Posts tagged "biochemistry"

dynamoid:

The gamification of Biochemistry - the amazing Sugar Shake!  A new, free app for iPads.  Learn about glycolysis while playing a fun, roll-a-ball game. Get it here.


Created by Dynamoid Apps, 2013.

…Oh man. Now I’m excited for the free iPad I’d get once I start school in the fall. Though I am unsure of how much time I’d actually have to play it….hahahaaaa…

EDIT: Ok. Ok. Not *free* per se, since it’s probably paid for in tuition, but still….

I am scared shitless.

contemplatingmadness:

Your DNA Changes as You Age

While our bodies age, scientists believe that our DNA at least remains constant. New research, however, reveals that, even though its sequence remains constant, subtle chemical changes occur to our DNA as we age—and it could explain why the risk of developing disease increases as we get older.
DNA is made up of four basic chemical building blocks, called adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine. It’s the sequences of those chemicals in a strand of DNA that determines what function a gene has, and one of the ways the resulting genes are controlled is a process called methylation. That just means that a methyl group — one carbon atom and three hydrogen atom—bonds to part of the DNA and subtly change its function.
New research, published in PNAS, however, shows that as we grow older our DNA’s susceptibility to methylation changes. A team of researchers from the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute in Barcelona, Spain, extracted DNA from white blood cells of twenty newborn babies and twenty people aged between 89 and 100 years old, then compared their respective degrees of methylation.
In a newborn baby 80.5 percent of cytosine nucleotides were methylated, while in centenarians that figure dropped to 73 percent. An intermediary example, taken from a 26-year-old male subject, exhibited 78 percent methylation. It’s not clear why it happens, but the researchers speculate that it could be due to extremely subtle age-related changes to the DNA.
But what the hell does it all mean? Well, taking a closer look at the samples, the researchers discovered that a third of the methylated groups which were in different positions in the elderly compared to the young are already known to be linked to cancer risk.
If you think about the DNA strand as “hardware” and the added methyl groups as “software”—which isn’t actually a bad analogy—you can think of the inappropriately placed methyl groups as software bugs that accumulate with age. It’s just that, for humans, those bugs leads to increased risk of terminal disease. Fortunately, these kinds of findings should help scientists troubleshoot our internal apps. [PNAS via Science]


Comparing ourselves with software really isn’t that bad an analogy. Though I don’t know how far you can take it lol. It definitely helps to learn more about things on the molecular level to understand more about what ultimately happens. Slightly scary that such tiny changes on a molecular level can cause huge effects downstream isn’t it? 
But if you’re me, you kinda get used to that thinking, and it’s not so scary anymore lol.

contemplatingmadness:

Your DNA Changes as You Age

While our bodies age, scientists believe that our DNA at least remains constant. New research, however, reveals that, even though its sequence remains constant, subtle chemical changes occur to our DNA as we age—and it could explain why the risk of developing disease increases as we get older.

DNA is made up of four basic chemical building blocks, called adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine. It’s the sequences of those chemicals in a strand of DNA that determines what function a gene has, and one of the ways the resulting genes are controlled is a process called methylation. That just means that a methyl group — one carbon atom and three hydrogen atom—bonds to part of the DNA and subtly change its function.

New research, published in PNAS, however, shows that as we grow older our DNA’s susceptibility to methylation changes. A team of researchers from the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute in Barcelona, Spain, extracted DNA from white blood cells of twenty newborn babies and twenty people aged between 89 and 100 years old, then compared their respective degrees of methylation.

In a newborn baby 80.5 percent of cytosine nucleotides were methylated, while in centenarians that figure dropped to 73 percent. An intermediary example, taken from a 26-year-old male subject, exhibited 78 percent methylation. It’s not clear why it happens, but the researchers speculate that it could be due to extremely subtle age-related changes to the DNA.

But what the hell does it all mean? Well, taking a closer look at the samples, the researchers discovered that a third of the methylated groups which were in different positions in the elderly compared to the young are already known to be linked to cancer risk.

If you think about the DNA strand as “hardware” and the added methyl groups as “software”—which isn’t actually a bad analogy—you can think of the inappropriately placed methyl groups as software bugs that accumulate with age. It’s just that, for humans, those bugs leads to increased risk of terminal disease. Fortunately, these kinds of findings should help scientists troubleshoot our internal apps. [PNAS via Science]

Comparing ourselves with software really isn’t that bad an analogy. Though I don’t know how far you can take it lol. It definitely helps to learn more about things on the molecular level to understand more about what ultimately happens. Slightly scary that such tiny changes on a molecular level can cause huge effects downstream isn’t it? 

But if you’re me, you kinda get used to that thinking, and it’s not so scary anymore lol.

Because of the compartmentalization of memory in the brain—the storage of different aspects of a memory in different areas—the careful application of PKMzeta synthesis inhibitors and other chemicals that interfere with reconsolidation should allow scientists to selectively delete aspects of a memory.

The Forgetting Pill Erases Painful Memories Forever | Wired Magazine | Wired.com

On memory, the act of remembering and experimental methods to erase memory or blunt its emotional impact. Would you voluntarily have your memory erased? If we had every piece of our unpleasant, traumatic, shameful memories erased, would we be better people? Would we be happier?

Do we need clinical methods to erase memory? I’m happy with my brain’s ability to shepherd my memories. I seem to have room for so many useless song lyrics. And when random memories come back because of tiny present-day triggers, well, it’s like watching a favorite movie I haven’t seen in a long time. 

(via gainfulunemployment)

Certainly scary in some senses, yet at the same time, it is a potential cure for neural pain and people who suffer trauma and PTSD. It’s not just something that will just blunt the pain. Those people are definitely good candidates for future clinical trials if the drug ever gets that far in approval that’s for sure.  

(via gainfulunemployment)

You know it’s been a long week when…

You do a double take at the primers you designed for vector recombination, and think for at least five minutes that you’ve forgotten to take out the damned stop codon. Then think for another five minutes how that could have been. Then ten minutes contemplating how you’ll tell your professor this through e-mail, and hope she won’t be angry at your incompetence, especially when she continually repeated that we had to double check our primers BEFORE sending them to her for ordering.

Then FINALLY you realize that you could just double check the original sequence and compare it to your primer sequence. If that complimentary TAG is NOT there, then you’re fine.

Lo and behold. I’m friggin’ fine. Twenty minutes of panic resolved by common sense. I hate you stress hormones. You make me act irrationally. D:<

Also, eyes, I hate you too. Quit playing tricks on me. 

poculum:

The most toxic animals of all are box jellyfish, responsible for more than    5,500 deaths in the past 50 years. One species, Carukia barnesi (pictured), is    transparent, the size of a peanut and covered in stinging cells. The venom    causes a massive release of the fight-or-flight hormone noradrenalin, so    victims often “panic” to death. Those who survive may suffer “Irukandji    syndrome”, experiencing intense pain, nausea and a feeling of impending    doom. It is named after an aboriginal tribe whose folklore tells of a    terrible illness that struck people who swam in the sea.

Ha ha. As opposed to rattlesnake venom that causes localized massive clotting (assuming you don&#8217;t flail and spread the venom throughout your circulation system) to the point where if you don&#8217;t get immediate help, you will most certainly be losing that limb. And if you leave it long enough it will eventually flow to the rest of your body. 
Also, rattlesnake venom is excruciatingly painful, but I guess in the case of the box jellyfish, it is probably just as if not more painful down the road if you survive. p: Hmm. I think I&#8217;d rather be bitten by a rattlesnake. What about you guys, cytotoxin or neurotoxin? 

poculum:

The most toxic animals of all are box jellyfish, responsible for more than 5,500 deaths in the past 50 years. One species, Carukia barnesi (pictured), is transparent, the size of a peanut and covered in stinging cells. The venom causes a massive release of the fight-or-flight hormone noradrenalin, so victims often “panic” to death. Those who survive may suffer “Irukandji syndrome”, experiencing intense pain, nausea and a feeling of impending doom. It is named after an aboriginal tribe whose folklore tells of a terrible illness that struck people who swam in the sea.

Ha ha. As opposed to rattlesnake venom that causes localized massive clotting (assuming you don’t flail and spread the venom throughout your circulation system) to the point where if you don’t get immediate help, you will most certainly be losing that limb. And if you leave it long enough it will eventually flow to the rest of your body. 

Also, rattlesnake venom is excruciatingly painful, but I guess in the case of the box jellyfish, it is probably just as if not more painful down the road if you survive. p: Hmm. I think I’d rather be bitten by a rattlesnake. What about you guys, cytotoxin or neurotoxin? 

(via poculum-deactivated20120319)

I'm nothing special. No really. I actually don't know why people listen to what I say. Though if you truly want to know more about me (Heaven forbid), you can ask me questions I suppose.

Also, if you can't tell, I happen to really like science, food, weird stuff, and learning. Have at it. And stay classy. p:

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