Thursday, November 29, 2012

2nd Period - Case Study Summary

Respond to this with a comment that contains your summary paragraph.  Do not duplicate a case study that someone else in your class has already done.  Make sure to comment on one other person's summary. 

75 comments:

  1. My case study is “Pharmacogenetics: Using Genetics to Treat Disease” by Jeanne Chowning. Two young teens named Beth and Laura were diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic (or Lymphoblastic) Leukemia, a disease of unknown cause that arises from the uncontrolled growth of immature lymphocytes. These cells, stuck in an early stage of development, proliferate so much that they crowd out normal blood cells. Their doctor treated them as inpatients and gave them a thiopurine drug called 6-MP. Thiopurines are very similar to the regular purine nitrogen bases (A and G) that make up DNA and RNA except for an extra sulfur group. So, our cells convert them to nucleotides by adding a deoxyribose sugar and phosphate, and the modified thioguanine nucleotides (TGN) are then incorporated into the DNA. TGN nucleotides interfere with DNA replication and stop the proliferation of cancer cells. Unfortunately, the trade off is that TGN’s also block the growth of other fast growing cells needed for good health, like B cells. So, dosage must be carefully administered in order to find a balance between these two effects. Also, this drug works differently from person to person because it depends on genetic factors, namely, TPMT enzyme activity. Sadly, Dr. Ryder didn’t realize this until after she gave both girls the same dosage of the drug. Laura plummeted into a life-threatening condition while Beth’s health significantly improved. The End. Just kidding, Dr. Ryder responded quickly to Laura’s drug reaction by discontinuing the drug, and Laura’s condition quickly improved as well.

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    1. I like how you explained how thiopurines work. It was cool to see how our cells used the thiopurines adminstered by the doctor to create nucleotides that interfered with the proliferation of cancer. Man and molecule working together! I also like your ending: "Just kidding!" I read the part you wrote about how TGN's block the growth of other fast growing cells needed for good health, and it made me realize that a lot of times, medicine always has its side effects (sometimes bad) and trade-offs. It was also interesting to see that thiopurine treatment can cause different reactions in humans, sometimes even severe, such as with Laura. Hopefully, everyone with cancer has a doctor as good as Laura's, that will recognize something bad in the patient quickly. :)

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    2. Ah, Ruth. You're such a little trickster. You really had me going there at the end. But in all seriousness, this is fascinating! It amazes me that scientists have the ingenuity to engineer cancer treatment that works from the very root of cell production. I wonder if there are people who have no tolerance at all for the drug. You know how some people are more resistant to infections and bacteria? If that is because of a higher proliferation of B-cells and T-cells in the body, we could say that they would be able to take more of the TGN. However, some people have far less B-cells and T-cells. I'm wondering if a person had so few, would it be possible for them to receive TGN at all. Maybe this is complete nonsense, but these are my thoughts. The end.

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    3. Especially with the technology of our day and age, you would think that modern-day doctors know better than to administer drugs to patients without first properly assessing their compatibilities with the medicine, but I suppose you would be wrong. Something that caught my eye in your post, Ruth, is the fact that our body cannot distinguish thiopurines from regular purine bases. I also agree with Ordain on the fact that sometimes, medicine does as much harm as it does good. This reminds be of the Burzynski video we watched earlier this year, when the side-effects of radiation for cancer treatment were mentioned. It's alarming to think that we don't really know the whole picture about all the drugs that we're using to counteract diseases.

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    4. Science never ceases to amaze! Like Landry said, it's incredible how far we have come to where doctors can pinpoint the origin of the issue and respond by creating and administering new drugs to effect change at the source. (Even though certain patients should not be given that drug…) The point that you made on how the variation between each person's genetic composition drastically affects their reaction to TGN reminded me of how modern evolution is still selecting for the strongest and fittest, but we are now faced with new factors that our hominid predecessors would not have ever imagined, such as pollution, diet, and who will be killed off by a new drug. Just a thought.

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  2. I read “Abracadabra: Magic Johnson and Anti-HIV Treatments” for my case study. Magic Johnson was diagnosed with AIDS in 1991. However, this came as a surprise to people, since Johnson was a healthy basketball player who ate a regular, nutritious diet. Today however, Johnson has no symptoms of AIDS. How? Well, we have to know the HIV life cycle to understand. First, HIV uses a surface receptor called gp160 to bind to T cells. Next, it injects its 2 RNA strands into the cell, where reverse transcriptase converts the RNA into DNA. Then, the enzyme integrase inserts the viral DNA into the host cell’s genome. The viral DNA gives instructions to the host machinery for creating immature, nascent polypeptides. It’s up to the enzyme protease to cleave the polypeptides into smaller, mature, and functional polypeptides. Finally, the proteins and genetic material created for the HIV, assemble together to create new virus strains. The new viruses bud out of the cell, acquiring the envelope proteins gp41 and gp120 as they bud. Magic Johnson has worked with his physician to combat this HIV life cycle, using a combination of anti-retroviral drugs, called HAART, or Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy. The combination of drugs tries to block the multiple receptors of HIV. A crucial drug in the mix, Combivir, is made up of lamivudine and zidovudine, which are nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. In fact, Magic Johnson recently became a spokesperson for GlaxoSmithKline, the company that makes Combivir. HAART has treated many patients who are HIV positive successfully, but HIV has adapted to this anti-HIV treatment. Viruses that are resistant to the drugs can replicate and produce more viruses. One single nucleotide mutation of HIV can make an anti-HIV drug ineffective. Besides HAART, doctors have emphasized another treatment: STI, or structured treatment interruption. STI refers to the practice of alternating time spent on anti-retroviral drugs with time spent off drugs. The theory behind STI is that the alternating periods of HAART treatment with regulated withdrawals of drug therapy may induce immune system control of HIV.

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    1. Very thorough, as always :) It’s cool that you chose this topic, because today is World AIDS day. I like how you said the proteins and genetic material "assemble together" because it made me think of the Avengers :) I guess the Avengers are like the immune system of the earth. Hulk could be innate... So, HAART seemed like a promising avenue to recovery, but after everything we've learned, it didn’t surprise me that the virus evolved to overcome it. STI sounds like a good idea because it would make sure the patient doesn't die, while exposing enough of the disease to give the immune system a chance to form antibodies, sort of like vaccination.

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    2. I find this case study to be quite fascinating because HIV/AIDS is still prevalent in devloping parts of the world, such as Africa. Anyway, it's great that you mentioned that a single mutation of HIV can make an anti-HIV drug ineffecive because viruses will always find a way to evade drugs, such as HAART. Due to changes in technology, doctors are now able to figure out what actually happens during the HIV life cycle. If it wasn't for the technology, we wouldn't come this far in treating patients who have HIV/ AIDS. Lastly, it's quite unfortunate that people who maintain a healthy lifestyle come across visues, such as HIV/AIDS.

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    3. Good explanation, Ordain.

      First and foremost, I thought this case study was interesting because of its title. Magic Johnson was an excellent basketball player for an excellent team and he is very famous. I also remember watching an ESPN "30 for 30" Documentary about this same subject. Also, his success is often the genesis of many conspiracy theories. It was cool to learn about HIV's life cycle. Moreover, finding out that HIV has adapted to many prior treatments is disheartening, as I hope that HIV can be eventually treated. This is bad news because, as Jay eloquently explained before, there is an AIDs epidemic in Africa and Asia.

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  3. I read "Giving Birth To Someone Else's Children? A Case of Disputed Maternity" by Jessica Hutchison. Basically, the study talks about a women named Karen who goes in to do blood work for a kidney transplant, and finds out that two of her three children didn't exactly have genes similar to her. Her entire family(sons, husband, brother) was tested and their human leukocyte antigen gene or HLA was tested. HLA is a gene that encode cell surface recognition proteins that the body uses to distinguish it's own cell from foreign cells. This HLA gene is usually inherited together in a section called haplotype in chromosome 6. Since she needed a kidney transplant, doctors expected her sons would have similar HLA haplotypes as her since relatives usually have a similar match. The results were as followed: Karen had a HLA haplotype level of 1 and 3, her first two sons had type 2 and 5, and her third son had type 1 and 6. Karen's brothers were tested and it was proved that Karen's sons were related to Karen but the blood work still didn't match up. Doctors decided to test Karen's hair and thyroid gland and the results came out to be that she had tetragametic chimera, meaning she resulted from the fusion of four gametes(two eggs and two sperms). This case is usual for fraternal twins where two eggs are separatly fertilized by two different sperm, but in Karen's case, two zygotes fused to one. The result of two zygotes was that one made some cells and the other made different cells giving her a different genetic makeup depending on what cells existed.
    -Meby

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    1. Nice topic! This was very interesting. It was interesting to read how HLA genes distinguish its own cells from foreign cell. With gene transferring mutation, and crossing over, many genes were both activated and inactivate giving the kids a different phenotype. I never knew that this was possible, and that twins had a high rate of this happening. Its also interesting to know that the two eggs can become fertilized separately by different sperms.

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    2. I found this case study summary to be quite interesting. The fact that the body can use certain cell surface recognition proteins to differentiate between its own cells from foreign cells is quite remarkable. I also found it quite interesting that the fraternal twins were not born, but rather the two zygotes formed into one organism. This must mean that Karen has two different genetic makeups. The kidney transplant must have also had some effect on Karen's genotype in addition to the two gentoypes she had accumulated from birth.

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  4. I read "Eyes Without a Face":Stem Cell Research and Corneal Implants by Kari Mergenhagen. The case is about a young female, Lucy who was born blind and was blind most of her life.Years later, adult stem cell and amniotic membrane research began with the observation for a treatment to renew vision after implants. Research and data showed that stem cell therapy could restore the cornea regulation and open to allow light to enter the eye. On the other hand, the stem cell therapy may nit work. Even though a stem call can become any cell in the body,the body can reject the new cell. Also,the cell can even form a cluster and grow to become a tumor and travel throughout the body in blood vessels. After some testing,Lucy was able to go through stem cell therapy by injection of embryonic cell in her damaged retina at the back of her eye. The embryonic stem cells were coxed into her retinal pigment cell which is her internal eye cell.For moths later, her eye was observed, and the final results showed that her vision was slowly progressing.

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    1. I like your topic! I didn't know that you could renew your vision with stem cell therapy. It was interesting reading that even thought the stem cells can help you see again but is can also form a cluster and grow to become a tumor and travel throughout the body in blood vessels.

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    2. This is a very interesting topic! I knew that stem cells hold much potential for the future in that they can become any cell in the body, but I wasn't aware the exact method by which stem cells could benefit an individual (restoration of cornea regulation through stem cell therapy). I also was not aware that there were drawbacks of the therapy in that the body can reject the new cell and that the cell can accumulate into a tumor that can travel through the blood stream. The slow progression of vision induced by stem cell therapy shows so much potential for the future in repairing detrimental injuries and disabilities.

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  5. I read "Those Old Kentucky Blues: An Interrupted Case Study" by Celeste A. Leander and Robert J. Huskey. Basically the study talks about how a nurse and a physician try to trace back the lineage of “blue people” in Kentucky. The nurse and the physician found out that the blue people were most likely descendents of Martin Fugate. The Fugates were a large clan living in the valleys and hollows of the Appalachian Mountains in eastern Kentucky. Martin Fugate was an orphan who came from France in 1820. Martin settled in the area and married the pale, red-headed Elizabeth Smith. Over the years, they had at least seven children. Four of them reportedly were blue. Zachary, one of their children, married Elizabeth’s sister. Because of this, as generations passed, it led to marrying other relatives and the family continued to grow. Zachary and Elizabeth’s sister had several children including a boy named Levy. Levy married a girl from the region and had eight children, including Luna. Luna is legendary for having nearly purple skin. Luna married John Stacey and none of their children were blue. The mutation is located in the gene that codes for the enzyme called NADH diaphorase. It’s found in large concentrations in red blood cells, where the enzyme functions to return hemoglobin to a normal oxygen binding state after it has been oxidized to methemoglobin (metHb). This cannot bind to oxygen or carbon dioxide because iron, the oxygen binding part of the heme group, is in the ferric state and binds water instead of oxygen. The oxidation process is slow, but requires enzyme mediated reduction to return to hemoglobin.

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  6. The title of the case study I read was "Chimpanzee Droppings Lead Scientists to Evolutionary Discovery" which was a fascinating study about the accumulation of droppings of chimpanzees in order to find the origin of HIVS/AIDS. In Cameroon, Dr. Hahn and her associates collected 599 chimpanzee fecal samples over the course of 7 years with the long-term goal of discovering the evolution of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Twenty-three species of African primates, however, were found to contain not HIV, but SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus), which is closely related to the HIV virus; among the 23 species of African primates, baboons and chimpanzees also contain SIV. HIV and SIV are both retroviruses containing RNA which is converted back into DNA so it can successfully insert its own DNA into the DNA of its host cell. The study revolved around whether the SIV found in wild chimpanzees (living in Cameroon, Gabon,and the Congo Republic) is the same virus as the virus found in Western chimpanzees, which was determined by comparing the molecular sequences for the viruses of the two kinds. The sequences of the virus' genome were very similar, although not identical due to the high mutation rates with retroviruses. "If this virus were to be found in wild chimpanzees in one of these three countries, the scientists could identify the location where HIV evolved."
    The formation of HIV is thought to have occurred when SIV "jumped" from chimpanzees to humans in a process called zoonosis, estimated to have happened around 50 to 75 years ago, and there are many hypotheses as to how a virus jumped from primates to humans. Humans may have been infected by the virus when a person was butchering a chimpanzee for food,or also if they consumed uncooked contaminated meat. Genetically new virus particles will arise due to the mutation rates of retroviruses causing the host's immunological system to not be able to recognize the new strain of the virus. Using a
    test similar to the HIV-presence test called ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay), Dr. Hahn tested for the presence of SIV in chimpanzee antibodies in chimpanzee dropping which is determined by whether anti-HIV antibodies will attach to HIV antigens present
    on a plate. The results showed that out of 10 fields where droppings were picked up, 5 of the fields were found to contain
    SIV-infected droppings of chimpanzees.

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    1. Who knew that we would be able to find the potential source of HIV from the droppings of monkeys? Reading this summary was especially interesting because it's really unusual, yet you can see how and why scientists would go through with the experiment. It seems like one "persons" mistake lead to a huge human wipe out due to the HIV. But, if the SIV virus already existed in chimpanzees, the chance of that retrovirus "getting out" and mutating into something else may have been inevitable.

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    2. Peter Gala:
      This is a very interesting case study Sally! We've all heard rumors and speculations that HIV may have originated from Ape and monkeys. And now there is substantial evidence that can prove this although more research must be done!I believe finding the origins of HIV and how it evolved can lead to a cure and or an effective treatment.

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  7. I read "Is Guaiacum sanctum Effective Against Arthritis? An Ethnobotany Case" for my case study. Guaiacum sanctum was a tree that once grew in the dry tropical forests of Central America as well as the Caribbean Islands. This tree produces a wood known as lignum vitae. It contains deposits of resin. The Guaiacum sanctum is rare now due to logging as well as the conversion of tropical deciduous forest into pasturelands. Several locals have mentioned in the study that they used this tree medicinally. They boiled guayacan leaves/wood in water, which would result as herbal tea. After drinking this tea for a few days, it would help relieve aches and pains in the legs as well as swelling. According to the article, resin has a medical value as a diaphoretic in treating rheumatism. Based on anecdotal evidence, lignum vitae was useful in treating rheumatism, arthritis, and gout. An experiment was conducted on rats in order to determine whether the resin in Guaiacum sanctum has an anti-inflammatory effect on rats. All of the rats had swelling prior the experiment, but they were divided into six different groups that received a different treatment. Four of those goups were given Guaiacum resin, one was given a placebo, and the last one was given an anti-inflammatory drug. According to the results, the group that was given the most Guaiacum resin had a major reduction in swelling compared to the other experimental groups.

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    1. It seems to be common convention to say that the poster's article is interesting, but the article seems to be lacking scientific substance, and is less interesting than questionable. There are many folk remedies that people claim to work, and this just seems to be another one of them. Did the article give a reason or a proposed explanation for why this guaiacum sanctum would have an anti-inflammatory effect? Why would the resin's diaphoretic properties, diaphoretic meaning sweat inducing, help treat rheumatism? Indeed, when a medicine is claimed to be able to treat diseases from coughs to arthritis to syphilis, one wonders about the actual effectiveness. Though the study does seem to support the idea, I wonder if it is really as effective as it is claimed to be. I did read, however, that the guayacan extracts can be used as a local stimulant which is supposedly used to treat sore throats and also to treat arthritis. This does not make sense to me either, as shouldn't a sore throat need something to relax the throat locally to minimize swelling, and for arthritis, shouldn't we also need something that would reduce swelling, not a stimulant?

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    2. It seems to me that the evidence behind the effect is not properly back-up. There are quite a few folk remedies that just seem to work or they do not actually have any effect on the illness but help the person go through the disease more calmly. The tea may actually help lower swelling but how? Also, what if the effect of drinking the tea help lower the swelling but cause another illness?

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  8. I read "Nanobacteria: Are They or Aren't They Alive? A Case Study on What It Means to Be a Biological Organism" by Merri Lynn Casem. As evident from the title, this case study dealt with the definitions of a living being, and whether the recently discovered nanobacteria fit this criteria. Nanobacteria are very small coccoid prokaryotes, ranging in size from .2 to .5 micrometers, and were first isolated from human and cow blood. These bacteria are not yet fully understood, but it has been proposed that their function is to stimulate biomineralization, the process by which inorganic crystalline structures form, also known as calcification.

    The evidence presented in the case study seemed to support the idea that the nanobacteria should be considered living creatures. Though nanobacteria are difficult to work with and behave unlike other bacteria, the nanobacteria will grow, and will double in size in three days. In addition, researches have isolated a "165 rRNA gene sequence" that is also found in several human bacterial pathogens. In addition to this, the "transferability", the ability to be sampled and produce a new colony, and the inhibition of growth by gamma rays found in an experiment conducted by Kajander and Ciftciolgu supported the hypothesis that nanobacteria were living. However, it is suggested by Cisar et al. that the experiments that yielded the 165 rRNA gene sequence may have been caused by common bacterial contaminants, as the same PCR reaction replicated in later experiments showed that the results were 99% identical to common contaminants. Though Cisar et al. supported the idea that nanobacteria were not biological organisms, conflicting with Kajander and Ciftciolgu, both articles did agree that 1) Nanobacteria maintained in culture generates a biofilm 2) Exposure to gamma radiation prevented formation of biofilm 3) The transferability of the nanobacteria. Though Cisar et al. claims that there is not enough evidence while Kajander and Ciftciolgu claims that there is enough evidence, it is clear that the nanobacteria have some biological properties, but it is difficult to determine with current data whether we can classify nanobacteria as living.

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    1. I find this fascinating; however, is the classification of an organism as "alive" based truly upon science? Nanobacteria are known to play a very key role within organisms, but so do vitamins. We must first look at the classifications we learned in 7th grade for why organism are "living". Growth, Movement(or ability to move), Respiration, Reproduction, Response to environment/stimuli, and strive to maintain a healthy homeostasis. This may seem very boiled down due to the fact that many of these conditions have dozens of other factors, but to start analyzing the condition of these nanobacteria, these conditions must be met from a scientific standpoint. Furthermore, we could take a moral standpoint. Although nanobacteria will not grow to be visual, but this can also be compared to the debate on Abortion. What classifies if an organism is truly alive or merely has the potential for life? Although this seems like too much of a tangent, it is relevant in the classification of living organisms. I believe this study is very interesting, but more research is indeed needed in this area. :)

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    2. "Nanobacteria are known to play a very key role within organisms, but so do vitamins."

      Vitamins do not produce biofilm when grown in culture as far as I know.

      Also, comparing nanobacteria to the debate on abortion is like saying that you don't want to take amoxicillin when you have strep throat because you don't want to harm living beings. That's taking pro-life to a whole new level.

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    3. I think the doc was just saying the article didn't seem to deliberately hit all the main points we learned "in 7th grade". Plus, I don't think he actually took a stance, let alone "taking pro-life to a whole new level"; he simply mentioned that this discussion of living vs nonliving is similar/ "relevant" to the abortion debate.

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  9. The article I read was "Why Sex is Good". Primarily, it caught my eye just due to the title, but the content was just as interesting. This article is directed at organisms which produce both sexually and asexually. It goes into depth about how each method of reproduction is beneficial and a drawback in their own way. Sexual reproduction induces a gene pool which will not stagnate and gives more diversity to each individual organism, heightening the chances of survival, while asexual reproduction is much faster and can hone upon individuals which survive. For example, in bacteria, exposure to an antibacterial will eliminate all cases of those which are not resistant to survive, while resistant bacteria will survive and reproduce much faster asexually. However, both types of reproduction have their drawbacks.Sexual reproduction involves the mutation of the gene code which can lead to the accidental elimination of a previous gene code that gave the organism a greater chance of survival. Furthermore, sexual reproduction takes longer and is not as reliable due to the fact that both organisms need to present. Asexual reproduction also has its drawbacks. Asexual reproduction is the mere duplication of an organisms gene pool.This can lead to the chances of survival dwindling if exposed to a catastrophe. This method is highly reliable in preferred stagnant conditions, but if the conditions of the environment were to change, problems would follow. This is the main reason that organism with the ability to produce sexually and asexually have an upper hand in terms of natural selection.This article also focused upon an experiment involving and choosing which form of reproduction would be allowed. The main focus of this experiment was the effect of environmental cues upon the choice of reproduction. It was shown that in desolate and stressful conditions, yeast would prefer to reproduce sexually, as it would heighten chances of survival. A similar experiment was shown involving the experimentation of snails. The same results ensued. Snails forced to live in harsher conditions would find a necessity to reproduce sexually, for reproduction is winning in this game. All in all, this article focused on the necessity of Sex, both sexual and asexual. As organisms reproduce, they transfer their genetic information in some fashion to the next generations. Often the method of reproduction is highly affected by the environment.

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    2. An angered person!December 2, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      There are so many odd things about your comment Akshay. First of all, the first sentence makes little sense. In addition, how is reproduction detrimental? Why did you switch up the order of pros and cons! You say pros and cons, not cons and pros!!! I stopped reading after these egregious mistakes!

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    3. A not-particularly-angry person.December 2, 2012 at 4:49 PM

      Has Akshay ever made sense?

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    4. Not-angry, but a satisfied personDecember 2, 2012 at 7:47 PM

      I love Akshay so much...He probably wasn't thinking at the time he was typing this and made some erroneous sentences.

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    6. Both sexual and asexual reproduction is detrimental aspect of species to survive. This article expresses this concern by stating the pros and cons of the reproduction of animals. The fact that epigenetics of reproduction specified in this article: that the species will choose the method of reproduction based on the environment that surrounds them, for example, the snail living in a harsher and more extreme environment will choose sexual reproduction in order to adapt and thus survive in the environment it lives in. Dr. Reddy, great job. I hope to see this published one day in the magazine SCIENCE. Thanks!

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  10. I read “A Can of Bull? Do Energy Drinks Really Provide a Source of Energy?” This case study goes into depth about whether or not energy drinks like Red Bull really gives the consumer the burst of energy and focus and if it does, how. One thing I noticed in each set of ingredients for XS Citrus Blast, Red Bull, Sobe Adrenaline Rush, and Impulse is that they all use caffeine. Caffeine is known to give the user enhanced memory and response while also giving athletes improved muscle function as well. Each drink also has taurine that helps improve concentration and reaction time. For three of the drinks, excluding XS Citrus Blast, they each claim that it is for performance enhancing and that gives the user more energy. With just caffeine and taurine, the claims they make are proven true but along with this, Coca-Cola was also used as comparison. Coca-Cola has caffeine in it as well that gives the consumer which enhances memory, reaction speeds, and athletic qualities while having fructose in it that gives them energy. So while the claims the energy drinks claim are true, similar effects can be found in other drinks not meant for the same purpose. The difference is that the energy drinks have more ingredients that give more effects like Red Bull, Impulse, and XS Citrus Blast have pyridoxine HCL, which is a synthetic form of Vitamin B-6 and is for energy production, thus having more ingredients that give the user more energy and their claims can be held to be true.

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  11. The article "Osmosis Is Serious Business!" describes two conundrums that two separate people experience from both lack of responsibility and experience. Also both situations are related to the biological process of osmosis. Osmosis is movement of solvent molecules or mostly water from a higher concentration through a permeable barrier to a lower concentration region. The first situation is presented through the experience of a farmer's eldest son, Michael, in Habersham County. One day Michael is told by his father to spread the fertilizer on the family fields. So the next day, Michael spreads the 25 bags of fertilizer over 40 acres of corn. Just as he finishes the 25th bag, he decides to spread 15 extra bags thinking that the fertilizer will create a juicier and bigger yield. Although it seems logical, Michael (as a teenager, of course) has made a grave mistake. The fertilizer he used is potassium and phosphorous based which are both excellent nutrients for the roots and function of the plant, however, Michael created a hypertonic solution by adding so much fertilizer. See fertilizer requires a specified amount of water in order to get the granules to dissolve and spread the fertilizer through the soil and get the nutrients through the roots through a process of osmosis. However the amount that Michael placed into the fields was over kill, it released the water from the low concentrated cells of the potassium and phosphorous to the highly concentrated areas just right outside corn plants. The other way the article displays the importance of osmosis is a rookie in the ER. The rookie is named Tom and works with a more experienced Dr. Greene at a hospital in Habersham County. The first trauma patient is a 18 old male with a gun shot wound to the right abdomen with a heart rate of 92, blood pressure rate of 95/65, and no loss of consciousness. Tom is instructed to a place a saline drip on because the patient is exhibiting signs of low BP due to a injured artery, in doing so Tom accidentally places a distilled water drip instead. This causes the the patient to go into arrest and has a O2 saturation falling and a pulse that is quickening. The patient dies and Tom finds out his mistake. He is scared and finds out also the Foley catherer bag is full of hemoglobin shows that the water has rushed into the cell or the hypotonic environment was created thus bursting the patient's cells and leaving the main protein of the blood cells, hemoglobin, in the Foley bag. Thus osmosis is detrimental for both the survival for all life.

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    1. O yeah I forgot...keep it isotonic....if you know what I mean. ;)

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    2. My name is Suresh, Adarsh Suresh!December 2, 2012 at 4:05 PM

      Sounds like an interesting case study! I like how you explained the case study in such a melodramatic way. That made it a lot easier and much more fun to read. I think that osmosis is a lot more helpful than detrimental. Without it, our bodies would have to use a lot more energy just to move water and some nutrients. Also, without osmosis, plants wouldn't be able to grow very tall and that would suck for those lucky children with tree houses(i am not one of those lucky few...:-(...). Overall, great job Akshay!

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  12. I read "Prayer Study: Science or Not?" This case study was a about how some heart patients who had someone "pray" for them, suffered fewer complications. William Harris concluded that it was "a natural explanation, that can't be explained yet." This study involved 990 patients in St. Luke's Hospital. The patients were divided into two groups, those who we anonymously prayed for, and those who weren't. When they say anonymously prayed for, they mean that community volunteers were assigned to pray for the patients without knowing anything but their name. No one was told about this study, not even the patients themselves. The volunteers were told to pray for the patients everyday for a speedy recovery with no complications. It turns out that those patients who were prayed for suffered less complications (about 10%) than those who weren't "prayed" for. The researcher assigned in the case concluded that even thought it couldn't be entirely explained, prayer may be effective in standard medical care. But, there were many things in the case that Harris couldn't control, such as religious preference. It was possible that those who weren't prayed for in the case, were prayed for by their loved ones, which the researchers refer to as "background prayer." Although, keeping that in mind, and based off of the results, the impact of the group assignment was far greater. In contrast to this case, there was another case in 1988, lead by Dr. Herbert Benson. In Benson's case, prayed for patients suffered worse, and for others, it didn't help either. Even though it's still unproven whether or not prayer makes a difference, it is noted that people who believe in God tend to be better off than those who don't.

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    1. This is a very interesting topic! Its pretty interesting to find out that people who were prayed for had better health results than people who weren't prayed for. Hopefully they'll do more research on whether prayer really does help since we don't know if the group of patients who weren't assigned people to pray for got prayers by their family members, which like you said is called background prayer.

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  13. I read the case study, “An antipodal Mystery”, primarily because it related to platypuses and I love those little guys. This case study was about the discovery and the curiosities that followed the discovery of this odd creature. The platypus was first discovered by the Governor of New South Wales who took it upon himself to murder the creature and preserve it in a keg of spirits. The Governor sent the carcass of the Platypus to a Philosophical Society in England who were very intrigued by the creature’s shape. It looked like a half bird, half beast with parts from all kinds of animals. A duck’s beak, a mammal’s body, a beaver’s tail, and fishlike appendages. No one believed the legitimacy of the animal. Many people thought it was the skilled work of a clever, Asian taxidermist. The discovery of the Platypus’s cloaca( a single opening for excrement, urine, and reproduction) led to the grouping of echidnas, platypuses, kangaroos, etc. into the new animal class Monotrema. Another problem with grouping the Platypus was that it had no teats, but after the capture of a few platypuses with offspring, scientists quickly found mammary glands with no nipples on the mother and milk in the stomachs of the offspring. As things finally began to fall into place, an explorer realized that the bill of the platypus was used to search the muddy surface of the river bed for small creatures to consume. Hence the flexibility and moistness of the platypuses bill, unlike the rigid and dry nature of a duck’s bill. Scientists finally decided on not classifying the platypus as a mammal because even though it had mammary glands, it laid eggs. These eggs were not calcified like a bird’s but rather soft and growing to accommodate the fetus. This discovery was made by an explorer that came across a platypus in the act of giving birth, so he killed it and took it to some scientists who were able to study this new discovery. And that folks, is the story of the platypus. Today, the world’s most famous platypus is Perry, a blue Platypus who is employed as a secret agent, stars on the show Phineas and Ferb.

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    1. This case study is really interesting! When we were younger they always told us that platypuses are mammals even though they lay eggs, so it was really weird to read that they actually decided not to classify them. After reading the break down of the bodies of platypuses, they seem to be some really weird hybridization of animals that later got mutated and then got naturally selected and became a species: evolution! Also, though I'm sure the rest of your post is accurate, I believe that Perry is actually a blue-green platypus, really more of a turquoise than a blue.

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  14. I read “Amanda’s Absence: Should Vioxx Be Kept Off the Market?” by Dan Johnson. Biology professor Dr. Sharpe first became interested with researching Vioxx when his student Amanda, who suffered from Type III osteogenesis imperfecta, had to withdraw from college for an entire semester because she could no longer cope with her pain, now that Vioxx was no longer available to the public. The case study accounts Dr. Sharpe’s research on the removal of Vioxx, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug manufactured by Merck & Co., from the market.

    Vioxx had been approved by the FDA in 1999 for the reduction of pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and acute pain in adults. However, in September 2004, the data safety monitoring board overseeing a long-term study of the drug found that patients taking Vioxx were doubly susceptible to serious cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes, compared to patients who were not receiving the drug. Merck subsequently withdrew the drug from the public. Interestingly enough, in June 2000, Merck had already submitted to the FDA a separate safety study that displayed an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients using Vioxx over long periods of time for arthritis, compared to patients taking Aleve. Yet, the FDA had not recommended the removal of Vioxx from the market upon reviewing the results of that study. Sandra Kweder, M.D., Deputy Director of the Office of New Drugs, mentioned in her testimony at a hearing in November 2004 concerning the withdrawal of Vioxx, that occasionally, serious negative effects of the use of a drug are identified after the FDA’s approval of it. Kweder also stressed the importance of the FDA’s continuance in assessing the safety of a drug even after its release to the public, in the event that the drug may be found to have harmful effects, such as the problems detected with Vioxx.

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  15. Case Study: Search for the Missing Sea Otters

    My case study deals with sea otters(Enhydra lutris). Dr. Estes, a biologist from Alaska, noticed that the sea otter population of the Aleutian Islands had crashed dramatically since 1990. In some cases, the sea otter population declined by 90% in < 10 years! Dr. Estes and his group of scientists hypothesized that killer whales. This was because killer whales were observed killing otters on a more regular basis. However, this was a bit shaky, as killer whales and sea otters were living peacefully before. Using the power of science, scientists tested their hypothesis found something remarkable - in an area with an open coast (that are more exposed to whales), the sea otter population dropped dramatically. In an area where the sea otter population wasn't exposed to whales, the population still decreased, but not as dramatically. Given all the evidence he and his team collected, Dr. Estes concluded that killer whales were ultimately the cause of the decline in sea otters. A reason why I think the killer whales may be eating sea otters (an animal which they didn't eat in the past) was because of a loss of a food source. The population of their previous food source may have decreased (maybe due to climate change, as we are talking about Alaska).

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    1. I think that the killer whales may have been a cause but I agree with you when you say that there might be something else behind the otter population's decline. Maybe some sort of environmental change such as a decrease in food or more competition for living space/mates or a change in climate that effects the otters. Or there is always the possibility of human interference. It would be interesting to see what kind of human activity, whether if it was minimal or not, caused such a dramatic change in the otter's population.

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  16. I read "Dust to Dust: The Carbon Cycle." This study was interesting in many ways. First of all, it was written as a dialogue between a freshman in college, Tom, and his grandfather. The dialogue made the text much more engaging, so now I'm proposing that our textbooks be written as a constant dialogue between two very charismatic people (like Coach Chvatal and...Landry Goodgame) for the purpose of improving the reading experience. Anyways, the study explores different uses and applications of carbon. Tom's grandpa explains the use of carbon in carbon-14 dating. There are three kinds of carbon atoms: C-12, C-13, and C-14. However, C-14 is the only one that can be used for dating because it has 8 neutrons (versus 6, as in the other two); this makes it unstable and radioactive. It is the only carbon that, over time, breaks down over time.
    I also learned from Tom's grandpa that radioactive carbon (C-14) comes from the upper atmosphere. Neutrons "attack" nitrogen-14: a proton is knocked out, and a neutron is put in its place. This produces radioactive C-14.
    Carbon really is an incredible element. It is constantly being reused, in somewhat of a cyclical pattern. For example, the decomposition of a dead organism can form crude oil, which can form CO2, which is then taken in by plants, which then decompose back into the earth and begin the cycle anew. The title of this study is very fitting, then. What an amazing idea that Tom's grandpa finishes with: "We are a part of the universe and a part of the universe is in us too." Literally. Science is awesome!

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    1. I agree, the text should be written as a dialogue between Coach C and you, that would make our lives so much easier. You did a great job explaining your case study! And I like how you went into more detail about Carbon. It put the case study into perspective and helped people like me understand things like "carbon-dating"... now I know it's not really about two carbons going steady, got it... Good job Landry :)
      -Gabby Orlando

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    2. I also completely agree; the textbook should be by coach c and you-I would have fun reading it! (Not that I don't have fun already.....this textbook is so exciting....of course.) But anyways, i liked how you went into detail about the three types of carbon atoms. It makes you appreciate things that we would usually ignore while living our day to day lives. Carbon is always being reused. And I love the quote at the very end, Landry! "We are a part of the universe and a part of the universe is in us too." It's so true :)

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  17. Syed Tahmid

    I read the case study "Atkins or Fadkins?" by Karen E. Bledsoe from Western Oregon University. The study begins with a scenario of you and your two friends having a meal together. The conversation turns to diet and nutrition and the question of the healthiness in a low carb high protein diet is brought forth. One of the characters, Mitchell is convinced that the brain and body can differntiate between fuel stores and can allow for the body to burn fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates. Nitchell then goes on to discuss that detoxifiers can allow for the body to extract toxins that may accumulate in cell storage sites due to poor nutrition and can allow for the body to properly use the fat stores as energy. Without these detoxifiers, the body will not be able to extract fat from the cells. Janine on the other hand, the friend whom Mitchell is trying to refute, is in fact correct in stating that Mitchell is being scammed. The diuretics in the detoxifiers simply drain any water weight Mitchell might have gained. Mitchell says that he had lost two pounds in a day, which is roughly 7,000 calories. The two pounds he lost was all water weight due to the diuretics. Mitchell is seen at a later date craving carbohydrates found in a small muffin. Janine insists that he is craving the carbohydrates due to a low level of blood sugar in his ciruclatory system. Janine is correct about needing some levels of glucose in one's blood sugar. Having sugar is not necessarily bad. for example, if one were to workout and crave a donut at the end of the workout, that is not a horrible thing. Some may think that an individual may crave the donut because it is earned due to the exercise that was just performed, but that is not necessarily the case. The individual craves the donut because they need a spike in insulin due to levels of low blood sugar. A final key note i had noticed while reading the article, other than all of the ignorant statements made my Mitchell, is the concept of body image. Mitchell is going through rather extreme changes in diet and nutritional intake which he insists will promote a body image he desires/would like to acquire. Janine however takes a rather slower and more approachable quest for a healthy lifestyle, making subtle changes in dietary intake, and still allowing the occasion junk food (an ice cream bar she may crave for instance). However, Mitchell's body image is due to a psychological mishap he is enduring. At the end of his road to "perfection" he may still believe that his physical attributes are not good enough. The point is, Mitchell needs to figure out what is actually bothering him when it comes to body image. Once Mitchell achieves his desired look, some other inconsistency will drain him of self esteem. He states that the members of his gym look so much buffer than him. Hypothetically speaking, if Mitchell were to achieve the perfect diet, he would feel negatively about his body if he didn't have the correct muscle insertion points for example. What do i mean by this? For example, Mitchell may become depressed and dismayed because his biceps or abdominals do not grow in the same manner his role model may look like. And this he cannot do anything about because it boils down to his genetics.

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  18. My case study is "Love Potion #10" by Susan Holt. This case study is about researching whether or not claims made by advertisements about pheromones are true. Most ads use pheromones to sell products because they "get you more romantic attention". Men can buy pheromone 10X to attract girls; while girls can buy pheromone 10:13 to attracts guys. But is it true? Do pheromones really exist? The people who gave their testimonials on these products seem to have more confidence when it comes to attracting partners. The website for the product even had research to prove that the pheromones were real and that the product wasn't a scam. But would you be so quick to believe this research? The research could have been made up or been conducted by a non-credible scientist. This case study asks students to find adequate evidence supporting or disclaiming the existence of pheromones. I chose this case study because no one else had reviewed it and I found it to be one of the more interesting cases. Personally... I don't believe in the existence of pheromones, but I do think that people are attracted to certain smells. However, these "scents" are not scientific like pheromones, just ordinary everyday smells that someone obtains a special liking towards.

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  19. I read "A Healthy Retirement?". The study is about Nancy who is 62 years old and Jim who is 68. Jim recently retired after having a heart attack and he also smokes and is overweight. Nancy also retired recently and she goes to the gym a few times and a week and she also swims laps at the pool. Nancy was having some back aches and she was feeling tired quicker than normally. She began to experience minor lower chest pains when she ate too much at a gathering of friends but the problem went away when she took antacids. The couple went on a cruise to Alaska and Nancy felt worn out from all the prepping required to go on the cruise. While on the cruise, Nancy began to have difficulties breathing and had nausea. After resting though, the symptoms disappeared. Before Nancy had gone on the cruise, she received results from a medical examination and many things such as her cholesterol were higher than normal. It turns out that when they were on the cruise a doctor who was on the cruise as well said that Nancy could be experiencing a heart attacks. Symptoms for heart attacks and many other diseases and problems can be different between men and women. Onsets for heart attacks could also be different for men and women. Jim smoked and did not exercise and he had a heart attack but Nancy did not smoke and did exercise but she was experiencing heart attacks. Symptoms are also different between males and females. They are called angina equivalent symptoms. It is quite fascinating that different genders can have different symptoms for the same disease. Maybe in the future this could lead to medicine not only specialized for a specific disease but also for a specific gender. This method could effectively target and treat/reduce the presence of many diseases with different gender symptoms.

    -Rahil Patel

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  20. Case Study: Would You Supersize My Cancer, Please?

    This case study follows the discovery of acrylamide, a known carcinogen in animals, in french fries, potato chips, and several other foods that have been either fried or baked. Acrylamide has also been found to be a neurotoxin, or a substance that causes nerve damage to those who are exposed to high amounts of it. Though this substance has not yet been identified as a cause of cancer in humans, researchers fear that accumulation of the chemical in the body may lead to future complications. After the initial detection of acrylamide in fast food and baked goods, the entire science community went crazy, producing such articles as "Serving up cancer" and "Cancer Chemical Link to Crisps Discovered," but there have also been many articles refuting such statements, namely "Fried Food Chemical Is Not Cancer Risk." It was really interesting to see both sides of the issue, but it soon became obvious after actually reading the articles that there is no real evidence against the chemical. All of the articles against the chemical were unable to say how it would affect the human body, and could only say things like "Scientists have discovered how the production of crisps and chips creates the potentially cancer-causing chemical acrylamide." None of them could actually say that they were positive that the substance would cause cancer in humans or explain how it does. It soon became blatantly obvious that though it was a legitimate concern that acrylamide may perhaps cause complications in the distant future, there is no immediate health concern. After reading this case study I was almost convinced to not eat fast food, but there are several other things, such as the radiation from cell phones, that “may cause cancer in the future,” but it’s a chance that we’re all taking anyway.

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    1. I agree- it seems to me that this entire frenzy is being caused by a lack of knowledge about acrylamide! Scientists should be able to prove its detrimental affect on the human body, if any, before calling it a direct cause of a (gasp!) cancer. Fried foods already lack a good reputation in the scientific community because of their unhealthiness in other aspects; however, it takes much more than the simple presence of a carcinogen to do significant harm. This does not mean, however, that scientists should abandon their research of the carcinogen- this means that they should continue to put effort into studying acrylamide so they can determine, even if years in the future, whether or not its long-term intake can do serious damage. The discovery would always be better earlier, so I say that scientists start now to find out whether consuming fried foods is a "chance" worth taking.

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  21. My case study is “The Case of Eric, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and Stem Cell Research” by Elizabeth R. McCain. At age 31, Eric was diagnosed with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known in the United States as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He had muscle damage present in both the upper and lower body neurons. The disease destroys motor neurons, which stimulate muscles. (chapter 48!) Without receiving the signals because of the killed motor neurons, the muscles weaken and atrophy. For Eric, the most difficult and nerve-wracking part was how his life was going to change as a result of this disease. His sister, however, was curious about the cure. She looked into embryonic stem cell therapy. Stem cells are interesting because they can differentiate into many different types of cells with various functions, so it was possible they could become motor neurons and potentially rescue the damaged neurons and save Eric’s life. The cure looked promising, but hadn’t been tried on a patient with severe ALS. Eric wasn’t comfortable with the idea of having embryonic cells in his body, and nor did he wish to become a researcher’s guinea pig. Before participating in a trial for the potential cure, however, Eric had to talk to dozens of professionals, from politicians (to see the legal status of the research), philosophers (to see his opinion) and of course, numerous doctors and researchers as well. The stem cell research, which worked on mice, looked extremely promising, but the risks were so dangerous that Eric had a careful decision to make….and the article leaves us in suspense, never telling of Eric’s decision. Personally, I feel like the cure is so simple that it might actually work, but I understand Eric’s fear…being the first one in anything life-threatening is daunting.

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  22. The case study that I had the pleasure of reading was “A Sickeningly Sweet Baby Boy: A Case Study on Autosomal Recessive Inheritance” by Jacqueline Washington and Anne Zayaitz. Emma and Jacob Miller lost their firstborn child nine days after birth and just gave birth to their second child, Matthew. They are understandably frantic when he can no longer feed after seven days. A visit to the doctor reveals that Matthew’s urine elevated levels of branched chain amino acids (BCAA) and his enzyme activity was 200 times lower than normal. He is diagnosed with Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), which sounded fake to me, but results from an inability to metabolize BCAA and can result in brain swelling, damage, and death. The doctor states that Matthew must maintain a diet low in protein for the rest of his days. Now that Emma and Jacob know the cause of their babies’ problems, they think back on the many family members that had died within the first year of life on both sides of their family tree and conclude that both of them must be carriers of this autosomal recessive gene. (duh) Matthew lives a controlled and sad life, empty of meat and dairy products. No birthday cake for Matthew. Even with this controlled diet, he still has brain swelling several times a year, until his parents have had enough and have Matthew put on the list for a liver transplant. There is a 40% chance that he will reject the liver and he could possibly die from complications in the very surgery attempting to prevent his demise. Is it really worth it? Would this be a chance that you'd be willing to take?

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    1. Wow, this is a very interesting/sad article. The name Maple Syrup Urine Disease sounds fake to me as well. It must be hard to maintain a diet like that because there's some kind of meat or dairy product in almost everything. I think it's good that Emma and Jacob are finally able to find out what the problem is with their babies. I hope that Matthew will have a liver transplant for a better chance at having a healthy life. It would be a chance that I would be willing to take to save if it was my child. There could be a possibility that he survives the liver transplant.

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  23. In my article, "I’m Looking Over a White-Striped Clover: A Case of Natural Selection," I read about the presence of the white-striped clover in different regions of the United States. The clover in the US typically exists in two forms- a form with green leaves and a form with green and white leaves, commonly known as the striped variety. Striped clovers can produce cyanide, a poison, that is activated through the combination of a cyanide-sugar complex found in the cell cytoplasm and an enzyme found in the cell wall.
    In an analysis of the habitat features of Minnesota and North Carolina, one can associate certain characteristics with the prominence of a certain kind of clover. Minnesota, with colder and dryer weather and a small population of herbivores, is inhabited by mainly plain, green-leafed clovers. Natural selection probably led to to the prominence of the plain clovers because colder weather would destroy plant cells above the ground, proving the cyanide poison in cell walls and cytoplasm ineffective against some kind of predatory herbivore population. This is not necessary, however, since there aren't that many molluscs in Minnesota.
    On the other hand, North Carolina is characterized by lower elevation, a wetter environment, and a higher population of herbivores. The prominence of white-striped clovers is easily explained through natural selection of clovers that could survive existing near molluscs because of their cyanide defense.
    These association of habitat variations to clover forms can then be applied to the regions of Long Island, NY, simply by knowing regional characteristics. One could predict that the shallower depressions of the Island with moister weather and an abundance of herbivores would have a prominence of striped clovers armed with cyanide, whereas the low hills, with fewer herbivores, that become considerably drier and freeze in the wintertime would have a prominence of plain clovers with no cyanide defense.
    In summary, the case explores how environmental differences affected the evolution of clover variants in different regions. The variants with adaptations that best suited their environment, like the striped clovers that contained cyanide in regions with many herbivores, were more likely to survive and therefore were naturally selected to become prominent in that specific area.

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  24. In the case study "Mother's Milk Cures Cancer?" Dr. Svanborg has a student who is studying the effects of protein from human breast milk on virally infected tissue. What the student was researching to see if the is an increase of viral destruction but what the student came to find was that the protein in the milk was causing the cancer cells to "commit suicide".
    Dr. Svanborg would have a hard time explaining this to her other colleagues. Her laboratory didn't qualify as a "high-profile, big science institute" like the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institutes of Health (NHI). Dr. Svanborg contacted her most trusted colleague, David Soloman. He had told her that she should wait before telling people about these findings. She needed to find more evidence first.
    There is a study that was done in 1995 that helps support her findings. It states that the risk of childhood lymphoma is nine times higher in bottle-fed than breast-fed infants. Dr. Svanborg and her team studied the components of the breast milk closer. They found the actual component of breast milk that was killing cancer cells is a protein called alpha-lactalbumin. In January of 1999, results were released showing that in the acid environment of an infant’s stomach, the normal alpha-lactalbumin protein changed shape and transformed into a killer of cancer cells. Her teamed named this altered protein HAMLET, for Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumor cells. The team tested HAMLET on animals since it's from breast milk, it should not have any harmful effects and if it is found to be useful for cancer treatment, it would have an advantage over other drugs which have harmful side effects.
    Dr. Svanborg’s research group used genetically engineered HAMLET factor in bacterial cells. Once a protein has been isolated, a copy of the DNA can be made and inserted into a plasmid. Plasmids are vectors of the gene of interest that are placed into bacterial cells. Once a line of bacterial cells with the transformed plasmid is reproducing successfully, they are grown in large vats. If the HAMLET factor can kill cancer cells in humans, then it will not be long before the pharmaceutical companies want to get involved, but they must be convinced that the work is worth their attention. Sometimes naturally occurring drug products are labeled “orphan drugs” who are not marketed to the general public. I hope this won’t happen to the HAMLET component. Over all, Dr. Svanborg is happy with her team's progress.
    - Christy Crowe

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  25. Cancer is one of the most horrific and mysterious diseases to this date. The cure would be like the Holy Grail of the medical field. The underlying question is this- why do some people get cancer while others don't? One possible explanation lies in genetics. Is there a link between certain genetic conditions and someone having cancer? This case study shows how mutations on the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene, can lead to cancer. This occurs because the large amount of protein produced by the APC gene is has several binding locations that bind to other proteins within a cell. One of these binding spots accepts B-catenin proteins. When this is bound to the APC protein, it breaks down. Because this protein has a role in triggering cell replication, binding to APC causes unnecessary cell replication. This leads to unnecessary cell replication- AKA cancer. So it’s possible that certain genes are more vounerable to causing cancer.. This topic could prove to be vital in the advancement of the medical field

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    1. "Colon Cancer: A Case of Genetic Bad Luck?"

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  26. Peter Gala: Abracadabra
    This case study shows how HIV functions and the few treatments that are available and how they combat HIV. For starters, there are two different kinds of HIV which are progressors and non-progressors. Both of these have the virus. However, the interesting thing about this is that progressors who have the virus can develop AIDS at a fast rate. Contrarily, non-progressors who also have the virus do not exhibit symptoms of AIDS developing! The way HIV replicates is the reason that it is so effective at fighting treatments and potential cures. The virus attaches to T-cell by binding their receptors with the CD4 receptor. When the virus penetrates the cell, it releases two RNA strands. The strands then go through Reverse Transcriptase and the RNA is converted to dsDNA. Because HIV is a retro-virus, its RNA is replicated twice making a double strand. Therefore it is no longer RNA but DNA. An enzyme called integrase inserts the HIV genome DNA into the host cell’s DNA. Because HIV is a retro-virus, there is more crossing over which leads to more genetic variation. It also reproduces very quickly adapting to any sort of inhibitor. HIV is then translated by the host cell’s machinery into polypeptides that will be cleaved. Then the enzyme protease cleaves the polypeptides into mature HIV proteins. The mature proteins then form the new HIV that will infect other cells. Thousands of HIV can be produced from a single cell. The only treatment for this disease is not really a treatment but more so delaying the inevitable. It just puts off the virus for later. What are known as “drug cocktails” are given to slow the virus down. But HIV soon adapts to the treatment and becomes immune to it causing a regiment change in the drug cocktails. This treatment is very expensive and relatively ineffective and is toxic to the body. Do the benefits out way the risks?

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