Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fish Blog Installment 4

Okay fish followers; get ready for a quick lesson in genetics! Selective breeding is the process of breeding for specific genetic traits. The percentage of progeny (offspring) with the wanted traits depends upon the traits fo the parents. This information is true in all organisms, but I'm going to explain it in terms of our goldfish. Offspring receive two copies of the same gene, one from the mother and one from the father, which determines any and every aspect of their life. I'm going to focus on the genes that determined the color of the first gold carps now called goldfish. The normal color is a dominant trait, meaning that the presence or absence of this trait ultimately determines the color of the fish. The gold color is a recessive trait, meaning that both parents need a copy of the trait in order for some of the offspring to be gold, otherwise, if the offspring has one copy of the dominant trait and one copy of the recessive trait the dominant trait will hide the recessive trait and the fish will be the normal color.

For those visual learners out there I'm going to also use what's called a Punnet square to explain this. A Punnet square is simply a way of determining all the possible genetic traits of the offspring using the traits in the parents. I'm going to call the dominant trait G (for gray) and the recessive trait g (for gold). Remember, the dominant trait is the normal color and the recessive trait is the new gold color.

In this case one parent has two dominant traits and the other parent has one dominant and one recessive trait. Therefore all of the offspring will be the normal color because all of the offspring have received a dominant trait from either one or both parents.

In this case both parents have one dominant and one recessive trait. Therefore 1/4 of the offspring will be gold and the rest will be normal colored
In this case one parent has one dominant and one recessive trait, and the other parent has both recessive traits. Therefore 1/2 of the offspring will be gold and the other 1/2 will be normal colored.
Furthermore in theory, if both parents had two dominant traits then all of their offspring would be normal colored, and if both parents had two recessive traits then all of their offspring would be gold. Pretty amazing, huh? And this is just scratching the surface! Just think of all the different varieties of goldfish there are! Mutations occur not only in color but also in size, shape, absence or presence of fins, location of eyes, shininess, etc. And once a mutation occurs, selective breeding to continue that mutation can begin.

Stay tuned for the next fish blog entry...we'll use our knowledge of genetics to try and solve who the parents of our own baby goldfish are!

Life Science Assistant
"Resident Fish Expert"

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Discovery Center turns 12 years old today, January 28, 2010

Discovery Center of Springfield opened it's doors 12 years ago today. Happy Birthday!!!

Those community leaders and visitors who remember the early days know that EnergyWorks, Wonderland, Discovery Town and BodyWorks were the original galleries when the doors opened in 1998. You could only visit Wednesday - Sunday. We had only three people on staff and a handful of volunteers. What a difference 12 years and generous believers can make! We now have 11 galleries and over 180 exhibits, 80 active volunteers and a wonderful attraction and educational resource with National recognition and the 1st LEED Certified Gold building in the region. WHEW.....

DCS staff, volunteers and board thank the Jr. League of Springfield, Greene County Medical Society Alliance and all those that share the vision of what a difference a Science Center can make in the lives learners of all ages throughout the region.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Discovery Center Staff Volunteers during the Holiday

Discovery Center staff gave back to the community by volunteering on Monday before Christmas at the Salvation Army. You can see the generosity of the community and we utilized our time by sorting toys and clothes for those in need. Volunteering is worth the time and effort no matter where you are.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Discovery Center Received Silver Level Certification

Discovery Center of Springfield has successfully met the Ozarks Greenscore Standards Silver Level. Have you or your organization checked out the these standards.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Welcome our new addition!

Exhibit “Birth” Announcement:
Name-Air Cannon
Birth date-Oct. 20, 2009
Arrival time-9:00 a.m.
Weight-106 lbs.
Height-63 inches (5’3”)
Parents-Gary Hart (volunteer), ArmorThane (donor) Tropical Waterscapes(donor), Christian Shade (volunteer), and Meeks (donor)
Birth location-Discovery Center of Springfield Workshop
Time in labor-35 hours (hours provided by volunteers)

Come visit and see our newest addition to the DCS family of exhibits!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Parents Night Out

Friday, Dec. 4, 2009 5-10pm.
Drop your children age 4 – 6th grade at the Discovery Center while you enjoy an evening out. This Discovery Center fundraiser allows adults to enjoy the Festival of Lights in downtown Springfield. Pre-registration and pre-payment required by Wednesday, December 2nd. Check the website for cost and more detail.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Science Sprouts Museum Days

November 20, 2009 - 9am-5pm
Museum Days just for Early Childhood Learners (up to age 6). This day at Discovery Center will be enhanced with Story time at 10am & 1pm and Brain Byte demonstration at 11am and 2pm. This month topic is Native Americans. We encourage groups of early learners to come these days to the Discovery Center. General admission applies unless the group pre-registered.