Sarah Gale's blog

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The Usefulness of Biology, Seventh Edition

   Reading textbooks, especially science textbooks that weigh more than a small child, can be quite tedious. My roommate’s biology book is no exception. While it works as a fine paperweight and mini-table, it also hosts a multitude of information, with such relevant topics as observation, diversity, scale, molecules, cells, the human body, genetics, ecology, evolution, matter and energy. Accompanying the text is a supplemental CD, called “The Student Media for Biology”, with chapter outlines, mini-activities, videos, games, quizzes, flash cards, and more condensed information at which you could shake a stick. Despite the width and breadth of the epic book, I found Biology to be a great resource for biology students (as well it should be, considering it’s hefty price and the measures my roommate took to avoid it). I was particularly impressed with the comprehensive layout and structure of the text.
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Bad Bad Plastics

   Last year on Earth Day, I attended a lecture entitled, “The Truth about Plastics” at my high school. We watched a short documentary about a scientist and his studies of the effects of plastic pollution in marine ecosystems (turtles dying from eating plastic bags, plankton eating plastic and fish eating that plankton and other fish and birds and humans eating that fish). Afterwards, the speaker talked to us about alternatives to plastic and things we as students could do to get involved in the cause. I stopped buying bottled water ad purchased a tin bottle, convinced my mother to buy milk in cartons, and asked for paper shopping bags. Yet plastic is everywhere, and it can’t be denied that some products bring good. Despite plastic’s positive properties and obvious benefits, plastics are harmful to the environment, and their consumption should be reduced.
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Should You Get A Flu Shot? And Other Stories

About a week ago, I felt like I was getting a cold. Rather than down some DayQuil and move on, I decided to take a different approach. I entered into a small, patchouli-smelling store called Arrowroot on Lancaster and looked around for some alternative cold medicines and found one named Coldcalm. The directions said to let two tablets dissolve on the tongue every two hours, and the sufferer’s cold symptoms would be relieved. Hating cough syrup and interested, I decided to buy the package of white pills and was happy to find that they really helped. Even though I still had a cold, it was entirely manageable.

Then my mother called me, telling me to get a flu shot. It’s not that I am not scared of needles, but I don’t particularly like getting shots (although, who does?). So I decided to do research and see if the whole needle-in-arm event could be avoided this flu season. I found that it’s not necessary to be vaccinated, although getting a shot isn’t a bad thing. I know that I, for one, will not be going to the Health Center for a flu shot this year.

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DDT vs. The Mosquito

The continent of Africa is one of the largest land masses of the world and known for its struggles with poverty, AIDS, and civil war. Yet an issue that hasn been discussed or portrayed in the media as openly is the issue of malaria; specifically, prevention of the disease. The World Health Organization (the WHO), has been grappling with this issue since the 1950's. Now, a resurgence of support for the employ of the pesticide DDT to combat the malaria- carrying mosquitoes has sparked controversy. Scientists and politicians seems to be going backwards on such an issue- it as if the environmental revolution never happened! That such polluting practices can continue to be allowed is unjust and exploitative to lesser-developed countries. What is even worse is the pro-DDT propaganda, which denounces the findings of scientists like Rachel Carson that DDT, in any dose, is lethal.

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