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Biology: Oogenesis: Meiosis in Females
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In this lesson, Professor Wolfe reviews meiosis in the female system. In meiosis, a somatic cell (2n) goes through two splits to become gametes. Gametes are generated in organs called gonads. Meiosis is the division of a diploid cell to form a haploid cell called a gamete. Meiosis in a female is referred to specifically as oogenesis. It takes place in the ovaries of a female human. He will walk through the steps of female meiosis, including both Meiosis I (which creates secondary oocytes and polar bodies, which are degenerative and non-functional) and Meiosis II (a process that only occurs at fertillization in the production of offspring). If fertilization occurs (and a zygote or fertilized egg is created), Meiosis II happens and in that second division, a secondary oocyte is divided into a second polar body and an ovum. The ovum (n) will have half of the number of chromosomes as the oogonium (2n).
He also highlights the main differences between female and male meiosis processes (differences between oogenesis and spermatogenesis) as well as the explanation for why polar bodies are created in oogenesis.
Taught by Professor George Wolfe, this lesson was selected from a broader, comprehensive course, Biology. This course and others are available from Thinkwell, Inc. The full course can be found at The full course covers evolution, ecology, inorganic and organic chemistry, cell biology, respiration, molecular genetics, photosynthesis, biotechnology, cell reproduction, Mendelian genetics and mutation, population genetics and mutation, animal systems and homeostasis, evolution of life on earth, and plant systems and homeostasis.
George Wolfe brings 30+ years of teaching and curriculum writing experience to Thinkwell Biology. His teaching career started in Zaire, Africa where he taught Biology, Chemistry, Political Economics, and Physical Education in the Peace Corps. Since then, he's taught in the Western NY region, spending the last 20 years in the Rochester City School District where he is the Director of the Loudoun Academy of Science.
Besides his teaching career, Mr. Wolfe has also been an Emmy-winning television host, fielding live questions for the PBS/WXXI production of Homework Hotline as well as writing and performing in "Football Physics" segments for the Buffalo Bills and the Discover Channel.
His contributions to education have been extensive, serving on multiple advisory boards including the Cornell Institute of Physics Teachers, the Cornell Institute of Biology Teachers and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics SportSmarts curriculum project. He has authored several publications including "The Nasonia Project", a lab series built around the genetics and behaviors of a parasitic wasp.
He has received numerous awards throughout his teaching career including the NSTA Presidential Excellence Award, The National Association of Biology Teachers Outstanding Biology Teacher Award for New York State, The Shell Award for Outstanding Science Educator, and was recently inducted in the National Teaching Hall of Fame.
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