Science Forward Fall 2017

Dr. Edyta Greer, Macaulay Honors College, Fall 2017

Author: Alicia Manjila

Blog entry 3

Initially I was unsure of how much I would enjoy this class or even get out of it because I am not a science major. That being said I think all the activities or assignments we did this year were very accessible and I actually enjoyed this class very much. I liked that we talked not only about the science side of creating new drugs and healthcare innovations but also the very real and tedious process that has to happen to take an idea or a discovery and turn it into an acceptable and feasible product on the market.

The STEAM festival totally subverted my expectations, andI actually had a lot of fun that day. I am so grateful that our class focused on 3D printing projects because not only was it more fun to create, it was more fun to present. I was constantly presenting and getting positive feedback from students from other schools. When we did our series of in class presentations I did think at the time that we were maybe practicing too much, but our class definitely had the best posters and I was fully prepared to present my group’s project and field questions.

I do think the Bioblitz report was a stand alone assignment, and I think maybe if we were given more guidance on what to look for in the Bioblitz data it would have been more interesting. I also think that after the Bioblitz weekend we should’ve  had an in class discussion on what we did, because I definitely would like to know more of what other groups did.

Overall this class was fun and informative. After working on our 3D printing project I’m definitely taking away skills from this class that I never thought Id have the chance to learn in this lifetime.

Blog Entry 2

I think the purpose of doing labs with expected results in schools is twofold. Firstly, doing labs get students acquainted with lab equipment and how to properly use these tools. This way if students plans to work at a research facility and help in studies where the results are not known ahead of time, they will know how to handle the tasks they are given. Furthermore if a student wishes to be leading research studies in the future its important that they have thorough knowledge of what can be done in the lab and how to do it.  Secondly, doing labs help affirm what the student may be learning in lecture. Its one thing to be told that a certain reaction produces gas and another thing altogether to perform the reaction and see bubbles form.  This makes passive knowledge into active knowledge. I think a lab in a non-specialist science class like ours isn’t as helpful for students who wont need lab skills in the future but it still helps us understand the material we are learning in class. I think the equivalent of a lab in a history or english class is a presentation. I think a presentation helps students gain skills they will need outside of class and it requires them to actively research a topic and understand it on their own.

Annotated Bibliograpy

Gündüz Arslan, S., Akpolat, N., Kama, J. D., Özer, T. and Hamamcı, O. (2008), One-year follow-up of the effect of fixed orthodontic treatment on colonization by oral candida. Journal of Oral Pathology & Medicine, 37: 26–29. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0714.2007.00574.x

This article studies how colonization of the mouth by the bacteria Candida differs with the presence of braces. They found that the Candida is present in greater amount when braces are also present in the mouth. This article proves there is a need for a more effective tool for brushing one’s teeth with braces. Candia is a bacterium that can cause unsightly and uncomfortable fungal growth in the mouth.

Heintze, Siegward D., Paul-Georg Jost-Brinkmann, and Jannis Loundos. “Effectiveness of three different types of electric toothbrushes compared with a manual technique in orthodontic patients.” American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics 110, no. 6 (1996): 630-38. doi:10.1016/s0889-5406(96)80040-0.

This article studied the effectiveness of electric toothbrush versus a regular toothbrush used by people with braces. It found that the mechanical toothbrush was more effective for people who in general have poor dental hygiene practices. This article has made me consider if creating an electrical design would be more effective.

Mills, Deborah. “Your role before, during, and after orthodontic treatment.” Orthodontic Products, March 1, 2007.

This article discusses the importance of hygiene practices while a person has braces. It includes a long procedure and several tools that people with braces should adhere to. This can be incorporated into my design by creating a double sided toothbrush where the other end is similar to the waterpik recommended in this article.

Aconitum Napellus

Aconitum Napellus is commonly known as wolf’s bane. This common name comes from the fact that this plant was once used to poison arrows that were then used to hunt wolves. It is also sometimes referred to as monkshood and helmet flower because of its shape. It is found in moist mountains and pastures in Europe and Asia. All parts of the plant are poisonous but especially the roots and seeds.  The leaves and roots are used to make the drug aconite which used to be prescribed as a cardiac and respiratory sedative.  The presence of the alkaloid aconitine is what makes this plant poisonous.

Poster Idea Part 1

A few years ago my dad went into the emergency room with chest pain. Because he has hypertension and a history of heart complications the hospital staff immediately took him to get an angiogram done. The concern was that he was about to have a heart attack. The test was administered and everything was found to be normal. Unfortunately for my dad this test did more harm than good.

The following day he felt some pain in his right wrist. He eventually realized he could not feel his pulse in that wrist. He called the Physician’s Assistant that had administered the angiogram and was told this kind of complication does occur to one in every one thousand persons that have an angiogram done. He was also told not to worry about it and it seemed as if this would have no effect on his lifestyle. However as someone who works out daily, my dad quickly found out his abilities were limited. Any exercise that required him to put pressure on his wrist was no longer possible. That put push-ups, pull ups, and most weightlifting exercises out of the question.

An angiogram is an X ray image of a person’s blood vessels after they are filled with iodine or some other dye.  In order to do this a catheter is inserted into an artery in the groin or arm. The catheter is then pushed toward the blood vessels in and around the heart by a fluoroscope, which is a special x ray instrument. The complication my dad experienced is known as an ischemia. An ischemia is the inadequate blood supply to an organ or part of the body.

After further research I found out that more severe cases of ischemia as a result of an angiogram have occurred and require angioplasty or amputation. Studies have shown that thrombosis, or the formation of a clot in the blood vessel can occur during the procedure. It usually occurs only when the catheter is inserted into the arm. This leads me to believe that a different design of catheter may be able to lessen the chances of this complication occurring.

Blog Entry 1

This article is definitely longer and denser than the New York Times articles of today. It definitely gives a more scientific explanation of the findings, but it does also address the real life impact these findings may have on society and people’s everyday life just as todays New York Times articles do. I think the greater technical detail is an indicator that the readership of the New York Time in 1971 was maybe less broad than it is today; maybe only the highly educated read the newspaper, or at least the New York Times specifically.

While I do think this article is a bit too long and technical for the New York Times today, I do believe there should be a platform for articles like this one today. Articles that are not quite as long or specific as the primary source but also not as general as todays articles tend to be when discussing healthcare and scientific breakthroughs should be available for those who prefer the easy reading format of a newspaper or magazine article but would like to truly understand the science behind the breakthrough being discussed.

As for the inclusion of the molecular drawings I believe these would be informative to those who are scientifically inclined. For others they might simply exhibit if the technical detail to which this article goes. For some it might even be an indicator that the adjacent article is entirely too scientific and technical in nature for them to comprehend anything and to instead skip this article.

Paraphrase Exercise

When a child in school has an allergic reaction to something he or she was exposed to for the first time, it is important that the adults around that child know how to react. In these cases the child may not have prescribed medication and the parents may be unavailable, therefore it is important that proper medical emergency plans are in place. Furthermore, all faculty and staff should be prepared to enact these emergency plans because there is no telling when these emergencies will occur. In order to ensure their readiness for emergencies the staff should be learn how to use an EpiPen through hands on training administered by the school nurse. In order for the nurse to be able to provide this kind of demonstration and training they must have the proper resources and the time. (Wahl et. al, 2017, 97)

Using Probiotics to Prevent Sepsis in Infants

Popular Article:

How to Prevent Deadly Infection in Babies? Good Bacteria

McNeil, Donald G. , Jr. . 2017. “How to Prevent Deadly Infection in Babies? Good Bacteria.”  New York Times (Aug 21). Accessed August 31, 2017.

Primary Source:

A randomized synbiotic trial to prevent sepsis among infants in rural India

Panigrathi, Pinaki. 2017. “A randomized synbiotic trial to prevent sepsis among infants in rural India.” Nature 548, no. 7668 (August): 407-412. doi:10.1038/nature23480.