Dr. Stuart Reichler’s Spring Bio 301L Homework #2
Should be emailed to sreichler @ mail.utexas.edu by Friday, February 23 at noon

    We (students, professor, and TA) are going to work together to determine the topics we will study for the latter part of the class.  Now that each of you have submitted an article that you feel would be worthwhile to study, we are all going to work together to decide which articles we will cover.  Please email me your top 5 choices, numbered from 1 (favorite) to 5 (fifth favorite), and a short, less than 100 words description of why you chose each of these five article.  Your rationale for choosing the articles should include why you think it is important for us to study these topics, and/or why you think the topics are interesting.  The articles are listed below, and each article is numbered.

    The format of the assignment should be as follows:
(Following this format will allow us to compile the information by computer, so please follow these instructions.)

The number of your 5 favorite articles from most favorite to least favorite separated by commas.
3, 22, 9, 44, 15

Your name

Bio 301L

1) Favorite:  Article number
This is my favorite article because...

2) Second Favorite:  Article
This is my second favorite article because...

3) Third Favorite:  Article
This is my third favorite article because...

4) Fourth Favorite:  Article
This is my fourth favorite article because...

5) Fifth Favorite:  Article
This is my fifth favorite article because...

    Please include your assignment in the body of an email and send it to me by noon on 2/23/07.  This homework will be graded on a scale of 0-4 points based on your rationale for choosing the five articles.  I will subtract 0.5 points for each day late.  After I receive all of your submissions, I will post the schedule for the rest of the semester.

Articles: in no particular order:

Title:  The relationship between alcohol use and cigarette smoking in a sample of undergraduate college students

Authors:  Mark B. Reed, Rong Wang, Audrey M. Shillington, John D. Clapp and James E. Lange

Journal Title:  Addictive Behaviors

Volume 32, Issue 3

March 2007; pages 449-464

The article focuses on the research regarding the use of alcohol an tobacco concurrently and also what the relationship between the two was amongst a group of undergraduate students at a large public university, one like UT; basically dealing with the disease of alcoholism and also it mentions what diseases might occur from smoking.  It asks whether there is a significant relationship between smoking and drinking alcohol at the same time.  Where do we draw the line?  How much is too much smoke?  Alcohol?  Can there be a certain balance?  After all, many college students will just say that they can control themselves and that there's no harm in "having just a little bit."  I think that this article would raise a useful and informative topic in our class because it deals with the health of university students, many of whom begin to smoke or drink when first enrolling in colleges or universities, and it shows that doing both at the same time can be even more detrimental to one's health than we thought.  This article would bring more awareness to our class about the possible dangers of smoking and drinking; real ones that cannot be ignored because it's actual stone fact, not just our parents telling us that it's "bad for us."
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.

STD Quarterly: Family planning providers get in gear to offer new HPV vaccine to young women., Gale Group, STD Quarterly, NA, NA, January 1, 2007

This article discusses the introduction of a new vaccine available on the market called Gardasil; the vaccine protects against cervical cancer caused by HPV (human papillomavirus). The questions this article pose concern the way in which this vaccine is made available to women regardless of socio-economic background, the age group this vaccine is available to, and the ways health providers are informing the public and administering the new vaccine. This is an interesting topic to discuss in class because disease (especially disease associated with the reproductive system) is a main concern among our age group, and we should be educated on the various new vaccines and medications made available to us in the fight against disease.

"New Breast Cancer Gene Moves Focus to Role of DNA Repair," Shanon Kingman, BioWorld International, Vol 12.1, P.1-2, January 3, 2007
This extremely interesting article deals with a topic that touches many students lives daily. This article suggests that scientists are finding more proof that inherited mutant gene forms are increasing a woman's risk of getting breast cancer. These new discoveries are leading clinicians to a hopeful time where assessments can be made on an individual woman's risk of breast cancer. Scientists are following up on these observations by looking into DNA repair and treatments types. This could possibly allow potential cancer patients to be treated and cured of their mutant genes before their bodies are overtaken by the devastating cancer. I think that this topic would be a great study for our classroom because it not only deals with a personal subject, but it also gives hope for women who have a family history of breast cancer. Studying the possible mutant gene forms will allow us to better asses the causes of cancer and lead us to treatment ability. I am a woman who hopes that breast cancer will not be a battle I must overcome in the future- these studies just might help to make it so that I am securely safe and in the clear!
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.

The Role of Women's Alcohol Consumption in Managing Sexual Intimacy and Sexual Safety Motives, Maria Testa, Carol VanZile-Tamsen, Jennifer A. Livingston, and Amy M. Buddie, Journal of Studies on Alcohol, volume 67, pg665-674, September 2006
The studies conducted on women metioned in this arcticle were meant to isolate the effects on women's ablity to percieve sexual risk factors when intoxicated. In other words, what the researchers are trying to analyze is the relationship between alcohol consumption in women and their reactions in certain social situations. The two main question asked are "Does the consumption of alcohol make it harder for women to recoginze sexual assault risk factors?" and "Does the consumption of alcohol lower women's intentions to resist sexual advances". I believe our class would befenit from examining this study because, first and foremost, we are college students. We are no angels. By this, I mean to say that with us being the proclaimed "number one party school" a study on booze, sex, and women, might keep some of us awake, especially the girls in our class since we are the exmined specimens in the study. It might also help the boys in our class to realize the part they play in the sexual assault game when drinking.
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
Page 50-56
Spring 2006

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.


Roland 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
Pages: 483-487
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
Pages: 489-520
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,
'cognitive ethology.'

*** 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.

Exposure to Smoke During Development: Fetal Programming of Adult Disease,   Hugo T. Bergen,   Tobacco Induced Diseases,  Volume 3,  No. 2:5-16,  2006
          The article I chose to examine is about maternal smoking and the relationship that it has with adult diseases in offspring.  I think that everyone at one time has wondered how a woman's smoking while pregnant could affect the offspring, and this article gives numerous ways that smoking could affect an unborn child as well as later life as an adult.  It is extremely interesting and very helpful to know these factors, because everyone should be aware of the effects of maternal smoking.  The questions posed in this article are what diseases could be developed later in life due to nicotine, and mostly what triggers these diseases.  The first adult disease, according to the article, that is the result of maternal smoking is obesity.  The smoking impairs fetal growth, which results in low birth weight, and low birth weight is associated with obesity in later life of the offspring.  The magnitude of obesity is higher in heavy smokers than in medium smokers.  Maternal smoking produces smaller babies, and smaller babies are more likely to develop adult diseases, like obesity.  The article explains that the relationship between maternal smoking and obese children and adults is quite complex.  The next disease that maternal smoking could cause is diabetes.  Offspring that are exposed to nicotine have a four times greater chance to develop diabetes later in life than offspring that are not exposed to it.  What triggers this effect is not yet known.  The next disease stated in the article that could affect offspring is hypertension.  Hypertension is associated with low birth weight, and because maternal smoking causes low birth weight, there is a relationship between smoking and hypertension.  A number of possibilities have been proposed, but the mechanism that triggers this effect of hypertension is not well understood.  The possible mechanisms stated in the article for all of these diseases are generalized as decreased fetal growth and perturbations in the central regulatory circuits.  As you can see, diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension could be caused by maternal smoking, and the main question is really what triggers these diseases.  I believe this article is interesting and maternal smoking is something that everyone should learn about or at least acknowledge, because it is a major problem.
“Restoration of p53 function leads to tumor regression in vivo”, Andrea Ventura1,5, David G. Kirsch1,2,5, Margaret E. McLaughlin1, David A. Tuveson1, Jan Grimm3, Laura Lintault1, Jamie Newman1, Elizabeth E. Reczek1, Ralph Weissleder3  and Tyler Jacks1,4,”Nature-International weekly journal of science”, Nature advance online publication 24 January 2007 | doi:10.1038/nature05541; Received 26 September 2006; Accepted 13 December 2006; Published online 24 January 2007,

Cancer.  One word nobody on the planet wants to hear from a doctor.  Its utterance can change your life forever.  In a society so medically advanced it is one of the few quagmires we are yet to solve.  But not all hope is lost, new treatments and breakthroughs are happening everyday.  Hopefully, advancements like the one described in this article will keep the ball rolling toward finding a cure.
        Scientists may have developed a strategy for defeating tumor genesis, a process that keeps tumor suppressors inactive and keeps the tumor in your body robust.  They have discovered that a dominant oncogene is required for maintaining a tumor.  If a tumor suppressor, like “p53” is reactivated and allowed to function, there maybe a chance for the tumor to actually regress.  The exact type of tumor suppressor is different for each tumor, but “p53” is a common factor.  More research will be done to find if reactivating “p53” pharmacologically will always regress the tumor or if it only happens sporadically. 
        I believe that this article would be both useful and interesting to study in class.  Tumors are generally associated with cancer, and cancer is one of the most well known topics in science and medicine today.  Because tumors are abnormal growths of tissue, and tissue is made of cells, learning more about it could be more beneficial to everyone in the class.

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.

Human Body Mass Index (weight in kg/stature in m2 ) as a useful proxy to asses the relation between income and wildlife consumption in poor rural societies
Authors: Ricardo Godoy, David S. Wilkie, Victoria Reyes-Garcia, William R. Leonard, Tomas Huanca, Thomas McDade, Vincent Valdez, and Susan Tanner
Journal: Biodiversity and Conservation (2006) Volume 15, Number 14, December 2006, Pages 4495-4506
This article has a vast amount of importance. Learning about the environment is key to understanding our future. Often as humans we over consume, and that is what this article is exploring. Not only is learning about the environment important, but the growing concern of wildlife and income are important. We should maintain that they are all interconnected. The article also explores how poverty plays a part in this huge circle of environmental and economical issues. 
Title: "Adult Cardiac Stem Cells Are Multipotent and Support Myocardial Regeneration,"
Author(s): Antonio P. Beltrami, Laura Barlucchi, Daniele Torella, Mathue Baker, Federica Limana, Stefano Chimenti, Hideko Kasahara, Marcello Rota, Ezio Musso, Konrad Urbanek, et al;
Journal: Cell, Volume 114, Issue 6, Pages 763-776, 19 September 2003.
The scientists in this article are trying to establish a relationship between some "primitive" cells that act a lot like stem cells in the heart to actual cardiac cells. These stem cells show up even in adults (they were especially noticed when they transplanted a female heart to a male) and these scientists are trying to pinpoint exactly when they develop (if they are always there or are triggered at some point to develop for future regeneration of the heart) and, how useful they could be in stem cell work.  I think that this article would be interesting for our class because it deals with the possible use of adult stem cells as opposed to embryonic stem cells which may be at some point more palatable for the government to accept as ethical. I find the subject of cell differentiation very fascinating and would like to learn more about the processes and triggers involved. And also, because it is a relatively easy read compared to the other stem cell articles I tried to comprehend.
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
these mutations.
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.

Article title: Effectiveness of levonorgestrel emergency contraception given before or after ovulation- a pilot study Author’s name(s): Natalia Novikova, Edith Weiberg, Frank Z. Stanczyk, Horacio B. Croxatto, Ian S. Fraser
Journal title; Contraception
Volume: 75, Issue 2
Page number(s): 112-118
Date of publication: February, 2007

The study in this article was trying to provide data regarding the postovulation effects of the levonorgestrel (LNG) emergency contraceptive pill (ECP). The study was done on a small scale with 99 eligible women whose endocrine data was observed in addition to the information provided by each at the time of presenting a request for the ECP. The results indicated that the LNG ECP had "little or no effect on postovulation events," but that it was still very effective when taken before ovulation. This article would make for an interesting class as presents a contemporary issue, and one that many college-aged students are faced with. It is important for both men and women (especially those who are sexually active) to be aware and educated on contraceptives.

Roles of Bilayer Material Properties in Function and Distribution of Membrane Proteins, Thomas J. McIntosh and Sidney A. Simon, Annual Review of Biophysics and Biomolecular Structure, Vol. 35, pages 177-198, June 2006
This article talks about some recent studies that show the importance of chemical properties of lipid molecules and the importance of bilayer properties in several protein-lipid interactions. It discusses the binding of protiens to membranes, how ion channels work, and the formation of membrane microdomains (rafts).  It basically concludes that the cell bilayer should not be viewed as a simple thin layer of oil that acts as a barrier to ions.  Instead, this article brings up evidence that the lipids that make up bilayers have a big effect on important activities that go on inside a cell. 
I believe this article would be an interesting topic to discuss in class because we already have basic knowledge as to what a bilayer is, what proteins do, and how these two interact.  This article expands and elaborates on this topic, and can give the class a better idea of what exactly the function of the bilayer is.  It also includes several interesting pictures of bilayers, proteins, and ion channels.  I have really enjoyed learning about how the world works down to the smallest detail, and I'm sure that a majority of the class has, as well.  A class taught about this article would further explain the exciting details of the world we live in.
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!

Association Study of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Gene Polymorphism and Alcoholism, Matsushita, Kimura, Miyakawa, Yoshino, Murayama, Masaki, and Higuchi, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, Vol. 28, 1609-1612, November 2004.
This study looks at alcoholism and how it genes can affect the development of the disease. Researchers found that the Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) influences serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that are linked to addiction. In this study, researchers found that certain genes that increase the risk for severe alcohol withdrawal may localize in 11P13 in the brain. They looked at whether BDNF gene contributes to the susceptibility to alcoholism and modifies the course of the disease. They also looked at alcoholics that became violent when they were drunk and found that they had more frequent AA genotypes and A allele than subjects who did not become violent when intoxicated. This would be an appropriate article for class because we are discussing genes and the heritability of traits. This shows that the trait of alcoholism, can be linked by genes and that it can be linked in families. Alcoholism is also fairly prevalent in society today, especially on a college campus. Many kids drink at college and continual drinking could lead to alcoholism. If a student has a family history with alcohol, their chances of becoming an alcoholism may increase and this study shows how and why alcoholism is linked to genetics.
Changing perceptions of attractiveness as observers are exposed to a different culture, Martin J. Tovée, Viren Swami, Adrian Furnham and Roshila Mangalparsad, Evolution and Human Behavior, volume 27, pp. 443-456, November 2006

This article proposes that our perceptions of attractiveness are learned through the environments we live in. The article compares the preferences of UK citizens to Zulus (among a few variations) and discusses how perception of attractiveness is a highly plastic one. For instance, one body type may signal high health and fertility to one culture, but low socioeconomic status and poor nutrition to another. The question that the article asks is that if environment is indeed a main factor that determines the values that one looks for to deem a person attractive, then if the person switches environments, their perception of attractiveness should change as well.

This article would make for an interesting class because it provides commentary human behavioral patterns while also allowing us to address cross-cultural content (learning how preferences change based on the values of a certain culture). We hear that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but this article puts the saying to a higher level, placing attractiveness not on an individual level but at a regional level.

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
January/February 2007

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,
Oct-Dec 2005

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.

HF b Adherence in antiretroviral therapy: a review of qualitative
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
with adherence.
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
M. PhD2

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.

HIV Vaccines, Andrew J. McMichael, Annual Review of Immunology, 2006

This article discusses how the HIV/AIDS virus is transmitted, and what customs help to enable this transfer. Also, it takes a look at the symptoms that a person who is infected will experience and at what stage in the virus's development these take place. In doing so, it examines the effect that the virus has on the human immune system and how it basically destroys it. In response to this epidemic, this article also discusses the need and helpfulness of developing a vaccine for this disease, and what such a vaccine could do for the population. It also includes diagrams and models of how such a vaccine would work within the human immune system. Finally it goes over the requirements that one would need to meet to effectively recieve the vaccine. Then, it goes into how the development of a theraputic vaccine would benefit millions, as well as how it would work.

Article:  The IMAGE project: methodological issues for the molecular genetic analysis of ADHD
Authors:  Jonna Kuntsi, Benjamin M. Neale, Wai Chen, Stephen V. Faraone, and Philip Asherson
Jornal:  Behavioral and brain functions [1744-9081]
Vol. 2; 2006 Pg. 27

There has been extensive research into the cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Research has confirmed that genetic inheritance plays a major role in the cause of ADHD; however, due to "small effect sizes observed" there has been little support in these findings. The articles’ main focus is in identifying genes, their structure, and their functions, specifically looking into the role of genetics in ADHD.

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.

A Systematic Review on Drug Interactions in Oncology; Riechelmann, Rachel P,
Saad, Everado D; Cancer Investigations Volume 24, Number 7; 704-12; November

               To this day, there are many scientific studies that have yet
to be solved or even worse, understood.  Out of all of the possible topics,
we could choose from I decided to focus on the reviews of certain health
issues.  I am in training to become an athletic trainer, and in the practice
of this major, I am exposed to many possible defects that concern health.
In knowing that I feel as though it is my job to educate myself and my peers
in the understanding of certain aspects of health.
    The title of my article is A Systematic Review on Drug Interactions in
Oncology.  Oncology is the study of tumors.  In the study, the importance of
devising multiple hypotheses comes to the light.  The experimenters of this
set topic wanted to understand the different effects that different drugs
have on oncology.   They labeled the effect of the drug as being either
major, moderate, or minor.  The drugs are normally administered to cancer
patients in order to relieve their pain.  But the idea that some of these
drugs may be causing the pain, has become a possibility.  Could the certain
drugs that are being administered have a cause in tumors forming in the
cancer patients body or are they truly helping in the aid of relieving the
body from these tumors?

Article Title: Migraine headache relief after transcatheter closure of patent
foramen ovale

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.

Article Title:  “Neurodevelopmental Origins of Depressive Disorders”
Authors’ Names:  Mark S. Ansorge, Rene’ Hen, and Jay A. Gingrich
Journal Title:  Current Opinion in Pharmacology Volume 7 Issue 1 Pages 8-17
December 21, 2006
 Depression is a complex disorder.   The article tries to find out the origins of depression.   Depression is described as bearing a prolong grief, change in lifestyle, and suicidal tendency.  Researchers hypothesize that the causes of depression could be due to genetic and environmental factors.  These factors are said to affect the development in the brain and irregularity could lead to depression.
    Science is much involved in finding the causes of depression.  Studies have shown that symptoms of depression could be due to the fact that monoaminergic signaling is not functioning properly.  Treatment for depression includes increasing the productivity of the monoaminergic signaling.  Also, it has been suspected that serotonin transporters play a role in depression and that "serotonergic neurotransmission are currently first-line treatment for depression and anxiety disorders."  Depression is also said to be caused by genetic factors.  Those with an "s" allele are more prone to be depressed than those with an "l" allele.  Supposedly those who suffer from depression or anxiety have a "functional polymorphism in the promoter region of the htr1a gene [that] leads to increased expression of presynaptic htr1a and decreased expression of postysynaptic htr1a."  Researchers note that "neurotrophic factors regulate naturally occurring cell death, synaptic connectivity, fiber guidance and dendritic morphology" and a decrease in its activity are correlated with depression.  Researchers have also observed that those suffering from depression have a "reduced hippocampal volume."
     Environmental factors may also lead to depression.  Chronic stress is said to help cause depression.  The stress hormone level was found high in those suffering from depression.  Those who suffer from a traumatic childhood or have endured a major crisis like separation from their family are often found to have depression in adulthood. These environmental factors lead to changes in the physiology of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenalcortical (HPA) system that may affect changes in emotional behavior.
     Researchers have tried to find answers to the origins of depression.  Through experiments and observations, they have come closer to answering the question.  I chose this article because I think depression is a very complex disorder that we should learn more about.  Depression is not merely a bad mood one can just choose to stop.  Research is out there that help support the fact that depression is an imbalance in brain activity.  Depression is relatable to most young adults.  We try to find ourselves but sometimes lose ourselves on the way.  Most people have encountered depression, whether it is from personal experience or a friend has experienced it.  Either way, we should be educated so that we may know how to handle depression and treat the disorder when necessary.

Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease: Genetic and cellular pathogenesis
Journal Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences (CMLS)
Issue Volume 64, Number 1 / January, 2007
Pages 50-65

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

Efficacy of Human Papillomavirus-16 Vaccine to Prevent Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia, Constance Mao, MD, Laura A. Koutsky, PhD, Kevin A. Ault, MD, Cosette M. Wheeler, PhD, Darron R. Brown, MD, DOrothy J. Wiley, PhD, Frances B. Alvarez, RN, Oliver M. Bautista, PhD, Kathrin U. Jansen, PhD, and Eliav Barr, MD for the Proof of Princible Study Investigators, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Volume 107, pages 18-27, January 2006.

The Question asked in this article is if the HPV vaccine is effective in preventing a large portion of cervical cancer that is caused by the Human Papillomavirus. This vaccine is effective and is very important to the students in this class(both men and women). Having received two of the three HPV vaccine shots, i would like more people to be aware that Cervical Cancer can be a thing of the past and it would be very helpful and informative to the students in biology 301L. As seen in this study, the HPV vaccine is an extremely effective preventative against HPV and thus also cervical cancer.

Article Title: Early life influinces on the development of allergy and asthma - how early is early?
Authors: Turner, S. W. and Devereux, G.
Journal name: Clinical allergy [0009-9090]
Volume: Vol. 37, Issue 2
Page numbers: p163-165, 3p
Date: Feb 2007

I was interested in this article because my whole family has allergies as do most Americans. My father and I are also sufferers of asthma." There is an accumulating body of evidence to support the concept that early life exposures are critical in determining susceptibility to asthma and allergic disease in childhood and possibly adulthood." Studies have shown "factors operating very early in life, and even before birth, may be particularly important for the acquisition of childhood asthma." This article asks why do children get asthma? And when and why does it affect a person. There are many environmental factors put into question as well as dietary and hereditary factors this article examines as possible causes. Again, I found this article to be rather interesting because I myself have mild asthma and allergies.

Down syndrome, Turner syndrome, and Klinefelter syndrome: primary care throughout the life span
By Carl Tyler, MD, MS*, Jennifer C. Edman, MD, Prim Care Clin Office Pract 31 (2004) 627–648

Summary: This article covers what Down Syndrome is, why and how it develops as well as its results. This would be interesting to go over in class because
it covers the genetic aspects of why the disease occurs, which is linked to chromosomes  and genes, which we are learning about. The questions posed are why the disease  occurs
and what the components that make it occur are. Also, the other genetic diseases mentioned  are interesting as well.

HUMAN MILK GLYCANS PROTECT INFANTS AGAINST ENTERIC PATHOGENS, Morrow, Ardythe L., Newburg, David S.,Ruiz-Palacios, Guillermo M., Annual Review of Nutrition, Vol. 25 Issue 1, p37-C-5, 27p,May 3,2005.

This article explains how necessary breast milk is needed for infants to fight off infectious diseases in the early stages of its development. Early research shows that secretory antibodies and prebiotic factors in human milk were the only reasons for the protection of the infant. But recently new studies have shown that human milk oligosaccharides have at least some components that protect against pathogens. Therefore the basic argument is that human milk oligosaccharides and other glycans are what protect the Infant from pathogens.
       I think this would be an interesting topic, because we could learn that something as simple as breast milk contains components that help strengthen the immune system which enable us to fight of infectious pathogens and therefore helping us the survive. Furthermore we would learn the importance of breast milk over artificial milk which so many women use in early stages for their child.

 "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.

Prions in soil
Environmental Science and Technology Journal
Volume 41, Issue 3
p. 669-670

Do prions surviving in soil long after they have left the body of the creature they were inhabiting still remain infectious? Prions, proteins that cause diseases like “mad cow” and scrapies, have been found in soil samples in the UK. Certain proteins have been used to remove the prions from the soil, but it remains to be seen whether they are still infectious. The results of this journal are important because they shed light on the nature of life in its simplest form- free proteins. If prions are as resilient as they seem to be, what does that say about our own lives and the future of modern medicine? Could we live forever?

“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
these deaths.
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.

"GENE THERAPY: Engineered Herpes Attacks Cancer Cells."  Applied Genetics News. July 2002 v22 i12 p0.
The above referenced article details that in 2002 researchers were studying the possibility of fighting cancer using engineered herpes.  The herpes virus would replicate destroying tumors in the process.  In addition to fighting cancer tumors, the trials would include human gene therapy which would hopefully boost immunity. 
Although the article was brief, I thought it would make a good topic for discussion, because it relates to what we have already discussed in class.  Additionally, my first reaction was to question the rationale of introducing a virus which is very destructive and rather permanent into a host. 
Challenging times for malaria vaccines, Sarah Gilbert, Microbiology Today (Society for General Microbiology), 2006, pages 20-23, February 2006 

This article explains how malaria attacks the body and the different stages it in which it attacks. It then proceeds to explain about which stages the vaccine is designed to attack, what it does molecularly and what the expected results are. This article also shows what the volunteer vaccine experimentation is like. I believe this article would interest the class because it is about a disease common to society in malaria and how Oxford University works to test the effectiveness of the vaccine in volunteers.
Why Do HIV-1 and HIV-2 Use Different Pathways to Develop AZT Resistance?  By: Paul L., Boyer; Stefan G., Sarafianos; Patrick K., Clark; Eddy, Arnold; Stephen H., Hughes. PLoS Pathogens, Vol. 2 Issue 2, Feb2006

The article “Why Do HIV-1 and HIV-2 Use Different Pathways to Develop AZT Resistance?” caught my eye because I am really interested in learning about the virus that no human can hide from if infected.  I had a difficult time reading this article because, for me, it was as if it was written in another language, which is why I want to learn more about it in order to decode the information. At first I was not planning to find a deep leveled article about the virus, but it was the only one that related to what I wanted.  I wanted to learn more about the virus and how the virus infects the body as well as why and how it is so powerful against humans. The big question that is proposed in this selection is that although HIV-1 and HIV-2 are related and are very structurally similar, how is it that they use different azidothymidine-resistance pathways?  (Azidothymidine (AZT) is an antiretroviral drug that is used to treat HIV and prolong the virus from replicating itself.) That is just it, they are closely related.  Different mutations within the viruses are bound to have enzymes that act differently than the other, which causes different pathways to be taken.
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.

Title: Cloning Adult Farm Animals: A Review of the Possibilities and Problems Associated with Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer.
Authors: J. L. Edwards, F. N. Schrick, M. D. McCracken, S. R. van Amstel, F. M. Hopkins, M. G. Welborn, C. J. Davies.
Journal: American Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Volume 50 Issue 2, Page 113, August 2003

    In 1997, a sheep named Dolly became the first adult mammal to be cloned.  After Dolly, many more animals have been cloned including mice, rabbits, pigs, goats and cattle.  All of these animals have been cloned by a process called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT).  This process is detailed in this article and goes step by step on how this process is done.  It describes how the process starts by taking a somatic cell from an adult animal and implanting it into an egg cytoplasm.  Although this process is outlined for all nuclear transfers, there are lots of variations within this process.  Scientists must choose which type of somatic cell to use.  Different somatic cells have come up with different results for each experiment.  Scientists must also debate during this process which type of reaction to use during implantation of the embryo.  This article also discusses what the greatest problems with the SCNT process are.  It describes what difficulties scientists encounter before, during, and after the implantation of the embryo.  Although there is lots of inefficiency of producing live offspring, there have been many cloned animals born.  This article describes the difficulties cloned animals encounter right after birth and later in their lifetime.  Because of the complexity of this process, it will take many more years to perfectly understand the specifics of this process.  Improvements need to be made in order to increase the efficiency of producing live offspring and use these benefits for animal agriculture and human medicine.

"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
or not.

Article title: Structural and Functional Alterations of Cerebellum
Following Fluid Percussion Injury in Rats

Author's names: Jinglu Ai , Elaine Liu, Eugene Park and Andrew J. Baker
Journal title: Experimental Brain Research
Volume: Volume 177
Page number: 95-112
Date of publication: February 2007

    The article details the damage of the cerebellum and Purkinje cells
after fluid percussion injuries. Fluid percussion injuries are a
device that causes an injury tube to be positioned at a certain
pressure and height. The cerebellum is often the critical point for
traumatic brain injury, which is the leading cause of death and
disability. By studying the Purkinje cells, we can hope to discover
correlations between the role of the cerebellum and movement and
coordination problems in traumatic brain injury. The study hopes to be
able to prevent cerebellar death and functionality. The Purkinje cells
in the animals used in this experiment were stained using a
Calbindin-D28k protein that allows it to be a marker. The study
yielded results that indicated that 60% of the Purkinje cells died
within twenty-four hours. Another observation was that there was
damage also to the cerebellar white matter tract. Disconnected axonal
fibers were also present. This leads to a decline in membrane
potential and synaptic responses.
This study is notable because it is the first of its kind. This study
is important because it was able to make a correlation between the
structural and functional damage to cells in the cerebellum. If more
knowledge is attained, then one can hope that eventually scientists
will have enough to cure or treat traumatic brain injury. If this can
be done, countless lives would be saved and hopefully many would get
their ability back. This study also discovered that there would have
to be multiple remedies for the problems connected to traumatic brain
injury. After this study, the authors feel the tissue- or cell
type-specific therapeutic strategies could be used.  The reason I
liked this particular article and study is because it seems so
important to be able to treat traumatic brain injuries. I also would
like more explanation of how the cerebellum affect coordination and
how structural damage differs from functional damage.

Evolutionary Biology: Genetics and bisexuality, V. Savolainen and L. Lehmann, Nature, Vol. 455, 158-159, January 2007
I found this article to be interesting because it asks the question, is there a gene that is responsible for homosexual or bisexual behaviors in humans. I personally, have always thought that the expression of homosexuality was caused by factors in ones environment, more along the lines of nurture rather than nature. However, this article suggests that there might actually be a “gay” gene is instead responsible for this behavior. At the moment, scientists don’t quite understand why a gene that encourages non-reproductive behavior be favored by natural selection. However, a study shows that in theory, this alleged gene and behavior could possibly spread in a population that may one day lead to widespread homosexual or bisexual behavior in humans and other sexually reproducing species. This article gives three ‘mechanisms’ or motivations that propose why this supposed ‘gay’ gene could spread and be maintained in a population, despite its paradoxical behavior. I think that this article would be a good thing to cover in class simply because it is very interesting. Homosexuality isn’t really the hush-hush taboo issue that it may have been years ago. These days, people are more open about their sexuality, and even more have grown to be more accepting. Now that society has become much more open minded than decades before, I think it opens a door for science to come in and give people some answers and knowledge on the contradictive behavior (at least in terms of reproduction) of homosexuality. I have wondered if homosexuals were ‘born gay’ or ‘turned gay’. I have heard many arguments for both over the years and in my own mind, it puzzles me that there are few if any species outside of humans in nature that show homosexual behavior. All in all, I think this article would be a very interesting and active discussion in class.
Building better T-cell-inducing malaria vaccines, Stephen M. Todryk and Michael Walther, Blackwell Synergy - Immunology, Volume 115, Issue 2, Page 163, June 2005
     This article explores the effective methods of treating malaria by inducing the body's T-cells with a vaccine to protect against a disease that kills 1-2 million people per year in endemic regions. Because of its varying antigen profiles, the disease poses many challenges to the immune system's responses. The article proposes that a vaccine needs to target the early stages of infection, when the parasite is hidden in the liver. This means it would need to trigger the body to use its T-cells and antibodies, which protect the liver, to fight off the disease. The biology section of the article explains that the disease is contracted from mosquitos, and sporozoites are injected into the bloodstream. This leads to the formation of merozoites, which invade red blood cells and cause them to rupture. As far as immunization, a vaccine must incorporate aspects of initiating (priming) and expanding (boosting) responses to appropriately attack the disease. If this strategy is used, safe and effective vaccines should be available in the near future, although it will be a very tedious process.
     I have always enjoyed studying aspects of the immune system, and this topic perfectly explores T-cells and how the body fights disease. The subject of disease always makes for an interesting class presentation and I think students would like to study more in depth the processes of the body's immune system and how it fights viruses and other diseases.
Article Title:  A Controlled Trial of a Human Papillomavirus Type 16 Vaccine
Authors:  Laura A. Koutsky, Ph.D., Kevin A. Ault, M.D., Cosette M. Wheeler, Ph.D., Darron R. Brown, M.D., Eliav Barr, M.D., Frances B. Alvarez, R.N., Lisa M. Chiacchierini, Ph.D., Kathrin U. Jansen, Ph.D., for the Proof of Principle Study Investigators
Journal title:  The New England Journal of Medicine
Volume: 347:1645-1651
Page Numbers: 7
Date of Publication: November 21, 2002

We should learn more about this study because it is a current topic that will effect peoples lives in a huge way.  All women should understand more about cervical cancer.  Also it has been a large topic in the media recently and in the state of Texas, which has made it mandatory for girls to get the HPV vaccine along with other shots required for school.  

This study is about the Human Papilloma Virus.  It is a double-blind study, in which the researchers randomly assigned 2392 young women (defined as females 16 to 23 years of age) to receive three doses of placebo or HPV-16 virus-like–particle vaccine, given at day 0, month 2, and month 6.  Samples to test for HPV-16 DNA were obtained at enrollment, one month after the third vaccination, and every six months thereafter.  The women were followed for 17.4 months after completing the vaccination.  The result of the study is that administration of this HPV -16 vaccine reduced the incidence of both HPV-16 infection and HPV-16.  It reduced cervical cancer.

Inheritance of litter size at birth in farmed arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus, Canidae, Carnivora). By: Axenovich, T. I.; Zorkoltseva, I. V.; Akberdin, I. R.; Beketov, S. V.; Kashtanov, S. N.; Zakharov, I. A.; Borodin, P. M.. Heredity, Feb2007, Vol. 98 Issue 2, p99-105  

Breeds of foxes such as the coastal fox and the inland foxes all produce moderately the same size litters.  The size of litters of arctic foxes are different and have different styles.  The question posed in the article is whether the size of the litters of arctic foxes are hereditary or if it has to do with the environment they live in.  I think this is just an interesting topic that would be easy to follow and understand thoroughly.  I know that I am interested in animals so this was the easiest for me to understand. 

A β-Immunotherapy for Alzheimer's Disease Using Mannan–Amyloid-Beta Peptide Immunoconjugates 

Ghochikyan, Anahit; Petrushina, Irina; Lees, Andrew; Vasilevko, Vitaly; Movsesyan, Nina; Karapetyan, Adrine; Agadjanyan, Michael G.; Cribbs, David H
DNA & Cell Biology; Oct2006, Vol. 25 Issue 10, p571-580
This article had a lot of scientific and chemical jargon but I tried to read past it to understand what the trials were trying to achieve. There is a type of the beta-amyloid peptide that causes the deterioration of neuron cells in Alzheimer’s patients. A clinical trial using mice as subjects tested the effects of an antibody for this peptide in order to prevent the degeneration. However, the mice developed a side effect when some developed a separate disease, meningoencephalitis. Several theories were introduced about why this was happening. A new trial was run to discover the source of this problem and somehow counteract the adverse developments in the original trial.
Reason for the article:
I chose this article because Alzheimer’s is an example of the many neurodegenerative diseases that are prevalent in our society today, both in the news and in the population. These and other types of diseases are important and relevant because there is much debate going on about the methods in finding a cure, especially since our medical advancements have proven we are possibly very close to finding a solution to these diseases. Our generation could potentially see medicine and science break through a barrier and introduce us to an age of treatments and therapies that will decrease the patients who suffer daily. This article is a strong example of how close we are to that and I think it is important that people realize the possibilities that lie ahead and the importance of this research.
Po-kuang Lu, Lu, Gabriel P., Lu, Dominic P., Lu, Winston I. 
Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Research; 2004, Vol. 29 Issue 3/4, p187-195, 9p
In the article, researchers question the effects of acupuncture on the symptoms of recovering drug addicts.  Drug addiction is on the rise and thus more and more people are being sent to rehab centers to deal with detoxification and the related side effects.  Although detox drugs can have negative side effects, acupuncutre is said to relieve withdrawl side effects without any side effects of it's own. 
Studying acupuncture and it's realistic applications would be interesting because it is not just new-agey stuff, it is actually applicable in every day.  Additionally, alternative medicine is rising in popularity so it would be useful to educate pre-med students about it's usefulness.
DNA Analysis of Digested Tomato Seeds in Stomach Contents, Lee, Cheng-Lung; Coyle, Heather Miller; Carita, Eric; Ladd, Carll§; Yang, Nicholas C.S.; Palmbach, Timothy M.; Hsu, Ian C.; Lee, Henry C. PhD, The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, Volume 27, pp 121-125, June 2006

This article presented an alternate method of observing and comparing seeds from different fruits, specifically tomatoes in this article.   The common method for identifying plant material is by microscopes and morphologic examination, but the experiment presented here attempts to "use the DNA-amplified fragment length polymorphism … to determine if the DNA obtained from single seeds could be used for PCR analysis".
            Although the experiment here seems trivial, there is a practical use for this analysis.  Criminal forensic investigators often analyze the stomach content of a victim.  The contents can place the victim at a certain time, place, or location.  The PCR analysis would give forensic investigators a more accurate means of placing said victim at certain locations.  The problem is that often there is not enough DNA to receive an accurate test, but the PCR analysis eliminates this problem as well.  
            I believe this article would be especially interesting to explore because it shows how biology is used outside of the realm of pure research.  Many people take a glance at biology and think in the realm of research of how our body works or how our environment works; however, biology has many other uses which include important actions such as solving crimes.  Furthermore, we will be studying about plant DNA and markers rather than human DNA.  It will provide an interesting addendum from what most people know about and study. 
             I find this study most interesting because of the many different contexts in which this experiment can be explored.  Not only can using such small amounts of DNA to identify seeds be used for crime scene investigation, but it can also identify how seeds travel in an ecological environment.  Patterns of seed dispersal around the world can become much clearer and perhaps even the origins of the plant can be discovered.
             Although this experiment seems simple and straightforward, the scope which can be explored with this new method is immense.  Fpr example, if only a small bit of DNA from ancestral fecal matter can be found, we can find out in more detail how and where our ancestors lived.

Article: Is unsafe sexual behaviour increasing among HIV-infected individuals?
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.

"Elevated Risk of Lung Cancer Among People with AIDS", Anil K. Chaturvedi, Ruth
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.

Title: Adolescent Substance Use and Addiction, Author: Mace Beckson,
Source: Adolescent Psychiatry, Volume: 29, p.2-17, 2006.

The article begins by telling the story of Thomas, a 15 year old
repeating the 8th grade for the second time. He was diagnosed with
A.D.D. in third grade but his single mother cannot afford the
medication. Thomas uses alcohol, drugs, and is sexually promiscuous.
The author says that he is a good candidate to show the difficulties
adolescent psychologists face in dealing with a disorder he is trying
to define: Substance Use Disorder or SUD.
The article supposes that Substance Use Disorder is different from
"normal" teen use of substances which relies more on social
circumstances while SUD relies on biological and psychological
The article gives the following statistics:
Of 12th graders polled 53% have used drugs and 61% have been drunk.
Of 8th graders pilled 24.5% have used drugs
The author cites normal adolescent characteristics such as "low self
regulation" as contributing to SUD. Also the author says that teens
drink differently, drinking larger quantities less frequently than
adults. This can lead to developments of tolerance and SUD.
Among those diagnosed with SUD the most common other disorders
subjects had were conduct disorder (61%) and anxiety disorder (43%),
characteristics of A.D.D.. Social phobia often preceeds the
development of SUD, which panic attacks follow.
The article identifies several predeterminates for SUD including low
socioeconomic status, parental substance abuse, parental attitudes on
substance abuse, and other aspects in the relationship between parents
and children.
While many of the ideas in the article may seem familiar, the
combination of these behavioral issues to treat adolescent issues
could be a breakthrough. Fully understanding the affect of ADD,
anxiety, and social phobia and their influence on SUD can better treat
teens struggling with these issues. Too often it seems that children
are put on Ritalin or Adderol or anti-depressants to solve one of
these problems that may, in fact, be tied together and better treated
as such.
I think this could be an important article because these issues affect
all of us on some level, but I think our understanding of these issues
are superficial at best. It shows how biology and these scientific
studies can improve and change our lives.

"Performance of a molecular viability assay for the diagnosis of Pneumocystis pneumonia in HIV-infected patients"
 Ana de Oliveri/Thomas R.Unnasch/Kristina Crothers/Shary Eiser/Patrizia Zucchi/Johnathan Moir,Charles B. Beard/Gena G. Lawrence/Laurence Huang,
Diagnostic Micro and Infectious Disease, Vol. 57 Issue 2, Pages 169-176, 17 Ausugst 2006.
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.

Title: Mitochondrial Genome Differences Between The Stingless Bees - melipona rufiventris & melipona mondury (apidae:meliponini)

Authors: G.S. Barni, R. Strapazzon, J.C.V. Guerra Jr. and G. Moretto
Journal Title: Genetics and Molecular Research
Volume: 6(1) 2007
Pages: 8-14
Summary: The research study affirms the claims of a scientist named Melo who
proved that the bees are actually two different species by analyzing
mitochondrial DNA.

Reason: The study shows that there are probably many more different species than
we will never know about because the variations are so subtle.

"Cancer—Treatment Through the Continuum," Mark A. Hyman, MD, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Vol. 13, p10, Jan/Feb 2007.
    For years commercials and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have brought the rising concerns and need of new treatments and research of cancer to the attention of the mass population. Most recent research suggests that 1 in 3 people will get cancer in his or her lifetime and about 17 million people are unaware of being somewhere along the continuum stage of cancer.
    Furthermore, cancer treatment is focused mainly only on the eradication of the tumor through chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery and not enough research in treatment of the hidden tumors of the early stages of the cancer. Mark D. Hyman, MD, editor in chief of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, suggests that preventative treatments like vaccines and immunotherapy are not enough to reduce risks of hidden cancers of the 17 million people at risk. In fact based on new research 16% of all cancers are new primary cancers in patients who already have had cancer. Hyman suggests that by researching the mechanisms of cancer and how it influences our complex biological systems and its affects on our health, a preventive treatment could be found. So rather than asking what is the right cancer treatment, we should look at what genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors trigger the development of cancer. Treatments such as regulatory therapy where the diet and lifestyle changes can be made to help enhance the immune system. Hence with adequate research we can include treatments that support the biological systems and in turn help fight cancer. Creating customized treatments based on the patients’ imbalances can help reduce the risks of getting cancer and may assist in clinical producers to help cure cancer all together.
     Research and analysis of the biological systems as mechanisms of cancer is an interesting topic that most students can relate to because of the many recovery and illness stories heard on television and magazine articles or based on a personal experience. Bringing to attention these updates and new discovers of treatments for cancers to students is also important as many students may already have or have a chance of getting cancer in their lifetime. It is important that students remain aware of the changes in the health sciences and also help by contributing to raise funds for NGOs in research the students themselves believe may be beneficial.
“Genetically Engineered Insects: Wave of the Future or Disturbing Direction?”, Greg Baumann, Pest Control, Vol. 75 Issue 1, p14, January 2007

After the government started genetically engineering insects in order to control certain pest populations, is there any negative effect on the environment?  And is it ethical to tamper with the genetics of insects then to release them into the wild?  This article would be interesting for class because I do not think many of the students in the class have knowledge that the government is genetically engineering insects.  It is unique concept of controlling a population that many do not think about, the benefits or the consequences.

How Uganda Reversed Its HIV Epidemic
Gary Slutkin, Sam Okware, Warren Naamara,Don Sutherland, Donna Flanagan, Michel Carael, Erik Blas, Paul Delay and Daniel Tarantola
AIDS and Behavior, Volume 10, Number 4, 351-360, July 2006
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.

Height and Body Mass Index and Risk of Lymphohematopoietic Malignancies in Two Million Norwegian Men and Women
Engeland, Anders; Tretli, Steinar; Hansen, Svein; Bjørge, Tone
American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 165, Number 1, 1 January 2007, pp. 44-52(9)
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.

Physical interaction of two cancer-testis antigens, MAGE-C1 (CT7) and NY-ESO-1 (CT6);
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
December 2006)

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

Identifying Nineteenth Century Genealogical Links from Genotypes. 
Jim Stankovich/ Melanie Bahlo/ Justin P. Rubio/ Christopher R. Wilkinson/ Russell Thomson/ Annette Banks/ Maree Ring/ Simon J. Foote/ Terence P. Speed.
Human Genetics, Vol. 117 No. 2. p. 188-199. May 10, 2005
In this article, the experimenters know that it has already been established that genealogical links can be identified from genotypes up to a certain point, but they want to attempt to push that point. In this article, the experimenters attempt to identify links of Tasmania peoples that go back into the nineteenth century. Tasmania was originally founded by 13,000 females in the total population of 70,000 in 1847.  Since it is know that sixty five percent of Tasmania’s current population are descendants of those founding 13,000 females, the experimenters do expect to find some genealogical links in their sample subjects. They believe that with the algorithm they have created their links can go as far as the eighth degree, or third cousins once removed. Their sample is to be a group of 170 Multiple Sclerosis patients, and four to five of their relatives. The multiple sclerosis genotype is what enables the experimenters to create the common link between some subjects.
I believe that this article would make for an interesting class discussion because it is not of the normal standard for most scientific experiments. It is not focusing on advances; rather it is focusing on the past. This article explains how we may someday be able to see into our past and find genealogical relations not only from historical research, but also from testing genotypes.  This could eventually lead to eliminating hours of work to figure out who your descendants once were.
A new method to help diagnose cancers for small sample size.

Expert Systems with Applications
Li, Der-Chiang
Hsu, Hung-Chang
Tsai, Tung-I
Lu, Te-Jung
Hu, Susan C.
Aug2007, Vol. 33 Issue 2, p420-424, 5p
    For many years, scientists have engaged in profiling altered genes to help diagnose related cancers. However, the size of the sample to develop a new profile of cancer genes in the beginning stage is usually small because of costly procedure. Researchers are often disturbed by the analytical method because there has been no effective technique to deal with such small sample size situations in cancer genes diagnosis. The purpose of the study was to employ a new method, mega-trend-diffusion technique, to improve the accuracy of gene diagnosis for bladder cancer on a very limited number of samples. The modeling results showed that when the number of training data increased, the learning accuracy of the bladder cancer diagnosis was enhanced stably, from 82% to 100%. Compared with traditional methods, this study provides a new approach of a reliable model for small dataset analysis. Although the study treats bladder cancer as an example, it is believed that the findings can be generalized to other diseases with limited sample size.
Emerging Respiratory Viruses: Challenges and Vaccine Strategies, Laura Gillim-Ross and Kanta Subbarao, Clinical Microbiology Reviews, Vol. 19, pg. 614-636, October 2006
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
current threats.

Authors: Pavuluri, Mani N. Janicak, Philip G. Naylor, Michael W. Sweeney, John A. <>Source: Adolescent Psychiatry; 2003, Vol. 27, p117-134, 18p

Summary: This article details the symptoms of both manic bipolar diorder and schizophrenia in children and young adults. It gives the dissimularities and simularities of these two often confused disorders and the best methods of treatment.

"Specific genetic modifications of domestic animals by gene targeting and animal cloning", Bin Wang and Jiangfeng Zhou, Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology,1, 103, 13 November, 2003
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.

Molecular genetic delineation of a deletion of chromosome 13q12¨q13 in a patient with autism and auditory processing deficits.
<>Author: Smith, Woodroffe, Smith, Holguin, Martinez, Filipek, Modahl, Moore, Bocian, Mays, Lualhere, Foldman, Spence.
<>Journal Title: Cytogenetics & Genome Research  <>Volume: Vol. 98 Issue 4  <>Page Numbers: 233-239  <>Date of Publication:2002
<>  In a certain case of autism and language deficit because of auditory processing defects, studies have revealed that there is a chromosomal deletion occuring in a certain region of the chromosomes. I thought this was intresting because there was no abnormalities found in the parents. The research concentrates on trying to find this information out and in results of cytogenetic and linkage studies reported, they speculate that there might be two autism and language deficit determining loci on the chromosome area which they found to have the problem which is 13q, one at 13q12 yielding to the q13 region. Four of the loci that map in this region play a role in brain development so of course if its the region that controls speach that is fully developed then i can see where the problem is coming from. I think it would be intresting to talk about this in class because it seems like it would pertain with us talking about disorders in the chromosomes and what would happen and just because I am doing psychology right now and we are studying the brain. It made it more intresting to me because I am somewhat informed on the functions of the brain and their certain regions and what they are capable of doing.
Allergy and cancer: a biological and epidemiological rebus, L. Carrozzi & G. Viegi, Allergy, Vol. 60 Issue 9, p1095-1097, Sep2005
    Determining whether there is a relationship between allergies and cancer, and if there is a relation to preventing one and the other what specifically that would be. The article cites different studies that could be performed in deciding the link. Because allergies are so prevalent in society and cancer is such a main cause for concern this could be interesting to see if there is a link between the two especially if it involves preventing cancer.

Eco-nutritional disease or nutrition and chronic disease, Mark L. Wahlqvist, Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition, Vol.11, s753-s755, December 2002

Macrovasular and musculoskeletal disease are the leading  diseases are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in economically advantaged families. This article talks about things that may affect the type of food we eat. Where we live or how our food is grown are two of many factors that can can affect our health. I feel that if we went more in depth in class about nutrition, we could make decisions that could possibly affect our health.

"Zinc status, psychological and nutritional assessment in old people recruited in 5 European countries: Zincage Study"
Authors: Fiorelli MArcellini, Cinzia Giuli, Roberta Papa, Cristina Gagliardi, George Dedoussis, George Herbein, Tamas Fulop, Daniela Monti, Lothar Rink, Jolant Jajte, Eugenio Macchegiani
Journall Springer Science + Business Media
Volume 7
Page numbers: 7
Published 12 september 2006

The article talked about research found for the Zincage Project, which studies how zinc in our diet affects our aging process and phychological process. In the article, it adresses how the defiencency of zinc in the diet of older people can influence impairments in psychological dimensions. The study was done in several European countries with different diets. In Greece, it was found they aged the fastest because their natural diet is low in zinc.

I personally am interested in health and nutritiin related topics and i thought that this would be a great article because it can apply to everyone and also be applied to our daily lives and help us in the future.

Neurodevelopmental deficits in Pierson (microcoria-congenital nephrosis) syndrome.
Wühl E, Kogan J, Zurowska A, Matejas V, Vandevoorde RG, Aigner T,mWendler O, Lesniewska I, Bouvier R, Reis A, Weis J, Cochat P, Zenker M. 2007.
Am J Med Genet Part A 143A:311-319.
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.

"Weight Loss: What works and What Doesn't", Calorie Control Council, Calorie Control Commentary, Fall 2006 publication, pgs 1-8, Fall 2006

This article is talking about ways to lose weight and also informs people of ways which don't help you to lose weight.  The article also discusses the new problem with childhood obesity and how we, as a society, can help fix the problem and also the reasons for the problem.  Weight management is something that all college kids are faced with and with parenting in the future of a large number of college kids, a greater knowledge of childhood obesity would be extremely beneficial.

Reversal of human cellular senescence: Roles of the p53 and p16 pathways.

Beauséjour CM, Krtolica A, Galimi F, Narita M, Lowe SW, Yaswen P, Campisi J .

The EMBO Journal, 15 Aug 2003
Vol. 22, p 4212 - 4222

I'm interested in the impact biotechnology has on society and I think the notion of engineering cell immortality demonstrates in a very visceral way the potential of biotechnology. I've chosen this article and particular subject because it's fairly simple to understand in principle and is thus accessible to us non-majors. Aside from that, I think the class will find the notion of engineering immortality ,though it isn't extrapolated to humans per se, interesting enough to pay attention to. The article I'm citing addresses the subject of cellular senescence and asks if it is necessarily irreversible.

Stress and Cholesterol, Harvard Men's Health Watch, Volume 11, Pages 7-8, February 2007

The question being asked is "Does stress influence one's cholestorol levels?"
For the experiment, 106 British males and 93 British females were weighed and measured and had a blood sample taken to begin with. Each subject was asked to perform some mentally stressful tasks while their psychological and chemical responses were being monitored. After the session, another blood sample was collected from each subject. Stress did cause an increase in blood cholesterol levels. The average rise was 5 mg/dl of LDL cholestorol ("bad cholesterol") and 1.6 mg/dl of HDL cholesterol ("good cholesterol"). If this level of LDL were sustained it would raise the risk of a heart attack by 3%. The experimenters did not check the subjects later on in the day to see if these levels of cholesterol were sustained but they did check the subjects three years after the initial experiment. Over the three years the average rise in the subjects' LDL cholesterol was from 123-139 mg/dl. The people who had gained the most weight had the greatest rise in cholesterol levels. Also, those who experienced the greatest rise in cholesterol during the original stress test also had the highest rise in cholesterol. The British experiment did not explore HOW stress affects cholesterol however.
Importance: Both studies on cholesterol and stress are important lately. Lots of commercials suggest ways to lower your cholesterol in 2 weeks, 4 weeks, etc., and many times you hear that your medical problems may be caused by or made worse by stress. In a world where stress and cholesterol are both high in the population(due to the combination of many factors- stressful life, bad diet, etc.) it is important to figure out what factors cause rises in both of these and also what factors they affect as well.
“Uganda’s HIV/AIDS epidemic: guest editorial.”, Merson, Michael., AIDS and Behavior, v10.4, pg. 333(2), July 2006
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

"Method — A nonviral gene transfer method for transfecting multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPC)."
Uma Lakshmipathy, Luke Hammer, and Catherine Verfaillie. Gene Therapy & Regulation
Vol. 2 Issue 4, p301-312; 2004.

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.

Molecular Pathogenesis of Osteosarcoma.
Kansara, Maya. Thomas, David M., DNA & Cell Biology; Jan 2007, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p1-18.
The article investigates the molecular causes of osteosarcoma, a rare
and asks what we should do about it in the future. It would be
interesting for
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
understanding of
other cancers, which is why it would make an interesting topic.

BRAF Mutations Are Sufficient to Promote Nevi Formation and Cooperate with p53 in the Genesis of Melanoma,
E. Elizabeth Patton, Current Biology, Volume 15, Issue 3, Pages 249-254, February 8, 2005.
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.

Fish Intake and the Risk of Incident Heart Failure, D. Mozaffarian, C.L. Bryson and R. Lemaitre, ACC Current Journal Review, Volume 14, Pages 8-9, October 2005
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.

Surveillance of HIV/AIDS-Related Attitudes and Perceptions among the General
Public in Hong Kong from 1994 to 2000

Volume: 14, Page(s): 419-431, October 2002
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.

Adult bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells contribute to wound healing of skin appendages, Haihong Li, Cell and Tissue Research volume 326, pgs 725-736 (some diagrams)

I didn't understand every part of this article, frankly some of the scientific technique baffled and cofused me, but the basic results I found to be very interesting. Apparently researchers used stem cells found in bone marrow to heal skin cells, and discovered that not only could these stem cells attach themselves to the skin an heal it but would then migrate back to the bones. I think this article would be interesting because we could learn what exactly stem cells are and how they heal (and apparently move) in a body.

Familial Aggregation Patterns in Mathematical Ability

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.

"Wheezing, Asthma, Hay-fever, and Atopic Eczema in Childhood Following Exposure to Tobacco Smoke in Fetal Life."  L.L. Magnusson, A.B. Olesen, H. Wennborg, and J. Olsen.  Clinical and Experimental Allergy.  Volume 35.  pp. 1550-1556.  September 13, 2005

An investigational study shows that children born from smoking mothers did not and/or had little chance of developing health issues such as asthma, hay-fever, or atopic eczema.  The study was based in two different cities in Denmark and focused on pregnant volunteers at 36 weeks of gestation.  The live born children had routine follow-up until the age of 18.  Clinical questionnaires were given to the participating parents to identify if their child developed conditions such as asthma, hay-fever, or atopic eczema.  The results show that the women who smoked during the 9 month of their pregnancy born children who developed wheezing during their first 3 years.  However, there is a small reduction in children developing hay-fever or asthma who were exposed to prenatal smoking compared to the children who were not exposed.  Little or no evidence suggests that children who were exposed to prenatal smoking are more prone to develop asthma, hay-fever, or atopic eczema.

"Testosterone and the brain," Michael Zitsmann, Aging Male, Volume 9 Issue 4, p195-199, Dec 2006
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.

Morphology and Anatomy of Palm Seedlings, by Flor M. Henderson, from The
Botanical Review, Volume 74, Issue 4. October 2006.
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.

“Activation of Dopamine D2 Receptors Simultaneously Ameliorates Various Metabolic Features of Obese Women”.
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
further explored.