AP Biology Practice 7 – Connecting Knowledge

Hi. It’s Mr. Andersen and this
AP Biology science practice 7. The first time I read science practice seven it really didn’t
make any sense to me. And so let me give you a reading. And then see what you think. “Science
Practice 7: The student is able to connect and relate knowledge across various scales,
concepts and representation in and across domains.” That sounds confusing. But I think
what they’re really trying to get at is that they want you to be able to connect knowledge.
And so this is da Vinci. And da Vinci had a lot of different jobs. He was a painter,
sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist,
botanist, cartographer and writer. In other words he brought together all of these different
disciplines. And that was common back then. But today we’ve tended to isolate in each
of our different disciplines. If you’re a biologist you really concern yourself just
with biology. And that’s changing. In other words, we want you to be able to make these
connections and connections of scale. And what do I mean by scale? We want you to be
able to understand how biology works at the very small scale, at the medium scale and
at the very large scale. What’s something at the small scale? That’s just going to be
molecules. We want you to also be able to understand scale as far as time span. Time
span that is just microseconds all the way up to geologic time. And also we want you
to be able to understand complexity from things that are very simple to things that are almost
infinitely complex, like the human mind. And so we when we’re saying connecting across
all of these different scales, if I were to say this is DNA. DNA is going to be really
small. It’s not going to be that complex. It’s made up of a few different atoms. And
then it’s going to operate on a very small time scale. But they want you to be able to
apply that across this whole scale. So if we’re looking at an ecosystem like that, ecosystems
evolved over, you know thousands and thousands of years. They’re made up of organisms. Those
organisms contain DNA. And so that DNA has been passed along all the way through this
time span. And so we can go from the very simple to the very complex and they want you
to be able to understand that. Or another example, let’s say we have this. This is simply
chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is one molecule, but could you apply how chlorophyll effects
everything up to the level of the carbon cycle? In other words, how plants are taking in carbon.
How they’re making use of chlorophyll to harness the power of the sun. And so that’s what they
mean by senses of scale and making those connections. And also when they say domains, what they
really mean is outside of biology. So thermodynamics is physics really. But we apply it by understanding
that all energy comes from the sun. It’s converted through photosynthesis. And then we make use
of that in our food. Or biochemistry. Understanding how a phospholipid is going to have a hydrophilic
head and hydrophobic tail allows us better to understand at a more complex scale how
a cell membrane works. Or if we understand how diffusion works. Which his essentially
chemistry. Then we really can understand how nutrients, molecules, gasses all these things
are moving around inside life. And so connecting across domains means not only using biology,
but chemistry and mathematics as well. And so at each of the different four big ideas
they want you to be able to apply this connection of all these scales and concepts. And so if
we were looking at the peppered moths or natural selection, to really understand that we have
to understand what happened over time. So we have a change in the time scale. We’re
really looking at genes. And if we don’t understand genetics we really can’t understand evolution.
We’re looking at free energy. Free energy and understanding feedback loops is important.
But understanding how those different feedback loops are going to allow organisms to survive
in different environments. Or if we’re looking at information. This is a great story. This
is the Himalayan rabbit. Himalayan rabbits are always going to be white except if we
have a change in their environment. And so the temperature in the ears and the nose and
the feet cause them to express different genes. And if you were to put a piece of ice on the
back of this rabbit right here, you could actually shave the rabbit and then change
that to have a black patch on the back. And so that’s expressing different genes depending
on environmental cues. And that has a lot to do with the histones that the DNA wraps
around. Or if we’re looking at cotton. At the very small scale, understanding how the
sugar are built is important. But understanding how those sugars are attached together to
create cellulose gives us a totally different molecule. It’s just like sugar but it’s connected
in such a way that if you eat cotton it’s not going to be like eating sugar. And so
they really only want you to be able to do two things. They want you to be able to connect
phenomena across models of spatial and temporal scale. Remember spatial is where they are.
Temporal is at what time. So here’s an example of a multiple choice question. They’re telling
you that sickle cell anemia results from point mutation in a specific gene. It results in
a misplaced or a replacement of an amino acid that has a hydrophilic R group. So which of
the following would likely result? And so you could pause the video and take a stab
at this if you want to. Okay you could work your way through it. So I could eliminate
a lot of these. I know were not talking about DNA structure here or fatty acids. So I know
I’m dealing with proteins since we’re replacing an amino acid. So I’m now kind of down to
A or D. I could eliminate D because it’s saying the proteins secondary structure is a result
of interactions between R groups. And so R groups remember aren’t going to effect us
until we get to the tertiary structure of a protein. So I would choose A as the right
answer. They also want you be to able to connect concepts in and across domains. And so this
is one where they’re asking you to look at negative feedback loop in the endocrine system.
And so they give four different alternative correct answers for negative feedback. We
could start looking at these across you know, now we’re looking at different forms of anatomy.
So here we’re looking at, this would be a nervous response. This is a genetic response.
And so I could pare it down to these two which are going to be related to the endocrine system.
And then the only one that’s going to have negative feedback would be B. This would be
a positive feedback up here at the top. So again the questions that they’re giving as
examples of connecting domains are not super hard. They just want you to not get stuck
in specifics. That it’s going to cross several different domains. And so a good way to get
at this is a game that I like to play in my class. It’s called the wiki game. So what
you do is you logon to wikipedia. And you try to make connections between one concept
and another. There’s some rules, like you can’t use the search box, you can’t go outside
and do links outside that or visit external websites. You can’t go back. You can’t hit
back space. You can’t click on dates. You can’t use search tools. You can’t use like
find F. And what you try to do is to get from concept to concept to concept just going to
through and making connections in the links of wikipedia. And so could you do that? Could
you connect from peppered moth, feedback, cellulose, Himalayan rabbits. I think it took
me about 38 links to get from peppered moth to feedback loops to cellulose and to Himalayan
rabbits. Maybe you could do better. You could put your connections down in the comments
down below if you beat my score of 38. But that’s really what we’re talking about. We’re
connecting across different sizes, complexity, time scale and even domains. And I hope that
was helpful.


  1. Umar Riaz

    February 23, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Love your videos. Can you please upload a video on Plasmolysis and if you have already uploaded please state the name
    Thank You

  2. mimiyala tampogao

    February 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    thanks a lot ….its really helpful

  3. True Zero Emissions

    February 26, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Leonardo DaVinci "That which one must learn to do, One may learn by doing" Great video. Extremely important concepts.

  4. shinji_ikari01

    March 2, 2013 at 3:59 am

    Can you please do a podcast on plasmid mapping? I'm really lost with that…

  5. Lital Nainshtein

    March 8, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    Mr. Anderson, you're a wonderful teacher and I'd like to thank you for helping me through out the year! You're the only teacher who I actually understand! 🙂 Could you please make a video on chromosome mapping or restriction enzyme mapping?

  6. Malikita17

    April 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    this is awesome! thank you

  7. thegummyGAN

    September 3, 2013 at 6:19 am

    Hahaha 38? Wow dude, weak. I got 12. My bio skill >>> Yours.

  8. Lord Rahl

    October 10, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Try connecting anything to porn.

  9. Kaan Tarhan

    January 26, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    I did it much faster than 38 steps, as follows:


    Which adds up to 15 steps in total, in about 10 minutes total searching time.

  10. Thefuture300

    September 14, 2017 at 2:58 am

    Your garbage your not even famous and you don't reply to any of your comments dayum

  11. Kevin Panaro

    August 23, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    The Wiki Game is just like the Suggested Videos Game that Jacksfilms did

  12. Madeline Leigh Young

    July 12, 2019 at 1:54 am

    I did it in 8
    peppered moths > pheromones> hormones> animals> mammals> rabbit> 305 breeds(list of rabbit breeds)> Himalayan

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