10 Of The Most 'Fun Facts' I Have Learned As A Biology Major

10 Of The Most 'Fun Facts' I Have Learned As A Biology Major

1. The bananas that we eat cannot reproduce.

Being a biology major, there are a lot of basic, core intro classes that you have to sit through until you get to the classes that you actually want to take and are interesting to you.

Now that I am done with the basic intro classes and I am taking a semester off of biology to take more chemistry classes, I am now realizing that these basic classes were actually pretty interesting. They also taught me some things that I never thought I wanted to know.

They were hard and stressful while they lasted and I'm now realizing that some of the information that stuck with me from those three intro classes aren't going to be used in my future. However, they were good to learn because they made me more aware of the world around me.

Here are the 10 most "fun facts" that stuck with me after my final intro to biology course.

1. The bananas that we eat cannot reproduce.

They are examples of triploid autopolyploids. In other words, they end up with too many chromosome sets from other bananas. That is why bananas are grown from bulbs rather than seeds; the seeds can't grow more banana plants. The banana plant, typically considered a herb, is grown by plantation workers transporting stalks from old plants to grow new ones. That information shakes up everyone, especially the entire lecture hall the day that we learned it in class.

2. Birds are the modern-day dinosaurs.

They may not look like it, but birds are, like the dinosaurs were, ancestors of reptiles.

3. We are currently in the sixth mass extinction.

Above was the face of every single student in my biology class. That is why it's so important to take care of our planet. Extinctions take millions of years, and there were already five major ones in the history of the earth. The most famous one was probably the Cretaceous, when the dinosaurs were wiped out. The sixth mass extinction probably won't end for thousands, maybe even millions, of years, but it is important to start caring for the earth now. Pollution and greenhouse gases are real and are no joke.

4. The human belly button is home to about 67 different species of bacteria.

They're part of the trillions of bacteria and archaea that are present on your body. Other places bacteria are found there are present in your mouth (about 700 different species) and in your large intestine (about 1,000 different species). You're welcome!

5. There is a type of flower that smells like a rotting dead body.

In the eyes of biology, life is all about reproducing and creating offspring that can survive to then reproduce themselves one day. The smell of the huge Rafflesia arnoldii flower attracts flies. The flies land on the plant and aid reproduction by spreading the plant's pollen.

6. Kerogenin, a chemical commonly used in shakes at McDonald's to make them thicker, is derived from red algae.

It's not as gross as it sounds, trust me. You have algae to thank for making your shakes thick and
keeping your ice cream — yes, brown algae derivatives are also found in ice cream — and cheese stabilized.

7. Scientists have estimated that humans have not yet discovered about 90 percent of the total species present on earth.

Yes, contrary to popular belief, we don't know everything. There are still things out there that exist that not even science knows about. New things are being discovered every single day all over the world, and that is the true beauty of science.

8. Male and female ducks reproduce in a unique way.

I'll spare you the details. If you really want to know what I'm talking about, you can Google it, but I didn't tell you to do it.

9. The earth was around long before life, itself, and life happened quickly and in a short period of time.

To put it into numbers, the earth is 4.5 billion years old, but life began 3.5 billion years ago. Life happened in a span of only 1 billion years. It doesn't seem like a long time, but when you think about all that happened in that span of one billion years, it's pretty amazing.

10. Scientists think that lemurs got to Madagascar through rafting, just like in the movie.

The island itself has remained separated 300 miles from the African coast for about 88 million years, and lemurs have a common ancestor on the African continent itself that they evolved from. So, how did they get to Madagascar? We know that lemurs are not as old as the island of Madagascar, so how did they get there? Scientists believe the answer is by rafting. The movie may not be entirely fiction after all.

I attribute all of the information listed above to lectures and presentations given in the General Biology III course taught by Dr. Ashley Byun and Dr. Jennifer Klug of the Fairfield University Department of Biology.

Cover Image Credit: Shutterstock

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Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Because most other majors can't kill someone accidentally by adding wrong.

College is hard. Between studying for numerous amounts of tests and balancing eating, working out, maintaining a social life, and somehow not breaking your bank account, it’s no wonder a common conversation among students is “how many mental breakdowns did you have this week?” Every major will pose its own challenges; that’s truth. Nursing school, however, is a special kind of tough that only other nursing majors can understand.

SEE ALSO: Quit Bashing Radford University

Nurses are the backbone and unsung hero of healthcare. Their job is to advocate for the patient, collaborate care among all other healthcare team members, carry out physician orders, recognize and report patient progress (or lack thereof), run interference for the patient with any unwanted visitors, research and validate evidence based practice, all while maintaining a certain aurora of confidence for patients and their loved ones that “everything will be okay” and “I’ve got this under control”. If that sounds like a lot; that’s because it is. The majority of skills that we learn that make good nurses cannot actually be taught in theory classes. It’s the hours of actual practice and a certain knack for caring for people- all people- that makes a good nurse great. The countless, unrelenting hours that are spent on the floor in clinical humble us, we know that we’re not great yet, but we’re trying.

Our professors expect us to be humble as well. Nurses do not seek gold stars for their actions, instead the precedence that is set for us to that we “do the right thing because it is the right thing to do”. Most nursing programs grading scales are different. To us, a failing grade isn’t actually getting a 69 or lower, it’s an 80. And that makes sense; no one would want a nurse who only understand 70% of what is happening in the body. We have to understand the normal body response, what happens when things go wrong, why it happens the way it does, and how to properly intervene. We want to learn, it interests us, and we know that the long theory classes and the hard days on the floor are just to make us better. However, any triumph, anytime you do well, whatever small victory that may feel like for you, it just what is supposed to happen- it’s what is expected, and we still have much to learn.

I look back on my decision to take on nursing school, and I often find myself questioning: why? There are so many other majors out there that offer job security, or that help people, or would challenge me just as much. But, when I think of being a nurse- it’s what fulfills me. There’s something that the title holds that makes me feel complete (and that same fact is going to resonate with anyone who wants to love their job). I wouldn’t change the decision I made for anything, I love what I am learning to do and I feel that it’s part of what makes me who I am. The other students who I have met through nursing school are some of the most amazing people I have ever come into contact with, and the professors have helped me understand so much more about myself than I thought possible.

Nursing is treating and understanding the human response. Meaning that it’s not just the disease process, or the action of the medication, or the care that we provide, but that nurses treat the way in which people deal, react, feel, and cope with good news, bad news, terrible procedures, hospital stays and being completely dependent on other people. And the fact of the matter is that all people are different. There is no one magic treatment that will always work for every patient. In addition to course work, the clinical hours, the passion and drive to want to be a nurse, and the difficulty that comes with any medical profession, we have to understand each individual patient, as people and not their illness. And, in order to do that so much self discovery goes on each day to recognize where you are and how you are coping with everything coming your way.

What is taught in nursing school goes far beyond just textbook information or step by step procedures. We have to learn, and quickly, how to help and connect with people on a level which most struggle to accomplish in a lifetime. It's a different kind of instruction, and it either takes place quickly or not at all. The quality of nurse you become depends on it. Nursing school is different, not harder or better than any other school, just different.

SEE ALSO: Stop Putting Down Radford University

Cover Image Credit: stocksnap.io

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Body Image Lessons That I Didn't Learn From A Professor

What I realized about body image my freshman year of college


Girls usually struggle with self image in general. But the game changes when it's time to go to college. When you are constantly surrounded by your peers, you begin to compare all of the little things they do to you. You compare their bodies to yours. You try to figure out what they are doing that you're not. Or vice versa, why they don't have to do anything to look the way they do. But by the end of my first year, I realized that I would never be happy with myself if I kept thinking this way. So I recorded some realizations I had throughout the year that helped me to improve my body image.

My body is, and never will be the same as any other girl... and that's okay

Different sized and shaped strawberries


It can be so easy in college to compare your body to the girls that surround you. Like the one's live with and you see on a daily basis. There is no point in comparing apples to oranges, so why would you compare your body to a girl who was made completely different? So what you can't fit into her party pants, you can rock another pair just as well.

What works for her, might not work for me

Daily Planner


With different body types, comes different food and exercise needs. Some girls don't need to work out or eat healthy to keep a slim frame. Some girls are naturally muscular. Your routine needs to be catered to you, and there is no need to analyze what someone else eats or does to try to attain their stature. You have to do what feels right for YOUR body to have a good self image.

Don't spend too much time on istagram


Obviously social media effects our body image because of how easily and frequently photos are edited and then presented for the most likes. So if there is a certain account that always makes you feel bad when you see their content, unfollow, and take that aspect out of your life. However, because social media is unavoidable you can't completely escape all the provoking images. So when scrolling, think positively about those who's pictures you see, don't compare, and be aware of the previous lessons.

It's okay for your body to fluctuate


The weight and look of your body can easily fluctuate, It's just natural. And in the same way your life fluctuates, your body may follow along and thats not a big deal! In exam season, there might not be enough time to go to the gym everyday. Or during the holidays there might be an increase of indulgence in treats. But its all okay as long as your getting things done or enjoying life. The only time it becomes an issue if the fluctuations turn unhealthy.

Cut out the negativity


If a friend is constantly complaining to you about their body, it can trigger distress in you, and set you back. So if someone else's body image issues are interfering with you mentally, you need to call them out on their B.S. or stop allowing them say those things in front of you.

Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in


If you wear things that you feel comfortable in, then you wont constantly be thinking about how your stomach, legs, or arms look throughout the day. Wear something that you are confident in, even if it means wearing leggings every day of the week!

I'm not a little kid anymore, therefore my body is not going to look like one


Curves and changes that come after high school can take anyone by surprise, but it's supposed to happen. You can't really be mad at biology...you can only find the beauty in it.

Everyone has their own insecurities


Even if someone has your ideal body, odds are they still despise theirs. I have met friends in college that are stick skinny, yet are self conscious about it. I know curvy girls that are very insecure. And even an "average" body type has a thousand things that they nit-pick about themselves. No one has their dream body and never will, which is why I had to learn to love the little things about mine.

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