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Monkeys in zoos have human gut bacteria

Submitted by tterrasi on Sun, 09/24/2017 - 21:06

            Billions of bacteria are part of the primate gastrointestinal tract, contributing to metabolic, autoimmune, and pathogen resistance. These bacteria are correlated to metabolic and autoimmune human diseases that are shown in western societies. Factors such as poor environment, stress, or antibiotic use can lead to dysbiosis, which is a microbial imbalance. This can cause the movement of bacteria, expansion of pathogens, and harmful bacteria to move into and out of the gastrointestinal tract. Overall microbial diversity can be lost due to dysbiosis. Understanding how diet and lifestyle can affect the composition of the gut microbiome is an important health issue to focus research towards.

            A study of nonhuman primates in captivity was conducted to show the relationship between lifestyle and diet on gut microbial diversity to better understand primate conservation and human dysbiosis. The red-shanked douc and the howling monkey were the two species studied with a sample of different individuals from captive and wild environments. Both these species are folivorous, meaning a diet that is nutritionally poor and hard to digest. These species are hard to maintain in a captive environment due to the challenge of providing a wild-like diet. It was found that in captivity, the nonhuman primates have a loss in fiber, which in turn, a loss of native gut bacteria. Also, being in captivity, with the loss of native bacteria, they become colonized with two distinct bacteria, Prevoltella and Bacteroides. These are largely found in the human gut microbiome. The researchers confirmed this phenomenon in eight other captive environments that showed the same convergence pattern. By studying the most prevalent animal model to humans, other primates, can show environmental and diet behaviors that lead to a host of gastrointestinal diseases.

Walking Perfect Paragraph

Submitted by tterrasi on Wed, 09/20/2017 - 19:34

Walking, also known as ambulation, is defined as a type of locomotion that legged animals can perform to get from one location to another defined location. To ambulate, an organism needs to use muscles, neurons, and other functional anatomy to achieve this action. This is an activity I partake in daily from the morning when I get up from bed till nighttime when I go back to bed. I utilize this task to get from place to place on campus like going to various classes, eating at dinning commons, and throughout my dorm building. At some point in the day, I walk to my car with a few friends to go hiking in the Amherst area. I walked from the car to the base of the trail, as well as up and down the mountain range and back to the car. Walking is a type of locomotion that can get you to different places throughout a day.

Rise and Diversitification of Land Plants-Notes

Submitted by tterrasi on Wed, 09/20/2017 - 16:34

Land plants evolved on land from a lineage of green algae, which began the transition 475 million years ago. This is evidenced by the oldest plant fossil to date. The first land plants grew in moist environments because of the dependence on a water medium to perform chemical reactions and to reproduce. Mosses were one of the first plants, which evolved a cuticle, which is a waxy layer that prevents desiccation, and stomata to prevent water loss and allow for gas exchange. Ferns are another group of plants that evolved about 416 million years ago with major morphological innovations, such as vascular tissue, roots, and leaves. The protein lignin functions to allow plants to grow taller and have a structural support unlike mosses. Gymnosperms emerged about 300 million years ago in both wet and dry environments. A morphological novelty of this group is seeds. Wind can disperse seeds to make it on the reproductive parts on another conifer for reproduction. Diversification of flowering plants occurred around 145 million years ago. Animals are another form of transportation instead of wind to facilitate reproduction by moving sperm to an egg on another flower. As time went on, plants become more diverse and independent of a water medium.

Walking

Submitted by tterrasi on Fri, 09/15/2017 - 15:13

Walking

            Walking, also known as ambulation, is defined as a type of locomotion that legged animals can perform to get from one location another defined location. To be able to ambulate, the organism needs to use muscles, neurons, and other functional anatomy to achieve this goal. This is an activity that I partake in daily from the morning when I get up from bed to nighttime when I go back to bed. I utilize this task to get me from place to place on campus, from going to various classes, eating at dinning commons, and throughout my dorm building. At some point in the day, I walked to my car with a few friends to go hiking in the Amherst area. I walked from the car to the base of the trail, as well as up and down the mountain range and back to the car. Walking is a type of locomotion that will get you to different places throughout a day.

Arthropod in a Cup

Submitted by tterrasi on Tue, 09/12/2017 - 21:05

          A translucent plastic cup contained what appears to be an arthropod, or some type of maggot in its larval stage. Upon first observations, it is noticed to have a brown colored head and a segmented body with a variation of white and yellow colors. The body is of a soft nature, and the head is hard-shelled. Closer inspection shows the front of the head, its mouthparts, are black colored. There is a long lateral line that runs from the head to the tail on the dorsal side. The organism moves around the cup, as through it has a purpose, whether it is scavenging for food and energy, or searching its surroundings. It moves across the bottom of the plastic cup slowly, as if the legs are not getting enough traction or there is little friction with the bottom of the cup. While watching it move, I noticed it had hair-like structures across the length of the body. A few minutes later, I decided to turn it on its dorsal side to get a closer look underneath. I then saw pairs of legs; three pairs of front legs and 4 pairs of middle legs that do not look like the other pairs of appendages, but more like structures for suction. After flipping itself back to a normal position, the organism has stopped moving, and now resides in the middle of the plastic cup.

Arthropod in a Cup

Submitted by tterrasi on Fri, 09/08/2017 - 15:37

           A translucent plastic cup contained what appears to be an arthropod, maybe some type of maggot or moth in its larval stage. Upon first observations, it is noticed to have a brown colored head and a variation of white and yellow colored body that is segmented.  The body is of a soft nature, and the head of this organism is hard-shelled. More closely, the front of the head, its mouthparts, are black colored. There is a long lateral line that runs from the head to the tail on the dorsal side. The organism moved, as through it has a purpose, whether it is scavenging for food and energy, or searching its surroundings. It moves across the bottom of the plastic cup very slowly, as if the legs are not getting enough traction or little friction to the bottom of the cup. On closer observations, while watching it move, I noticed it had hair-like structures across the length of the body. After watching it move for a few minutes, I decided to turn it on its dorsal side to get a closer look underneath. I then saw pairs of legs; three pairs of front legs and 4 pairs of middle legs that do not look like the other pairs of appendages, but more like structures for suction. At this point, the organism has stopped moving, and now resides in the middle of the plastic cup.

            There are many other ways that s organism can be observed. One method would be to use a microscope to study features on its body like the hair-like structures and eyes. Another method would be to use DNA extraction methods to learn about its molecular and genetic make-up. More broadly, if we let the organism grow and develop, we can see what it will or will not turn into. For example, I used a measuring tape and the individual measured to be about 2.5 centimeters.

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