Thursday, May 2, 2013

This is a picture of a very easy (and kinda fun) lab in which we used bubbles to mimic a explosion of cells.  We can see here about 14 cells and while they are not all uniform in size, they do a pretty good job of representing these dividing cells.  To divide them further, smash them with a stick to try and cut the bubbles into two seperate bubbles. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

After recently reading a post done by a fellow student which can be found here <A HREF=http://blog.lib.umn.edu/ivers426/myblog/2013/02/bpa-and-neurodevelopmental-disorder.html> on the effects of BPA and neurodevelopmental disorder </A> I decided I would do a little research of my own to further investigate this topic.  After a quick trip to wikipedia I found out that BPA is put into water bottles (Nalgene) to make the plastic tougher (which is why it is so hard to break these water bottles).  I also learned that BPA was found in 96% of pergant women.  As a result the US along with a few other countries have banned this chemical in bottles ment for infants.  After digging a little deeper I found a great article of this subject titled Effects of xenoestrogens on the differentiation of behaviorally-relevant neural circuits by Panzica et al.

BPA is labeled as a endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) which effect sexual differentiation as a result of the reproduction in adults.  These EDC's alter the hormonal concentration in infants during pregnancy and can change the primary and secondary characteristics.  This primarily plays a roll in estrogen related neuronal circuits.  These in turn alter the cell migration in neurons and can change the regulated survival and death tolls in neurons.  It is suggested that even small levels can modify behavior in the organism.  This greatly changes the fitness of the individual and could possibly lead to life threatening abnormalities during infancy as well as later in life.

It is extremely important to continue to research these effects and understand the consequences of BPA and development of the brain.  If nothing is done to correct this, we may see drastic changes in future generations for the worse.  I will probably continue to research this topic in further detail and work on understanding the effects.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Creationism or Evolution

How old is Earth? 6,000 years or 4.55 billion?  Where did all animals come from?  Was it some sort of creator who snapped his fingers and magically apperated animals? Psh, nah it was Evolution!  While some argue that because we cannot see evolution happen that we cannot prove it to be true.  I once read an extremely witty reply to this "If you were on an island with yourself and two other people and you found one of the people with a knife sticking out of his back, what would you hypothesis happened?  Knowing you did not stab the individual you would be able to infer that it was the other individual who did the stabbing.  Although you did not directly see it happen, you are able to form a reasonable hypothesis for how the knife was sticking out of the inidividuals back."  While we cannot see evolution happen overnight, we can use the fossil record (however detailed it may be) to create inferences as to similar looking species being found in closely related times periods from different dating methods.  While the fossil record is not perfect, we have rock hard EVIDENCE of the transition from one speices into another.  I can write a book and say that I created the earth and all the animals but that dosent make it any more true then the next book.  While Im not claiming to be a divine figure, Im simply saying some evidence is better then none.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

enhanced photo of pig embryo


This is a photo I took for a class project.  It is a enhanced picture of a pig embryo taken at 10X magnification on a Lecia DMLB microscope available at UMM.  The picture is actually the internals of the cross section which was also available at UMM where I am currently studying developmental biology under the instruction of Dr. Paul Z. Myers.  Although the image quality  is poor, I am hoping to increase my abilities in the future and hopefully there will be more images to come.  In the mean time I will continue to articulate my microscope abilities.  Thanks!