AIS Explained

AIS Explained

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) is a condition in which a person develops a curve in their spinal column that is greater than ten degrees. Most people with AIS develop their spinal curve early on in puberty, especially when they experience growth spurts. AIS is not an uncommon condition for people to develop, with roughly two percent of people having AIS. Interestingly, AIS is more common in women than in men. Thankfully, AIS is generally not a serious, life-threatening condition, and most…

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Autophagy: The Fountain of Youth?

Autophagy: The Fountain of Youth?

Many people have searched for the fountain of youth in a desire to circumvent the cruelties of time and aging in order to maintain their youthful beauty. Surprisingly scientists at the University of California, San Francisco have found one of the mechanisms by which cells maintain their youthfulness and fight against aging. Autophagy is a process by which cells destroy large quantities of a material, such as an aggregate of misfolded protein.  The researchers found that in hematopoietic stem cells…

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Understanding AIS

Understanding AIS

For my literature review, I’ve decided to focus on adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). AIS is a condition in which a person’s spine curves more than is typical. No one’s spine is perfectly straight, with most people having slight curves of less than ten degrees in their spinal column. However, people with AIS can have much more severe curves that sometimes hinder pulmonary and cardiac functioning, though generally people with AIS have curves of about twenty to thirty degrees. While AIS…

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Pick a disease, any disease…

Pick a disease, any disease…

In order to gain inspiration for my capstone project, I decided to look within myself in some ways, and research diseases that affect and have affected myself and my family.  One of the diseases I am thinking about researching is known as Long QT syndrome. This pathology is particularly frightening as people often are unaware that they are affected by the condition until it is too late and they die suddenly of cardiac arrest. Long QT syndrome is inherited genetically…

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A Sweet Dream or a Beautiful Nightmare?: The roles of Group IID Phospholipase A2 in mediating disease

A Sweet Dream or a Beautiful Nightmare?: The roles of Group IID Phospholipase A2 in mediating disease

If you’ve watched TV in the last few years you’ve probably seen advertisements for products like fish oil supplements and fortified baby formula, both of which are known to contain omega-3 fatty acids. So what’s all of the hype about? After all, you probably know that omega-3 fatty acids are good for you, but you’re probably also not quite sure why these molecules are said to be so miraculous. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are essential molecules that are required…

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Rethinking Fat: Newly discovered Roles for Fatty Acids in Metabolism

Rethinking Fat: Newly discovered Roles for Fatty Acids in Metabolism

The ability of endothelial cells to proliferate is essential for the growth and creation of new blood vessels throughout the body. While the development of new blood vessels is a completely normal bodily function, when this process becomes out of control diseases such as retinopathy can occur. Fatty acids are important biological molecules that most typically play roles in storing energy for the cell. Previous studies indicated that the majority of the energy produced by endothelial cells during vessel development…

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Why I ♥ biochemistry

Why I ♥ biochemistry

When put most simply, studying biochemistry is about investigating the chemistry of biological interactions and processes. However, this definition is far too rudimentary. To study biochemistry can be to study how enzymes can be engineered to increase crop yields or to analyze how small molecules can both cause and cure disease. Let’s face it, even the most eccentric of scientists would not spend decades and decades in the lab working with finicky enzymes and molecules if their work did not…

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