Understanding – a Continuing Process INT – Task 1

Table of Content

Part One
Changes in DNA
Understanding – a
Continuing Process
INT – Task 1

Understanding Genetics a
Timeline of DNA Science

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1700’s – it is believed that all traits are acquired.
Example – a giraffe has a long neck due to
stretching to reach the leaves in the taller trees.
1800’s – Carl Linnaeus classified by visible traits.
1866 – Gregor Mendel, through pea plant breeding and research; discovered that traits are inherited not acquired- before anyone knew or understood anything about “genes”. He published what he discovered as the “principles of inheritance” – however, his ideas were not recognized for over 30 years.

1900’s – Mendel’s experiments are rediscovered, confirmed by three researchers and his paper’s are translated into English and lead to new experimental methods.
1900’s – begins the conflict over DNA or protein being the genetic material.
1905 – William Bateson is given credit for coining the word “genetics”.

Understanding Genetics a
Timeline of DNA Science

1941 – Beadle and Tatum describe the theory that one gene encodes one protein.
1953 – James Watson & Francis Crick (using Rosalind Franklin’s work) discover DNA and the structure of it.
1957 – Kornberg produces DNA in a test tube.
1950’s to 60’s – Discovery of genetic diseases.
1970’s – classification by DNA starts, replacing classification by visible traits.
1980’s – Barbara McClintock discovered that genes are able to change positions on chromosomes.
1990’s – DNA is used in Forensics and medicine.
Example – Portland, Oregon has first crime conviction due to DNA fingerprinting. OJ Simpson trial makes DNA forensics big news. Example – Humulin – insulin replacement of the pig (or other animal insulin) being used up to this time. Also, Gene Therapy used for first time – on a 4 year old girl for ADA (Boy in the Bubble Disease).

Understanding Genetics a
Timeline of DNA Science

1994 – FlavrSavr tomatoes are created – they taste better and last longer. 1996 – Dolly the sheep – the first adult mammal is cloned.
2000 – Human genome is reported to be completed.
2001 – Post-genomic era officially begins.
2009 – Human and animal cloning, genetic modification of crops and research on stem cells continue to cause controversy.
2012 – Research changed what was once believed that humans only used 5 to 10 percent of DNA calling large amounts of unused DNA “junk DNA”. Now it is believed that “junk DNA” is being used. Research has found that up to 99 percent of human DNA has switches in it – not necessarily genes, but important switches (that work like instructions for the genes found in the DNA). (ENCODE project is still studying this new research and figuring out the the mysteries of the genome).

No longer is it accepted that traits are acquired, the argument over genes and protein has been answered, classification is not based on what is visible anymore – it seems as though there is a full understanding of the human DNA. However, when it comes to the study of DNA the timeline may never end – with so many new findings and studies underway …. what other mysteries will be unlocked?

Part Two
Lessons Learned
from the Eruption of
Mount St. Helens
INT – Task 1

Mount St. Helens Pre Eruption

Giant “bulge” on Mount St. Helens photographed
one week before eruption – from USGS

On May 18, 1980 – Mount St. Helens
erupted – the peak of the Pacific
Northwest icon fell about 1,300 feet in
seconds. This eruption profoundly
changed the area surrounding Mount
St. Helens – about 250 square miles of
that area. It dramatically changed
forests (taking out enough trees to
build over a few hundred thousand 2
bedroom houses). Also changed were meadows, lakes, and streams within the Cascade Range of southern
Washington. Over 200 homes were
taken out – and it was the deadliest
volcanic event in U.S. history; killing
57 people.
Scientists were there within days and
have been there ever since
documenting and studying.

Lessons Learned After the
Eruption of Mount St. Helens
Scientist started learning lessons about volcanoes almost immediately after the eruption of Mount St. Helens. The Forest Service scientists and collaborators were on the edges of the volcano within 2 weeks of the eruption collecting information and making observations of the volcano and the areas ecology – learning about things science has not had the chance to learn about until this time. Listed below are a few of the things that the eruption of Mount St. Helens has taught taught scientists:

● This was the first time this type of volcano eruption was actually witnessed and documented in history. In 1956, there was a similar landslide and blast at Bezymianny volcano in Kamchatka, Russia – however, there were no witnesses to document the actual blast. It wasn’t until Mt. St. Helens that it was recognized that the two blasts were the same style of eruption.

● These “sector collapse” (the name of this type of eruption) have now been identified at over 200 volcanoes around the world. The detailed studies of the sector collapse, the lateral blast, and the large mudflow of this eruption have led to the reassessment of volcano hazards at other sites around the world. This has given these communities a way to become better
prepared for future eruptions.

● Studies of Mount St. Helens has also demonstrated that volcanic eruptions can be accurately predicted.

Lessons Learned After the
Eruption of Mount St. Helens

Mt. St. Helens has created the ideal natural laboratory for science observations – over the years the growth of a lava dome in the crater has had many eruptions for scientists to observe and document.

Because of the monitoring and continuing research of this natural laboratory – earth scientists (who studied the gas emissions, earthquake activity, surface deformation along with other aspects) have been able to successfully predict new eruptions with in days. The creation of the Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) groups of scientists with different backgrounds have been able to study and further the understanding of the volcanic processes.

Although most of the Pacific Northwest has managed older forests, at some research areas around Mt. St. Helens – scientists have allowed the landscape to develop in a early-seral ecosystem way. These early-seral ecosystems have developed naturally many plant and animal species that are usually found in pre-forest environments. This has given scientists a stage to study the development of the earliest stage of a forest development. Ecologist have not had a good opportunity until now to study a slowly developing earlysearl
ecosystem. These ecosystems can take several decades – usually the tendency is to help in the aftermath of an extreme event. By letting this area grow naturally – research has been able to document and learn about the biodiversity of the early-seral ecosystem.

Lessons Learned After the
Eruption of Mount St. Helens

Studies are proving that early-seral systems have very high levels of biodiversity including many mammals, birds, insects, and arachnids – all of which are not found in the closed canopy conditions that used to exist in this area before the eruption. There are some parts of this new ecosystem that only exist in the early-seral systems. These conditions have created “food-webs” that are based on this type of ecosystem. One example is the magenta-colored Cardwell’s penstemon – it is the host plant for Edith’s checkerspot butterfly – which is a food source for the common nighthawk.

Lessons Learned After the
Eruption of Mount St. Helens

Research of this early-seral systems have shown that some species depend on these early ecosystems. Plants and animals that never could have survived under the heavy canopies or in the presence of the predominating predators – have proved that they will begin and flourish in this early-searl environment.

The recognition and incorporation of the early-seral ecosystem into land
management plans is leading to a better balance of land conditions – creating the much needed, unique habitats for the animals, insects, spiders, birds and plants that require that type of ecosystem.

There is a benefit to allowing areas of extreme disturbances to naturally regenerate rather than the replanting that was currently considered to be more beneficially (due to the early-seral ecosystems that will naturally occur).

An interesting lesson learned was how fast the lakes and streams recovered versus the forests. As already stated earlier – the forests can take many decades to return to a full forest as it was before the eruption. The lakes and streams however, became nutrient enriched, rapidly recovering from the blast – promoting an area for plants and small animals, insects, birds and amphibians to establish themselves and grow.

The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens has taught us many lessons, but volcanoes everywhere continue to challenge scientist everywhere – teaching new lessons with every

Mount St. Helens July 2013

Mount St. Helens May 2000

Mount St. Helens May 2013

Brian Small (2011, March 11). Common Nighthawk [photo]. Retrieved from miracleofnature.org/peets-andbooms/ Brigitte Werner (2012, June 7). Mount St. Helen Volcano, Washington, USA after [photo]. Retrieved from http://pixabay.com/en/mount-st-helens-volcano-lava-flow-51517 Jeffrey Pippen (2004, August 9). Edith’s Checkspot Butterfly [photo]. Retrieved from www.jeffpippen. com/butterflies/washingtonbutterflies.htm

MarkQ (2013, May 21). Mt. St. Helens/Coldwater Peak [photo]. Retrieved from http://www.portlandhikers. org/forum/viewtopic
Mazza, R., & Pacific Northwest Research Station (2011, September). Mount St. Helens – Still Erupting Lessons 31 Years Later. Retrieved September 17, 2013, from http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/mtsthelens/ Moonspellpecado (n.d.). Mt. St. Helens in bloom [photo]. Retrieved from www.katu. com/younews/214099081.html

Mount St Helens [photos]. (n.d.). Retrieved from fsl.orst.edu/msh/photofr.htm Peeples, L. (n.d.). Science News, Articles and Information | Scientific American 11 Surprising Natural Lessons from Mount St. Helens. Retrieved September 16, 2013, from http://www.scientificamerican. com/article.cfm

Plant World Seeds (n.d.). Cardwells Penstemon [photo]. Retrieved from www.plant-world-seeds.com

Robert Tilling, & American Geological Institute (2000, May). Geotimes – May 2000: Feature Mount St Helens 20 Years Later: What We’ve Learned. Retrieved September 16, 2013, from http://www.agiweb. org/geotimes/may00/featurestory.html

USDA – US Forest Service – AEM (n.d.). Mount St. Helens Research. Retrieved September 17, 2013, from www.fs.fed.us/pnw/lwn/aem/projects/mt_st_helens.html
USDA Forest Service (2004, December 13). What Have Scientists Learned Since Mount St. Helens Erupted? Retrieved September 16, 2013, from www.sciencedaily. com/releases/2004/12/041208223910.htm
USGS (n.d.). Mt St Helens giant bulge on Mt about a week before the eruption [photo]. Retrieved from http: //seismo.berkeley.edu/blog/seismoblog.php/2010/05/18/today-in-earthquake-history-mount-st-hel-1981

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