Final Post of the Semester!

Hey y’all!!

I am so glad I decided to take this class this semester. I feel like I have learned so much more than I would have in a regular lecture class! I cannot wait to listen to all of your final presentations in the coming weeks.

I found a really interesting article about a research breakthrough that selectively represses the immune system. This article website is below!

http://www.biologynews.net/archives/2012/11/18/research_breakthrough_selectively_represses_the_immune_system.html

Hope you guys had a great semester and good luck with finals!!

Logan Hand

Thanksgiving Calories!

Hey y’all!

So many of you know that you consume a lot of food during the big Thanksgiving meal, but do you know the average amount of calories you are intaking? How much fat? When researching this topic I was SO shocked of what I found. The average person will consume around 4,500 calories during the ONE Thanksgiving meal, with an average of 229 grams of fat! WOW! Now do you understand why everyone in your family falls asleep right after that huge meal? With all the fats and sugars cooked in Thanksgiving dinner it makes you extremely sleepy. When talking about metabolism in cellular and molecular biology, can you imagine the work your body does to break down all of that food? CRAZY!

Here’s the website I found to give you some healthy suggestions on what to substitute in your recipes to lower the calorie intake a little for you this Thanksgiving: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=324

I hope every one has a relaxing and enjoyable break! Happy Thanksgiving!

Logan Hand

How Cancer Has Changed My Life

Hey y’all,

I hope everyone has had a great week. This week I have really been touched personally by the cancer assignment. My father, who is like my best friend, has recently been battling stage 3 colorectal cancer.  This assignment has encouraged me and inspired me to learn about the subject of cancer and find out exactly what this evil enemy is. It amazes me how complex this cell really is and what it can actually do to the human and animal body. Going through cancer with my father I have personally seen how difficult it is to treat and how it physically breaks down someone.

I truly hope that no one ever has to face this disease. Throughout this process I have become involved in Relay For Life at Virginia Tech by becoming a committee member. I strive every day to help raise money to find a cure for this disease. Now that we are on this topic, it influences me even more!

I hope you all have a great week!

Logan Hand

Alcohol Kills Brain Cells

Hey y’all!

This week I found an interesting article from the New York Times stating that intake of alcohol could possibly kill brain cells. This article states that consumption of alcohol can disrupt brain function by damaging message-carrying dendrites on neurons in the cerebellum; however it does not kill the entire cell.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/23/health/23real.html?_r=0

Another article I found states that the more you consume and the longer duration of drinking alcohol will cause a larger effect in cognitive development and brain cells.

http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/HealthIssues/1103162109.html

Hope everyone finds these articles interesting, and has a great week!

Logan Hand

Plant Genetically Altered

Hey y’all,

Because we have been working on our final project in last week’s assignment. I have been doing a lot of research on our topic. We are choosing to use a corn plant and find a way to genetically make the corn plant resist losing water so that they can grow and produce without dying from sun damage. This article in particle shows research being down to resister plants form certain herbicides. They are using metabolism-based chemical to that will likely make this resistant to everything. I found this article very interesting, and I hope you all do too!

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/05/new-superweed-evolution/

 

Have a great week!

Logan Hand

 

Animal’s Have Personalities

Hey y’all!

I found this interesting article on a cellular and molecular biology website about research that scientists have done on animals to show that they have personalities just like humans do! Evidence shows that animals oxidative stress profiles reflect heir personality traits. In this experiment it shows that they tested different animals. It is a really cool article, so I recommend that you guys check it out!

http://www.lifesciencesworld.com/life-science-news/view/181446

Sorry, short and sweet this week.

Hope you guys have a positive and lovely week!

Logan Hand

Meningitis Outbreak in Virginia

Hey y’all!

This is a very interesting story from our local news here in Blacksburg. I became interested in this topic where in the emergency room with a friend that broke his hand this weekend. All around the hospital was warnings and information on the recent meningitis outbreak. Supposedly, 700 people in the state of Virginia are at risk for this. Here is the article from the local news to find out more information:

http://www2.wsls.com/news/2012/oct/09/fungal-meningitis-outbreak-nearly-risk-virginia-ar-2269823/

Fungal meningitis is caused from the spread of a fungus through the bloodstream to the spinal cord. The following link will give you more information on symptoms, prevention and what exactly it is.

http://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/fungal.html

Hope you each hope a great fall break! Go Hokies!

Logan Hand

 

 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Hey y’all!

I hope each of you have had a wonderful week. In the past year my father has been diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer. If you have read my past blog about cancer research, you will find that a cure is something I am very interested in researching. This month is national Breast Cancer Awareness month. In that case, I have helped raise money for the Susan G. Komen breast cancer awareness society. Please look into this site if you are interested getting involved, or just want to see what it is all about. I know this topic doesn’t reflect cellular and molecular biology directly, but there are many cell and molex scientists that are researching cancer and trying to find a cure for people you may know! To me, that is VERY important. Also, Dr. Sible is going to be teaching the Cancer Biology class next year!

http://ww5.komen.org/

On a side note, here is an interesting article I found on the Virginia Tech website about the genetic risks of breast cancer. A scientist from Virginia Tech believes, through research, that women that develop breast cancer during pregnancy may pass the risk all the way to their great-granddaughters! If you are interested in reading more about this research the link is provided:

http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2012/09/091912-research-epigenetics.html

 

Hope you all have a great Homecoming Week!

Vote Amanda Crouch “Crouching Tiger Hidden Queen!”

-Logan Hand

RNA Fork Replication Song

Hey y’all,

So this week, I was responsible for coming up with something creative for the week 5 assignment #3. I really stumped on what to do because I am not that creative. Eventually, I began thinking of children songs I sang when I was growing up. The first song that popped in my head was “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. Here is the song I created with the “Mary Had a Little Lamb” tone:

Mary had DNA,

DNA, DNA

Mary had DNA,

And this is how it goes

 

DNA ligase is on the lagging strand,

Lagging strand, lagging strand,

DNA ligase is on the lagging strand,

And brings the Okazaki Fragments together

 

Next comes primase,

Primase, primase,

Next comes primase,

That synthesizes RNA

 

Then comes DNA polymerase,

Polymerase, polymerase,

Then comes DNA polyermase,

That builds the DNA strand

 

Next we have helicase,

Helicase, helicase,

Next we have helicase

That unwinds the helix of DNA

 

Finally comes the leading strand,

Leading strand, leading strand,

Finally comes the leading strand,

That allows to move in the 3’ to 5’ direction

 

Don’t forget semi-conservative,

Semi-conservative, semi-conservative,

Don’t forget semi-conservative,

You inherit from Mom and Dad.

And just for laughs, sing along with the original melody: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_K9hFxSvDM 

Have a great week!

Logan Hand

Cancer and Stem Cell Research

Hey y’all! Hope everyone had a fun weekend!

This weekend I found an interesting article related to stem cell research and cancer. I found this article interesting because in the past year and a half my father has been fighting stage 3 colorectal cancer. Because I am a science major and my dad is fighting this horrible disease, I have became very interested in the research being done to find a cure. This particular article discusses how cancer stem cells are known to be an originator of tumors. Researchers believe that these cancer stem cells develop because the cells develop improperly. Here is the article if you are interested in reading more about this research project:

http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2006/08/6500/stem-cell-research-advances-cancer-knowledge

Have a great week, and hope to see you all in class!

Logan Hand