ESO 4. Biology and Geology

1. Cellular Functions

Cell functions.Membrane transport, cell nutrition and cell reproduction in an easy-to-understand language.

How diffusion works.Animation showing the basics behind the diffusion of chemicals in solutions.

How osmosis work.Osmosis is a special type of diffusion which involves movement of water molecules only. Learn about it through this animation.

Osmosis.Advanced video on osmosis, explaining everything you ever wanted to know about it. You may need to switch to full screen mode to prevent overstretching.

How facilitated difussion works.Learn about passive transport through an animation that shows how membrane proteins can help specific chemicals to cross by without consuming energy.

How the sodium-potassium pump works.Learn about the sodium-potassium pump, the main active transport mechanism.

How enzymes work.Animation showing how enzymes catalyse biochemical reactions.

Lysosomes.Animation showing how lysosmes are produced and work breaking down big molecular structures for a later use in the cellular metabolism.

The cell cycle.Watch this animation to learn the basics of the cell cycle.

Control of the cell cycle.A good and comprehensive explanation of the different stages of the cell cycle.

How the cell cycle works.Animation showing a detailed view of the cell cycle, including the various steps of cell division.

Mitosis and cytokinesis.Step by step animation of mitosis and cytokinesis.

Comparison of mitosis and meiosis.Animation showing clearly the different pathways and outcomes of meiosis and mitosis.

2. Heredity and Transmission

Learn Genetics.From the basics to the hottest current topics: a vast bank of easy to follow learning resources on Genetics.

Interactives: DNA.Excellent full lesson on DNA with interactive activities and good coverage of the following topics: genetics, discovery of DNA, Human Genome Project, Genetic Engineering, and implications and ethics.

DNA matching activity.Simple interactive activity to learn the structure of DNA by matching nucleotides.

You and your genes.An step by step overview on the basic Genetics concepts from BBC Bitesize.

Transcribe and translate a gene.The basic rules for translating a gene into a protein are laid out in the Universal Genetic Code. To see how this works, try it yourself in this interactive activity.

Simple gene expression.Great simple animation showing how genes are expressed by producing proteins.

Gender testing of female athletes.Verifying a person's gender may be harder than you think. Find out why…

What have we learned from the Human Genome Project?The Human Genome Project was launched in 1990 to learn how the 3.2 billion base pairs contained in the human genome are ordered. But, what are the benefits of this?

So, do you really want to know?At-home personal genomics kits are available and affordable, but how relevant are the results?

How DNA Evidence Works.In the last few years, DNA evidence has started to play a big part in many nations' criminal justice systems. Learn how DNA evidence is scientifically achieved.

Fighting hunger with flood-tolerant rice.Learn how genetic manipulation of the most eaten food in the world can help over two billion people to survive.

'Alien' genes escape into wild corn.Now it's official: genes from genetically modified corn have escaped into wild varieties in rural Mexico.

Trial begins for HIV gene therapy.Learn how a dead simple technique, based on the use of special DNA-cutting enzymes, could immunize people against HIV.

For the first time, geneticists diagnose disease through whole-genome analysis.A differrent approach to gene sequencing proves cheaper, faster and useful in medicine.

'Artificial life' breakthrough announced by scientists.20 May 2010: scientists in the US have succeeded in developing the first living cell to be controlled entirely by synthetic DNA.

The 5 current genetic experiments most likely to destroy Humanity.If there's one thing scientists have a knack for, it's turning seemingly innocent things into horrifying specters of terror. Here are some examples.

Cloning.Simple and clear animation showing the main steps to take in animal cloning.

How cloning works.Simple and easy to understand introduction to cloning in plants, animals and humans.

How human cloning will work.Today, after more than a decade since Dolly, human cloning remains in its infancy and under governmental restraints. Nevertheless, science is headed in that direction. Learn how the inevitable human cloning future will be.

Extinct ibex is resurrected by cloning.Learn how clonig techniques could help to regenerate extinct species.

First camel clone born in Dubai.Scientists in Dubai say they have created the world's first cloned camel.

Human embryonic stem cells.Excellent and very comprehensive animation showing everything you need to know about human stem cells.

3. The Evolution of Living Matter

Talk Origins: Evolution.A most amazing collection of essays explaining everything you want to know about evolution and more. Don't miss the first one, Introduction to Evolutionary Biology for a great overview on the topic. Also available is the full text of Darwin's The Origin of Species.

Understanding Evolution.An even better and wider collection of articles to tell you everything you ever wanted to know about Evolution and never dared to ask. The Evolution 101 course is just the perfect introduction to the topic, nicely complemented with good quality images.

Discover does Darwin.Special selection of articles on Evolution from Discover magazine.

Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle.Google Earth file showing Charles Darwin's voyage on the Beagle. Much more information in the author's website.

Darwin: the "reluctant revolutionary".Series of podcasts produced by the U.S. National Public Radio on a variety of Darwin's related topics.

Wikipedia: Charles Darwin.Wikipedia's article on Charles R. Darwin.

Recipe For Evolution: Variation, Selection & Time.Learn about the three simple ingredients that drive evolution.

12 elegant examples of Evolution.Compilation of especially elegant and enlightening examples of evolution.

Top 10 evolution articles.Top 10 in-depth articles about evolution from New Scientist.

Wikipedia: Evolution.Wikipedia's article on Evolution.

Wikipedia: Natural Selection.Wikipedia's article on Natural Selection.

Why sex is here to stay.Learn why creatures which reproduce sexually, such as humans, have not been overrun by those which reproduce asexually.

Apples' autumn colour change clue.Apple-trees' autumn red colours could have evolved to warn insects, a study says.

15 answers to creationist nonsense.Opponents of evolution want to make a place for creationism by tearing down real science, but their arguments don't hold up. Read why.

Universe timelines.The History of the Universe according to Science and to creationists.

4. Natural History of the Earth

Fossils.Very simple animation showing how a fish can turn into a fossil.

How the discovery of geologic time changed our view of the world.We now know that the Earth is some 4.5 by old. But what did they think in the past?

How do scientists determine the age of dinosaur bones?Learn about the techniques of radiometric dating.

International Stratigraphic Chart 2008.The state of the art in geochronology. Latest version is always available at the International Commission on Stratigraphy website.

Global paleogeographic view.Google Earth file showing continental drift in the last 600 million years.

Wikipedia: History of the Earth.Wikipedia's article on the History of the Earth.

History of the Earth in 60 seconds.An amazing video experiment in scale, condensing 4.6 billion years of History into a minute.

Tree of Life.Simple video that shows how Life, branching off of simple unicellular bacteria, evolved up to current forms of Life.

7 major "missing links".Seven of the most important fossils that show evolution in action.

Extinction.Encyclopaedia Britannica online article on biological extinctions.

Fossil fragments reveal 500-million-year-old monster predator.Learn how new studies on old fossils have turned Hurdia victoria into a possible ancestor of all arthropods.

Giant sauropod dinosaur found in Spain.News of the 2006 discovery of the huge Turiasaurus riodevensis in Teruel, Spain.

What is the last common ancestor?If you suddenly find yourself in the company of paleoanthropologists or swamped by news of the latest hominid fossil find, there's a good chance you'll hear the phrase last common ancestor. But what is this enigmatic person or thing?

How did humans develop?A great brief review of the History of Paleoanthropology.

Analysis of early hominins.Evolutionary trends in hominins: what has changed in our body since we started walking in two legs.

Puzzling together human origins.The History of Paleoanthropology in photos, starting with the discovery of the first Neanderthal fossils, back in 1856.

What does it mean to be human?Site devoted to the study of human evolution.

Cavemen facts.BBC's fact pages about hominids.

Fossil finds extend human story.The assessment of the 4.4-million-year-old animal called Ardipithecus ramidus, that may be a direct ancestor to our species, has been reported by researchers.

Wikipedia: Timeline of Human Evolution.From primates (and beyond) to Homo sapiens sapiens.

What separates humans from chimps and other apes?When we stare at gorillas and chimpanzees, we see aspects of ourselves: the bestial, the innocent, the savage and the adorable. And the truth is that we actually have a great deal in common with apes. Learn how much and what makes us different.

Top 10 signs of evolution in modern man.Through history, as natural selection played its part in the development of modern man, many of the useful functions and parts of the human body become unnecessary. What is most fascinating is that many of these parts of the body still remain in some form so we can see the progress of evolution. This list covers the ten most significant evolutionary changes that have taken place, leaving signs behind them.

Why we are as we are.Can Darwin's insights explain human behaviour and be used profitably by policy makers?

5. Plant Physiology

Transpiration.Very detailed interactive animation showing how transpiration takes place in plants and which are the factors that have an influence on it. You can also read the lesson text.

Wikipedia: potometer.Learn how to make a potometer and to use it to measure plant transpiration.

Xylem transport (I).Very comprehensive animation showing how xylem sap is pumped from the roots to the leaves of a plant.

Seed dispersal.Flowering plants reproduce themselves by producing seeds, which provide the plants with a way to spread out and grow in new places, sometimes a long way from the parent. Learn how.

Flower structures, plant breeding, cross pollination, making crosses.This animations illustrates the structures of a flower, plant breeding, cross pollination and making crosses.

6. Dynamics of Ecosystems

Environmental health student portal.Learn about chemicals in the environment, water pollution, air pollution and climate change through this website full of links and resources.

Biosphere.Very comprehensive article at Encyclopaedia Britannica online on the concept of biosphere, the diversity of Life, resources of the biosphere and environmental conditions.

BBC - Climate change.BBC guide to Climate Change: lots of resources that include reviews, analysis, news and more.

How global warming works.Learn what global warming is, what causes it, what its current effects are and what the future effects could be.

Global warming.Very comprehensive article at Encyclopaedia Britannica online on the concept of global warming, its causes and potential effects, climate research and climate policy.

Climate hot map.Know the global warming effects around the globe, understand how these impacts are produced and learn which actions can be taken to stop them.

Earth's changing climate.Two maps from that show how temperatures are rising and how precipitations are dropping out.

Climate change in our world.Google Earth file showing how climate change and global temperature rises could affect our world over the next 100 years.

Climate challenge.A game where you are president of the European Nations. You must tackle climate change and stay popular enough with the voters to remain in office.

Clim'Way.Another game about helping the community reach some specific climate goals. You have to create a climate plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a certain percentage in a certain time frame. Your plans can include setting up alternative energy sources, reducing human consumption etc.

Global warming: Reasons why it might not actually exist.Sceptics have long argued that there are other explanations for climate change other than man-made CO2 and here we look at some of the arguments put forward by those who believe that global warming is all a hoax.

What happened to global warming?This title may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might the fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998. But it is true.

Climate scepticism: the top 10.What are some of the reasons why "climate sceptics" dispute the evidence that human activities are bringing potentially dangerous changes to the Earth's climate, ant their counter-arguments?

Ozone hole watch.Where you can check on the latest status of the ozone layer over the South Pole.

Water treatment process.Follow a drop of water from the source through the treatment process.

Go Green: conserve water.Video teaching about how water is wasted and what we can do to prevent this problem in our houses.

Black tides: the worst oil spills in history.Google Earth file showing information about the 50 worst oil spills, from tanker accidents and drilling operations, as well as a number of other notable spills.

Rare species of frog may hold cure to... ah, never mind, it's extinct.Food for thought.

7. The Earth's Internal Energy

Earthquakes in Geography4kids.What, why and how of the earthquakes.

The science of earthquakes.The basic scientific facts behind the earthquakes.

How earthquakes work.A very comprehensive review on earthquakes, from their causes to their effects. With photos and a video.

Fast Facts about the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.The speed of the Pacific Plate, the distance Japan's main island was displaced, and other facts and figures about the 11 March 2011 earthquake help to put this event into perspective.

Massive earthquake hits Japan.An 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit off the east coast of Japan on 11 March 2011. The quake, one of the largest in History, triggered a 10 meter tall tsunami that battered Japan's coast, killing thousands and sweeping away cars, homes, buildings, and boats.

Japan quake map.Google Map that shows the magnitude and depth of each recorded Japanese quake since March 11th, 2011. The size of the displayed polygons reflects the magnitude of each individual earthquake and its colour reflects the depth.

Earthquakes in the last 24 hours.Google Map displaying earthquakes around the world that have occurred in the last 24 hours. On first load, the map will animate through the mapped earthquakes, starting from the most recent. You can stop the animation at any time simply by pressing the forward or back buttons. The information window for each quake displays the size of the earthquake and the time of occurrence.

Last 2 Weeks eartquakes worldwide.Google Earth file showing the earthquakes that have taken place in the last two weeks around the world.

Volcanoes in Geography4kids.Types and structure; the lava and its flow.

Volcanoes.An easy to understand on-line book by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The top 10 volcanic eruptions.Photo gallery of some of the biggest blasts in History.

Nyiragongo crater: journey to the center of the world.Stunning photo set taken by a team of scientists who stepped onto the shore of the lava lake boiling in the depths of Nyiragongo Crater, in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

Interactives: Dynamic Earth.Excellent lesson on plate tectonics with interactive activities and good coverage of the following topics: Earth's structure, plate tectonics and plate boundaries.

Structure of the Geosphere in Geography4kids.Learn how the Geosphere is structured by density; know the name of some of its parts and forms.

Tectonic plates in Geography4kids.What are they and how do they behave.

Plate tectonics in simple starting point for exploring plate tectonics.

Plate tectonics.A great set of investigations and visualizations at Exploring Earth online book.

The story of plate tectonics.A comprehensive on-line book by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Earth in 250 million years.Have a look at the state of the continents in 250 my time.

Tectonic plates and plate boundaries.Google Earth's file showing the locations of the plates and their boundaries in the Earth's crust.

Types of rocks in Geography4kids.Learn the main features of the three types of rocks.

Observe igneous volcanic rocks forming.Visualize how a basalt rock is formed after the cooling of lava at Exploring Earth online book.

Observe metamorphic rocks forming.Visualize how a metamorphic rock is formed after heavy pressure at Exploring Earth online book.

8. The Earth's External Energy

Land weathering in Geography4kids.Mechanical, chemical and biological weathering.

Land erosion in Geography4kids.What is it, how can it be and which are its results.

Landform picture gallery.Landform picture gallery at With photos and basic data.

Observe landforms formed by erosion.Visualize valleys, cliffs, caverns and more at Exploring Earth online book.

Stunning views of glaciers from space.Collection of 13 stunning images of some of the world's most impressive and beautiful glaciers, captured from space by astronauts and satellites.

Glacier picture gallery.Glacier picture gallery at With photos and basic data.

How sand dunes work.Extensive article, with images and videos, to teach you about the formation of dunes, their types, and their ecological features.

Soils in Geography4kids.Learn the basics of soils.

The formation of soils in Geography4kids.Learn which are the factors than condition the formation and evolution of the soils.

Observe how sediments are deposited.Visualize the depositing of sediments in a sea-shore at Exploring Earth online book.

Observe clastic sedimentary rocks forming.Visualize how a sedimentary rock is formed out of rock grains at Exploring Earth online book.

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