people with this condition are unable to respond to the pain by disorder in their nervous system. At dangerous situations like burning hand or cutting finger, a patient cannot feel the pain and it will cause a serious injury to the patient.


The diagram shows how impulse(pain) travels the nervous system

Causes of Analgesia

Analgesia is a condition with absence of sense of pain. For example, hunger is a feeling of pain induced by lack of food. The food can be rice, bread, pasta, etc. Like the hunger, causes of analgesia can be vary. A pain starts at the end of the peripheral nerve system, travels through spinal cord, and reaches the brain which is the central nervous system where we realize the pain. If any of the pathways affected or injured, analgesia occurs. Therefore the condition can be caused by drugs and accidents.

Some scientist said that analgesia is caused by sodium channels in nerve cells. The sodium channels transmit impulse or pain signals to the brain. Without proper functioning of sodium channels, the signals may not able to reach the brain which cause patient to feel no pain.

A picture of a sodium channel in a neuron.


The symptoms of analgesia are the absences of pain. Because the overall nerve simulations usually follow the same route (the peripheral system - spinal cord - the central nervous system), absence of the touch and temperature sensation can be occurred along with the absence of the pain. Some people only have pain problems in their hand or feet, and some people have no feelings for their whole body. For example, a person with the condition on his finger cannot feel anything even they cut their fingers.


Gabby, a five years old who has analgesia conditions.
To prevent hurting her eyes from rubbing them with hands, she has to wear eye goggles.


The cure can varied from the causing, but there is no treatment that cures the analgesia itself. The best way is to prevent serious injuries because even though a patient is unable to feel the pain, an injury will affect the patient. It is very important them to protect their body parts with the condition and check their body frequently. For example, a patient with analgesia on his feet should wear the comfortable socks and shoes. Also, he should check his feet and shoes whether there is a rock inside the shoes. The people with this condition also cannot feel the pain from the internal organs, so they should check time to get meals.


A story of 12 years old girl who can not feel pain.

Further Reading
  1. - contains useful medical information including doctors and researches.
  2. - produces information of variety of types of drugs
  3. - shows all the information that we need to know about opioids such as addiction, types, and treatments.
  4. - provides the diagnosis and opinions of experts and healthcare professionals in United States.

Sources Cited

WIKI POST #5: Genetics

The Huntington's Disease - June 13, 2013

What is the Huntington's Disease?

In 1872, Huntington’s disease was found by George Huntington. The disease is hereditary brain disorder. The Huntington’ disease used to be called Huntington’s chorea because the involuntary movements of patients with the disease can appear to be like jerky dancing (“chorea” comes from the Greek word choreia meaning “dancing”).

The family is taking care of their mother who has the Huntington's Disease.


Mainly, the symptoms of Huntington’s disease are psychiatric problems and difficulties with behavior, feeding, communication and movement. People can start to show the symptoms of Huntington’s disease at almost any age, but commonly, people develop the disease between the ages of 35 and 55. In general, the disease progresses and gets worse for around 10 to 20 years until the person dies.

Behavior changes are often the first symptoms to appear. Patients show a lack of emotions and not recognize the needs of others in the family. Also, they often display alternating periods of aggression, excitement, depression, apathy, antisocial behavior and anger. Concentrating on more than one task is difficult.

Many people with Huntington’s disease have depression. A few people may also develop problems such as obsessive behaviors and sometimes schizophrenia. Early symptoms include slight, uncontrollable movements of the face, and jerking, flicking or fidgety movements of the limbs and body.

The left brain shows the brain of Huntington's disease carrier and the right brain shows the brain of normal people.The brain with the disease has larger space at the center of the brain than the normal brain.
Cause of the Huntington Disease

Unlike genetic disorders that caused by recessive alleles, the Huntington’s disease is caused by an autosomal dominant allele. It occurs by a mutation in a gene that produced a protein called ‘huntungtin’. The mutation causes the gene to produce larger from of huntingtin than a normal protein. The protein will affect the basal ganglia where the brain normally sends messages. With brain damages, a patient will have problem to control the movement and thinking.

The diagram shows the basal ganglia that located in the brain
The diagram shows basal ganglia that located in the brain.

According to the MAYO Clinic, the disease is caused by an inherited defect in a single gene. With only one copy of the detective gene, a person can develop and inherits the disorder. If one of your parents has Huntington’s disease, you have a 50 percent chance of developing the disease. Sometimes the disease is caused by a mutation during a father’s sperm reproduction without the family history.

autosomaldominant.jpgHuntingtons-Pedigree.gifThe autosomal dominant inheritance chart and Huntington's disease pedigreechart show how the disease is inherited with 50% of chance.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Huntington’s disease today. Also, the progress cannot be slowed down either. Because there is no treatment, doctors are helping their patient to maintain the daily activities like getting dressed and eating meals.
With medications, the patients are able to manage irritability or excessive movement. Sometime doctors give them antidepressants to treat depressions but the medicines can cause constipation, sweating and shaking. Speech and language therapies can help with the communication. As the disease get worse, doctors recommend the family to send the patients to nursing care because they are not able to live daily life themselves.


CBS Special on Huntington's Disease

Further Reading - contains tutoring videos of all subjects that covers from kindergarten to grade 12. - provides useful information about science. - has all kinds of medical information. - porvide latest new about health and medical information.

Source Sited