The association between birth weight, season of birth, and latitude
McGrath, John J., Barnett, Adrian G., Eyles, Darryl W.
Annals of Human Biology, Vol. 32, pp 547- 559, Sept/Oct 2005.
This article tries to determine the reasoning behind the fluctuation in birth
weight compared with birth month and latitude. Researchers have discovered that
babies born in Spring months tend to be slightly heavier compared to Summer and
Autumn births. Also, they have discovered that populations at high latitudes
have heavier birth weights compared to populations living closer to the
equator. After researching studies that examine latitude and seasonal
fluctuations in birth weight, this study is looking to find the underlying
biometeorological components contributing to these seasonal fluctuations in
birth weight. This article is interesting in that understanding the
environmental factors that contribute to birth weight may have an effect from a
public health perspective. Could this help our country's problem of obesity?
Birth weight is a subject that students can relate to, whether it is their own
birth weight or it is a sibling's or their own child's birth weight. It is an
interesting article that students may find helpful and/or relevant in their
“Early Life Influences on the Development of Allergy and Asthma – How Early is
Early?”, S. W. Turner and G. Devereux, Clinical & Experimental Allergy, Vol.
37, pg. 163, February 2007.
This article postulates reasons for childhood (and beyond) allergies and asthma.
It suggests factors (or lack thereof) that can predict a child to be asthmatic
or have allergies, and it also suggest ways to possibly prevent it. While I was
reading it, I thought about how are allergies and asthma related? Why is it that
there is a strong correlation between people with asthma and people with
allergies? Which theory “should” we trust about the cause of asthma/allergies?
I believe this would be a wonderful article/topic to discuss in class because so
many people are affected by allergies and/or asthma whether directly or they
know someone who is directly affected. There are different types of asthma we
could talk about- allergy-induced, exercise- induced, the topic can be
stretched a lot. There are also a lot of different types of allergies we could
discuss- food, dust, etc.
“Thirteen New p53 Gene Mutants Identified Among 41 Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines”; Marijke Wasielewski, Fons Elstrodt, Jan G.M. Klijn, Els M.J.J. Berns and Mieke Schutte; Breast Cancer Research and Treatment; Volume 99; pages 97-101; September 2006
The questions posed in this article are along the lines of studying the p53 tumor suppressor gene, and trying to find a way to incorporate this gene into further studies of breast cancer. Scientists found out that this gene is frequently mutated in breast cancer, and would like to figure out more ways that this gene would help in the pharmacological areas of breast cancer research. I feel that this subject would be interesting to study in class because it will raise more awareness of what genes and heredity traits that breast cancer is related to. I feel that this research article is related to what we are talking about in class concerning genes, and heredity. I think that if more students were aware of what causes breast cancer, maybe it will raise their interest of the subject and hopefully lead to more people wanting to develop more efficient ways of fighting breast cancer. This may even lead to the discovery of a cure for breast cancer.
Article- Population health, environment, and economic development
Authors-Shilu Tong, Rod Gerber, Rodney Wolff
Journal- Global Change and Human Health, Volume 3, NO 1 (2002), Pages 36-41
In this article the environment is questioned, as it relates to its two largest
threats, population, and economic development. Although global warming is a
subject many cringe at or even find humor in, it is a vital issue. The authors
explain an almost domino effect of more environmental woes to come, and focus
on those at hand. From discussing global warming one can receive a better
understanding in the world they live in, and perhaps even think twice before
taking those extra 30 minuets in the shower, or giving the car a rest and using
a bicycle instead.
The Novel and Endemic Pathogen Hypotheses: Competing Explanations for the Origin
of Emerging Infectious Diseases of Wildlife. Lara J Rachowicz, Jean-Marc Hero,
Ross A Alford, John W. Taylor, Jess A.T. Morgan, Vance T. Vredenburg, James P.
Collins, Cheryl J. Briggs. Conventional Biology, Volume 19, Issue 5, Page 1441
– 1448, October 2005.
This paper discusses how emerging infectious diseases, which are diseases “that
have been recently discovered; have recently increased in incidence, geography,
or host range; or are newly evolved,” originate. The authors present two
hypotheses that could explain the sudden outbreak of these diseases, although
they focus specifically on Chytidiomycosis as an example, a disease that has
caused the death of many frogs throughout America and Australia. The two
hypotheses they suggest are known as the novel pathogen hypothesis, which is
based on the idea that the disease is causing an increased fatality rate
because it has moved into a new geographic area, and the endemic pathogen
hypothesis, which states that the pathogen has always been present in the
geographic area, but that the range or number of animals (or amphibians, in the
case of Chytidiomycosis,) affected by the disease has suddenly increased due to
factors such as a change or defect in the species’ immune system. The article
goes into detail about both hypotheses, analyzing the theories and evidence
behind them, as well as discussing the conservation implications that emerge
from the spread of Chytidiomycosis. However, the article is not restricted to
the idea that frogs are dying of an emerging infectious disease. I think that
it should be kept in mind that in studying the origins of emerging infectious
diseases in general, we may get a better understanding of how these diseases
affect a wide range of living things, from trees that are killed by Chestnut
Blight to humans that die of HIV.
Effect of immunisation with cancer procoagulant on the growth of Walker 256
carcinosarcoma cells in rats, M. Kamocka, K. Kaplinska, W. P. Meilicki, Clinical
and Experimental Medicine, Volume 6 Number 3, p. 119-123, October 2006.
The authors of the article posed the question "can immunisation using cancer
procoagulant slow/reduce the risk of development of malignant tissue?" By
immunising a group of rats (and using another as a control group) and then
introducing Walker 256 cells into both groups, the authors eliminated their
hypothesis that cancer procoagulant does not reduce the risk of developing
malignant diseases. This article would be interesting to discuss in class
because cancer/malignant tumors are currently hugely prevalent "diseases".
Currently, there is no lasting effective treatment and certainly no cure.
Understanding these medical breakthroughs is important for judging the
viability of certain treatments and, ultimately, for coming up with a better
form of treatment or a cure.
“The Metabolic and Psychological Effects of an Insulin Regimen Change”
By: Phillip Pickstock
Journal: Diabetes and Primary Care
Volume 8 Issue 1
This article discusses the effects of an insulin regimen change for diabetes
patients, attempting to increase the users’ physical and psychological
wellbeing. In the experiment 30 diabetes patients were switched from their
usual insulin regiments to a basal-bolus regimen using glargine as the basal
insulin. After partaking in the new insulin regiment a number of patients
claimed an improvement in their general wellbeing, physical and psychological,
prompting an expansion in the experiment and a questionnaire to be filled out
prior to and after the insulin regimen change. The results of the experiment
state that a basal-bolus insulin regimen using glargine leads to a more
positive psychological attitude and physical wellbeing.
This article would make for an interesting class, because diabetes is a disease
that affects an increasing number of people in the population. I have friends
and family members affected by this disease, so I am personally invested in
attempting to make life easier for them. Scientific improvements in the
treatment and prevention of diabetes are extremely prevalent in the current
field of science making it a constant topic of interest among many individuals,
creating an appeal to discuss this article in class.
"Resistance training, and IGF involvement in the maintenance of muscle mass during the aging process ", Martin L. Adamo and Roger P. Farrar, Adaptive Cellular Plasticity in Aging, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp. 310-331, August 2006.
This article would be interesting for class study because it discusses human loss of muscle mass as we age, as well as the effects of resistance training in response to this process. In the article discusses an experiment which was conducted in order to determine whether the loss of muscle mass was due to a loss of the number of muscle fibers or a decline in fiber cross-sectional area, or a combination of both. It also tested to see whether or not exercise contributed in stalling the process of this decline, and what types of exercise had what sorts of effects on the loss. Despite the length of the article, I believe it would be an appropriate topic for class discussion because it pertains to an issue very real to us (the fact that we will eventually age), while at the same time being very relevant to the biological processes of the human body.
Weinberg's differential rule reconsidered. Johan Fellman and Aldur W. Eriksson.
Human Biology 78.3 (June 2006): p253 (23).
In this article Johan Fellman and Aldur W. Eriksson analyze Weinberg’s
differential rule, which states: “The rate of dizygotic twinning is twice the
rate of twin maternities in which the twins are of opposite sex. The
monozygotic twinning rate is the difference between the rates of same-sex and
opposite-sex twin sets. Weinberg's differential rule is implicitly based on the
assumptions that the probability of a male equals the probability of a female
and that the sexes in a dizygotic twin set are independent.” Weinberg’s
differential rule has been a topic of discussion for a long time, yet, no one
has been able to disprove his theory. In this article, Fellman and Eriksson use
several new methods to look at twining data, twining data from Finland and
Sweden, and extensive research from other scientists to try and disprove
Weinberg’s differential rule. This article presents many questions, such as:
How is the twining data affected when contraceptives are first introduced? Is
there data to explain the introduction of in vitro fertilization? Fellman and
Eriksson conclude that Weinberg’s differential rule, despite its simplicity, is
quite accurate is determining actual birth registers.
“Adenoviral Vectors: Systemic Delivery and Tumor Targeting”, Nicola K Green and Leonard W Seymour, Cancer Gene Therapy, Volume 9, Number 12, Pages 1036-1042, December 2002.
Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy are soon to be overshadowed by a new and upcoming treatment that ingeniously combines rudimentary knowledge of biology with state of the art science to form a blend of technology that rivals all other scientific medication. Viral gene therapy is a procedure that consists of injecting a virus into a cancer patient and allowing the virus to run its natural course but while doing so it is destroying cancer cells. This is a meticulous process that still has several important questions left unanswered such as: How to inject the virus into the body without it being destroyed by the immune system; how to make the virus target the cancerous cells and not healthy ones; and what is the best virus for the job?
Solid Organ Transplantation: Referral, Management, and Outcomes in HIV-Infected Patients. Michelle E. Roland. The Aids Reader. Vol 16.12. P664. December 1, 2006.
Due to the fact that many patients suffering from HIV are now living longer lives, the issues associated with organ transplantation for these individuals with the disease begin to arise. While it seems as though there is more risk and health care management associated with those suffering from HIV in need of a transplant than those not living with the disease, studies suggest that these procedures are quite possible and necessary. This particular article focuses on the progression and maintenance of HIV patients in need of liver and kidney transplants, thereby also discussing the criteria and other diseases and infections associated with both HIV and organ transplantation.
The section entitled, "Who Should Be Referred for Transplant Evaluation and When?" centers around the three main focal points of end-stage liver disease, chronic kidney disease, and HIV-specific criteria. According to the article, "As AIDS-related mortality has declined, mortality secondary to end-stage liver disease has increased. HIV-infected patients are at significant risk for acquiring an infection with HCV and HBV, and the risk of development of end-stage liver disease from viral hepatitis is higher in this population." Chronic kidney disease is also a variable involving different forms of dialysis as a risk to HIV positive patients needing organ transplantation. As far as criteria go for getting the transplant, patients should have a "relatively intact immune system" and "controllable HIV viremia". For kidney transplant candidates, CD4+T-cell counts are taken into consideration. Furthermore, HIV RNA levels are also closely monitored for those receiving antiretroviral therapy.
The article then goes on to discuss both liver and kidney transplant candidates, how organ allocation works, pre-transplantation challenges, drug interactions, Hepatitis B and C management, and post-transplantation challenges. In the liver transplant portion, Roland discusses MELD scores with fifteen or greater seen for phase one evaluation and ten to fourteen seeing only a hepatologist. The article states, "In the United States, liver allocation is based on severity of illness, with the sickest patients receiving priority according to MELD score." As far as drug interactions go, there seems to be "interactions between the common immunosuppressant medications (eg, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, and sirolimus) and antiretroviral protease inhibitors as a result of metabolism by cytochrome P-450 3A ensymes." Other post-transplantation challenges inculde multiple medications, side effects, and depression.
wraps up the article with ongoing clinical studies, ethics, and
policy. In short, the need for these organ transplantations are
continuing to grow as new medications for HIV continue to push the
brink of medical technology.
Title: Perspectives on the Animal Mind*
Author: Robert A. Skipper
Journal Title: Journal Biology and Philosophy
Volume: 19, Number 4 / September, 2004
Date of publication: SpringerLink Date Thursday, January 13, 2005
Title: Wild Justice and Fair Play: Cooperation, Forgiveness, and Morality in A
Author: Marc Bekoff
Journal Title: Journal Biology and Philosophy
Volume: 19, Number 4 / September, 2004
Date of publication: SpringerLink Date Thursday, January 13, 2005
I am including two separate items. The first article is the INTRO to "Journal
Biology and Philosophy" and the second article is a true article in the same
journal. The reason why I am doing this is because the intro mentions things I
want to learn that are not directly said in the second article. The topic I
want to learn about is animal emotions or what the experts refer to it as,
*** I want to learn about animal emotions and the animal mind. And answer
questions like, "What is it like to be another animal?" or "Can animals be
moral beings or do they merely act as if they are?" I want to learn if animals,
non human beings, have a 'mentality' and explore their mental capacities.
I want to study this because it brings several interesting topics to mind. If
animals do have emotions, it deals with moral and health issues like
vegetarianism, or topics such as; zoos, deforestation, pollution, and other
environmental issues. Lastly, this is a great topic to talk about in our class
because people can relate personally to this issue because people have a
definite opinion about eating meat, or most people have pets they care about.
TREATING BREAST CANCER. (BREAST CANCER: STRATEGIES FOR LIVING.)Christopher I. Li, Kathleen E. Malone, Janet R. Daling. Cancer Causes & Control. June 2006 v17 i5 p695(9).
In my opinion I believe this is a good article to study about and learn more about. It gives people information, especially women, on what to do if they get breast cancer. I personally would like to know more about this because I have a family member who has breast cancer and I would like to know more about it and see what things she can do to help herself and I want to know how I can prevent it and what I need to look for to find out if I might get it in the future. This is a topic that not many people talk about so I would like to learn more about it.
Telomeres and the Ethics of Human Cloning , Fritz Allhoff, The American Journal
of Bioethics, 4, 2 , 2004.
The article explains how each time a cell divides the telomere shortens, cell
division then stops when the telomeres become really short, and the cells
consequently begin to age. The question posed in the article is whether cloning
is morally permissible, knowing that the clone will senesce earlier than someone
who was created through sexual reprodution. The reason this article would make
for an interesting class is because it explains how our DNA and aging are
correlated; when our cells divide and replicate our telomeres shorten and the
more we age. I belive it's interesting because this is one of the reason we age
and also because many couples who cannot have children are cloning, but
consequently the clone will have the same size of telomeres as the original
person as well as a shortened life expectancy.
Immunoepigenetics: The Unseen Side of Cancer Immunoediting, AE Germenis and V
Karanikas, Immunology and Cell Biology, vol 85, 55-59 pp, 2007.
Question: How does the immune system interact with cancer cells?
The immune system is known to generally attack cancer cells. However, there is a
theory that states that the immune system may interact with cancer cells in a
way that can make these cells resistant to the immune system itself.
"The core of this theory embraces the concept that the immune system on the one
hand protects the body from cancer and on the other it shapes the
immunogenicity of these cancers, thus presents a persuasive rationalization of
the resistance of tumors against the immune response" (Germenis ans Karanikas)
Cancer is a disesase in which abnormal body cells start to reproduce without
control. Damaged DNA produce defective proteins that regulate cell division.
Our body has several systems that make our organism function properly. The
immune system works as our defense mechanism; it protect us against bacteria,
viruses and other foreign molecules. The immune system attacks cancer cells
when it recognizes that these cells are not a part of our organism.
I think that this article would be of high interst to the class because we will
see how damaged DNA can lead to death, and how our own body acts according to
Cancer is a very special disease that is turning to be highly common. Many of us
may know someone with cancer and I think that we would like to know more
specifically how this disorder functions with our body, and how science is
helping us to discover other facts about it that can lead to other cures or
ways to prevent it.
Robot control with biological cells; Soichiro Tsuda, Klaus-Peter Zauner, &
Yukio-Pegio Gunji; Biosystems; Volume 87, pgs. 215-223; February 2007.
This article is a result of testing for the possibility of using live cells to
produce robotic movement. The experimenters succeeded in creating a culture of
specific plasmodium cells that were used as natural parallel processors.
Special properties of the plasmodium cells allow them to be manipulated by the
robot's sensors. Inserting these cells into a robotic circuit makes it possible
for a robot to cell interface to be developed. This interface is the connection
upon which signals are sent to the robot's legs. When the cells receive these
signals they begin to oscillate and thus produce movement. For this to work
the robot's structure must be able to respond to stimuli from its environment.
The relationship between living and non-living objects is very interesting and
would be a unique topic to discuss in class. Technology is improving to the
point where robots have incredibly human characteristics. This study proves
that there could be humanoid robots in the near future.
The Role of Neuronal Complexes in Human X-Linked Brain Diseases. Laumonnier
F; Cuthbert PC; Grant SG. American journal of human genetics [0002-9297]
yr:2007 vol:80 iss:2 pg:205.
Basically this article is about diseases carried on the X chromosome. The
article focuses specifically on X-linked NRC/MASC genes, examining the mutated
proteins that cause defects such as mental retardation, human psychiatric
disorders, and autism. It also discusses pre and post synaptic
neurotransmitter release, and how they affect processes discussed in class,
such as transcription, and DNA synthesis.
The article answers a series of five questions. First, what number of genes
that encode the components of a complex are concerned with human disease?
Second, are there similarities in the phenotypes that would show that the
mutations have interfered with the overall function of the complex? Third, what
do the human phenotypes reveal about the physiological or cellular functions of
the complex? Fourth, can the gene lists be used to discover more
disease-causing mutations? Fifth, can understanding the interaction of proteins
in the complexes lead to more knowledge about other genetic interactions?
Honestly, I didn’t understand a lot of what this article was talking about. It
got very technical, and used a lot of vocabulary that I was not familiar with.
However, I think that the concept of the paper is very interesting, and I’m sure
that you could put it in simpler terms for the class. This paper is significant
because it discusses the importance of the X chromosome in behavioral issues.
Fitness Focus Copy-and- Share: Carbohydrates, Thompson, Dixie L. Ph.D.,
ACSM's Health and Fitness Journal, 10(6):4, November/December 2006.
What are Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are the source of our body's energy. There are many types and are
found in foods we eat everyday. Our body uses carbohydrates as fuel in the form
of glucose but can be stored as glycogen.
What is the Recommended Level?
A person's daily calories that come from carbohydrates should be about 45%-65%.
The choice of which carbohydrates to eat are very important to some people to
ensure adequate nutrition.
What is the Role in Athletic Performance?
Athletes should and tend to consume more carbohydrates. A diet consisting of 60%
to 70% of carbohydrates is not uncommon for athletes. If during an intense event
of more than an hour, many athletes consume carbohydrates while excersing.
Glucose-containing beverages are very effective for the keeping the body's
glucose levels up. This is very common for marathon and triathalon athletes.
I feel this article would be a great one to discuss in class because nutrition
is a very key subject to many people. With all the new diets these days that
cut out carbohydrates it is very important for people to learn why we do need
them and that they are an essestial to our daily diet. We just need to know
what kind of carbohydrates to eat and how to eat them in moderation which i
feel we could discuss. Also, how our body uses carbs to convert to energy in
our digestion cycle. This article could also be helpful because it would gain
the attention of athletes on why and what kind of carbs they should eat before
or during their events. Many of my friends and I run and are doing marathons
and certain carbs are good to eat and new drinks that are made just for these
events that are loaded with carbs. I can't wait to study more on this topic!
Fitness Focus Copy-and-Share: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Thompson, Dixie L. Ph.D., FACSM
ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal, Volume 11 (1), page 4
This article focuses on Omega-3 Fatty Acids. People are crazed with dieting and
constantly concerned with avoiding fatty foods. Dietary Guidelines, however,
suggest that 20% to 35% of an adult's diet be composed of fats. Omega-3 acids
come from either plant or animal sources, and they are good for your diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that have multiple double
bonds limiting the presence of hydrogen, which fat is composed of.
"Sudden Unexpected Death in a Child With Varicella Caused by Necrotizing Fasciitis and Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome," Hidalgo-Carballal, A MD*; Suárez-Mier, M P. MD, PhD, The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, Volume 27(1), pp 93-96, March 2006
How did the doctors not catch any abnormality upon his first visit to the hospital? Does this mean that they did not look close enough at the boy or that the onset of the affects from these organisms is extremely acute? What caused this large amount of infections from different organisms? Is everyone that has this disease (chicken pox) as likely to develop the same complications?
What I find interesting:
No matter the major advances that we have made in medicine in the past 100 years we can still be powerless to tiny organisms. The enormous affect that these tiny organisms can have on a human, especially when the immune system is already suppressed, is amazing and still a mystery in many ways to scientists. In addition, the wide variety of organisms that were present in the boy's body shows that all of us are surrounded by dangerous organisms such as these all the time but are not aware of it. It would also be interesting to see if more research will be done to perhaps prevent such awful complications such as this case from occuring.
Edible Coatings for Fresh-Cut Fruits, G.I. Olivas and G.V. Barbosa-Cánovas,
Critical Reaviews in Food Science and Nutirion, Vol. 45 Issue 7/8, pp. 657-670,
This article seeks to find out if fresh-cut fruits can be coated with edible
films that slow down the natural processes that result in browning, textural
change, and spoiling. The article also discusses the varying chemical and
biological effects of edible films and how they interact with the properties of
the fruit. As a result, different types of fruit require that the coatings be
made of specific edible materials. The article also attempts to find out the
effects of the environment (i.e. – relative humidity and temperature) on the
efficiency of edible coatings on fresh-cut fruit.
This article would be great to discuss in class because it illustrates a
real-life application of some the topics discussed in class, such as the
function of lipids and molecular changes. Also, I think that this article is
relevant to the class because many college students may not have to time to
prepare meals with fresh-cut fruits or vegetables and may spark further
interest into researching and developing this convenient commodity. This topic
also brings up the importance of addressing medical conditions such as diabetes
or obesity, which seem to be increasingly prevalent in American society.
studies. Vervoort, Sigrid CJM a; Borleffs, Jan CC a; Hoepelman, Andy IM a; Grypdonck,
Mieke. AIDS. 21(3):271-281, January 30, 2007.
HAART is a lifelong treatment with antiretroviral therapy has significantly
improved life expectancy and turned HIV and AIDS from a terminal infection into
a chronic disease. However, to reach the maximum benefits of HAART, there is a
strong need for adherence.
This article examines what is known about the problem from the patient’s
perspective in order to develop patient-tailored intervention procedures. It
also explores the meaning people give to situations which are helpful in laying
bare the processes that are at play in adherence. To develop an intervention
tailored to an individual situation, it is crucial to understand the way people
manage their daily lives when taking HAART and the interaction of this process
The issues presented are:
Socioeconomic factors such as age, race, and educational levels due not
influence the adherence a patient has with HAART. Nonetheless, this article
gives examples of situations in which the faithfulness to HAART will result
positively or negatively.
Healthcare team and system related factors related to the loyalty to HAART
involve precise instructions that give knowledge about the relationship between
resistance and medical follow-ups. Constant encouragement from doctors, nurses
and even pharmacists stimulate loyalty to HAART. However, adherence can be
affected negatively by groups such as healthcare companies.
Unlike the issues previously explored, condition-related factors such as viral
load and actually living with HIV, doesn’t correlate with adherence. For
example, a symptom of HIV is positively associated with disloyalty.
The most significantly associated with unfaithfulness to HAART is
therapy-related factors. In this section, the level of adherence is evaluated
depending on the phase in which the patient began the treatment.
Patients with distress, depression, or forgetfulness issues, patient-related
factors, tent to be associated with disloyalty. Another important variable is
knowledge, inadequate confidence in the treatment results in disloyalty to
taking the treatment.
Issues presented in this article are of importance because it aids us to
understand what HIV victims have to go through. It is an interesting issue to
focus on because though a “cure” has yet to be found, there are alternative
ways in which scientists have tried to make it better (HAART), however without
the patients cooperation there is no way to know if treatments is being
effective. This article also centers on the disorders that cause disloyalty to
the treatment such as distress, anxiety, forgetfulness, and depression.
A Possible Link Between Prenatal Exposure to Famine and Breast Cancer: A
Preliminary Study. American Journal of Human Biology. R.C. Painter. Volume
18, Issue 6 (p 853-856). 12 Oct. 2006
Can prenatal famine increase breast cancer incidence? This article focuses on a
study of 475 women born around the 1944-1945 Dutch famine, women exposed to
prenatal famine more often reported a history of breast cancer than nonexposed
women (hazard ratio, 2.6; 95% confidence interval, 0.9-7.7). They also had
alterations in reproductive risk factors.
I believe that this article will make for an interesting class is because we
could discuss the relationship that cancer may have with lower energy intake
from foods during gestation. In this study a person is considered prenatally
exposed if their average daily ration (for adults) consists of less than 1,000
calories during a 13-week period of gestation. Women who were conceived during
famine had a higher percent of breast cancer. This would make for a good class
presentation because we could correlate a healthy diet with breast cancer
Predictive testing for complex diseases using multiple genes: Fact or fiction?
Janssens, A Cecile J. W. PhD1; Aulchenko, Yurii S. PhD2; Elefante, Stefano PhD2;
Borsboom, Gerard J. J. M. MSc1; Steyerberg, Ewout W. PhD1; van Duijn, Cornelia
Genetics in Medicine Volume 8(7) pgs 395-400 July 2006
This article did a study on the effectiveness of using predictive gene testing
in order to find people who were at high risk to develop a form of the disease.
Some people believe that eventual diseases can be predicted simply by testing a
patient’s DNA. The study found that genetic profiling can be highly accurate,
between 80 and 95 percent, although not all genes are known to be linked to
certain diseases. Further improvements could be made in doing this type of
testing such as the hereditability, and prevalence of the disease in patients.
At best this process will only reveal high risk opponents because due to other
factors, i.e. environment , the disease could potentially be avoided, but
overall the method was proved to be very useful and a significant indication of
the future of medicine. The study, however, is just a prediction of what could
be possible. With current technology we are unable to accurately assign genes
to each type of disease, but that is something that is currently being working
on by leading genetic researchers.
I believe this article would be interesting to discuss in class, because it
shows the future of medicine by using genetics to predict diseases. Genes are
the basic building blocks of our entire body, and with predictive gene testing
all the guesswork could be taken out of medicine. Also, if this method is
improved, and more genes are tested, it could in theory be perfectly accurate
in predicting who will get these diseases. Preventive treatment can then be
started as early as birth and improve many people’s quality of life.
Theoretically, a person could know from birth what would eventually kill them.
I find it interesting that the future of the medical field is shifting more and
more towards our DNA, and diseases could be prevented using gene therapy.
After a little bit of background information the article investigates linkage disequilibrium (LD), which says nearby genetic markers may be associated with ADHD. The article proceeds to researching haplotypes and how specific combinations of alleles at different loci aid to the cause of ADHD. Looking at the complex nature of genes and how much they can vary gives an even deeper view for our class into the world of genetics. This study also takes into account how the population affects allelic heterogeneity; thus, gene-wide testing is used to eliminate some of the problems. This part of the article exemplifies one of the many ways to study genes, and to acknowledge variables in conducting an experiment.
The article goes on to understand why some candidate genes are considered not associated with ADHD due to insufficient sample sizes and noncomprehensive analyses of individual genes. It then continues by looking into environmental causes of the disorder along with heritability and familiarity. The article seeks how much the environment leads to ADHD and what role/ how ADHD is transferred through inheritance. This currently coincides with our recent discussion of nature vs. nurture. However, like in most cases, both nature and nurture contribute to the disorder.
This would be an interesting article to further analyze because it is directly related to the current topics: genetics, inherited genes, and gene-environment interactions. This direct correlation may give students an easier or helpful way of knowing how genes function while studying yet another amazing aspect of how we as humans function in general. Having an actual disorder to study such as ADHD may also give a better understanding of how a number of diseases/disorders are caused. A disorder as common as ADHD, which has no cure, should be acknowledge and researched. ADHD is a neurological disorder, and any study that can lead to a greater comprehension of how our brains work certainly makes for an intriguing discussion.
Article Title: Migraine headache relief after transcatheter closure of patent
Author’s Names: Spencer, Kimberly A. Krabill, Lance Diehl, Sheena Aurora and
William A. Gray Mark Reisman, Ryan D. Christofferson, Jill Jesurum, John V.
Olsen, Merrill P.
Journal Title: Journal of the American College of Cardiology
Volume: 45 No. 4
Page Numbers: 493-495
Date: October 18, 2004
Description: This journal article looked at the effect of patent foramen ovale
(PFO) closure on patients with previous paradoxical embolism with respect to
migraines. PFO is where the flap between the two atriums of the heart is not
closed properly. Usually at birth this section is closed because it is no
longer needed for the child to receive oxygen rich blood. The research found
that in patients with previous artery blockage and strokes that closing this
flap (PFO) greatly reduced the number of migraines had by the person. I would
like to take a closer look at other causes of migraines and what exactly is
happening when this terrible pain is felt.
Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease: Genetic and cellular pathogenesis
Journal Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences (CMLS)
Issue Volume 64, Number 1 / January, 2007
Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease (PMD) is a genetic disorder that affects
the growth of myelin sheath, which is a kind of covering that insulates the
nerve fibers in the brain. The disease is caused by a mutation on the
chromosomes that codes for the myelin protein. The myelin layer is
responsible for the correct transmission of impulses along the nerves.
This disease normally appears in the early childhood. It normally
affects motor abilities and muscle development. There is no cure for PMD.
There is only symptomatic and supportive treatment.
PMD is really interesting because there is no cure for it. The article
gives a description of the disease, its causes, effects and possible
solutions or treatment. I think it is a great topic to learn during class
because it is related to human diseases, genes, chromosomes and protein
"Predictive Genetic Testing Raises New Professional Challenges for Psychologists." Pelletier, Sylvie, and Michel Dorval. Canadian Psychology 45 (1): 16-30.
The main focus of Pelletier and Dorval's work is on the widespread use of
genetic testing and knowledge in the medical field, as well as the consequences
of over using this rather usteady knowledge. As mentioned in the article,
genetic testing is a fairly young science that is often practiced without all
the neccessary information. Luckily, genetic testing and research is a daily
task for many scientists and reasearchers who hope to make positive
developments with this knowledge. More interesting, though, is the impact of
genetic testing on infectious diseases. More and more of these diseases are
found to be the cause of genetics as opposed to a set of factors.
“Forensic Methods for Characterizing Watercraft from Watercraft-Induced Wounds
on the Florida Manatee.” Rommel, Sentiel A. et al. Marine Mammal Science. vol.
23. p. 110-132. Jan. 2007.
Studies have been done to determine the watercrafts responsible for the deaths
of many manatees in Florida. Watercrafts can not only inflict both sharp- and
blunt-force traumas on manatees, but they can even kill the animal. The most
common cause of death among manatees is watercraft-related accidents.
Mortality among Florida manatees due to watercraft-related accidents is 1,253
out of 5,033 (24.9%). This represents a significant percentage of deaths.
Studies have been done to determine the watercrafts that are responsible for
The wounds of the manatees are examined to determine what type of watercraft has
caused the wound. The scars, wound axis, length, width, depth, and cut span are
all examined. Propellers can produce wounds of different shapes depending on
the depth and angle of penetration. The most accurate method to determine the
propeller is to use propeller-circle templates that can be fitted to the wound.
Plastic templates are used to make it easier to fit wounds that are not
During the years between 2000 and 2004 there were 396 watercraft-related deaths,
227 had at least one recognizable propeller cuts or scrapes, 138 were caused by
trauma from both propellers and nonpropellers components, 107 were caused by
trauma only from nonpropeller components of watercraft, and there were 62
carcasses that were deformed, decomposed, or had missing data so that propeller
and/or nonpropeller damage could not be differentiated.
There are many variables that can not be determined with the propeller-circle
template, including: deformation of manatee tissue, vessel direction, vessel
speed, and change in sea state. Chronic propeller wounds also hinder the
analysis of the wounds. Although the data collected is somewhat skewed by
these flaws, the fact remains that manatees are killed at an astounding rate by
watercrafts. This shows that something needs to be done to protect the
Bulking Up: Helping Clients Gain Weight Healthfully, Clark, Nancy M.S., R.D.,
FACSM, FADA, ACSM's Health and Fitness Journal, Volume 9(5), September/October
2005, pp 15-19
The purpose of this article is to inform young people, especially athletes, how
to gain weight properly. The author describes how most people belive that
eating fatty foods and eliminating exercise will do the trick when in reality
there is a healthier way to gain desireble weight. She suggests a diet rich in
carbohydrates, calories, and protein supplements. She also includes a list of
tips such as eating three meals a day, eating heavier portions, doing
resistance exercises, and drinking healthy drinks such as juice and milk. The
author also states that people should look at their family genetic traits to
see if they are more likley to gain weight easily. She describes a study in
which 200 prisoners volunteered to gain 20-25% above their normal weights and
only 20 were able to reach their goal. Some couldn't even gain more than 10 lbs
in over 30 weeks.
I chose this article because we focus too much as a society on how to lose
weight as well as in diseases concerned with weight loss such as Bulemia and
Anorexia. We tend to forget that there is another side to this issue. I think
that it is just as important to know how to maintain or even increase our
weights in a healthy manner. Even if losing or gaining pounds isn't the issue
it is important to know what type of foods are best for us.
Randomized open-label trial of two simplified, class-sparing regimens following
a first suppressive three or four-drug regimen
Fischl, Margaret Aa; Collier, Ann Cb; Mukherjee, A Lisac; Feinberg, Judith Ed;
Demeter, Lisa Me; Tebas, Pablof; Giuliano, Marinag; Dehlinger, Marjorieh;
Garren, Kevini; Brizz, Barbaraj; Bassett, Rolandc; for the Adult AIDS Clinical
Trials Group A5116 Study Team
AIDS: Official Jorunal of the International Aids Society
Volume 21(3), 30 January 2007, p 325-333
The basic question that was posed for this test had to deal with the treatment
of HIV. This test questioned both the effectiveness and the safety of switching
from the normal three or four regimen treatment to a more simpler two regimen
treatment. I find this to be an interesting topic because I find the treatment
of HIV to be interesting. The idea of the different treatments working in
different stages of the HIV virus replication is astonishing to me. I am
interested in seeing what treatment is most effective. Whether it be an
integrase inhibitor. protease inhibitor, etc. I would also like to be able to
go more in depth of what exactly each treatment does at each stage of the
replication. This journal addresses the fact that HIV is mutating rapidly which
causes some of the new formed viruses to be resistant to the medication. The new
treatment proposed in the study is also supposed to make taking the medicine
easier on the patient. Instead of having to take 4 different forms of
treatment, the test only has two treatments. I would like to be able to study
the resistance of the virus and see how the patients cells react to this. All
in all I am basically interested in how the treatments work with both the
patient's cells and the virus and which treatment is most effective.
"Daily news alerts selected by AIDS Treatment News, James, John S., AIDS
Treatment News, 420, Oct. 2006
I believe this is an appropriate article because we are living in a time when
AIDS dominates the media and now the consumer's life, as every big company
wants to be associated with stopping the AIDS epidemic. It is a highly
important subject that should be addressed promptly.
Adaptive attentional attunement: evidence for mating-related perceptual bias,
Jon K. Maner, Matthew T. Gailliot, C. Nathan DeWall, Evolution and Human
Behavior 28, 28-36, 2007
The article asks the whether the way we perceive physical attractiveness is
inherited or if it is learned through our surroundings. Also, if this is
learned through nature can it be changed if our surroundings are changed? This
would be an interesting article to discuss in class because we would finally
know why we perceive physical attractiveness the way we do.
"Ancient DNA Recovered by a Non-destrucive Method." Janice C. Cobb. Ancient
Biomolecules, Volume 4, pages 169-172; March 5, 2002.
This article provides especially relevant information to the material we have
been studying thus far in class, but it also goes a bit further to add some new
and compelling facts. The article describes a study that was done involving
ancient teeth found in a cemetery in Anyang, China. In the past, there had
been problems with extracting usable DNA from these ancient teeth because of
the destructive methods used to get it: bone milling, crushing and sectioning.
These methods can damage the teeth, making it difficult to retrieve good DNA
samples. As a result, a new technique known as the Reverse-Root-Canal was to
be used with the newly discovered Chinese teeth. These teeth are believed to
have belonged to members of the Shang Dynasty hundreds of years ago. The teeth
were in pretty good shape, and the discoverers wanted to take advantage of them.
They used the Reverse-Root-Canal to extract each tooth's dentin, which contains
ancient DNA (aDNA) and other biomolecules that can be used to study the
lifestyle, habits, diets, and other aspects of the ancient people's lives. The
discovery was important to multiple fields of study, and the new extraction
technique proved to be an effective and safe method of recovering aDNA for
further investigation. One example of the dentin's usefulness is that the
researchers discovered that the teeth's owners had cases of tuberculosis,
syphilis, and leprosy. They also made observations about what kind of food the
ancient Chinese people had been eating by examining the teeth. In the end, the
Reverse-Root-Canal provided a means for extracting important ancient
biomolecules from the remains of old teeth in a manner which would not harm or
compromise the information in the teeth, which was a significant step for
biology at the time. I found it amazing that so much insight can be gained
just by examing someone's teeth, especially teeth that have been buried, and
decaying, for centuries. This study is important to our class because it
provides a clear example of how our biomolecules can tell so much about us,
specifically what our DNA can tell about us- even hundreds of years from now
when we're dead and buried! It's also important to note that DNA is found
everywhere in our body, even our teeth, and that our teeth can be some of the
best indicators of many of our characteristics and habits whether we realize it
Authors: Glass, Tracy Ra; Young, Jima; Vernazza, Pietro Lc; Rickenbach, Martind;
Weber, Rainerf; Cavassini, Matthiase; Hirschel, Bernardg; Battegay, Manuelb;
Bucher, Heiner Ca,b; and the Swiss HIV Cohort Study,
Source: AIDS. 18(12):1707-1714, August 20, 2004
The question this article is trying to answer is whether or not unsafe sexual
practices increase among HIV-infected people. I think this would be a good
article to use because data came from a western culture similar to ours, it can
be related to our lives. Also, we have briefly discussed AIDS and HIV during
class, this article would allow us to go more in depth into that subject.
M. Pfeiffer, Leonard Chang, James J. Goedert, Robert J. Biggar and Eric A.
Engels, AIDS: Official Journal of the International Aids Society, Volume 21,
Pages 207-213, January 2007.
This article explores the disease of AIDS and the sufferers' likelihood of
encountering other fatal illnesses (specifically, lung cancer). It conducts
research to determine if people with AIDS are more susceptible to infection
than the general population. It takes into account frequent smoking habits and
other possible detrimental variables unrelated to HIV. The researchers
established many controls in their experiment to eliminate possible causes of
cancer in people with AIDS (PWA). The results plainly indicate that lung cancer
risk is significantly elevated among PWA. I chose this article because AIDS is a
disease that affects an overwhelming amount of people, yet it is an illness that
few people actually understand. While this article is very specific, I would
really be interested in learning about the disease as a whole. I thought it
could be interesting to go into detail on the disease's causes and effects,
from a biological standpoint. I think most people would be interested to learn
the specifics of the many diseases in our world to which a cure has yet to be
found. Increased understanding of these terrible illnesses could possibly help
us to critically evaluate and maybe one day defeat them.
I am very interested in AIDS/HIV and what it is. I am interested in its
history, how the vaccine progress is going, and the treatments that can be
offered to patients HIV positive. This article is particularly interesting
to me because of it's specificity. The main purpose of this article is to
research the effectiveness of PCP infection (the most common cause of death
in AIDS patients) identifiers in AIDS patients. Needless to say, this
article confused me often with the many acronyms and scientific "lingo"
used, but the article was still interesting with what little I could
comprehend. I think AIDS/HIV is a good subject for the class to look into
because of its recency and the socio-economic impact it has on the world.
Summary: The research study affirms the claims of a scientist named Melo who
proved that the bees are actually two different species by analyzing
Reason: The study shows that there are probably many more different species than
we will never know about because the variations are so subtle.
More recently, the AIDS epidemic has blown out of proportion in Africa and other
countries in the third-world. However, Uganda has been an exception to the AIDS
epidemic in Africa. It is surmised that sexual behaviors in Uganda have
changed, but the real question is: Why have they occurred in Uganda and not
other neighboring African countries or any other third world country? The
answers to this question cannot be answered by any conventional response such
as migration because neighboring countries have tried to justify the same
rationale and have failed. Uganda stands apart from its neighboring countries.
Other countries in Africa have had the same issues but Uganda has made more of
an investment to make its people aware of the situation with AIDS. Although
throughout the generations in countries such as Uganda, AIDS has been a
dominant issue and has been widespread taking the lives of many throughout the
generations. Especially relevant, is the fact that AIDS is still continuing to
grow in Africa and is ravaging for the children who are born into that
environment. Heredity and environment are perpetuating the AIDS crisis.
However, one country is reversing that trend: Uganda.
As the article mentions, there has been a gigantic movement to raise awareness
and increase funding and although this has failed in every single country in
Africa so far, it seems to be working in Uganda. They are combating AIDS so
that children born into this environment are not constrained by it or heredity.
This article is extremely relevant to today’s happenings and echoes the
sentiment that environment and heredity do not always necessarily constrain a
society or country, especially with respect to AIDS. This article also contains
valuable visual charts that could be analyzed in the argument. This article
proves that with the right amount of resources and information, change can take
place to influence for the better as evident with the Uganda situation.
The question posed in this article is do higher BMI calculations in Norwegian
Men and Women result in thses people having Lymphohematopoietic Malignancies. I
think that this article is interesting becuase it can be disproved.
Hearn J. Cho, Otavia L. Caballero, Sacha Gnjatic, Valéria C. C. Andrade,
Gisele W. Colleoni, Andre L. Vettore, Hasina H. Outtz, Sheila Fortunato, Nasser
Altorki, Cathy A. Ferrera, Ramon Chua, Achim A. Jungbluth, Yao-Tseng Chen,
Lloyd J. Old, and Andrew J. G. Simpson; Cancer Immunity, Vol. 6, p. 12 (1
The question posed in this article is how certain cancer genes (CT) interact
within the human body and how they evolve into the cancer cells that we know as
The article focuses on avian influenza and SARS
viruses, explaining the current understandings of both
strains and possiblities of vaccines. This article is
particularly interesting because both viruses are
I think we should study this article because it's about genetic modification and
cloning in animals. Once we get good at bringing out certain traits in other
mammals, then we can do whatever we want to people. I think this is a good idea
to study this because it might destroy the human race and make "Mad Max" a
reality. The spice must flow.
This article concerned with Peirson syndrome. It asks what makes the infants
born with Piersons die so quickly. When they mutated lab rats to try to
discover the reason they found a few different results. some of the rats dies
within 15-30 days. others died more quickly. Through a series of tests they
found that infants born with Pierson syndrome can survive infancy and live
healthy with chronic kidney replacement therapy. I think this would be an
interesting lecture because it talks about the mutation of genes and how we can
fix it. Much like the lethal and non lethal gene insertion example used in
class, this article highlights a problem, explores the options and experiments
to find what causes the early onset of renal failure, and finds a way to
overcome this genetic disorder to cure Pierson syndrome.
Uganda is one of the few African countries where rates of HIV infection have
declined, and it is seen as a rare example of success in a continent facing a
severe AIDS crisis. Uganda's policies are credited with helping to bring adult
HIV prevalence (the proportion of adults living with HIV) down from around 15%
in the early 1990s to around 5% in 2001. This article gives a background of
AID’s in Uganda, and also explores possible cures for prevention. Very
I won't pretend to understand everything presented in this article, but I found
that what I did grasp was very interesting and the information important to our
time. The article presents a new method (hence the title) for transferring the
genes useful in gene therapy using a very select cell called a MAPC rather than
the method using viruses for the transfer that is most well-known today. I also
found it interesting where these cells came from: adult bone marrow, where a
high density of these MAPC is needed in order to successfully harvest the
cells. Although this appears to be a fairly new and somewhat difficult
approach, I would be very interested in seeing where it goes and whether or not
this different method could change the public perception of gene therapy.
The article investigates the molecular causes of osteosarcoma, a rare
and asks what we should do about it in the future. It would be
our class because it involves tumor suppressor genes and the DNA of
which are pertinent to our last lecture topic of DNA and cells. Though
cancer is rare, it is deadly and the study of it can help our
other cancers, which is why it would make an interesting topic.
Most human melanomas are caused by a mutation in the serine/ threonine kinase
BRAF, but the part this enzyme plays in the production of tumors is not
understood. However, E. Elizabeth Patton and colleagues have found that the
zebrafish has melanin-producing cells that are very similar to mammals. So,
they used zebrafish to prove that BRAF genetically works with the p53 pathway
to cause melanomas. Patton and her colleagues hypothesized that if the normal
growth and development of melanocytes is evolutionarily conserved among
vertebrates, then their dysfunctional growth might be too. In their experiment,
the zebrafish embryos were injected with the human BRAF gene containing the most
common mutation (V600E) and they used the melanocyte-specific mitfa promoter as
the control. They found that approximately 10% of the resulting fish developed
mole-like foci of growing melanocytes, which were called f-nevi. The f-nevi’s
melanocytes were very distinct and did not seem to occupy the adjacent tissue.
So even though the BRAF (V600E) causes development of melanocytes, more
mutations are needed in order for it to progress into melanoma. Human melanomas
are often missing the CDKN2A locus, in conjunction with mutation of BRAF. CDKN2A
is responsible for encoding the tumor-suppressing protein ARF, which is in the
p53 pathway. While p53 mutations are uncommon in melanomas, the immobilization
of this pathway has been linked to their formation. From this information,
Patton and colleagues surmised that a deficiency in the p53 pathway might be
the little something extra the BRAF-mutated melanocytes need to form invasive
tumors. Patton also injected mitfa BRAF (V600E) into embryos homozygous for a
mutation in TP53. This resulted in 6% of the fish developing malignant
melanomas by 4 months of age. Not only did the melanoma cells express melanin,
but they were also structurally similar to human melanoma cells. These cells,
unlike cells from the f-nevi, spread rapidly following transplant into
wild-type zebrafish and 89% showed abnormalities in chromosomes that are very
similar to those seen in human melanomas. This research done by Patton and her
associates is extremely significant because it allows us to see that it is
possible to use animals to explore the genetic interactions that cause
malignant phenotypes, and it also presents evidence that BRAF mutations are a
cause of this disease.
This article would make a very interesting class because it deals with
something relatively common: malignant melanoma, a type of skin cancer. So,
most people would be able to relate to it in some way or at least find it very
interesting. The most interesting part about it is the way the research was
conducted: using one living creature (zebrafish) to compare to another living
being (humans). This method of experimentation on animals is very common in the
scientific world, so it is very fitting for BIO301L.
The main question posed in this article is, will fish intake influence the
incidence of heart failure in older adults?Tuna/other fish consumption was
associated with high education, younger age, women, and also a higher BMI.
Tuna/other fish were positively associated with intake of fruit and vegetables,
alcohol, and total calories but inversely with saturated fat intake. Fried fish
was associated with men, lower education, nonwhite, higher saturated fat.
During 12 years’ follow-up, 955 participants (20%) developed CHF. Among those
consuming tuna/other fish 3 or more times/wk the incidence of CHF was 19 per
1000 person-years. Among older adults, consumption of tuna or other broiled or
baked fish, but not fried fish, is associated with lower incidence of CHF. The
benefit of a tuna/other fish and marine as well as fruit/vegetables/nut diet is
a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
There are many misconceptions about HIV/AIDS: what causes it, how a person can
contract it and how a person can protect him or herself from it. Many people
think if they are in the same room with an HIV/AIDS infected person that they
themselves will contract the disease. For example, there are some common
illnesses that are transmitted through the air, like a cold or flu, but this
isn't true for HIV/AIDS. As a matter of fact, such misconceptions contribute to
the spread of HIV/AIDS. Myths regarding HIV are:
* You can get it from sharing food with an infected person.
* You can get it by hugging an infected person.
* You can get it through an insect bite.
* Only gay or bisexual men and IV drug users can become infected
HIV/AIDS can only transmitted by sexual contact with an infected person, by
sharing needles and/or syringes (primarily for drug injection) with someone who
is infected, or, less commonly (and now very rarely in countries where blood is
screened for HIV antibodies), through transfusions of infected blood or blood
clotting factors. Babies born to HIV-infected women may become infected before
or during birth or through breast-feeding after birth.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that causes acquired
immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a condition in humans in which the immune
system begins to fail, leading to life-threatening opportunistic infections.
An estimated one million people are currently living with HIV in the United
States, with approximately 40,000 new infections occurring each year.
Wijsman, Ellem M., Robinson, Nanc M., Ainsworth, Kathryn H., Rosenthal,
Elisabeth A., Holzman, Ted, Raskind, Wendy H.; Behaviour Genetics, Vol. 34
Issue 1, p51-62, 6 May 2003
Are there genetic contributions to mathematical cognitive ability? Is there
something unique that proves that the understanding of math can be attributed
to genetics rather than overall ability? This article would make for an
interesting class because I believe there is a general interest in genetic vs.
environmental determinants in a person's abilities, most notably with IQ. Also,
even though we are all non-science majors, that doesn't mean we don't like
math. This article may answer some questions as to why some of us can/cannot do
algebra, calculus and the like.
This article included information about the effects of testosterone on males. It
asks questions like how does the level of testosterone effect a male's mood,
linking to depression. It also explains that testosterone has no link to high
levels of aggression. The article explains that "testosterone therapy"
(injecting testosterone) could help males to control mood swings and
depression. I think the article would be interesting to learn further about
because there are common misconceptions about testosterone's effects. Also, it
would be interesting to discuss the differences between the male and female
brains due to testosterone.
THis article starts by making the point that there has been no recent survey of
germination and seedlings in the palm family. This subject described here
remains poorly understood. In this study, the seedling morphology and eophyll
anatomy of 62 genera representing the six subfamilies of palms are described,
(as they say in the article). This issue is an important one to understand
since most palms are spread by seeds, thus germination is a key factor to
understand. This is also why it would be important to learn this in class.
Perhaps we may further learn to understand its economical uses, as well as
other systematics. This article poses the question that there might be a
possibilty of germination in the seeds. This could be a problem.
Petra Kok, Ferdinand Roelfsema, Marijke
Frölich, Johannes van Pelt, Marcel P. M. Stokkel, A. Edo Meinders, and Hanno
Pijl. American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology, and Metabolism. Volume
291, Issue 5. p.38-43. First published June 27, 2006.
“Activation of Dopamine D2 Receptors Simultaneously Ameliorates Various
Metabolic Features of Obese Women” utilizes the finding from previous research
that impaired dopamine receptors are involved in its pathogenesis, or the
conditions that cause disease. Dopamine is a chemical produced in the body that
signals the release of prolactin in the body. The scientists involved in this
study believed that by blocking these dopamine receptors, other metabolic
processes will function more efficiently in obese women. Bromocriptine, the D2
blocker, proved to have a statistically significant reducing effects on the
amounts of insulin and glucose and more importantly lowered systolic blood
pressure. Their results imply that short-term bromocriptine treatments improve
various components of the metabolic syndrome while it shifts energy balance
away from lipogenesis in obese humans.
In more detail, the dopamine blocker redirects the obese insulin-resistant state
towards the lean insulin-sensitive state in the body, therefore changing the way
the body chooses to process and store lipids consumed by the individual. The
study used 18 healthy, obese women in a blind pretest, posttest experimental
model. Both the placebo group and the control group would have their glucose
and lipid oxidation levels checked hourly while keeping all diet and stress
conditions constant. The results reveal that bromocriptine significantly
decreased systolic blood pressure and parameters of glucose metabolism in
fasting conditions (glucose, insulin, C-peptide) at the beginning of each study
occasion, while having no effect on cholesterol.
I think this article would be interesting to study in class because it
exemplifies the effects that neurotransmitters have on the human body and how
the body adapts to changes in these hormonal signals. The slightest change in
these neurochemicals can have a profound effect on human health and should be