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Atoms: CLEP Chemistry

Ace Academics Ace Academics ePub
Medium 9781576336366

Chemical Bonds: GED Chemistry

Ace Academics Ace Academics ePub
Medium 9781576337974

Astronomy: ACT Earth Science

Ace Academics Ace Academics ePub
Medium 9781491904299

2. Fundamentals of Biodesign

Natalie, PhD. Kuldell O'Reilly Media ePub

In this chapter, we explore the process of biodesign: designing biological systems with predictable behavior. We will consider an analogy to illustrate the usefulness of abstraction in design. Then, we’ll walk our way through the design abstraction to specify a system for detecting arsenic in water. Along the way, there will be prompts so that you can apply these illustrations and examples to the design of a living technology of your choosing.

Biodesign might be new to you, so we’ll begin with a more familiar scenario.

Imagine that you want to go on a vacation. First you need to decide what type of vacation. Do you want a tropical getaway, a backpacking trip, an urban adventure? To decide, you might consider the benefits of each of your options. For example, a tropical getaway might be relaxing, but it’s also quite expensive. For now, let’s say you’re feeling more interested in nature than cities, so you decide that the backpacking trip is the best option.

Having decided on the “big picture,” a backpacking trip, next you need to begin planning your trip, starting with still more “big” questions: do you want to hike in the mountains or the desert? Do you want to go for two nights or five weeks? For this example, let’s say that you decide to go on a three-day trip to the mountains. But now you must decide which mountains you’ll visit. Will you choose to hike the Appalachian Trail or Yosemite? If you’re living on the West Coast and you have only three days of vacation, Yosemite appears to be the better choice. It seems natural to consider the big picture questions like these as you plan—or design—your trip.

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Medium 9781449334512

7. Lab I-5 Examine the Spectroscopic Characteristics of Soil

Robert Bruce Thompson Maker Media, Inc ePub

Youll need the following items to complete this lab session. (The standard kit for this book, available from http://www.thehomescientist.com, includes the items listed in the first group.)


Hydrochloric acid

Inoculating loop



Spot plate

Exemplar: spectroscopic soil specimen


Burner, gas (see text)

Digital voice recorder (optional)

Spectrometer (Project Star or similar)

Toothpicks, plastic

Water, distilled or deionized

Specimens: soil, known and questioned

Hydrochloric acid is corrosive and emits strong fumes. The spectroscopic soil specimen supplied with the kit may contain toxic heavy metals. Wear splash goggles, gloves, and protective clothing when working in the lab.

Although wet-chemistry tests are still commonly used in professional forensics labs, various types of spectrometry are used extensively to supplement or replace these older wet-chemistry tests. Spectrometry has several advantages, notably that it is extremely sensitive, very accurate and precise, and can be used when only very small specimens are available for testing. The only real drawback to spectrometry is that professional-grade spectrometers are extremely expensive, costing from tens of thousands to literally millions of dollars.

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