Category Archives: Medicine

The fascinating science of Calico cats

Just like humans, all animals have DNA, the information-code of life. Almost all the DNA between any two individuals is identical. However, in the case of male vs. female, there are some larger differences. DNA is organized into chromosomes, and females have two X chromosomes whereas males have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome.… Read More »

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How to know if you have Pectus Excavatum

Pectus Excavatum presents as a deformity of the sternum inwards (i.e., funnel chest) and is usually easily noticed by visual inspection. The severity of the Pectus varies widely among patients. Severity is normally defined by the Haller index, which is the ratio of the width of your chest to the distance between the deepest part… Read More »

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Drugs and the Brain

Notes adapted from the Coursera course titled "Drugs and the Brain" taught by Dr. Lester from Caltech. 1-4: Drug Entry into the Nervous System Nicotine passes through 3 cell types and 6 cell membranes in under a few seconds. After being puffed in, it passes through alveolar epithelium cells, then it passes through two types… Read More »

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Acute Liver Failure

10 cases per million persons per year most often occurs in patients who do not have preexisting liver disease clinical presentation includes hepatic dysfunction, abnormal liver biochemical values, coagulopathy (body's ability to clot blood is impaired), sometimes encephalopathy (brain dysfunction), multiorgan failure and death in half the cases Definition and Presentation severe liver injury, potentially… Read More »

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EZH2-mediated H3K27 trimetylation mediates neurodegeneration in ataxia-telangiectasia

Ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by a mutation of the A-T mutated (ATM) gene ATM encodes a serine/threonine protein kinase of the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase-related kinase (PIKK) family. ATM is responsible for activating cell cycle checkpoints that arrest the cell cycle until DNA repair is complete. Individuals with A-T are thus more likely to… Read More »

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Concepts in Medical Neuroscience

Many of these notes are adapted from Dr. White's Coursera course titled "Medical Neuroscience." 1-2: Functional Microanatomy of Neurons Neurons contain all the metabolic machinery common to other somatic cells (e.g., nuclei, mitochondria) Most neurons are incredibly rich in endoplasmic riticulum for synthesis of lipid (smooth ER) and protein molecules (rough ER) and mitochondria for… Read More »

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Clinical trials

Clinical trials are conducted in a series of phases. Phases Phase 1 The drug is tested with a small group of people and evaluated for appropriate dosage and potential side effects. Normally, this is a group of healthy individuals, not individuals affected by the disease or condition. Phase 2 The drug is given to a… Read More »

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Influenza virus

Identification Influenza virus may be detected by various molecular assays including real time polymerase chain reaction (rt-PCR). In the rt-PCR procedure, RNA is isolated from experimental samples. The viral RNA or DNA is amplified using PCR. During PCR, primers specific to the influenza are used so that PCR is not carried out unless the DNA… Read More »

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Parkinson's disease versus Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

Parkinson's disease (PD) clinical diagnosis is prone to errors, as many motor symptoms can also be present in other parkinsonian conditions such as Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). PSP patients are less responsive to treatment and their parkinsonian symptoms worsen more quickly. PSP is one of the toughest diseases to clinically distinguish from idiopathic PD, especially… Read More »

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Gaucher's disease

Gaucher's disease, caused by a hereditary deficiency of glucocerebrosidase, is a genetic disease in which fatty cells accumulate due to lysosomal storage defects. Glucocerebrosidase normally chops up certain lipids. Symptoms include bruising, fatigue, anemia, low blood platelets, and enlargement of the liver and spleen. Around 1 in 100 are carriers for Gaucher's disease, whereas 1… Read More »

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