The Amazing Race Photo Journal

Greg Lopes, Jude Perry, Caleb Falcon and John Luke Miller


In the US, our team gathered information over the various types of molecules that are involved with vaccines. Getting vaccinated prior to international travel is very important to maintain personal and communal heath. By introducing a certain pathogen to the body, memory cells will record the antigen shape and size so that plasma cells can create effective antibodies and T-cells can become better prepared. This will keep YOU safe for double exposure in the future. Recommended vaccines are: YELLOW FEVER, TUBERCULOSIS, and TETANUS/DIPHTHERIA/PERTUSSIS. Watch Out for insect carriers, contaminated food or water, or others who show signs of having a disease. Be prepared to obtain vaccines prior to departure to resist disease, eat fully cooked meals to prevent food borne illnesses, always wash hands and to pack a health kit with alcohol disinfectant, and both personal and diarrhea preventing drugs.

Bora Bora

Flowers have developed many traits that enable them to reproduce effectively. During sexual reproduction, pollen from a different flower or pollen that is from the same flowers anther travel to the stigma. A tube is created through the style to connect the pollen on the stigma to the ovary. This occurs as two pollen granules land on the stigma. As the granules travel down the tube and one fertilizes the egg while the other sperm fertilizes a polar body. This creates a triploid do cell which will become endo-sperm which is basically food for the embryo consisting of carbohydrates, starch molecules. This method of sexual reproduction can be pollination from another plant or self fertilization from one plant.

Plants can also reproduce asexually by either budding, propagation or fragmentation. Budding involves a plant growing a clone of itself via mitosis on an area called an eye, which is the start of the new plant. Propagation occurs when horizontal roots called stolon or runners grow from a vegetable and allow a new plant to sprout. Fragmentation is the process of a broken piece of the plant reaches a water source and begins to grow again.

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Transpiration is the process of water vapor exiting the stomata from the xylem as the guard cells open. As wind blows over a leave, it removes the atmospheric moisture above the leaf, which increases the osmotic gradient which increases the tendency of the water to escape. This increases the rate of transpiration. While there is no wind, moisture above the leaf remains which slows the rate of transpiration as there is less of gradient.

Plants can also respond to their environment like many other organisms. Such responses are divided into one of the three following tropisms. Phototropisms involve a plant responding to touch. The positive response is the use of the hormone auxin which elongates certain cells of the stem so that the plant faces the sun. The negative response is the opposite, moving away from the light. Gravitropisms involve a plants response to gravity and also uses auxin to have a positive response of cell elongation to move the plant upward. Thigmotropisms are a plants response to touch and use tendrils to attach to the object of contact as a positive response, or move away from the object as a negative response.

Stomata and Guard Cells

The images are of the bottom of various leaves as there is less light exposure and therefore less heat. This means the plant will not lose as much water if the more stomata are on the bottom of the leaf. The guard cells around the stomata will open when exposed to light, to allow CO2 to enter and H2O and O2 to exit.
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Fish can respond to various simuli in the water. One of these adaptations is the lateral line system which feels vibrations in the water with micro hairs in body tell that triggers a muscle respons to the vibration. On top of this, a fish can identify the amount of oxygen they have within their swim bladders and change the amount according to the depth they are wanting to travel to.


Homeostasis is a body function that seeks stability in the internal environment. Such stability is reached by both positive and negative feedback functions. Negative feedback functions seek to stabilize a value while positive feedback functions amplify a value.

An example of negative feedback is a snake seeking to maintain body temperature on land, as a snake is an ectothermic organism which means that the outside temperature is the organisms temperature which means the snakes temperature is dependent one exterior factors. In order for the snake to regulate its body heat, it must travel to sunny or shady places, thus maintaining homeostasis.

Snake Skin

The image below shows snake skin, which is responsible for the snakes ability to move on land and water. It is an adaptation that most reptiles have, and many amphibians. The scales are very smooth when looked at from the front, as their areas of overlap are only uncovered at the back of a group of scales. This allows for easy moving forward on land and in water, while moving backward is difficult as the scales cling to the ground and provide friction. This is important so the snake can push off of something while moving on land.
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Once our team arrived at Brazil, we proceeded to dissect a mud-puppy and identify its various digestive adaptations. The mud-puppy is very similar to a human as of its digestive track, the real difference in organ layout is the fact that the mud-puppy has both lungs to oxidize blood and filter oxygen from the air as well as gills to filter oxygen from the water.

As in humans, similar to the mud-puppy, the digestive track begins with chewing food to break it up into smaller pieces with lots of surface area so that salivary amylase can begin to break down starches into glucose. Passing through the pharynx into the esophagus, pushed by peristalsis muscle movement into the stomach. As this happens, the epiglottis closes the channel to the trachea preventing food from clogging the airway. The food bolus is then ground up further by rugae muscles in the stomach. At this point, the hydroelectric acid in the stomach kills bacteria, pepsin breaks down protein into amino-acids while mucus and water protect the stomach walls from the entirety of the gastric acid. The water mixes with the mush bolus to create chyme which passes a sphincter into the duodenum of the small intestine containing bicarbonate which neutralizes the gastric acid. The small intestine is very long to increase surface area, has folded tissue to increase the surface area and has villi fibers lined with micro-villi increasing the surface area even more. Almost every spot of the vast amount of surface area is covered with capillaries that absorb nutrients. Bile salt made by the liver and stored in the gallbladder passes into the small intestine to break down fat. The mass of digested food passes through the cecum into the large intestine where water and bile salts are removed. The decal matter then passes through the rectum and two anal sphincters.

The liver and gallbladder are accessory organs as they are not directly involved in digestion yet are responsible for producing bile to break down fat. The pancreas secretes digestion enzymes and salivary glands secrete salivary amylase.

Zoo Adventure

The Dallas zoo traveled to New York to bring a bird to David Letterman

The owl has holes in its bones bones to make him light weight and its nocturnal. The owl can tune it's head almost 360 degrees. Really good hearing ears on neck and temple. Completely silent flying.

The alligator has light colored scales to blend in to shallow waters. All of his senses will be at the top of its head so when it lays on lake bed it can find prey. Some frogs in Texas could eat a baby alligator. Has bone plate that can protect eyes. Alligators were endangered but we saved their population.

Possums are marsupials and are too cold for the rabies disease to subside inside them. His tail is used to help him balance and is used to hold on to things. They play dead when scared and pass out.

Flamingos live in huge flocks. They can fly super long distances. They require a runway to fly. They are filter feeders. Because of a protein in the algae they turn such bright colors.

Anteaters can eat thousands of ant everyday. They use their claws to defend themselves.

Sloth have front feet with two toes back have three toes. Grow algae in their fur as they move so slow.


"Intro To Biology." Tropisms: Phototropic, Geotropic and Thigmotropic Plant Growth.

Study.Com, n.d. Web. 8 May 2015.

Sullivan, James A. "How Lymphocytes Produce Antibody." Antibody Production. CELLS Alive,

2015. Web. 8 May 2015.