Tag Archives: health

Got a Spare?

By Harrison Manacsa, Biological Sciences, ‘17

Author’s Note:

“This started as a case study I wrote on my friend’s chronic kidney disease for UWP104F. She was diagnosed during our freshman year; and I see the impact of her weekly dialysis on her family, diet, and college schedule. Knowing that a kidney transplant will greatly improve her health, I researched the processes one would undertake to donate their kidney. As it turns out, there are numerous factors one should consider. My article briefs on the current state of kidney donation. It is an expression of my amazement of turning our bodies into tools.”

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Christianson Syndrome

By Madison Dougherty, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ‘18

Author’s Note:

“I wrote this paper as a supplement to a presentation in my genetics class. I believe it is important to inform people about mental disabilities other than the most commonly seen disorders, such as Down Syndrome or autism. This paper serves to educate readers about Christianson Syndrome, an X-linked genetic disorder that, although phenotypically similar to more widely-known disorders, is actually quite different at the genetic level.”

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Life Science According to Trump: An Examination of Claims and Facts

By Wren Greaney, History major, Biological Sciences & Community Development minor, ’17

Author’s Note:

I decided to write this article on the Wednesday after the presidential election. After the long whirlwind of campaigning, it seemed that many unanswered questions lingered. Health is one of the most immediate concerns for many people, and when accurate information about health exists, I think it should be provided so that individuals can make informed decisions. This article is an attempt to address a small fraction of the health concerns that were raised during the course of the presidential campaign.” Continue reading Life Science According to Trump: An Examination of Claims and Facts

“Let’s Take a Deep Breath”: Managing Hypertension by Bridging the Clinic-Home Healthcare Gap

Independent Project Findings

By Harsh Sharma,  Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, ’13

Author’s Note:

“I wrote this paper to share my independent project takeaways with everyone who is interested in, or a part of, the healthcare field. This project taught me a lot about what we can do to help our patients get the most out of the clinic they go to. As you gain experiences in the medical field, think about the services your organization offers and how you can use your skills to enhance those services to the next level!”

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Critical Factors Involved in the Relationship Between Cannabis and Schizophrenia

By Carly Cheung, Microbiology, ’17

Author’s Note:

“I wrote this piece for my UWP 104F: ‘Writing in the Health Professions’ class with Professor Walsh in Winter 2016. Our assignment was to examine a health related research question and explore the subject in a quarter-long research and synthesis process. I decided to write about Schizophrenia because I realized that I knew close to nothing accurate about people with mental health illnesses. Lack of understanding of the disease can contribute to stigmatization of these patients and cause further psychological harm. On my way to demystifying Schizophrenia, one of the most researched relationship I found was that of Marijuana and Schizophrenia. Throughout this process, I not only gained valuable knowledge on this topic, but I also learned to appreciate the various methods scientists developed to study the mechanism of this multi-layered and abstract disease.”

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Zika Virus

By Nicole Strossman, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ’17

Author’s Note:

“I chose to write about this topic in an effort to gain a better understanding of Zika virus. While the topic is frequently in the news, the specifics of the virus are not always discussed in depth. As ongoing research is demonstrating the virus’ possible links to human health disorders, it is important for the general public to be informed about the facts of the virus, in an effort to minimize its spread.”

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An Overview of Tension-Type Headache

By Lo Tuan, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior and Managerial Economics, ’17

Author’s Note:

“I chose to write this paper because I have a family member who suffers from TTH and expanding my knowledge of the topic through researching and writing empowered me to play a more active role in assisting my family with addressing such medical condition.”

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The Future of Surgery

By Nicole Strossman, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ’17

What do you picture when you think about surgery? Most likely, you imagine a person having their body cut open, and then a surgeon performing what is necessary to fix the problem, whether that be removing a damaged organ or tissue, repairing damages internally, or performing some other procedure. In all of these cases, it is expected that the doctor makes a cut large enough so that he or she can see what is inside of the body and operates. However, a new method of surgery takes a radically different approach. Laparoscopic surgery, also called minimally invasive surgery, Band-Aid surgery, or keyhole surgery, is a relatively new surgical technique that is revolutionizing the surgical field. Traditionally, surgery is performed by making a large incision in order to directly view and operate on the tissues, organs, and other structures of interest inside of the body. In contrast, with laparoscopic surgery, a series of small incisions, typically of .5 cm to 1.5 cm, are made along the abdomen. Continue reading The Future of Surgery

What is LASIK?

By David Ivanov, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2015

LASIK, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is a surgical procedure commonly used to correct for visual defects or lack of visual clarity. Commonly referred to as laser eye surgery, LASIK is a type of surgery that is used to alleviate visual loss associated with common defects of the eye, such as myopia (nearsightedness), hypermetropia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Astigmatism, like near and far-sightedness, can be caused by the irregularity in shape of the cornea that leads to blurred vision. For all three cases, corneal remodeling via LASIK can be performed (Thomson, 2015).

The cornea is the outermost layer of the eye, the transparent part that one can touch, and upon which contact lenses are placed. It is responsible for most of the focusing power, and thus is a common culprit in visual defects of the eye. The cornea focuses the light reflected into the eye, through the lens and onto the the retina at the back of the eye, which senses light and converts it to nerve impulses, and transmits the resulting image to the brain for processing. This then produces the image that we ‘see’. While the retina is the part of the eye that is light-sensitive and is responsible for transmitting the image to the brain, the cornea, along with the lens, must focus light reflecting off of three dimensional surfaces so that they strike onto the anterior, or front part of the retina. Without this precise focusing of light rays directly onto the retina, the brain generates a blurred image (NKCF 2014).

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Engineering Hepatitis Virus-like Particles for Oral Vaccine Delivery

By David Ivanov, Biochemistry ’15

Oral vaccines are known to be a convenient and effective method for treatment or prevention of diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms. The difficulty of developing such vaccines is due to the often inhospitable environment of the stomach and intestinal tract because of low pH, or acidity, as well as enzymes that can digest or destroy biological molecules. Using a virus-like particle to deliver the vaccine is an advantageous method for getting around these and other barriers in the host organism.

A virus-like particle, or VLP, is a biological particle that resembles a virus, but contains no genetic information and thus cannot infect host cells. VLP’s can be formed by inserting and expressing just the genes for creating the viral capsid, which is a shell made up of protein subunits that protects the infectious genetic information in wild-type, or normal, viruses. The expressed capsid proteins can then self-assemble into the VLP. The capsid also has domains, or structural areas, that are responsible for recognizing suitable host cells to infect and inserting the viral genome.

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