If you have any questions or are uncertain about anything to do with the course, then this is the place to get help.
I will try and respond to your query as soon as possible, although I strongly encourage you all to try and answer the questions first.


For a question type in #750a56 to change to dark magenta
For an answer type in #17066a to change to dark purple
Or choose any colour combination you wish.


(referring to the handout about Control of Kidney Fuction)
It states that people with a certain type of diabetes in unable to perform a specific function.

Q. Is it that their Kidney's cannot reabsorb water and therefore they lose more water resulting in quicker dehydration?
In which case, what would be a suitable treatment? (hypothetical of course)


A. Your first comment is spot on. With lack of ADH you would expect that water reabsorption decreases, so yes they could become dehydrated easily and they will also urinate more frequently.
Treatment would be to ensure that sufferers drink plenty of water but also to avoid others factors that would result in inhibition of ADH, such as alcohol. more importantly perhaps they might need injections of ADH or medication that promotes the release of ADH. VM


I'm 110% sure this question does not belong here, but i dont know where else to put it... ive been sick all weekend and am just getting over the virus today (tuesday), i have not been able to revise coz ive been bed all day or falling asleep waching olympics. Could i possibly do the test on homeostasis on friday so that i can study for it properly? (not hypothetical) Josh

Of course you can Josh. Well, at least I give you permission to do so. You may have to speak to my upper hand about this (Vojtech). But, if it were up to me, I would allow you to do the test on Friday. I hope you're feeling better. -Olivia Sandler, Practicing Biologist.

Upper hand, perhaps Biology Master, is more appropriate Oli.
Josh, for things like this just email me using the wiki email. As I was away for the week, I am not sure what you expected me to do about it. Did you organise something with the student teacher? If not, then I would like you to do it on Monday (we don't have class, but maybe you have a free) or as soon as possible. I am not here on Monday so you need to speak to the student teacher and see if you can work something out. VM


Let's all take 3 giant steps back... Looking over Homeostasis test and came across an answer that was evidently incorrect but thought it was necessary getting clarification. I'll give you my reasoning afterwards.
Q: What is the name given to structures that detect change in the internal or external environment?

A. The general term used is receptors. Think back to the stimulus-response model. A stimulus is detected by receptors. A stimulus is any change in the environment (internal and external). VM


Vojtech, I'm having difficulties (obviously, because otherwise... why would i be on here?) regarding this 'skills test' on Wednesday. I understand what information we will be assessed on, but i don’t understand how we will be assessed (because it's not a test) I just don’t really understand HOW (in what format) we need to know the information. I hope that made sense to you :)

A. Fair enough question. The title "skills test" can be misleading. It is a test still and therefore will involve you answering questions. The questions however, will more likely be to do with application of knowledge and the skills side of the topics you have covered so far, rather than simply being on theory. I know this may still seem a bit vague to you. So, I will you will find more specific information under "assessment" that relates to the assessment on wednesday. Otherwise come and see me before wednesday. VM

Question for AOS 2 Test
Q: Is the Dominant Species referring to its abundance or because it is a consumer on the top of the food chain?

A Abundance. An ecosystem is often named after the dominant species, eg mangrove ecosystem because of it being most abundant and therefore it plays a major role in the food webs of that ecosystem. VM

Q: What is Biomass? Is it an accumulation? And how can it be measured?

A this is not mecessarily an easy term to make sense of because it can have different meanings to different people. For us biomass refers to the amount of mass of the organims (usually that make up a trophic level and hence we can get a biomass pyramid just like the energy pyramid). In other words the amount of organic matter. Most of the biomass in an ecosystem will be found at the producer level. It can be measured by actually weighing the living organisms. That's it. I don't expect you to have any more understanding than this. VM

Q. G'day Vojtech, just a quick question - I'm sure i asked it in class but i can't find the answer in my notes. What is the difference between the stimulus response model and the negative feedback model? Am i correct in saying that negative feedback produces a response that nulifies the stimulus? If so, what does the other one do? JA

A. yes you have asked this one before. stimulus-response model refers to the general idea of how a response is carried out at the organism level (or cell level) due to a stimulus. Not all examples of stimulus-repsonse are negative (or positive) feedback. Eg. when you see your opponent rush to the net, you throw up a lob, you are repsonding to a stimulus (via a pathway) but this not negative feedback. your description of negative feedback is OK. negative feedback is a sort of special type of stimulus-response model in organisms that aids in survival but more importantly homeostasis. if organisms are to maintain a stable environemnt they need to be able to produce repsonses that reduce the size of the stimulus and cause factors to increase if lowered and decrease if raised. VM

And one more - is the control center always the brain? JA

A. in terms of a stimulus-response model pretty much, although reflex arcs do not rely on decision making by the brain to be carried out. VM