Science Forward Fall 2017

Dr. Edyta Greer, Macaulay Honors College, Fall 2017

Author: Elina Niyazov

The Last Post

When I first found out that this semester’s IDC was entitled “Science Forward: Healthcare Innovations” I really did not know what to expect, which in a way was a good thing. It definitely sounded more interesting and applicable to life than the usual basic science courses that I take. Looking retrospectively, I learned way more than I anticipated. This class built a foundation on the fundamentals of healthcare innovations and the legal action taken to launch it, designing as well as 3D printing. All these skills are a good edge to the scientific knowledge that I take away from other courses. The set up of the class was interesting and the topics varied which kept us engaged. I thoroughly enjoyed the 3D posters, although I would say that the process of presenting it multiple times could have been a bit shortened. The presentations that we did in this class built public speaking confidence. Overall, I believe this course was very well rounded and I enjoyed it very much. Thank you for all your wisdom and for this great semester!

Blog Post: Labs


I am currently enrolled in two science classes which conduct lab experiments at least once a week. The experiments often coincide with what we are learning in lecture which makes the entire learning process a lot more understanding. Putting the information into play and seeing, rather than reading, the results helps solidify the information that is learned by book. This can be useful to those that are tactile learners and need to physically experience and witness the information in order to understand it. This method of constructing labs as a method of learning can be useful to not only science-oriented students. Because one of the requirements of a lab is that it must be reproducible worldwide  and result in the same conclusions, the lab is structured very strictly as it requires materials of a specific kind with a specific amount. It also follows a consecutive order which prevents errors and forces the student to create a report which is different from any other English or history essay. It does not require fancy jargon rather it requires concise, relevant, detailed explanations on what was accomplished during the lab in sequential order.

Improving Splints

DeRosa, N. M., Roane, H. S., Wilson, J. L., Novak, M. D. and Silkowski, E. L. (2015), Effects of arm-splint rigidity on self-injury and adaptive behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 48: 860–864.

Nicole DeRosa, the author of this peer reviewed article, specializes in developmental care for children with disabilities. Henry Roane deals is also a pHD in psychology who deals with self-injurious individuals. Even though this is a splint that was created to decrease the level of self harm that individuals on the autism spectrum endure, the idea behind it could be useful for our invention. The innovation behind this splint is that it has varied levels of rigidity that could be controlled. The levels could be decreased by varying the type and number of stays in each pocket of the splint. We canIf a canvas arm splint in which the level of rigidity could be gradually decreased by varying the type and number of stays in each pocket of the splint.


Ellis, H. (2011). The early days of splints and splinting. Journal of Perioperative Practice, 21(7), 251+.

Harold Ellis a professor of surgery who has written many different articles on fractures and broken bones. There is even a Harold Ellis prize of surgery that is named after him. He is a highly regarded and cited within the Internal Journal of Surgery, a peer-reviewed journal. This article gives a rundown of splints that have been used in practice since 18th century. While reading the article, i realized that splints have not progressed much after their first invention. In the 18th century, the idea of a splint was formed and by the 20th century, many different types of splints have been invented using the logic from over 200 hundred years ago. This proves that some advancements in this field would be useful since splints aren’t always very effective in immobilization.

Popular Source:

Singh, D. A.,  (2017, March 25). Fracture Splints – Why Splint a Fracture? Retrieved October 22, 2017, from


Dr. Arun Pal Singh is an orthopedic and trauma surgeon. He created this website specifically inr order to educate people on orthopedic issues and musculoskeletal health. He has published over 40 international papers. This article discusses what a fracture is from the beginning. It talks about why people should splint a fracture, how a splint helps in this situation, the splints needed for different parts of the body and how to properly splint a fracture. We can use this article for our invention by combining ideas from different types of splints and building off of how fracture splints work and possibly altering the techniques.

Saccharopolyspora Erythraea

Saccharopolyspora Erythraea, formerly known as Streptomyces erythraeus, is a form of actinobacteria. It originates from the soil and produces antibiotics. However, before being used in the medical market, Saccharopolyspora Erythraea must undergo genetic improvement. This actinobacteria is used for the production of the antibiotic erythromycin. Erythromycin helps fight and prevent bacterial infections . It works by stopping the growth of bacteria that is causing the infection.

Poster Ideas

A few healthcare issues that interest me include blindness, methylmalonic acedemia, and pancreatic cancer. A lack of resources to treat blindness affects not only people health wise but also economically. It is one of the reasons why people in developing countries can’t work, which affects the economy of the entire nation. Also, in North Korea, many of the citizens are blind however the government does not allow or provide any forms of treatments or therapies. Methylmalonic acidemia is a disease that affected someone in my family personally. It is very rare and does not have any kinds of treatments. There is a lack os research being done for this specific disease because it is so uncommon. Finally pancreatic cancer is a silent killer. It is very difficult to detect the cancer before it becomes metastatic. There should be more ways to detect this cancer. If there is more funding to do research for these healthcare issues, maybe we’d get closer to finding the cures.

Mystery Miracle Drug

The article, “The New Mystery-Maybe Miracle Drug” by Lawrence Galton, that was published in The New York Times in 1971, discussed the incredible uses of the hormone Prostglandin. I thought that the article was very fascinating and even though it was written over 40 years ago, till this day, I wasn’t aware of some of these positive effects of this hormone. This article was written using very technical science terms. Even though I’ve taken my share of science classes and could understand some of the vocabulary, a lot of the information was very meticulous- especially when the author explained things on the molecular level. However, it was thorough and built from the basics. The molecular drawings that were featured in the article just provide a deeper understanding of the structure and depending on that, it gives light into how this molecule will react and affect with others.

The audience that was intended for this article was probably people who are scientifically inclined and are interested in healthcare innovations. Since this article is eight pages long and contains a lot of technical information, the people who would spend time reading it would be those who probably have some prior scientific knowledge and can understand such an article. In comparison to the science articles that are published in The Times today, this article is definitely longer and less geared toward the general public. For example, my hot topic was covered in The New York Times and I thought it included pretty specific scientific terms, however it was shorter and simpler than The Miracle Drug published in 1971.

I enjoyed the way the information through out the article was distributed. After mentioning that prostaglandin could be a form of birth control that is easily accessible by the mother- basically an abortion that is the control of the woman’s hands, the use of the hormone posed ethical issues. The article did not solely include the science behind the discoveries, but also the morality and how it would be viewed societally, especially during the 70s when birth control was no as accepted.  Aside from the  abortion issue, the article discussed disagreements between professionals which provided multiple perspectives on the matter.

In general, I enjoyed the content of the article because I am genuinely interested in the topic and if any of these discoveries were refuted by today.


Paragraph Paraphrase

School nurses teaching staff that work with children how to properly use an Epipen would solve many of the problems that children with severe allergies are faced with in that environment. If people who work with children aren’t trained to recognize an allergic reaction or are unaware how to treat it, there will be precious time wasted to find a treatment that isn’t immediate and could therefore put a child’s life at risk.  Emergency plans such as calling the parents of kids that have documented food allergies could help the child after a certain amount of time, however that time might have a stronger affect on the reaction. In many other cases, children have allergic reaction to unknown allergens in which case, calling a parent would not be effective. School nurses should be given the resources to train those that work with children how to immediately respond to a reaction using an Epipen as well as back up emergency plans. (Wahl et al. 2015,97)

Gut Bacteria Can Fluctuate With the Seasons

Popular Article:

Gut Bacteria Can Fluctuate With the Seasons.

Zimmer, Carl.  2017.  “Gut Bacteria Can Fluctuate With the Seasons.” The New York Times (August 24).  Accessed September 4, 2017.

Primary Source:

Seasonal Cycling in the Gut Microbiome of the Hadza Hunter-Gatherers of Tanzania

Smits Samuel, Jeff Leach, Erica Sonnenburg, Zarlos Gonzalez, Joshua Lichtman, Gregor Reid, and Rob Knight. 2017.  “Seasonal Cycling in the Gut Microbiome of the Hadza Hunter-Gatherers of Tanzania.” Science 357, no. 6353 (August): 802-806.