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Observation vs Inference

Submitted by brettconnoll on Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:47

An observation would be seeing hgh amounts of algea in a pond near a farm, and another observation would be that there are no fish in the pond. An inference would be that the fertilizer from the farm may have caused eutrification in the pond causing a large algal bloom which would kill all the life in the pond.

What is an FMT?

Submitted by brettconnoll on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 21:03

Owens, Casey, et al. “Fecal Microbiota Transplantation and Donor Standardization.” Trends in Microbiology, vol. 21, no. 9, Sept.2013, pp. 443-445., doi:10.1016/j.tim.2013.07.003.

 

http://www.cell.com/trends/microbiology/fulltext/S0966-842X(13)00133-9

News

The article goes into detail on the process of fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) and the reason that they are so beneficial to treating certain diseases in the colon. The article specifically goes over Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) which causes diarrhea, bloating, bloody stool, and ulcerative colitis. In the past this was treated with only antibiotics, however, it had a slight chance of reoccurring in patients. Patients who have multiple cases of reoccurring CDI are advised to get an FMT. The article mentions that 81% of reoccurring patients that were treated with one FMT recovered from CDI compared to 31% recovery in patients that were just treated with vancomycin for CDI. The actual procedure for the transplant is very easy usually doctors can do it at the end of a colonoscopy, or they insert a tube through the mouth or nose and transplant it in the small intestines. The part of the procedure that is complicated is obtaining the fecal microbiota.

Feces can either come from a close family member or friend or they can come from an unknown donor. The donor must be screened for any infectious diseases such as hepatitis A and B, HIV, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and syphilis this is to ensure that the patient does not contract anything from the transplant. The FMT is so important to treating people with CDI because it helps to reestablish beneficial and essential microbiota that the antibiotics would have removed. This makes fighting off any residual C. difficile much easier for the patient and is why there are higher rates of recovery than just treating patients with an antibiotic.

What is mycorrhizae?

Submitted by brettconnoll on Mon, 02/12/2018 - 16:36

Mycorrhizae is a fungus that is found in the roots of plants. The fungus is in a symbionic relationship with the plant which means that the plant and the fungus exchange resources with one another to better bnefit each other. Mycorrhizae is essential in some plants for life however there are many species of plants that do not need these fungi for help. Some species of plant that depend on mycorrhizae are prevelant intodays agricultre with an example being corn. Without mycorrhizae the plants of the world would not be as hardy and probably would not be as adapted as they are today.

Endomycorrhizae vs Ectomycorrhizae

Submitted by brettconnoll on Mon, 02/12/2018 - 16:21

In many species of plants, there is a symbiotic relationship happening in the roots with a species of fungus. The fungi are put into a diverse group called mycorrhizae which means "fungus root" or "root fungus". The mycorrhizae help the plant by increasing surface area to the roots allowing for more nutrient absorption and in some instances even protecting the root. The fungi benefit from working with the plant by being supplied sugar that the plant makes from photosynthesis. There are also species of mycorrhizae that are parasitic and are not helpful to the plant because they just take away all of the plant's resources. The diverse group of mycorrhizae is broken up into two larger groups based off of their morphology: endomycorrhizae, ectomycorrhizae. Endomycorrhizae, also known as arbuscular mycorrhizae, forms along the outer surface of the root and exchanges nutrients with the plant by inserting itself inside the plant cells. The complex the mycorrhizae forms with the root cell is called an arbuscule. Ectomycorrhizae form on the external surface of the root and exchange nutrients through the cell walls of the root cells staying outside of the cells. The ectomycorrhizae forms a complex with the root cells called a Hartig net. Mycorrhizae are extremely important to the overall function of many species of plants it is a symbiotic relationship that not only helps run ecosystems but helps to power our agriculture.

Thylacine

Submitted by brettconnoll on Fri, 02/09/2018 - 14:16

Figure 1- The Thylacine, Thylacinus cynocephalus, is a mammalian anomaly due to a jaw adaptation that allows it to open its jaw 180º.

Thylacine

Submitted by brettconnoll on Fri, 02/09/2018 - 14:13

Figure 1 - The Thylacine, Thylacinus cynocephalus, is an extant species of carnivorous marsupial that was hunted to extinction by farmers because of predation of domestic sheep.

The 4 steps of ventilation via buccal pulse pump in African and Australian lungfish

Submitted by brettconnoll on Thu, 02/08/2018 - 22:35

Step 1- The lungfish points it's head and mouth out of the water. It then opens its mouth using the sternohyoideus and expanding its buccal cavity taking air into its mouth. The mouth remains open.

Step 2- The lungfish opens its glottis allowing the air in its lungs to exit out its mouth mixing with the air in its buccal cavity. The air is able to exit the lungs through elastic recoil and contraction of smooth muscles.

Step 3- The mouth closes and using brachial constricting muscles and the lungfish forces the mixed air into its lungs

Step 4- The lungfish closes its glottis and hold the air into its lungs. The lungfish then submerges.

 

The fate of the plastid

Submitted by brettconnoll on Thu, 02/08/2018 - 22:27

The plastid is an organelle found in plant cells that is undifferentiated and takes on many roles depending on what the cell needs it for. In photosynthetic cells in leaves, the plastid is known as the chloroplast and its main function is to create sugar through the process of photosynthesis. In petals, the plastid turns into a chromoplast and is used to create pigments to color the cells. In roots, the plastid becomes an amyloplast which uses dense starch to sense the direction of gravity so the roots know where to grow. The undifferentiated plastid is very similar to a stem cell in which it contains the DNA to become any one of these organelles. One thing that makes the plastid different from stem cells is its ability to become undifferentiated again. Some plants are able to take the differentiated plastid like a chromoplast and turn it into an undifferentiated plastid so that it can perform another task. This remarkable organelle is just one thing that makes plants so spectacular, and successful.

Methods for creating a phylogeny of physical characteristics of Setophaga

Submitted by brettconnoll on Thu, 02/08/2018 - 22:13

The plumage characteristics in the phylogenies and the table were chosen based off of the color patterns of specific anatomical positions of the bird. Most of the positions were in areas that would be easy to see from far away, or that might be used in species recognition. In addition, the majority of the plumage characteristics were classified by if they were colored brightly, colored cryptically, or multicolored. In our table characteristics were mapped out using a numerical system to indicate if they had a specific trait or if the trait was absent. Some plumage characteristics were given a binary code of 0', and 1's while others used 0's, 1's, and 2's. If the color was also involved in the identified characteristic the box was colored the same color. On the phylogeny, the characteristics were only mapped if they were present. If the characteristic was not there it was left blank. In addition, if the trait was colored it was given a colored bar of that color to see if it was a significant factor in species differentiation.

Methods for creating a phylogeny of physical characteristics of Setophaga

Submitted by brettconnoll on Thu, 02/08/2018 - 22:13

The plumage characteristics in the phylogenies and the table were chosen based off of the color patterns of specific anatomical positions of the bird. Most of the positions were in areas that would be easy to see from far away, or that might be used in species recognition. In addition, the majority of the plumage characteristics were classified by if they were colored brightly, colored cryptically, or multicolored. In our table characteristics were mapped out using a numerical system to indicate if they had a specific trait or if the trait was absent. Some plumage characteristics were given a binary code of 0', and 1's while others used 0's, 1's, and 2's. If the color was also involved in the identified characteristic the box was colored the same color. On the phylogeny, the characteristics were only mapped if they were present. If the characteristic was not there it was left blank. In addition, if the trait was colored it was given a colored bar of that color to see if it was a significant factor in species differentiation.

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