Showing posts with label Science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Science. Show all posts

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Knock Out to Understand Human Diseases – Part 2 – Science 14

You may read the previous posting (Part 1):

- The Rainbow Before Evening : Knock Out to Understand Human Diseases – Part 1 – Science 14

Image 1- chrysanthemums

The knockout will result in disrupt of targeted gene. Since mouse is closely related to humans, thus, it is favorite animal for knockout experiments, especially with regard to genetic questions that relate to human physiology.

At the firt Image (Please see Part 1: Knock Out to Understand Human Diseases – Part 1 – Science 14), we can see how to target gene.

The introduce specific gene modification in mice by the use of embryonic stem (ES) cell, then produced knockout animal (mice).

Image 2- Alaska Pollock, just for illustration

Image 3- Banana, illustration only

As described by Hansson (2007: ADVANCED INFORMATION. Gene modification in mice.) that knockout have become absolutely important in medical research.

Then, through targeting (removing) a specific gene, we can find out what happens once it is gone.

It is lead to new understanding of normal development and disease processes, then identified new avenues for medical therapy which benefits to human being in the near future.

Just to let you know that Hansson, GK was the Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine 2007

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Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Knock Out to Understand Human Diseases – Part 1 – Science 14

Knockout is a technique to in-activate specific genes in human body. The technique is part of biotechnology.

Image 1- Procedure to produce gene knockout animal
(Source: Hansson, 2007)

This technology has been used to modify living organisms in order to improve human welfare since long time ago, may be dated back to ancient time about 5000 B.C.E.

Inactivated specific genes is the biochemical and pathological basis that might be used to understand human diseases.

For these purposes the scientists produced a knockout mouse.

Image 2- Red tulip, just illustration

National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH (2015: Knockout Mice) informed that human share many genes with mice.

Image 3- Green at neighborhood, illustration only

Thus, observing knockout mice gives information that can be used to better understand how a similar gene may cause or contribute to disease in humans.

Image 4- Looking cute, just illustration

So far, knockout mice have been used to understand many diseases, including: - cancer

- obesity and diabetes
- heart disease
- arthritis
- substance abuse
- anxiety
- aging and Parkinson disease.

# To be continued to Part 2

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Wednesday, 8 June 2022

Why Passion Flowers could Attract Butterfly? – Science 13

My neighbors call this flower “the last suffer,” and interestingly, its has many alternate names.

Image 1- Blooming of Passion flower.

Other common names, sure, depend very much on areas or regions, just few of them are:

- Holy-Trinity flower
- apricot vine
- maracock,
- white sarsaparilla
- molly-pop
- old field apricot
- granadilla

Image 2- Home d├ęcor, butterfly

Then, question: Why Passion Flowers could Attract Butterfly?

Image 3- Sunflower, just for illustration

The simple answer that it is because the plants could provide “specific” foods and fragrance to attract butterfly

Image 4- Walking path, illustration

In addition to butterflies, other critters that love to visit exotic purple passion flowers are:

- hummingbirds (the smallest bird in the USA)
- many other pollinators.

Image 5- Passion Flowers in the garden

Moreover, as reported by University of Florida (2012: Native Passionflower Vine Shares Special Relationship with Two Florida Butterfly Species) that at least two butterflies species depend on the flowers.

The butterfly are common, and easily observed in many places of the state of Florida, they are:

- the Zebra Longwing
- the Gulf Fritillary

Have you seen purple passion flowers?

Do you love it?

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Saturday, 14 May 2022

Differences of Shale Oil, Crude Oil and Fracking – Science 12

I wonder when listening about “fracking” during US presidential campaigns in 2020.

Then, I tried to find out what fracking is.

Image 1- Location of Shale Oil and Crude Oil
(credit to Petroleum Management)

Fracking is the method to drill oil and gas by using high pressure to make fracture in the shale formations.

Shale formation is below surface, could be near to more than one thousand feet (300 meter more).

Layer thickness may from few meters to hundred meters, then, from here the shale oil is extracted.

Image 2 – Wild flowers under tree

Two effect of fracking technique, bad and good sides.

1) Bad sides if lack of safety rules:

- poison groundwater and surface water
- disturb wildlife

Image 3- Mold on the leaves

2) Good effects:

- could replace coal for energy sources, hence decrease air pollution.
- increase energy security

Moreover, as you might know that conventional or crude oil is closer to surface (please see image 1).

In term of cost production, crude oil is cheaper than shale oil. As mentioned by Investopedia (2022), the cost comparison is following:

1) crude oil cost between US$ 20 to US$ 31, and even lower US$ 10 per barrel in Saudi Arabia.

2) Shale oil cost between US$ 46 to US$ 58 per barrel.

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Saturday, 11 December 2021

Could Botulinum Toxin be Turned to Beneficial Substance? - Part 4 – Science 10

You may read the previous postinga (Part 1, 2 and 3):
- Could Botulinum Toxin be Turned to Beneficial Substance? - Part 1 – Science 10

Fig 01- Rice, a dish in many countries.

Why does the toxin lethal and deadly?

The toxin can cause the paralysis of peripheral neuromuscular junction, which is the junction between our nerve to the muscle.

The muscle or striated muscle will excited whenever the nerve release chemical substance acetylcholine.

Botulinum then inactive the protein that regulate release of acetylcholine. Because acetylcholine releasing is prevented by toxin, the muscle cannot excite anymore and becomes paralyze.

Fig 02- Chocolate, an illustration

Fig 03- Pickled eggs

Fig 04- Meat products and an egg

Fig 05- Seafood products at the market

Good news that engineers turned this lethal toxin to beneficial substance for many purposes.

The purified protein of botulinum toxin when administered by injection into the muscle, it can cause local paralyze.

Based on the concepts, this toxin is used in pharmacology for:

- certain disorders
- and also for specifically anti-wrinkle.

Now, I understand that botulinum toxin can be used:

- to cure and heal some diseases
- for cosmetic such as face rejuvenation.

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Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Changes of Parents Behaviors When Caring a Baby – Part 2 - Science 11

You may read the previous post (Part 1):

Interestingly, female as well as male have the same changes when they take care the infants.

Fig 01- Decoration, just for fun

The changes in respects to:

- brain regions
- and hormonal activities

Their behavior’s changes to deal with new reality that is development of newborns in term of:

- crying
- hearing
- breathing
- sleeping
- reflexes
- and vision.

Fig 02- A cute rabbit, illustration

Fig 03- Painting by Ruth Stuart, local artist

Fig 04- A horse and baby, painted by Ruth Stuart

Fig 05- A little girl and a baby, painted by Ruth Stuart

However, as suggested by Johnston-Ataata and Kokanovic (2014) that most parents have wrong perceptions about having a new baby:

1) Parents misled by social romantic that are both parents and babies will have strong or perfect bonding instantly.

2) Parenthood is wonderful and joyful life event. The perceptions are totally different with reality sometimes.

# Previous postings:

Johnston-Ataata, K and Kokanovic, R. (2014, October 2). “Most new parents are totally unprepared for their new babies.” Retrieved from Washington Post.

Monday, 6 December 2021

Could Botulinum Toxin be Turned to Beneficial Substance? - Part 3 – Science 10

You may read previous postings (Part 1 and Part 2):

Fig 01- Fish balls, illustration.

As we know botulinum toxic have been identified as Foodborne botulism, Wound botulism, Infant botulism and Inhalation botulism.

1) Food borne botulism.

- It occurs by consuming food that contaminate with this kind of bacteria or their spore.
- The spore can germinate and produce toxin too.

2) Wound botulism

- It could be caused by the wound infection
- The open wound infected by the spores or bacteria.

Fig 02- Canned mackerel

Fig 03- Wild flower, just for illustration

Fig 04- Quesadilla, ready to consume

Fig 05- Processing food

3) Infant botulism.

- The baby ingests the spore and then in the baby's gut bacteria grow and release toxin.
- It infects the baby under 6 months.

4) Inhalation botulism

- when the person inhaled the botulinum concentrate (aerosolized), It intents to biology weapon or bioterrorism.

# To be continued to Part 4

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Friday, 3 December 2021

Parents Behaviors When Caring a Baby – Part 1 - Science 11

Behavioral changes that define parenting are important for “successful” of future generations in life of any creatures, especially mammals.

Mother and father have different roles to raise their children.

Fig 01- Parents and a kid (credit to freepik).

Even though mother is dominant to accomplish care of young, but if father involve in caring a baby or babies, thus both parents have similar paternal and maternal behaviors.

Maternal behaviors in mammals may start before deliver baby to caring to parenting such as:

- nest building
- aggressive to intruders
- eating birth debris
- grooming and licking
- pups cleaning
- and nursing (breastfeeding).

Fig 02- Plant decoration, illustration

Fig 03- Walking path in the city

Fig 04- A doll, illustration only

Except breastfeeding, all these maternal behaviors could be done by father as well.

In case of human, in social context, especially in developing nations, parenting not only responsible to mother and father, but also to older brothers and sisters.

In many cases grandparents involve too.

Unrelated adults take care other’s offspring sometimes.

# To be continued to Part 2

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Cooked Snail is a Favorite Dish in Many Asian Countries – Food 18

It is common to eat cooked snails in Southeast Asia region, even as one of favorite cuisines. Image 1- Cooked Sea snails, one of favorite cu...