YoUtuBe rEvIew

Kobe, Kyle. Nucleic Acids Note. Accessed March 31 2014.

The video that was viewed was about nucleic acids. They are the blueprints for the building of DNA. There are two types of nucleic acids: Ribonucleic acids (RNA), it is a single helix which is one chain of nucleotides and Deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA), it is a double helix which is two chains of nucleotides. They are composed of nucleotides which bond together to form the nucleic acid polymer, nucleotides are comprised of three parts a sugar molecule, phosphate group and one out of four nitrogenous bases. The four different types of nitrogen bases are Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine and Guanine, the first letters of each base are used to symbolize them. Erwin Chargaff discovered that Adenine pairs with Thymine and Cytosine pairs with Guanine and this was called Chargaff’s rule, the bonding between each pair holds the double helix by hydrogen bonds. RNA on the other hand has the bases as DNA except in place of Thymine it has Uracil, RNA’s main function is to deliver the instructions from DNA to the ribosome. Nucleotides bind together by a process known as dehydration synthesis, as water is lost when the phosphate group on one nucleotide bonds with the sugar on another nucleotide, a process called hydrolysis reverses the bond of the nucleotides because it adds water.
This sums up the content of the video which was very brief as was a simple introduction to nucleic acids. The video was very informative even though it was just an introduction but it touched on some vital points that would give a person a good foundation to move forward into a more advanced look at nucleic acids. The video also had a good interactive side to it as well were there were questions at intervals of information and at the end it contained a detailed review question sheet to recap the information learnt in the video.

pAPER rEVIEW #2!!! ^.^

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Paul, Marla. 2013. “Drug abuse appears to foster brain changes that resemble schizophrenia.” Marijuana Users have Abnormal Brain Structure and Memory. December 16, 2013. Northwestern University. Accessed April 1, 2014. http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2013/12/marijuana-users-have-abnormal-brain-structure–poor-memory.html

Marijuana is an herb that, when crushed, can be used for a variety of purposes such as medicinal ones or purposes related to leisure. I’m sure you all are aware of these uses ;). Marijuana abuse can cause changes in an individual’s brain structure and functions. Brain abnormalities are also associated with persons who suffer from Schizophrenia. Mind blown! Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that is distinguishable by the ill person’s inability to think critically and give appropriate emotional responses to situations. The effects of marijuana abuse and schizophrenia symptoms are therefore directly related. Chronic marijuana abuse can lead to the development of schizophrenia, especially for persons who began abuse at an early age and also for those with a family history of schizophrenia.

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Here’s what was found… Brain abnormalities are more discernible the younger the drug abuser begins abuse. This is because those areas in the brain that are related to memory take a different shape compared to the memory-related regions of individuals who do not abuse marijuana. Did you know that our brain can change shape :o? This conformational difference is only because the drug has greater implications on the brain at an earlier stage of brain development. Paul (2013) advocated that marijuana abuse may be hazardous to young individuals who show warning signs of schizophrenia development or persons who have already developed the disorder. I was mystified by the brain’s ability to change shape.

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Abnormalities in the brain as a result of chronic marijuana use were found to resemble abnormalities in the brain as a result of schizophrenia. Such defects are a decrease in neuron amount resulting from brain shrinkage and the inward collapse of the brain and a poor working memory which may lead to deviations in brain functioning. A minimum of 2 years of continuous marijuana use can cause such effects on the brain. Are you users worried as yet? The fact that the brain abnormalities are so similar resulted in some serious day dreaming. Here I am angry with our government for even considering the decriminalization of this drug -_- because I am so sure that we all want a higher percentage of mentally ill citizens -_- -_- -_-.

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Once schizophrenia is typical for a particular bloodline, chronic marijuana use would only increase the development of this mental illness. Wait! Do you use marijuana? Go check your bloodline now! After you read this of course XD. On the contrary, the study has shown that 90% of persons with schizophrenia started the drug abuse prior to the development of the disorder. Aren’t you happy you continued reading? It is very important to note, however, that marijuana abusers, regardless of schizophrenia development, express brain abnormalities. Schizophrenic persons just show a greater thalamus (region associated with memory, learning and brain regions communication) deterioration.

This paper was quite thought-provoking. It was enjoyable to read as the facts pointed out here were unusual but very important to know. Now I know that chronic marijuana abuse can lead to schizophrenia development, especially for young persons with a history of schizophrenia.

GLYCO—REVIEW!!! :)

The Salmonella Place. 2012. “Glycolysis.” http://www.SalmonellaPlace.com. November 29, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvpbS-t5O1I

Glycolysis is referred to as the metabolic breakdown of one unit of glucose into two units of pyruvate through multiple enzyme catalysed reaction steps (The Salmonella Place 2012). This working definition well explains the overall concept of glycolysis. Let’s think about it! Glycolysis simply means the splitting of one large glucose compound to two smaller ones. i.e. ‘Glyco’ means glucose and ‘lysis’ translates into splitting. Are you excited as yet? You should be! This breakdown occurs in two phases and it is catalysed by ten enzymes.
Here’s what’s up! Glycolysis can be divided into two separate phases. It is separated according to whether ATP (energy currency of the cell) is used or released by the end of each phase. Such phases are the preparatory (energy investment) phase or the payoff (energy generation) phase. In the energy investment phase, ATP is used while in the energy generation phase, ATP is produced. I’m sure you already knew that because you’re smart ;).What I find interesting is that glycolysis is not dependent on the presence of organelles such as mitochondria. It occurs regardless of it’s presence or absence. Cool, huh! It also occurs in the cytosol of the cell.
The ten enzymes that are involved in glycolysis are hexokinase, phosphohexose isomerase, phosphofructokinase-1, aldolase, triose phosphate isomerase, glyeraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, phosphoglycerate kinase, phosphoglycerate mutase, enolase and pyruvate kinase. Breathe! These first five enzymes are involved in the preparatory phase while the last five enzymes are involved in the payoff phase. Hexokinase, phosphofructokinase-1 and pyruvate kinase catalyse irreversible reactions and the other seven enzymes catalyse reversible reactions.
The ten steps of glycolysis were thoroughly explained in this video. Awesome! Unfortunately for them, phosphofructokinase-1 catalyses the phosphorylation reaction of fructose 6-phosphate and not phosphofructokinase-2. Boo hoo :/ They did, however, highlight that magnesium is the most common cofactor for all these enzymes with the addition of potassium as a cofactor for pyruvate kinase. Another downfall of the video is that it does not differentiate which reactions occur in the different phases. This maybe important to note as a tool for remembering the process.
Well, this video was a bit dreary to be honest. I always thought of glycolysis as an exciting topic but it was quite rigidly put across here :(. Not to mention, the mistakes made. Don’t let this deter you! The Salmonella Place did do a great job in simplifying the topic as much as possible. Thanks… Don’t forget to keep an open mind like yours truly and make learning fun 

PAPER REVIEW TIME GUYS!

Dunbar, R.I.M., R. Baron, A. Frangou, E. Pearce, E.J.C. van Leeuwen, J. Stow, G. Partridge, I. MacDonald, V. Barra, M. van Vugut. 2011, “Social laughter is correlated with an elevated pain threshold”. September 14 2011. The Royal Society. Accessed, April 3rd 2014.

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/279/1731/1161.full?sid=608be060-589d-4676-86a6-5c4dabe20101

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We have all had that time, one too many to be exact, where we are in a situation and begin to laugh to the point where it hurts. That party where your drunk friend slipped and fell, or you were at a family gathering and you parents let a stale joke out in the open. Laughter, especially in those ‘social settings’, gives you that ‘feel-good’ moment. But, why do we feel this enjoyable relief that makes you feel not to hate life but enjoy the moment?

Robin Dunbar, psychologist at Oxford, has taken it upon himself to decipher these questions stimulating your minds. From his research, Dunbar says that it is more the physical act rather than the intellectual pleasure of cerebral humour. So those loud outbursts you have occasionally causes the release of endorphins from the brain. Endorphins belong to a class of endogenous opioid peptides made in the CNS that can function both as a neurotransmitter and controls pain management as β-endorphin is responsible for suppressing an organisms from physiological and psychological stress. This is the feel-good effect. Good stuff for me I think, good stuff.

Are you a social person? Do you engage in human interaction and show those pearly yellow/white teeth? Dunbar continues to say that this social laughter is “grooming at a distance” and is related to the bonds between primates.

He conducted a series of experiments with[81]  his team in different settings where they observed the effects laughter has on one’s pain resistance. Dunbar placed his participants in different settings where they would watch comedies or videos to stimulate laughter or you basic feel good/positive vibe shows. Throughout his experiments he tested his participants both before and after ‘social laughter’ where the pain applied was either from a frozen wine sleeve or a blood pressure cuff. In such experiments an individual’s pain tolerance is measured as there exists a blood-brain barrier that endorphins o not cross. In his findings he concluded that the pain tolerance of the individuals was elevated after laughter than those who weren’t laughing. He goes on to say this tolerance was due to laughter and not ‘good vibes’ shall we say (positive effects). They suggest that due to an endorphin-mediated opiate effect, constitutes social bonding.

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I must say some people are crazy if you would just willingly inflict pain on an individual to see how they would react. All in the name of science I’m sure you would say, but hey I would do the same. This paper is one which opens the mind into what really happens in the body. I can personally say that I have learnt more about the way my body functions and yes I said ‘my’ because I don’t care about yours. Just kidding, it’s a love. But you know how they say laughing burns calories? Well maybe we can lose the calories and feel good while doing it, or I guess that’s why the gym is so painful. Maybe I should try laughing while doing squats. Anyway I’m gone and thanks for reading. 🙂

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