You are here

ziweiwang's blog

study summary

Submitted by ziweiwang on Thu, 09/19/2019 - 21:27


    The question that is posed in the research is what effect does differing hemoglobin from patients with sickle cell anemia on lung epithelial tissue.

The data tells us that sickle cell hemoglobin causes the cells to oxidative stress. In addition, the epithelial cells fail to function as a barrier when the cells were exposed to HSE and Hbs. While the Hbs and HbE ferryl hemoglobin caused bioenergetic impairment in cells,  a similar result was observed in HbA from healthy people

The experiments concluded in the discussion that while all of the hemoglobin variants caused damage to the cells, the Hbs and HbE were less stable than HbA, and as a result, were more likely to lead to heme loss in the proteins. In addition, Hbs and HbE both allowed higher permeability of epithelial cells, but not in HbA. The conclusion of the data assumes that while free Hb in the blood by itself is damaging. However, if the Hb was of the variant where the Hb is less structurally sound, as in dysfunctional Hb, there was more damage to the function of other cells. 


The impact on SCD is that while it was thought that just the presence of free Hb in the blood is damaging, because of the protein instability of Hb in patients with sickle cell anemia, their Hb are more likely to be damaging to the lung epithelial cells compared to Hb protein from someone who is not ill. The fact that it is more damaging indicates that when researching the treatment of SCD symptoms, a model that uses a normal Hb would not be an accurate representation of the symptom of people with SCD. Knowing this would create a better model for a scientist to use to research treatments. 


mechanism of a study

Submitted by ziweiwang on Thu, 09/19/2019 - 21:26

The first experiment that they did, the experiment involving adding hemoglobin to lung epithelial cell culture answer the question by modeling what happens in the body If there were Hemoglobin S, Hemoglobin SE, and hemoglobin A, normal hemoglobin) was floating in the bloodstream. In the experiment, they measured the permeability by having the epithelial cells grow on a membrane rather than in a flask. Then they measured the permeability of the culture by adding media containing dextran on the top layer and measuring how much dextran there were in the bottom layer. At this stage, they also added hemoglobin to the top layer to see if the hemoglobin had any effect on the permeability of the cell layer. The cells were then washed and immunoblotting and microscopy were done on the cells to visualize how the hemoglobin had an effect on the cells. The researchers also measured the amount of oxidative stress that the cells had gone through by measuring the epithelial lipid hydroperoxide levels.  Mitochondrial Bioenergetic and glycolytic levels were also measured to assess the damage in the cells. The procedure of this experiment is simple in the sense that they had a model and exposed the model to the same environment as those that would be found in sickle cell disease patients, and assessing if there were any damage that the cells sustained. While this experiment does not exactly measure the dysfunction that is present in the hemoglobin (as for example, exactly how and why it is dysfunctional), it measures what the hemoglobin dysfunction causes in other cells (what does the dysfunction of the protein does to other cells?).


interesting thing about science

Submitted by ziweiwang on Tue, 09/17/2019 - 01:53

in the article and the data set that was studied in class so far, the data indicated that in patients with FH, they have a receptor lacking which allows them to take up LDL, which contains cholesterol into their bodies. This is partically because they have a mutation that prevents them from having a functional receptor. On the other hand of the spectrum are patients who do not produce LDL that can be absorbed into the body. Because these two mutations both end up having the same effects, namely neither one of them is able to get into the cell, the body reacts in similar ways, with patients that have FH and malfunctioning LDL both having a higher amount of cholesterol in the blood compared to a normal person. Because of the high cholesterol, these people are also more likely to get heart diseases and are at risk for cardiac arrest. However, the degree to which the person suffers differ depending on which mutation type that person has. If the person has a malfunctioning LDL, they are more likely to have heart disease and high cholesterol, but they are noticeably less severe compared to people who have an FH mutation. People who have this mutation, especially those that are homozygote for it is very likely to have cardiac arrests in their 40s if they are het and in their teenage years if they are mut for the gene. It is interesting to note that even though the mutation does have similar effects, the overall effect on the entire system is completely different. Trying to determine the cause of why such a thing happens is both a scientific and logical feat in which the research will need to be explained and the reason why such a result will mean that the evidence supports one side of the proposed reason over another one. Personally, I think that this is one of the most difficult things in doing research. the techniques are relatively easy once a person gets used to it, but trying to prove something to be true through logic is still difficult. For example, darwins theory of evolution is logical to the point that if all facts were removed from it it would all make sense. All it needs to be done now is to just prove the basis of the logic to be correct, and the theory has to be correct.

what I did in a day

Submitted by ziweiwang on Fri, 09/13/2019 - 15:30

The category that I have the most activities on is hygiene. However, when I listed the amount of time that I spent on each activity, I also spent the least amount of time on hygiene. I think that this is due to the fact that while there are many varieties of things that I do throughout the day that is related to hygiene but none of them actually take very long.  For example, brushing teeth and washing face only takes 5 min even the longest activity in this category, taking a bath, 45 min, is still shorter than things like reading, which I do at stretches of hours at a time. It is also interesting, at least to me that this category is the most reflexive of all of the categories. almost everything comes in the sets of twos. I brush my teeth twice a day. I change twice, I put on make up, and I take it off. This shows that the category often bookends the day. This is different from things like work where I just do a certain thing at a certain time and never come back to it at a later time. The short time, the number of activity and the fact that it bookends the day indicates that this category of the day is something that is necessary to my daily life but is not necessarily something that I would think to myself that this is something that I'm going to do today.











comparing articles

Submitted by ziweiwang on Fri, 09/13/2019 - 01:30

Each section of the shorter article was structured in such a way that each section talked about a new idea on the topic. The different paragraphs also talked about different details that were disparate entities but come together into a single coherent idea. However, the structure of each individual section was not to necessarily have an introduction, main point, and conclusion, but to describe the idea of what the section is about in detail, using as much paragraph as necessary to communicate the information. The role of each section is to add to the previous section so as to help explore the questions that were introduced in the introduction and add to the conclusion that the author makes in the end. The role that first paragraph play is to add the important details that are presented in the title.

the ocular development in humans.

Submitted by ziweiwang on Fri, 09/13/2019 - 01:14

One of the interesting things about the human eye is that it adjusts during the growth of a person. If a person is looking at something close constantly, the person is liable to become myopic. It is the same for the opposite direction. Because of this, currently, the condition is a certain indicator of economic status and the professions of the people who have the condition. People who works at a desk and were university-educated are more likely to be myopic compared to people who are farmers and does not focus on a screen all day. The reason for this flexibility is not originally due to differences in the roles that differing sexes play in society or to allow humans to fit into different niches of society, much in the same way how our sleep schedule differ depending which allow for different roles in our social circles. Another reason that was proposed is that the plasticity of the eye is used for the opposite, that since sight is one of the most important senses for humans it is of absolute importance that everyone has similar eyesight. The plasticity of the eye can help with that by modifying the eye to be more or less the same. 

Because of this plasticity of the eye,  some doctors have suggested that children should get glasses that have a degree of correction that is slightly lower than it needs so that the eye can grow and compensate for myopia naturally. However, it is agreed by doctors that some correction for myopia should be taken.

protocol and procedure

Submitted by ziweiwang on Thu, 09/12/2019 - 23:10

I think that one of the most interesting things to me about being in the lab is how different it is being taught in classrooms. For example, there are many classes at the University of Massachusetts that teach about how to be in a lab and how to keep records.  The problem with all of this is that I have never really seen anyone who actually follows the protocol to the word. In the lab, especially in a high-pressure lab where there are so much pressure to publish, proper record keeping and following all the safety regulation can go out of the window, mainly because no one has the time to do that. Scientist's time is stretched into overwork as it is. No one wants to stay until 12 keeping records when they are already leaving the office at ten. scientists have actual lives to live, family to raise and bills to pay. I think that in this sense, the portrayal of scientists in the media is very much harming scientists. In the media, a scientist's career is their identity.  it is both what they do and what they are. Because of this, scientists, especially those in academia, is under pressure to overwork in order to achieve excellence. There is no time to achieve proper bookkeeping and safety precaution when putting out the results too late can mean the difference between funding and no funding. The fact that academics (postdocs) are not paid by the university means that they are under constant pressure to procure their own salary. 

so while I do think that it is absolutely important to have safety regulations,  I also think that it is absolutely understandable if those safety regulations are not met all of the time, because somethings just have to go in the name of efficiency and while the idea of trying to keep everyone safe is an honorable one, it is also absolutely impossible. resources are limited, and sometimes when the job needs to be done, something has to go, and it usually isn't the one where it pays everyone's bills.

mutations of sickle cell anemia

Submitted by ziweiwang on Thu, 09/12/2019 - 22:05

All of the mutations for sickle cell disease happens at 14p15.4. (OMIM). However, there are different types of mutation that can occur in the same place, and as a result, have similar effects. For example, the most common mutation is 141900.0243. This mutation causes the HBs variant of sickle cell disease, which is common in people who have traditionally lived in a tropical climate. Another variant is the HBc disease, which occurs in children. There have also been other mutations described, such as sickle cell (SE) disease, SC(Arab) disease, and SC (Harlem) disease which all have their own mutations.


    There is a clear genotype/phenotype association. The location that the mutation occurs is essential to the hemoglobin structure, and as a result, any mutation that happens in that part of the gene is likely to have the phenotype of sickle cell disease, although there are some variants of the disease that may be different. 


There are many factors that increase and decrease the severity. For genetic modifiers, having a Bantu/CAR type or Benin type of the modifiers is more likely to have more severe symptoms and more likely to be hospitalized. This is the same with low levels of Hbf, which can mitigate the effect of HBs. a high number of alpha-globin genes is also likely to make the disease worse. Higher wind speed, humidity, and pollution such as PM are also more likely to cause the disease to be worse. In addition, a problem with access to health care is also likely to cause the disease to worsen.

writing assignment

Submitted by ziweiwang on Thu, 09/12/2019 - 20:03

For the article on the behavior of slime mold in a labyrinth, the article only had level one headings, which divided the paper into separate topics that the author wanted to cover. The article on monophagous leaf-mining larvae, on the other hand, had a level one headings that divided the paper into a traditional introduction, method, result, and Discussion, but also further divided each section into level two headings, each covering a slightly different part of the experiment that was done.


Each section of the shorter article was structured in such a way that each section talked about a new idea on the topic, as well as different details that were disparate entities but come together into a single coherent idea.  However, the structure of each individual section was not to necessarily have an introduction, main point, and conclusion, but to describe the idea of what the section is about in detail, using as much paragraph as necessary to communicate the information. The role of each section is to add to the previous section so as to help explore the questions that were introduced in the first paragraph of the introduction and helps to lead to the conclusion that the author makes in the end. In this instance, where each sentence is so short that a few sections only have one paragraph, the first paragraph of each section introduced a new idea, some of which are further clarified or continued, in the case of methods, by the paragraph following the first paragraph.

The other article divides each section into a subsection which expands on the sub-topic. Same as the last paragraph, each section itself is not organized into an introductory main point and conclusion, but uses paragraph as sort of sub-sub section to easily divide the topics that are brought up in the paper. The role that each section play is to separate the paper into expected chunks of scientific literature. Each subsection further divides the section and describes a part of the experiment in detail. As with the other paper, the first paragraph is not an introduction to the section but rather just the first paragraph to the main point. The exception to this is the discussion and the introduction, where the first paragraph does introduce the main point of the paper.

For the shorter paper, there is a topic sentence, and there is a logical flow of ideas. However, the way that the idea is organized is a bit disjointed due to the simplistic, almost conversational way and serious parts where the paper is written in a more traditionally in a formal way. This way of switching between different kinds of writing styles is jarring and makes the paper hard to read. However, this way of writing is comparatively easier to understanding for people who are not familiar with the topic. 

The other paper, on the other hand, does have a topic sentence except for the paragraphs in methods and the style stays consistent throughout the paper. However, the style of overly technical writing may be hard to read for people who are not familiar with the topic. In addition, the paper seems to be very wordy compared to other articles. The ideas flow in a logical way that is commonly accepted b the scientific community. The ideas are organized so that the ideas flow from one to another. 


scientific writing

Submitted by ziweiwang on Wed, 09/11/2019 - 21:30

One of the most interesting things about scientific writing is that almost by definition, should not cultural contexts. The reason for this is that scientific writing is often done by people who learn English as a second language. I thought that this was always quite interesting because languages are one of the reasons why people end up going to the sciences rather than the humanities, and yet in the sciences, people are more often forced to write in a foreign language and need to convey the information more clearly. specifically in the context of writing, there should be no reason why scientific writing should have complicated language, or literary references because they are read mainly by those who speak English as a second language and the fact that the language needs to be relatively clear.  At least that was what I was thinking when I was smart behavior of true slime mold in a labyrinth. it has nothing to do with the actual assignment, but I thought that it was interesting that the article was written by someone at Hokkaido University in Japan who presumably learned English as a second language. On first glance, the writing was really simple, with words that would never be found in an English class book. Then I remembered that once on a website teaching Japanese scientists how to read in English that writing a scientific article in English is slightly more different than actual English, which due to the fact that it is an actual language change quite constantly, and the accepted norms for English does not necessarily mean that it is a norm with normal English. 



Subscribe to RSS - ziweiwang's blog