RicochetScience – Top 3 Science Posts of 2014

It has been a very busy year on RicochetScience! This year we not only featured a complete makeover of our site, but also the addition of the Biology 101 project, which links all of our resources to the curriculum of an introductory biology class. To support this new look, we have been busy building a number of new videos short science videos and posting them to our YouTube and Vimeo sites, writing new science posts,  and expanding our Twitter and Flipboard coverage.

As we look back at this successful year, we thought that we would give a quick recap of the three most viewed posts on our site.

1. What is the Link Between BRCA1 and Cancer?

As science teachers, we know that there are lots of misconceptions about genetics and human disease. When Angelina Jolie announced that she was going to undergo a double mastectomy, attention was again turned to the BRCA1 gene. Our number 1 article for 2014, “What is the Link Between BRCA1 and Cancer?”, explored how this gene relates to the cell cycle and how mutations in this gene are associated with cancer.

cell cycle

We were very pleased when we were selected to produce a version of this article for TedEd. Our video , “The Cancer Gene We All Have“, provides a great visualization of how cancer genes function in the body.

2. Variations in Meiosis: The Parthenogenic Lizards

Sex is always a great topic for a biology class, and there are plenty of variations on the topic in the natural world to use to mix up the standard discussions of meiosis and the importance of genetic variation.

Our second most popular article in 2014 was “Variations in Meiosis: The Pathenogenic Lizards“, which explored how whiptailed lizards, which are parthenogenic (reproduction without males) maintain their genetic diversity through a slight change in the way that they perform meiosis.


This article has been featured in a number of the biology textbooks that we author with McGraw-Hill Education. Watch for an updated version of this post in early 2015.

3. Properties of Water Video

This year we produced a number of short science videos, ranging in topics from Ebola to three-parent in vitro fertilization. We choose these topics because we had a need to explain a basic principle in the classes we teach, and then we share them through our YouTube channel.

Our #3 post of 2014 featured one of these videos – “The Properties of Water“. In this case, we built this video because students were having a difficult time understanding the relationship between hydrogen bonds and the properties of water.

If you have additional ideas for videos and animations – please let us know!

 What to Expect in 2015!!!

And we are just getting started. Here are some new features that you can expect to see in 2015:

  •  Our new podcast on SoundCloud featuring how the latest developments in science and technology relate to everyday life.
  •  More videos for the science classroom on our YouTube channel. Some of the upcoming topics include:
    • What is the difference between an epidemic, pandemic and an outbreak?
    • More videos on the life cycles of viruses, and how drugs disrupt viral life cycles
    • What do biologists need to know about math?
  •  A new featured area on RicochetScience that contains mini-lectures on how to learn biology.
  • More contributors and posts on science news for the science classroom. If you are an educator or science writer and want to contribute to our site, please contact us for more information!

Thank you to everyone who visits our site and uses our resources!

Video Credits

Whiptail lizards: By Ltshears (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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