Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Research

G'Day Mate,

When I'm not traveling around the country on the weekends I'm in the science lab working with cells. The cells I've been working with are called dinoflagellates, which means whirling tails in greek. They are tiny living organisms that live on seaweed. I shake the water off of the seaweed and place it in a tube and place that tube into a centrifuge. A centrifuge is a machine that spins the tubes really fast so that the densest material sinks to the bottom. This machine forces all of the cells to go down to the bottom of the tube. Next, I take that part and place it on a microscope slide. I spend the next hour counting the different types of dinoflagellates. Here are some of the dinoflagellates that I've been studying.

The picture above is Gambierdiscus toxicus. I found a lot of these attached to seaweed. This cell creates a toxin that is very harmful to humans. Humans eat the fish that eat these cells. I can cause extreme pain in humans. This illness that humans can get is called ciguatera and it is very common to get in Australia. I've stayed away from certain types of fish because I don't want to get the effects of ciguatera.

The above picture is a cell named Ostreopsis. It is the most common dinoflagellate in this area. They have really cool armors that protect them. You can see the different plates that make up their outer shell or armor.
This final dinoflagellate is called Pyrocistis lunula. We had to be in complete darkness when observing this cell because we were measuring the light that it gave off. That's right these cells glow! Remember when living things glow its called bioluminescence. Also, Most dinoflagellates can make their own food from sunlight. What is the process called where a living organism can make food from the sunlight? First person/class to get it right will win a prize.

Mr. Misner


  1. Mr. Dower's class
    Julie Farias - photosynthesis
    Alejandra Espinoza - plants
    Bianca Etienne - a flower
    MaryLou Dala - photosynthesis
    Bernice Etienne - flowers
    Mr. Dower - Misnersynthesis

    Mrs. Barnett's class
    Oscar Perez - photosynthesis
    Chris Fragoso - photosynthesis

    thanks! Ms. Martinelli

  2. The process of when a living organism can make food from sunlight is called Photosynthesis.

    Emmanuel R.

  3. Mrs. Rozanski's class
    Jason Clarke - carbon dioxide
    Moises Alvarez - carbon dioxide
    Elizabeth Cardenas - photosynthesis
    Melissa Barajas - photosynthesis
    Thanks! Ms. M

  4. hi its me xavier the answer is photosynthesis. hope you are having an awesome time in australia

  5. The answer to what a process is called where a living organism can make food from sunlight is called photosynthesis Spencer Pressley :)

  6. The answer to the question is Photosynthesis. Spencer, :-)

  7. The answer to the question is photosynthesis.

  8. The answer is photosynthesis. Spencer :-)

  9. Photosynthesis is the answer. Spencer Pressley

  10. photosynthesis is the answer. Spencer Pressley

  11. Spencer Pressley, the answer is photosynthesis