Tag Archives: medicine

“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!”

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

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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.”

Continue reading Critical Factors Involved in the Relationship Between Cannabis and Schizophrenia

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.”

Continue reading An Overview of Tension-Type Headache

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).

Continue reading What is LASIK?

Can Polio Cure Cancer?

By Briga Mullin, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ’15

The human body’s immune system has been developed to successfully battle foreign invaders including bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Immunotherapy is the idea that the power of the immune system can be utilized against diseases such as cancer. Typically, the immune system does not harm the body’s own cells, preventing it from being extremely effective against cancer. However with different medical interventions to strengthen the body’s immune response, it is possible to get an effective treatment (Cancer Immunotherapy 2015).

A unique and exciting branch of immunotherapy involves oncolytic viruses, genetically modified viruses that are used to infect tumor cells and fight cancer (Vile, Ando, and Kirn 2002). One example of an oncolytic virus is Oncolytic Polio/Rhinovirus Recombinant (PVS-RIPO), a genetic combination of poliovirus and a strain of the common cold. Continue reading Can Polio Cure Cancer?

May the Odds Ever be in Your Favor

By Rayan Kaakati, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior

Being born female automatically registers you in a game of Russian roulette: one out of eight women will have invasive breast cancer during their lives. Breast cancer is a disease that starts in the tissues of the breast and is statistically fatal for about one in thirty-six women (Breast Cancer Facts), but that does not mean it is a walk in the park for its survivors or even for women who end up not developing the disease. Continue reading May the Odds Ever be in Your Favor

A Breakthrough in Breast Cancer Treatment

 Exciting, new gene therapy treatments for breast cancer are on the verge of making a breakthrough. With proper funding, these procedures could reduce the need for the surgical removal of organs.

By Rayan Kaakati, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior

Being born female automatically enters one in a game of Russian roulette: About 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime; for American women, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death (U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics).

Breast cancer is a disease that starts in the tissues of the breast and is statistically fatal for one in thirty-two women (Breast Cancer Facts). Many women, throughout recorded history, have succumbed to this malignant disease. Rapid advancements in research have been very promising for cancer cell-targeting medications and for gene modification techniques.

Medicine in the twenty-first century is still resorting to what the ancient Chinese and Arab doctors used to practice: “If cancerous, cut it out if possible,” or in current-day terms, order a “lumpectomy” or a “mastectomy” (if the entire breast is to be removed). In recent years, a toxic chemo “smoothie” and an intensive radiation regimen have been added, coupled with hormone therapy.  While these medical procedures are credited with saving thousands of lives, they are still primitive compared to current, promising research works.

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From Embryo to Tumor: the widespread applications of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition

By Briga Mullin, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ’15

What do a smoker, a two week old embryo, a child with a broken wrist, and a metastatic tumor all have in common? While these are a diverse group of conditions, they all have cells that are experiencing the same process known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Mesenchymal cells are non-polarized, mobile, invasive, and their main function is to secrete extracellular  matrix. In contrast, epithelial cells form our skin and the linings of our internal organs. They are normally polarized which means they have a directional structure and are uniformly oriented and are attached to a membrane to form a layer of epithelial tissue.  Under certain conditions an EMT will occur and epithelial cells will change  their transcription patterns, produce new proteins, destroy the basal membrane they are attached to, and totally convert their phenotype to become motile  mesenchymal cells.  EMT can be triggered by a variety of conditions and can yield very beneficial or extremely detrimental results depending on the circumstances. Continue reading From Embryo to Tumor: the widespread applications of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition