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Biophysics A Combination of Scientific Disciplines

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Biophysics  A Combination of Scientific Disciplines

    Disciplines Methodologies and Equipment

    Biophysics encompasses all levels of biological interaction from the molecular scale, to the cellular scale, to organisms and ecosystems. Biophysics is very sophisticated science, requiring the use of equally sophisticated methodologies and tools.

Humic Acid Definition and Usage

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Humic Acid Definition and Usage

Researchers believe that this is the missing link to optimal health and nutrition, which can change life for the better. Experts agree that this nutritional element should be used in conjunction with vitamins and minerals as a key dietary requirement. Since the discovery of this substance, pharmaceutical companies have rushed to have synthetic versions of the substance patented. However, it is naturally available in a much more potent form than the synthetic version, which could never be copied.

A Chinese Dinosaur That Went for a Swim

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A Chinese Dinosaur That Went for a Swim

Trackways Preserve Evidence of a Theropod Dinosaur Going for a Swim

A team of scientists from China supported by colleagues from the University of Alberta (Canada), have published a report on a series of dinosaur tracks, one of which indicates that a small Theropod dinosaur swam across a river, a rare incidence of dinosaur swimming behaviour preserved as a trace fossil.

A Brief History of Scientific Computing

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The concept of computing began as early as the cavemen who used their digits to perform calculations. In the realm of science and technology, the place where all the magic happens is the laboratory. However, scientific computing can only be said to have begun with the inventions of machines that solved mathematical problems. The simplest and most probably the earliest device to perform calculations is the abacus which was invented by the Chinese. Scientists like Blaise Pascal and Charles Babbage although at different times, dedicate their time and energy to invent mechanical machines to help with arithmetic problems.

5 High Yield Hematology Pearls for Clinical Practice and the ABIM Board Exam

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Hematology is a subject that comes up daily in clinical practice, and is a favorite on the ABIM Internal Medicine board exam. Evaluation of anemia, as well as some other hematologic disorders, is paramount for an internist to master. I will try and provide five evidence-based pearls in this post that will help physicians understand some important concepts and avoid common pitfalls in the recognition and treatment of such hematological disorders.

Pearl #1: Patients on iron supplementation SHOULD NOT have positive guaiac tests.

    Studies in vitro show ferric iron (Fe3+) will give a positive guaiac reaction and ferrous iron (Fe2+) does notIron is digested in the ferrous form and carried in the blood in the ferric formPatients on iron supplementation with positive guaiac require screening for identifying the source of gastrointestinal hemorrhageFerrous (Fe2+) iron does not cause positive guaiac tests in vivo

Pearl #2: The pentad of Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP) is not always present.

    The pentad is: microangiopathic hemolytic anemia (MAHA), thrombocytopenia, renal abnormalities, neurologic abnormalities, and feverLess than 50% of patients have the complete pentadMeasurement of ADAMTS13 activity is not required to make the diagnosis; the diagnosis is clinicalThe gold standard treatment is plasma exchange and if not available you may use fresh frozen plasma as an alternative treatment

Pearl #3: Primary hemostasis disorders are a platelet dysfunction and secondary hemostasis disorders are a clotting factor disorder.

    Primary hemostasis Disorders:
    A result of platelet functionImmediate clottingPatients will have petechiae and purpuraAll will have elevated bleeding time (platelets don’t work) and normal PT/PTT (no problem with clotting factors)

Secondary hemostasis Disorders:

    A result of clotting factorsDelayed clotting (help strengthen clots by fibrin formation)Patients will have hematomas and hemarthrosesAll will have normal bleeding time (platelets work fine) and abnormal PT (extrinsic pathway) and PTT (intrinsic pathway)

Pearl #4: Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) type M3 has a good prognosis.

    AML is the most common type of acute leukemia in adultsTypically M2 – M5 types are myeloperoxidase stain positive (Remember that PTU and micropolyangitis can also be positive)Auer rods are pathognomonic for AMLType M3 (promyelocytic) leukemia has t(15,17)The treatment of choice is all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)The single most important prognostic factor in AML is cytogentetics: t(15;17) has a 70% 5 year survival and 33% relapse rate

Pearl #5: Anemia is the most common hematologic abnormality, so know it cold.

    Iron deficiency anemia is the world’s most common cause of anemia
    Iron deficiency anemia:

    Low iron, transferrin saturation, and ferritinElevated TIBCTransferrin Receptor Index = transferrin receptor/Log Ferritin is the most sensitive assay for iron deficiency anemia (>2.0 = Iron Deficiency Anemia; <1.0 = Anemia of Chronic Disease)Treatment is PO iron → if no improvement after 6 weeks consider IV ironThe earliest lab to check after starting iron replacement is the reticulocyte count (Begins to increase at about 5 to 7 days)Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) supplementation increases absorption of ironMost iron is absorbed in the duodenumCeliac sprue can cause iron deficiency anemia: Best test is tissue transglutaminase antibody or antiendomysial antibody; Tx is a gluten free diet; Can see dermatitis herpetiformis associated with this entity

As I have stated in my high yield pearls to pass the boards: “Most commons” are emphasized on the ABIM curriculum, so it is good to know these disease processes.

Big Bang Theory? Darwin’s Theory of Evolution? Fate? So Murder Is OK Then?

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The Big Bang Theory is a model explaining the early development and evolution of the known Universe. It begins with chaos – a hot, dense state which expands rapidly to convert energy in to subatomic particles, then atomic particles. This evolution eventually lead to the creation our galaxy, solar system and of Earth, which would in turn develop conditions favourable to the evolution of “life”.

From the primordial soup of elements developed amino acids which would join to form peptide chains.

Probability Versus Causality In Quantum Physics

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Probability Versus Causality In Quantum Physics

It is claimed that quantum physics is based not on certainty (i.e. – causality) but on probability, and therefore Mother Nature places the cosmos ultimately under wraps, under a restriction that there just are some secrets that are Hers and Hers alone to know, and not for us mere mortals. However, truth be known, Mother Nature is just as restrictive at times even when probability doesn’t enter into the equation.

Tyrannosaurus Rex – The King of the Dinosaurs

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Tyrannosaurus Rex - The King of the Dinosaurs

The Tyrannosaurus Rex, often abbreviated, T Rex is generally considered the king of the dinosaurs. As a matter of fact, the Rex in its name is latin for “King” while “Tyrannosaurus” means “Tyrant Lizard.” Put that all together, and this dinosaurs name translates to “Tyrant Lizard King.” Their fossils were found in the present western part of North America.

Computer Science Education Kits

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A massive change is coming to the ICT curriculum, a subject that the government has now deemed irrelevant. As of September 2014 ICT will no longer be taught, instead the new subject of Computing will replace the old ICT syllabus.

This change has been implemented with backing from heads of industry. The department of education has said that it hopes the proposed changes will help England retain a competitive edge in the global digital economy.

The implementation of Computer Science may look attractive form an industry point of view; however what does it mean for teachers and pupils who have little or no experience of programming or understanding how a computer works.

Like myself, most teachers will have to learn this new subject as we teach it.

Wildebeest Migration – It’s Cooler Than You Think

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Wildebeest Migration - It's Cooler Than You Think

Pick your favorite science phenomenon and explain what is happening; Here is the wildebeest migration the seventh wonder of the world, an annual event that involves a spectacular animal migration in the East African plains of Mara and Serengeti. This happens between the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Maasai Mara National reserve in Kenya.