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Wealth is Health

Submitted by cnwokemodoih on Fri, 02/22/2019 - 10:23

In every sense, society is stratified, by race, sex, sexuality, religion, economic status, religion and so on. All these identities sum up an entire individual and all play a role in determining the kind of interactions said individual has with the social institutions. Health and medicine is one of them. Instinctively, one might guess that people lower in the socioeconomic ladder generally experience poorer health due to lesser access to healthcare. That is in fact true but that isn’t the only reason why. Low working class people actually have higher odds of falling ill because they are exposed to higher levels of stress. These absurdly high levels of stress come from the uncertainty that accompanies being in the lower class of society. Working class people are constantly battling fears of job insecurity while also resisting the other pressures that comes from being in the working class. This was revealed in study where people of varying socioeconomic statuses were infected with a virus. Results showed that those lower down in the ladder were more likely to respond to the virus than others. These results indicated a compromise of their immune systems, possibly due to increase in cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Therefore, we can postulate that income level, as well as job security, affects the quality of health individuals have.

Brain death

Submitted by cnwokemodoih on Wed, 02/20/2019 - 16:44

What comes to mind when you think of death? At what point will you say a human being is dead. Right off the bat, I'd expect you to say that death is when the heart of the human stops beating and pumping blood through the body. If you did say that, then you aren't wrong but some scientists might object to the entirety of that definition. These days, the term "brain dead" has become more common in clinical settings. Being brain dead simply means the absence of cerebral activity. Neurological examinations, like pupillary reflex examination, have to be performed to ascertain that the patient is indeed brain dead. At this point, the patient is gone beyond redemption, though their heart can be kept active by artificial means. As such, we may expand on the definition of death to encompass the components of brain death. A patient in brain death usually still have viable organs, which can serve in transplantation. While these patients are gone, their organs may be used to give other patients a fighting chance at survival.

DNA Extraction

Submitted by cnwokemodoih on Fri, 02/15/2019 - 14:06

Like I stated earlier, the first step in genotyping adult zebrafish is fin-clipping. By fin-clipping, we obtain tissue usable in DNA extraction. Each clipped fin should be placed in labelled PCR tubes. I'm going to discuss extraction using an extract-n-amp kit. To the PCR tubes, add 25µl extract and 6.25µl tissue prep, from the kit. Incubate at room temperature for 10minutes. Then, incubate at 950C for 3 minutes. Add 25µl neutralization buffer and dilute 1:10 in autoclaved double-distilled water. This 1:10 dilution will involve obtaining new tubes and adding 10µl ddH2O before adding 1µl of DNA extract from the original tubes. It is essential to extract DNA so that we can gain more insight into the genotypic nature of the adult zebrafish. After, we can run polymerase chain reactions (PCR) to isolate the gene of interest.

Methods draft

Submitted by cnwokemodoih on Thu, 02/14/2019 - 23:09

All steps taken originated from the Biology Computer Resource Center, Room 311 in Morrill Science Center III South. I decided to study the relationship between tree roots and lichens. On emerging from the BCRC, I took a right turn to the end of the hallway, where I took another right turn onto a short hallway. I went straight ahead and on reaching the stairwell at the end of that hallway, I went down the  stairs to the second floor of the Morrill Science Center III. Right there on the second floor landing are a pair of glass doors, leading outside. I pushed the glass doors apart and came out onto a narrow tarred road. Across from me, the first maple tree on the lawn between the road and the back of the University club building had the sections of the bark close to the roots covered in green lichens. From where I stood, I took a picture to capture the whole tree using my iPhone 6 Plus camera. To get a better picture of just the lichens, I went closer to the tree, squat and took a picture. And to have something for comparison, I took a picture of a section of the tree trunk not covered in lichens. I uploaded the images to Inkscape, an open and free-source vector graphic editor, and set the pictures into three panels. I depicted the picture with a better view of the lichens as a magnification of the tree roots.

Genotyping part 2: DNA extraction

Submitted by cnwokemodoih on Tue, 02/12/2019 - 19:22

Like I stated earlier, the first step in genotyping adult zebrafish is fin-clipping. By fin-clipping, we obtain tissue we can use to extract the DNA. Each clipped fin should be placed in labelled PCR tubes. I'm going to discuss extraction using an extract-n-amp kit. To the PCR tubes, add 25µl extract and 6.25µl tissue prep, from the kit. Incubate at room temperature for 10minutes. Then, incubate at 950C for 3 minutes. Add 25µl neutralization buffer and dilute 1:10 in DEPC water. It is essential to extract DNA so that we can gain more insight into the genotypic nature of the adult zebrafish. After, we can run polymerase chain reactions(PCR) to isolate the gene of interest.

Fin clipping as part of the genotyping process

Submitted by cnwokemodoih on Thu, 02/07/2019 - 19:26

The first step in genotyping adult zebrafish generally is fin clipping. Like the name probably already indicates, it involves clipping the fin of the zebrafish specimen. However, some important protocols must be observed to do so optimally, with as little distress and mortality as possible. First, a water bath is set up to contain 200ml of system water i.e. water used to fill up the fish tanks. To this bath, about 15ml of tricaine should be added. This will anaesthetize the fish, temporarily rendering the fish immobile and unconscious, making the clipping process easier and causing the fish less distress. If the fish does not stop moving when placed in the bath, more tricaine can be added, no more than 10ml. Too much tricaine can kill the fish. When the fish is finally floating sideways in the bath, unconscious, a razor blade should be used to carefully amputate roughly half the caudal fin. Again, living tissue must not be cut, as this will cause the fish to bleed. Bleeding may lead to infection or, worse, death. The clipped fin should be placed in a tube, labelled properly, according to the tank the fish was obtained from and the crosses done to obtain the fish. The fish can, then, be returned to fresh system water. The fish should regain consciousness and become mobile again in about 5 minutes. If this is not the case, then, the fish is probably dead, due to some error in fin clipping. The fin tissue obtained can then be taken to the lab and DNA extracted from it. Subsequent genotyping steps will follow once DNA is extracted.

Fin Clipping

Submitted by cnwokemodoih on Thu, 02/07/2019 - 19:22

The first step in genotyping adult zebrafish generally is fin clipping. Like the name probably already indicates, it involves clipping the fin of the zebrafish specimen. However, some important protocols have to be observed to do so optimally, with as little distress and mortality as possible. First, a water bath is set up to contain 200ml of system water i.e. water used to fill up the fish tanks. To this bath, about 15ml of tricaine, an anaesthetic, should be added. This will temporarily render the fish immobile and unconscious, making the clipping process easier and causing the fish less distress. If the fish does not stop moving when placed in the bath, more tricaine can be added, no more than 10ml. Too much tricaine can kill the fish. When the fish is finally floating sideways in the bath, a razor blade should be used to carefully amputate roughly half the caudal fin. Again, endeavor not to cut living tissue, as this will cause the fish to bleed. Bleeding may lead to infection or, worse, death. The clipped fin should be placed in a tube, labelled properly, according to the tank the fish was obtained from. The fish can, then, be returned to fresh system water. The fish should regain consciousness and become mobile again in about 5 minutes. If this is not the case, then, the fish is probably dead, due to some error in fin clipping. The fin tissue obtained can then be taken to the lab and DNA extracted from it. Subsequent genotyping steps will follow once DNA is extracted.

Hydrophobic effect

Submitted by cnwokemodoih on Tue, 02/05/2019 - 17:11

Most biochemical reactions occur in aqueous environments, meaning that these reaction occur in water. Seeing as these biochemical reactions involve organic molecules, the interaction of water with these molecules have to be taken into account. You see, water reacts differently between polar/ionic molecules and non-polar molecules. Ionic and polar molecules have their bonds easily interrupted by water and individual atoms/ions end up surrounded by water molecules. In contrast, water molecules cannot disrupt non-polar bonds and so surround entire molecules. This leads to the clumping of non-polar molecules. Separate clumps of non-polar molecules tend to aggregate due to the stability achieved when water molecules are most entropic. To limit the the amount of water molecules surrounding individual non-polar molecules, all non-polar molecules in the aqueous environment are clumped together. This is referred to as the hydrophobic effect. It plays an important role in protein folding and structure formation.

DNA Quantification

Submitted by cnwokemodoih on Tue, 02/05/2019 - 00:51

DNA extraction is only the first step in exploring the genes that exist in the genome. When we finally have the genomic DNA of an organism, we need to know how much DNA we have and how pure the DNA is. We'll need to evaluate the quality and quantity of our DNA. The quality of our DNA can be examined by using Nanodrop. This enables us to see how purity (A260/280) and concentration of our DNA. This knowledge will influence how DNA we use in subsequent processes like PCR, in-vitro transcription and so on. The ideal purity of DNA is 1.8. Newly extracted DNA is likely to have its A260/280 exceed 1.8, indicating the presence of impurities like RNA. We can visualize our DNA by using gel electrophoresis. We pour agarose gel, containing ethidium bromide, into a rig with a comb. We add specific volumes of our samples and a ladder to the wells formed in the gel by the comb. The ladder is needed as a yardstick against which we can deduce the approximate length of strands. Seeing as DNA is negative, it runs towards the positive end of the gel and add varying speeds depending on the size of a strand. The final gel can be viewed under UV light to visualize the distinct bands. 

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