Thursday, November 29, 2012

3rd period - Case Study Summary

Respond to this with a comment that contains your summary paragraph.  Do not duplicate a case study that someone else in your class has already done.  Make sure to comment on one other person's summary. 

57 comments:

  1. I read “A Need for Needles Acupuncture- Does it Really Work?” by Sarah G. Stonefoot and Clyde Freeman Herreid, at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. This case is about a Mother named Audrey, who was an avid gardener. After years of gardening, her wrists started to cause her a lot of discomfort in the form of Arthritis. Her daughter, Janet, bought her mother a subscription to Time magazine, in which Audrey found an article on acupuncture. Janet thought this was a completely false method of treatment, so they went to the doctor to find out if Audrey should even attempt any Alternative Medicines. The doctor explained that acupuncture is a family of procedures in which stimulation of points on the body is done, mostly by needles or electrical stimulations. Millions of Americans turn to acupuncture as a method of treatment each year; however, there is still controversy about if it is an effective method of relieving pain, or if it is just an elaborate placebo. A recent study that was NCCAM- funded, gives us the most insight on how acupuncture can be helpful for chronic pain. This study focused on two main controversial components: the patient’s belief that the treatment will be able to ease their pain, along with the ideas of where to actually place the needles to relieve any pain. After both of the components were analyzed, they came to the conclusion that there is statistically significant evidence that acupuncture does in fact, relieve pain. There are still many studies to be done on acupuncture to see if their effects are truly from the act of inserting needles into certain points on the body; however, due to the evidence that has been given up to this day, it seems that acupuncture is a good alternative to conventional medicine.

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    1. Due to my father being a neuromuscular therapist, I know that acupuncture does in fact work. Although people make it out to be some odd practice which results in you being stabbed. Actually it releases stress as different parts of the body influence the well-being of others. For instance a neck pain can be directly related to a foot pain (not for sure here but just go with it). Although it may be just a placebo but it appears it actually works. Nice article Michelle!

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    2. This is a very cool article. Acupuncture has always been very interesting to me, and I have wondered if the seemingly painful insertion of needles into my body would cause relief of pain and stress. Although the findings in this article seem pretty legit, I do have to say that I believe that acupuncture is still probably just an elaborate placebo.

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    3. That's a very interesting description of modern acupuncture. I have always thought that acupuncture was weird and probably ineffective, but if scientific evidence is found to prove that It can work, it will probably convince more people to use it as treatment. I think more research should be done in that field to find out more about exactly how acupuncture works in relation to healing the body, and maybe we can continue to learn from future studies if it really is effective or just a placebo.

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    5. That's really interesting. A close family friend was actually considering acupuncture for joint pain some while ago. I never really paid attention to acupuncture, but it seems important. Further research and study on this topic can help many people with stress and pain relief. Great case study!

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  2. I read “Chimpanzee Droppings Lead Scientists to Evolutionary Discovery” by Erica F. Kosal. I was really wondering what Chimpanzee droppings could tell us about evolution as in monkey to man, but I learned so much more from the case study than why poop could tell us about the change to bipedalisim. It turns out the study was on the evolution of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). This study was conducted by Dr. Beatrice Hahn and her team from the University of Alabama. Chimpanzees travel and sleep in groups in trees, thus it would make sense that in the morning when the Chimps move on there is a massive pile of poop at the base of a tree. Dr. Hahn and her team have been analyzing the droppings for the last seven years. The team has analyzed 559 fecal samples from ten forest sites in Cameroon to trace the evolution of HIV from the similar virus, SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus). Both viruses are retroviruses or contain RNA and Reverse Transcriptase to rewrite the host’s DNA. In the study the researchers were attempting to see if the SIV virus found in captive chimps were identical to that of wild chimpanzees to pinpoint the location of HIV’s evolution. The researchers believe the virus was transferred from Chimp to human through the touch of chimp meet or through zoonosis about 50-75 years ago during polio vaccination trials. HIV and SIV share 70% of the same code spearheading the research. You may be wondering how exactly droppings can prove the infection of SIV in monkeys, but Dr. Hahn’s team has been testing for antibodies in the droppings in a test similar to the Human test ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay). Blood from the patient is placed in a well with a HIV antigen and researchers study the bonding of the anti-HIV antibodies to the antigen. There is also typically a color change in the well. Dr. Hahn discovered infection in five of her ten field sites. Of those five sites three had a prevalence rate of 35% while two had a prevalence rate of 4-5%. Although I was hoping to learn how Chimp poop can prove Evolution has occurred over Creationism, this case study was enlightening to the formation of HIV in humans.

    http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/chimpanzees.pdf

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    1. Neil Goel

      I found this case study on the evolution of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) to be very interesting. SIV is a commonly acquired virus for hunters, so the spread of SIV could have mutated the virus into HIV, which, according to the article, occurred about fifty to seventy years ago during the polio vaccination trials, when human and animal contact was more common. A virus jumping the species barrier is not common, so increased contact gave the virus a high probability of the species jump. With further studies on the origin of HIV and the mutations that occur, scientist could understand the virus better and become closer to a cure.

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  3. Neil Goel

    "Giving Birth to Someone Else's Children: A Case of Disputed Maternity" by Jessica Hutchison, from Alfred State University. This case study investigated the possibilities behind the results of Karen's son's blood tests. Karen, a 52 year old mother of three, needed a kidney transplant. Karen's and her son's blood was tested to find a suitable donor. The blood tests tested their human leukocyte antigen (HLA) gene, which are encode cell surface recognition proteins that the body uses to distinguish its own cells from foreign materials. Each person has a unique HLA combination. This gene is located on chromosome 6, and is often inherited together in a block known as a haplotype. The transplant is most successful when the host's and match's HLA gene is the most similar. The blood test revealed that Karen's HLA haplotype is 1 and 3, and her sons are 2 and 5, 2 and 5, and 1 and 6. These results are not possible if Karen conceived all her children because the haplotypes of the children should match up, one to the father and one to the mother. However, Karen conceived all her children naturally without any help. The test was rerun and the same results were achieved, which confused the doctors. Karen's husband HLA test determined that he has a haplotype of 5 and 6. More test on family members determined that Karen's children were all related her. Further test discovered that Karen was a whole body chimera, or tetragametic chimera. This means Karen resulted from four gametes, two eggs and two sperm. Her mother released two eggs, which were fertilized by two sperm. Usually this results in fraternal twins, but instead, the two zygotes fused into one organism. This gave Karen two different genetic make ups, depending on which cell was examined. With Karen's kidney transplant, which came from her husband, she now has three different genotypes.

    http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/chimera.pdf

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    1. Wow! I have never heard of that being able to happen. It's so interesting that one person can basically form from two. It's unusual to think that a person resulting from four gametes may struggle in life when it comes to finding similar gene matches within the family. I wonder how many people this actually happens to on a yearly basis. Great post Neil!

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    2. Woah! I did not even know that was possible. The fact that those 4 gametes did not form into two separate organisms is odd and could probably lead doctors/scientists to test more on how and why the gametes reacted that way. I wonder what other effects the 4 gametes have caused in her body.

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    3. Cherechi IromuanyaDecember 3, 2012 at 9:00 PM

      I am amazed at this possibility. There have to be other species that also have these types of organisms. Obtaining four different gametes from two parents seemed impossible to older geneticist and now it is a real life occurance!

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  4. Robert Memmer
    "The Medicinal Use of Marijuana:An Intimate Debate Case" by Clyde Freeman Herreid and Kristie DuRei from the University at Buffalo. This case study helped shed light on whether or not Marijuana should be used medicinally. Marijuana is currently classified as a product that has "no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States." Recently, several states have striven to legalize it at the state level for medicinal purposes, and have succeeded. The article first presents the pros of medical marijuana with a story of a terminal cancer patient. It tells how speakers mother had terminal cancer, and lived her last days in peace because of medical marijuana. The article then follows this with a sheet of pros of medical marijuana, including: the fact that no one has ever overdosed on marijuana, marijuana stimulates hunger in people who typically would not eat, THC and CBN in marijuana help inhibit tumor growth and increase life expectancy in cancerous mice. After this, the cons of medical marijuana are listed, starting with a story of a drug addict. The addict proclaims that marijuana was the most important thing in his life when he was using it. He also said that he led to other drugs and kept him feeling inadequate. After this follows a list of cons which include: side effects such as sleepiness, bloodshot eyes, and psychological dependence, increased risk of heart attack, and deterioration of the hippocampus.

    http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/marijuana.pdf

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    1. This case is very interesting especially because it pertains to recent events. Now that some states are legalizing marijuana we have to look at the good and bad of marijuana. There are some pretty bad side effects, but then again all drugs have them. I think medical marijuana has potential especially for cancer patients.

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    2. I believe marijuana should be legalized to be used more in medical uses and explore other ways it can help. Marijuana is not addictive and cannot be overdosed on. Thus leading to why shouldnt it be legalized if it doesnt cause more harm than cigarettes

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  5. I read an article called "Mystery in Alasksa - Where have all the Sea Lions gone?"
    According to the article, the Alaska Fisheries Science Center Laboratory discovered that steller sea lions are suddenly starting to disappear from Alasksa's waters. The population loss is most evident in the Prince William Sound area, where the western steller sea lion population is located. This is weird compared to the eastern population, which is actually increasing at a slow rate. Sea lion pups are especially vulnerable to environmental change and have a low chance of surviving to adulthood and reproducing. The sea lion diet consists of mainly pollock and herring fish. As overfishing caused the ecosystem of the Aleutian Islands fish habitats to change, the herring and pollock populations declined, leading to a decline in western steller sea lions as well. The eastern population remained unaffected due to environmental regulations against overfishing of those species of fishes. The population decline of those fish influenced the energy requirements for the sea lions. The transfer of energy is important in all ecosystems, but in Alaskan waters it is directly impacting populations of sea lions.

    here is a link to the article:

    http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/sea_lions.pdf

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    1. Preston Thomas
      I find this article very interesting because sea lions are one of my many favorite animals in the world. I feel like all of these fluctuations in population patterns of these aquatic animals can be traced to one or a few environmental changes. These changes could be global warming, pollution, or any disturbance in the environment. I think tests should be done to test the water quality and other measurements to see if there are many changes from past records.

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    2. While reading this article, I wondered if any human factors other than fishing affected the sea lion population. Pollution would naturally be the first concern. And even if no signs of pollution are prevalent now, is it possible that the lack of environmental regulation will allow future problems? Also important, how would the extinction of Alaskan sea lions affect the populations of other species? Is the sea lion a keystone species? Is the Alaskan ecosystem more of a simple food chain or a complex food web? Assuming it is the latter, the removal of an species, especially of a keystone species, which holds a food web together, would be catastrophic. I believe that these companies should conduct further research and create more guidelines to protect the environment.

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  6. Preston Thomas
    The case study I read was called “Cell Phone Use and Cancer,” by Wilma V. Colón Parrilla at the Biological Sciences University of Puerto Rico. My case study was not only about if there was a link between cancer and cell phone use, but how some articles could give a false impression. I wanted to read this case study because I have been told numerous times that cell phone use could cause cancer and have not researched it, until now. Many articles say that cell phones in fact do cause cancer according to studies, however these article do not go into detail about what kind of phones that are being used, the duration of cell phone usage, and many other factors. There are three kinds of cell phones in America: analog, digital, and PCS. These types of phones were used in this order chronologically. The newer phones have a reduction of transmitter power, the energy required to transmit information. Also, the radio frequencies emitted by cell phones, and other appliances like microwaves, are non-ionizing radiation that do not ionize tissue that would change DNA, like x-rays and gamma rays. When people would tell me that using my cell phone for an extended period of time would cause cancer I would wonder how it could be legal to sell. The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) have identified a Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of 4 watts per kilogram that would be the threshold level of energy absorbed by the body that could be harmful. Cell phones can only emit 1.6 watts per kilogram thus making it not harmful according to the FDA and FCC. Many studies have been done and there have been no links found between cancer and cell phone usage with the exception of analog cell phones, which are not used any more, for an extended amount of time. There is the possibility that this could cause acoustic neuroma. However, this is just a possibility and I think that the use of cell phones do not cause cancer based on the facts we have today. On the other hand, I believe that we should continue to test on subjects like this and to be safe.

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    1. This seems like a debunking case study. I have also heard news reporters speaking about the link between cell phone usage and cancer, but from above, there is no true convincing evidence for this claim. I guess someone just wanted to create hype. This reminds me of the supposed link between autism and vaccines that seems to be unfounded.

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  7. I read "Tuna for Lunch?: A Case Study Examining Mercury Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification." This case study described the amounts of mercury in various seafoods and the health concerns due to this. Nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury, but some contain higher levels that may cause nerve damage in unborn babies and children in particular. Shark, swordfish, and mackerel are especially high in mercury content while shrimp and catfish contain only traces. Mercury is in fish because aquatic bacteria convert inorganic mercury into an organic form, methyl-mercury.These mercury levels can accumulate in fish since they ingest other organisms that contain mercury. They are also relatively high on the food chain. This process of accumulation is called biomagnification. Trace amounts of mercury can become large amounts as fish eat other organisms that contain mercury. The case study shows various levels of mercury content in different species of fish.

    http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/mercury_in_fish.pdf

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    1. I think that this is really interesting because personally I really don't like fish and I'm always looking for legitimate reasons as to why I shouldn't. It's kind of scary to think that eating something that gives us so much good stuff can be equally as bad for you. Even though I already don't like fish, the thought of eating something that can be that dangerous and has things that are that bad for us makes me want to eat fish even less.

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    2. I'd fist like to say that I accidentally press backspace and my screen refreshed. That'll teach me to type in the little boxes (QQ).
      Anyways, I found the article to be fascinating. Though I already heard of bio-magnification in my freshman year, I never truly thought of it. The idea that something seemingly harmless could be deadly sends shivers through my spine. Though I don't think that i'll stop eating seafood, I'll be wary of the foods. Perhaps the brutal catching of fish would go down if demands lowered due to an increased cognizance of the dangers of fish.

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  8. The case study that I read was called, "A Sickeningly Sweet Baby Boy: A Case Study on Autosomal Recessive Inheritance" by Jacqueline Washington and Anne Zayaitz.This study is about the new born baby of Emma and Jacob Miller who they thought had some sort of sickness days after he was born. In this case study the new born baby started having trouble nursing and before the first week after his birth stopped feeding all together. His parents took him to the hospital and everything seemed to be fine, but the doctor smelled on one of his diapers because to the mother it had an odd scent.The doctor smelled a sweet, maple syrup scent and ordered a lab which revealed elevated levels of branched chain amino acids (BCAA) which led to the diagnosis of Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD).MSUD is attributed to recessive genes carried by both the mother and father.The doctor said that because of this disease the child wouldn’t be able to breast feed or eat high protein foods because they could lead to many negative effects like brain swelling, retardation, or even death.The child’s treatment involved having a low protein diet without meat, dairy, or poultry and being very reactive to any kind of sickness that befell the child.The only way to cure the disease is a liver transplant which his parents are considering whether or not is the right path for them.

    http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/sweet_baby.pdf

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    1. This is an interesting article because as a child grows up, the most critical period for feeding is at birth because they need the nutrients to grow! The fact that this baby had a disease that was linked to maple smelling pee is kind of odd... But I would imagine that even though the slightly altered diet would help, it could also hurt the baby just as much. The low protein diet could affect the baby's growth and cognitive function just as having a normal diet.

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    2. I have heard of this disease before so i didnt find it necessarily "odd". Still, this article is quite intriguing. For one, im thinking of the tons of growth and delevopmental effects this child could be subject to without having been breast fed. I always have read and as far as i know that breast fed children usually develop better and tend to be overall better adapted and more advanced than non breast fed children. So for me, i worry on that level. Then,I worry that this liver transplant could be way to much on a child of this age and size and already having the low protein diet his body is already very weak. I think a transplant might quite possibly kill the child in the process of post op and recovery. Because of diseases associated with surgery of this calibur he would need a relatively strong immune system before surgery and with his present circumstances this is sadly not the case.

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  9. The case study I read was called A Devil of a Disease by Dylan P. Macuk, William J. Moser, Kaleigh A. Tockes, and Keith A. Johnson. This was about strange tumors that began to be noticed on the faces of Tasmanian Devils. The infected devils usually died just a few months after being afflicted. Pesticides and herbicides used to increase crop yield in Tasmania could be the culprit, but varying levels of chemicals in the different populations of devils varied, proving this wrong. The tumors were determined to be cancer, so cancer-causing viruses were studied as well, but none seemed to be identified, so that idea was abandoned too. Scientists analyzed the karyotypes from the tumor cells of devils as well as non-infected cells. Strangely, the karyotypes of the tumor cells in many different devils were identical. However, the karyotypes of the non-infected cells of many devils were not identical. This provided a clue to the origin of the tumors. It was decided that the tumors originated from one Tasmanian Devil. Due to reproduction, its cells continue to live in the surviving population. The cancer is not rejected by the devils' immune systems due to the genetic similarity of the devils or supression of the immune system, therefore it survives. In addition, the tumors occur on the faces of the devils most likely due to the fact that the devils bit and scratch each others faces when fighting for a mate. Efforts have been started to save this species.

    http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/dftd.pdf

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  10. I read the article "Why Sex is Good". The article begins talking of reproduction in general. It hooks the reader revealing that there are sexual and asexual reproduction while there are also 'no gender organisms', male and female organisms, and other genders that surpass simple male and female categorizations. On top of that, it reveals that there are organisms that can shift from asexual to sexual depending on its environment and that there are asexual reproducing organisms both large and small.
    Later on, the article explains the advantages of both asexual and sexual reproduction. At first, the author states that sexual reproduction is beneficial when it increases genetic variation. The author then goes on to decimate his previous statement by arguing that sex also leads to the breaking of good combinations and his no where near as efficient as asexual reproduction. Though the having efficiency as a benefit is arguable, it is easy to see that asexual reproduction is 'better' despite the fact that concurrency could easily lead to the failing of the species as a whole. Near the end of the article, it shows the findings of an experiment which show that sexual reproduction is beneficial. The experiment used yeast which can reproduce both sexually and asexually. By deleting two genes, they were able to make two groups of both sexual and asexual yeast. After putting both into stressed environments, they examined the organism's relative fitness and found that the sexually reproducing yeast had a higher relative fitness throughout hundreds of generations.

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    1. http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/birds_and_bees.pdf

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    2. Asexual reproduction seems to be more effective when used by unicellular organisms and sexual reproduction with multicellular organisms due to the time and resources required to produce a "copy."

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  11. I read “A Healthy Retirement?” by Ann Henninger. This case study is about a 62 year old recent retiree that has numerous health concerns and has recently developed symptoms that could be fatal to her. At age 62, Nancy Towers is an overweight woman who just recently had a hysterectomy, is taking hormone (estrogen) replacement therapy since the hysterectomy, and has concerns with having osteoporosis. Just before her retirement cruise trip, Nancy’s recent symptoms included pain in her back, burning sensations in her lower chest and frequent tiredness. Her regular screening before the cruise observed that everything was normal except her cholesterol levels. While her High-density lipoprotein cholesterol level was low (good cholesterol), her low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) and her triglyceride level was higher than the average American. A doctor on the cruise suggested that she had ‘angina equivalent symptoms’. These are the symptoms that women commonly have while leading up to coronary heart disease or even a path to having a heart attack. Statistics show that men are more prone to this disease and heart attacks, but women have a higher fatality rate. The importance of knowing the signs of a heart attack for both sexes is equally important as shown in this article.

    http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/heart_disease.pdf

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    1. I found this article very interesting. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, mainly because of its deceiving symptoms and subtle nature. The disease can slowly kill an individual without any extremely obvious symptoms. This article can help spread the word about heart disease in the hopes of decreasing its mortality rates in both sexes of Americans.

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  12. I read “Anyone Who Had a Heart.” This case study was about 37 year old woman who had trouble conceiving and went through a fertility procedure. During Jen’s pregnancy, she was carrying twins and had a normal delivery; however one of her twins, the girl, was born with a heart problem and was cyanotic. A baby who is cyanotic has bluish skin due to imperfect oxygenated blood. When the babies were born, Jen noticed her baby girl was blue, while her baby boy had a normal coloration. After expressing her concern, the doctors assured her that it was normal for some babies to be cyanotic. While listening to the babies’ hearts, the medical student examined that boy had a normal heart beat and coloration. The girl had a faster heartbeat, was coughing, and was still blue. These vital signs got the doctors worried and they immediately took the girl into ICU. After testing, it was seen in an echocardiogram that due to a ventricle septal defect. This means that she had a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart.

    http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/fetal_heart.pdf

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    1. To be honest, this doesn't exactly surprise me that one of the woman's children turned out with a problem. The older a woman gets, the higher the risk of a birth defect is. What does surprise me is that the doctors explained to Jen that a baby is cyanotic. Out of the birth defects that are around, cyanotic doesn't seem to be talked about as much as diseases such as autism and down syndrome. And I haven't seen a blue child walk through Brookwood High School, so it seems that either babies with cyanotic either do not live very long or its just uncommon. I googled cyanosis and it said intervention needs to occur within 3 to 5 minutes after birth in order to have a chance to survive. In this article, it doesn't seem that the doctors had that much urgency to save the little girl.

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  13. Ariana Elizabeth Stringfellow

    This case study called “Love Potion #10” is about a new drug that was developed from human pheromones and is supposedly supposed to increase your attractiveness to potential sexual partners. In the article two women discuss the drug and its affects. They bicker back and forth each claiming different things. Jean who believes that pheromones are the latest and greatest in dating drugs and Laurie who is basically adamant that this Dr. Cutler is a loony. The case study doesn’t go into deep detail on the drug but does give a link to the actual website used in the battle of Jean and Laurie. Turns out this drug is real and can be bought. Though being in highschool, I do not need this drug. I am currently single but not really ready to mingle lol:) Anywho, Dr. Winnifred Cutler “discovered/created” these pheromones in 1986. Upon further investigation into her website I learned that there are multiple types of these pheromones she sells. They are odorless. There is a different form for men and women. There is also no legit scientific evidence as to Dr. Winnifred’s credibility and as to the scientific credibility of the drug. There are only biased experiments done by Dr. Cutler and her team. As well as, numerous testimonies, but as we all know and as the case study also brings up, lots of people fabricate testimonies. I.E. diet pill companies … pick up any popular magazine for women and you’re bound to see ads for quick weight loss with testimonies that are falsified. Granted some are true… I for one know that Weight Watchers if stuck to is credible. Yet, this pheromone seems kooky and I doubt its effectiveness. I think it’s a money making placebo.

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    1. http://www.athenainstitute.com/

      http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/pheromones.pdf

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  14. Brenden Reese
    I read "Abracadabra: Magic Johnson and Anti-HIV Treatments" by Brian J. Rybarczyk from University of North Carolina. Johnson publically announced in 1991 that he was HIV-positive, which effectively lead to his retirement. HIV is a retrovirus that enters a T cell in the immune system and inserts its RNA into the cell's cytoplasm. From there, reverse transcriptase copies and converts the RNA into DNA. Then, integrase inserts the HIV-coded DNA into the host genome in the cell's nucleus where it can undergo protein synthesis in order to produce several new HIV viruses within the cell. The new HIV viruses then exit the cell by budding and infect other T cells. One infected cell can produce hundreds of new viruses, which is why HIV is such fast spreading. Some cures have been conjured and a few have proven to actually work. In Johnson's case, he used a treatment called Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART), which is a mixture of several medication used. Johnson credits one specific drug the most for his success, Combivir, which inhibits reverse transcriptase. However, HIV evolves quickly enough to where this drug is not a full time cure. HIV can have a point mutation that causes the virus to be resistant to Combivir and this virus will become the norm eventually (natural selection). This is why some doctors have suggested structured treatment interruption. This is a treatment where a patient is on a drug for a certain time, and then off for a certain time, which inhibits the drug from not evolving to the medication. Not to mention, these drugs are expensive. I read on another article where Magic Johnson spent about $50,000 a month for medication. This is not exactly the kind of money an average person can just whip out of their back pockets like he can. After 20 years of treatment, Magic Johnson has no signs of HIV in his body.

    http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/aids.pdf

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  15. I read “The Tired Swimmer: A Case Study on the Nervous System” by Allison Russo, Morgan Falk, and Phil Stephens. The study follows a portion of the life of a girl named Annie, who seems to have a perfect life: a loving family and boyfriend and a strong swimming scholarship to her college. However, for the past few weeks she has seemed unusually fatigued. Her eyes strain to see close objects, her fingers feel tired, and her swim times are getting worse. Her coaches and friends start to worry about her. However, after her boyfriend, Matt, observes that she can’t complete a task as simple as picking up car keys, he has no choice but to take her to the family doctor, who refers her to a neurologist. After conducting several tests, the neurologist does not have good news. An electromyography (EMG) test show that during repeated stimulation of nerves, Annie’s muscle responses decrease quickly, which indicates that her muscles become fatigued over time. Other tests displayed that she has an unusually high level of antibodies. The neurologist concluded that Annie has myasthenia gravis, a condition where antibodies are overproduced and compromise communication between muscles and nerves. They do this by disrupting the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is needed for neurons to react with muscle membranes. The neurologist recommended a drug called neostigmine and injections of edrophonium, which both inhibit production of acetylcholinestrase, an enzyme that reduces amounts of acetylcholine. However, after looking at Annie’s CT scan results, the neurologist found a tumor in her thymus gland that could be causing the symptoms and plans to have it removed.

    http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/tired_swimmer.pdf

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    1. this is a great and interesting article because she has grown in a active life with a boyfriend, she also has a scholarship for swimming but suddenly she finds herself fatigue, I find it not fare to the girl that was honored by a scholarship. Her boyfriend did the right thing to bring her to the neurologist. After her results came in, I was shocked that the neurotransmitters are being disrupted, this means the signals do not go the motor cells or even reach the synaptic terminal of the motor cells.

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  16. I read the case study "Another Can of Bull" by Cheryl D. Davis and Nancy A. Rice at Western Kentucky University. I found this a very informative case study because it effects the and the ingredients of energy drinks that I often use. I learned there are many biases that stem from the use of energy drinks on both sides. the advertisers would say that energy drinks are just soft drinks that are highly caffeinated while many other drink competitors would say that it is very dangerous. However, this case study showed that energy drinks can be very dangerous if not used in moderation. energy drinks can be very harmful with the mixture of alcohol and used as a sports drink. energy drinks are stimulants that are full of many chemicals and vitamins. the calorie count for energy drinks are similar to many regular soft drinks with a few exceptions, diet energy drinks. I also liked how the explanation of cellular respiration, glycolysis, and the krebs cycle and how they occur naturally and with the addition of energy drinks. Energy drinks should also not be taken when pregnant often, just to be cautious. Energy drinks have the capacity to be very dangerous, however they can be healthy with the proper use.

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    1. Many high school and college students use energy drinks when they're up late studying and don't have time to sleep. Although energy drinks do have high levels of caffeine, so do caffeinated sodas and coffee. I agree that energy drinks are bad for your health due to the high levels of caffeine and high levels of sugar, but they are not too dangerous to drink. If you consume them every once in a while, they will not be detrimental to your health.

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  17. I read the case study "Search for the Missing Otters" by Mary E. Allen and Mark L. Kuhlmann. In the case study, Dr. James Estes and his colleagues tried to explain why the sea otter population in Alaska were declining during the 1990's. The study gave background information on sea otters and how in the 1700's they were hunted for their fur, which almost led them to extinction. Now, the sea otters were disappearing again. Dr. Estes narrowed down the various possibilities: migration, starvation, diseases,ect. However, based on the team's graphs and demographics the sea otter population was healthy. The decreased population was too large for migration to take into affect. Finally, the factor of predation was introduced after the recent reports of killer whales feeding on sea otters. It is not certain why killer whales have started using sea otters as prey after many decades living in community, but it is evident that the killer whales are the prominent reason for the deaths of sea otters. The case study goes on in explaining why sea otters are important to the environment at an ecological level. I thought that this case was very interesting, because not only are otters my favorite animal, but it also contained very clear explanations to the team's discoveries and tests.

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  18. I chose the case study “An antipodal mystery” concerning the discovery of platypuses in Australia. In 1799, a “half bird, half beast” creature was supposedly discovered and stumped all researchers as to what to classify it as. The animal was seen as a paradox, it did not fit any classifications or characteristics of vertebrates. However, several discoveries in its eating habits and reproductive organs led to more clarity regarding its classification. Its beak was found to be completely unlike that of a bird’s, and its reproductive organs had bilateral symmetry, like a dog’s or lemur’s. The complex nature of the platypus forced classification experts to then question what the true criterion for classification should be: reproduction or level of complexity. The platypus had a four-chambered heart like a mammal and had the same amount of complexity as a toothless mammal. However, those same traits also belonged to birds and caused a rift in the biology community. Through observation of the platypus’s reproductive habits, biologists realized it was oviparous and laid eggs like birds and reptiles, but unlike them the eggs changed sizes while in gestation. Ultimately, the platypus forced biologists to question the accuracy of the Scala Naturae in classifying previously undiscovered species. The unique nature of the platypus eventually led to breakthroughs in classification by Cuvier and LaMarack and changed the way the biology community viewed evolution and classification.

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    Replies
    1. http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/collection/detail.asp?case_id=181&id=181

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    2. MEREDITH MELLARD: Well, I think a platypus a super cute! I think that it should feel honored to have its own species group, not every animal can say that now. Its crazy to see an animal with so many different qualities all put together, and working together nicely. Also, I like the plural name for them too: platypi!

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  19. I read "A Case of Seasonal Affective Disorder" which discussed a 32 year old woman who suddenly began feeling depressed and lethargic. She also was sleeping more than normal and gained weight. She was diagnosed with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), which is also known as seasonal depression and is caused by high levels of melatonin in the pineal gland. Melatonin is secreted when levels of light exposure change, especially when sleeping. This hormone serves to regulate our sleep cycles, temperature and blood pressure. Overall melatonin keeps rhythms in bodily functions and helps with reproduction. In order for melatonin to be secreted, the neurotransmitter seratonin is activated. Production of melatonin decreases with age, therefore her condition is likely to worsen with age. The disease is only common in the wintertime, and it causes people to have nocturnal sleeping schedules because melatonin is referred to as the body's natural sleeping pill. Therefore with low levels of melatonin, a human will be sleepless as well as depressed.

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    1. Parker Greenway

      It's really interesting to see how the melatonin levels can affect so much in your body. It's cool to see how much our body depends on these small concentrations of chemicals that are released. I wonder how my melatonin levels are. Judging by the fact that it's almost midnight and I'm still awake doing this project, it's quite possible that my melatonin levels are not normal. Or maybe it's due to the fact that I've procrastinated and just started about 30 minutes ago. Who knows? Anyway, I'm sure this lady's melatonin levels can be regulated with some sort of pill. Yay science!

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  21. In my case study, a girl is forced to withdraw from her college because of her illness, Type III
    osteogenesis imperfecta. Though this is not unheard of, the reason for the withdrawal is unsettling. Vioxx, the drug used to treat her condition, was taken off of the market due to concerns over increased risks of heart attacks. Vioxx, a drug used to treat many inflammatory diseases, has been on the market for almost a decade without any major concerns over the risks. Suddenly, Merck & Co. removed its drug from the market even though the FDA still supported the drug’s presence on the market. Although the withdrawal of certain prescription drugs from the market is good, with the cons of keeping them outweighing the pros, the withdrawal of Vioxx is heavily negative. Removing such a drug whose effects are not matched by other drugs, regardless of the harmful side-effects, is irresponsible because the drug’s users will have no legitimate place to fall-back. I am sure that Amanda, the girl in question, would prefer a higher risk of a heart attack over unbearable pain and loss of function.

    Amanda’s Absence:
    Should Vioxx Be Kept Off the Market?
    by
    Dan Johnson
    Department of Biology
    Wake Forest University

    http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/vioxx.pdf

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  22. Frank was a all-around sportsman, He played football in the fall, wrestled during the winter, and was a sprinter on the track team during the spring when he was in high school. After he went to college he started to concentrate on his studies and stopped doing sports but he did go to the gym everyday for at least an hour and work out. He realized that even though he worked out everyday he was not gaining muscles like other people his height and weight. He was concerned about his so he made friends with other weightlifters and asked them how he could make this muscles grow like other weightlifters. They suggested anabolic steroids, so he injected himself with trenbolone acetate, but he was not aware of the fact that it is a synthetic steroid that is used for livestocks' muscule growth. The trenbolone acetate is similar to the testosterone, but trenbolone acetate esterifed form of the hormone is approximately three times more potent than the naturally occurring hormone. So as a result his testicles shrunk about 25% from the original size. He was worried about this so he took classes in college like anatomy, when they reached the human reproductive systems; he learned that testicles help maintaining masculine patterns of body hair and muscle and fat distribution. He also learned that the testicles and the brain collaborate in the anterior pituitary gland which help releasing many hormones like the luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone which help testicular cells make testosterone. Therefore the overproduction of testosterone is prevented by a negative feedback loop. He was interested in learning about this effects of steroids to the testicles, also learned about the negative side effects of using such drugs.

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    Replies
    1. http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/shrinkage.pdf

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  23. I read "Lost in the Desert" by David Evans. This case was about a 35 year old man named Mark who Took a 3 hour drive across the desert on US 95 From Yuma,Arizona to Blythe,Arizona to see his fiancee. Mark left at 7:00 AM and by noon he still had not arrived, so his fiancee decided to call highway patrol. By 12:30 PM a officer called maria had seen a broke down car matching the description that Marks fiancee described from the car their were footprints leading to
    Some mountains in the far distance. Now Maria had contacted a helicopter to help her find Mark. By 1:00 PM Henry Morningstar had located a shirtless and hatless man, Henry verified him as Mark and had several first degree burns on his back and face. He has dehydrted and dilarious, he was Diagnosed with heat stroke. Soon mark lost contact with the radio and as Mark was recovering he was telling about how he saw a river and he didn't know if it was a river or if it was a mirage. Later he became lost and hot and threw away his shirt and hat. Several months after his recovery mark noticed new melanin in his skin and new moles that changed color and bled. This could have been some type of cancer that evolved over time and caused moles as a breakout.

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  24. MEREDITH MELLARD: I read “Osmosis is serious business” by Troy R. Nash. It was about two different cases where water was the key factor of death. The first case tells the story of a farmer whose son “overfeed” the corn with a little extra fertilizer. A few days later a large rain storm came and watered the over- fertilized corn. The son went outside the next morning to find nasty, pale, wilted leaves, instead of the beginning of a bountiful harvest. He waited a couple of days in hopes of improvement, but the corn only worsened. The next case was about a teenager who had a gunshot wound. The doctors and nurses did all they could to save him. They gave him a IV strand that they thought was “Saline”, but was actually “Distilled Water.” The teenager did not survive. By having too much water in the body, or cell, can be very dangerous for the organism. If there are more solutes in the cell, the water cannot leave the membrane because the water molecules attach themselves to the solutes causing more problems. The organism is retaining too much water and cannot get rid of it quick enough. The leaves wilted because of the extra fertilizer mixed with the large amounts of rain.

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  25. Parker Greenway

    I read the case study entitled "The Case of Eric, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and Stem Cell Research" by Elizabeth R. McCain. This case study is a look into the life of Eric, a 31-year old soccer coach, and his discovery of his own Lou Gehrig's Disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). His leg muscles began to fail him during soccer practice and he even began to fall down his apartment stairs multiple times a day. He went to discuss this problem with his doctor and then a neurologist. After some blood tests and a muscle biopsy, it was determined that Eric had ALS. Eric and his family were given several treatment options, and after some research, the idea of stem cell treatment stuck out to them. Although Eric was rather uncomfortable with the idea of embryonic cells inside of him, it seems like a good option to lessen his suffering and help prolong his life.

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  26. Cherechi IromuanyaDecember 3, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    I read "Chimpanzee Droppings Lead Scientists to
    Evolutionary Discovery" where Professor Hahn attempts to find the origin of HIV through examining chimpanzee droppings. SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) is another retrovirus with many similarities to HIV. By identifying where HIV had evolved from, they could see if SIV jumped from primates to humans. That process is called zoonosis. They concluded that HIV evolved from SIV. This is so because HIV and SIV both have similar RNA sequenciing,both require the "back step" to change the RNA into DNA, and have mutations that create new types of viruses. In all, these mutations stop the immune system from being able to detect viruses to kill them. They believe HIV is derived from SIV which came from many types of primates. Through zoonosis, it reached humans.

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