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Neurobiology

Submitted by smomalley on Fri, 09/20/2019 - 12:51

In current neuroscience, we know that neurons carry electrical signals across the synapse both to and from the brain to relay information, Throughout history this was not the case. A doctor to the Roman Gladiators, Galen, believed that because the cerebellum was the firm part of the brain, it was responsible for muscle movement. The cerebrum is the softer part of the brain, so he believed perception of different experiences imprinted on this part of the brain. He was generally right in the sense that the brain does control muscle movement, and the cerebrum is mostly responsible for sensory percention. These ideas evolved over the years to the knowledge we have today, that different sections of the brain have different functions and control different parts of our physical and psychological being.

The Warrior Gene

Submitted by smomalley on Fri, 09/20/2019 - 12:16

In the depate of nature versus nurture, a recently discovered gene has added contributed to the debate. A mutation to the MAOA  gene, or the "Warrior Gene", is linked to anger management issues and violent behavior. When the MAOA gene is shortened, it inhibits the body's ability to clear excess seratonin in the neural synapses of the brain. This excess seratonin causes a good mood to turn agressive, pretty quickly. Research about this gene and the symptoms is relatively new. A team of scientists took genetic samples from a wide range of participants; ranging from buddhist monks to violent gang members. The genetic samples were tested for the Warrior Gene which some think is nature's cause of human violence. The results of the genetic tests showed that the three sampled buddhist monks had the gene, while other more violent participants did not. This result argues for nurture's cause of human violence, that a person's surroundings and upbringing are more perswasive in personality and behavior. Although some results were shocking, overall this research still leaves the debate of nature versus nurture up for debate. 

Microbiology

Submitted by smomalley on Fri, 09/20/2019 - 11:51

The microbiome is so extensive in the living body, it is hard to think about life without it. There are so many functions of our microbiome that we don't think of everyday. Some of the functions are obvious, such as assistance in digestion. Other functions include vitamin K digestion and the processes that aids seratonin production. Current research is looking for a link between different autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, and a malfunction in the microbiome. The microbiome of everyone is slightly different, even among identical twins, because of different diets, exersizes, and experiences. The microbiome between an obese and a lean identical twin is very different, and research in mice is used to test if the lean mouse's microbiome can be safely transfered to the obese mouse to help that mouse loose weight. One form of microbiome transfer has been succesful for treating C.diff. This disease removes helpful microbacteria in the gut and leads to digestion and gastrointestonal problems. In this case the use of a fecal transplant from one healthy relative to the infected relative, is used to treat this disease. 

Hershey and Chase

Submitted by smomalley on Fri, 09/20/2019 - 11:44

The Hershey and Chase experiment is vital in the study of genetics. This ecperiment prooved that DNA is the hereditary material in bacteria and bacteriophages. This experiment radioactively labeled the phosphorous in DNA, and the sulfer in protein in a bacteriophage. The bacteriophage was allowed to infect a bacterial cultrue. Hershey and Chase used a blender to separate the bacteriophage from the bacteria, after the infection. They then placed the cells in a centrofuge and let the materials separate by weight. The heavier bacteria fell to the bottom of the centrofuge to form a pellet, while the lighter bacteriophage was suspended in the supernate. The radioactively labeled phosphorous in the DNA was found in the pellet, the radioactively labeled sulfer was found in the supernate. This proved that the DNA was the hereditary material of the bacteriophage, and baceria, and not the protein which remained outside of the bacteria. 

Geriatric care in prison

Submitted by smomalley on Thu, 09/19/2019 - 01:22

The United States has the highest percentage of incarcerated people in the entire world. The prison population is mostly made up of non-violent short term sentences. Most prisoners are adult males behind bars for violent crimes. The majority of whom are held in state prisons. The average age of this specific prison population has risen as older prisoners carry out lengthy sentences. The older prison population has a host of health problems associated with age. Living in prison is hard on the body and accelerates the aging process. On average a prisoner above the age of sixty requires double the funding of a younger prisoner because of these health problems. This strains the already small state prison budgets. Statistically speaking, these prisoners are the least likely to return into society and committ another crime. A person typically "ages out" of crime in their late thirties. Violent offenders are also the least likely to committ another crime once released from prison, regardless of age. That begs the question, why are these people still locked behind bars? Prison health care does not have specialized geriatric care needed by these older prisoners. These older prisoners are the least likely to committ another crime, and cost double that of a younger prisoner. In countries like Denmark the maximum number of years served in prison is 25, regardless of the crime committed. After a certain point, there is no benefit to keeping ceratin populations in prison. Moving forward, geriatric care in prisons should be expanded upon, or release should be considered. 

The Warrior Gene

Submitted by smomalley on Thu, 09/19/2019 - 01:08

In the classic depate of nature versus nurture, a fairly recently discovered gene is added to evidence in the debate. The MAOA  gene, or the "Warrior Gene" is a gene linked to anger management issues and violent behavior when mutated. When the MAOA gene is shortened, it inhibits the body from clearing excess seratonin in the neural synapses of the brain. This excess seratonin causes a good mood to turn bad. This gene mutation has been corelated to anger management issues and violent behavior patterns. A team of scientists took genetic samples from a wide range of participants; ranging from buddhist monks to violent gang members. The genetic samples were tested for the Warrior Gene which is though to be natures cause for human violence. The results of the genetic tests showed that the three sampled buddhist monks had the gene, while other more violent participants did not. This result argues for nurture's cause of human violence.The results varied amoung groups tested, leading to the belief that both nature and nurture play a role in the personality of a human being. 

Daily routine

Submitted by smomalley on Fri, 09/13/2019 - 15:28

Categories of the day:

- morning

My morning routine is almost the same every day, the timing varies depending on when my classes or work starts. In the morning I wake up, shut off my alarm, and sit on my phone for a few minutes. I get out of bed and go to the bathroom to shower. After that I go to the kitchen for breakfast. For breakfast I have vanilla yogurt and fruit. I sit at the kitchen table and talk to my roommates. After breakfast I go to my room to get dressed and ready for the day. I pack my backpack with my charger, notebooks, laptop, a snack, and my waterbottle. I put my headphones in and walk out the door, locking it behind me, and walk down the street to the bus stop. The bus is usually late so I stand at the bus stop while other people arrive to wait. I get on the bus and stand while the bus makes its way to campus. I get off the bus at the ILC and walk to my first class. Almost everyday by first class is in Hasbrouke. I sit in class and take notes while the professor lectures. When the class ends I made my way to bluewall to get lunch. 

- afternoon

- eat lunch, go to class, take the bus home, walk from the bus stop to my house, go in and talk with my roommates

- evening

- make dinner, eat, clean my dishes, sit in the living room, do homework, watch netflix, get ready for bed, sit on my phone, go to sleep

The Leaf Perfect Parograph

Submitted by smomalley on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 15:43

The mystery leaf placed on my desk is superficially a green compound leaf, with three leaflets branching from the red center stem.  The red center stem continues to about half way throuh each leaflet were it transitions to a yellow center vein. The yellow veins subseuently branch into smaller and smaller veins off of the center vein. The leaflets are translucent with a waxy surface on the front side of the leaf; The back side of the leaf is a light green, with a matte finish. There is a golden yellow perimeter of the leaf that follows the asymmetric indentations of each leaflet. The yellow perimeter is periodically interupted by brown masses of damaged tissue, left behind by leaf minners. As the mass moves towards the outer perimeter of the leaflet, it grows thicker. The brown tissue is most concentrated at the edge of the leaflet. There are small three dimentional circular orbs of brown mass that are sitting on the leaflets. These orbs are most likely the eggs left by the leaf minning moths. The eggs enter the upper layer off the leaf tissue and burrow until they exit the leaflet to become a new generation of leaf minnig moth. This narrative is shown in the brown tissue pattern: the brown tissue starts off thin at one point on the leaflet and grows until it reaches the edge.  The leaf minning pattern makes each leaff unique and can be used to distinguish one leaf from another.

The Leaf

Submitted by smomalley on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 15:20

The mystery leaf placed on my desk is superficially a green compound leaf with three leaflets branching from the center stem.  The leaflets are translucent with a waxy surface on the top side of the leaf. The back side of the leaf appeares a lighter green, with a matte finish. The leaflets have a red center stem that they all branch off of.  The red center stem continues to about half way throuh each leaflet were it transitions to a yellow center vein. The yellow veins subseuently branch into smaller and smaller veins off of the center vein. There is a golden yellow perimeter of the leaf that follows the asymmetric indentations of each leaflet. The yellow perimeter is periodically interupted by brown masses of damaged tissue left behind by leaf minners. Each mass of brown tissue is unique. There are small three dimentional circular orbs of brown mass that are sitting on the leaflets. These orbs are most likely the eggs left by the leaf minning moths. The eggs enter the upper layer off the leaf tissue and burrow until they exit the leaff to become a new generation off leaf minnig moth. This pattern is shown in each of the brown masses of leaf tissue. The brown tissue starts off thin at one point on the leaflet. As the mass moves towards the outer perimeter of the leaflet, it grows thicker until the edge of the leaflet, where the brown tissue is most concentrated. The leaf minning pattern is what can be used to distinguish one leaf from another.

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