Work is heating up as it always does in the first few weeks of classes. Today and Friday I’m blitzing through a basic chemistry review in cell biology, because…biology is all chemistry. A very narrow and specific domain of chemistry, sure, but if you don’t understand how electrons flow you’re getting nowhere in cell biology. Yesterday was spent re-reading a lot of introductory chemistry stuff to remind me of how this all works, today I lay it all out for the students, who might be bored, but still a bunch of them will mess up on the easy chemistry questions in the first exam.
It always shocks incoming students who think biology is all frog dissections and memorizing organs. Nope, all chemistry, and in order to get the chemistry, you need to know the math. So all you high school kids thinking it would be neat to major in biology and play with spiders, buckle down and learn your basic algebra and pre-calc, at the least, and work through chemistry and physics.
Then I have some lab stuff to do. Today I’m going to focus on our Steatoda triangulosa. We’ve got a few young second generation juveniles coming up that I need to sort into larger quarters, and another egg sac that is full of baby spiders. The cool thing about S. triangulosa, besides the pretty pigment patterns, is that their egg sacs are fluffy, loosely woven silk and are semi-transparent, so you can see the eggs right through them, and right now I peek in and it’s a mass of writhing spider legs, so they’re about to emerge, I’m sure. The less cool thing about them is that they seem to be slower to develop, and for at least the one mama I’ve got in the lab, lay a smaller number of eggs. I might have to go hunt down some more adults so I have a larger sample before the frost hits.
Anyway, I’ll take pictures! I think I’ll post a purely S. triangulosa article later today.
But first, chemistry! That’s my day sorted.