April 7, 2014

Link dump

Since I also have accumulated many many tabs since the last time I posted, here are some medical/science-y related things that I found interesting (this was originally going to be part of the previous post, but I realized I have too many things to share, and the post was getting too long, haha).  In no particular order:

3-D floating, holographic bodies have now been developed at the University of Michigan to help with anatomy/dissection!  I’ve actually seen some of the virtual anatomy lab tables they mention in the article at some of the AAMC conferences before and thought they were really neat (just too expensive for our school probably), but this takes that a step even further!  It would be even cooler if they could add tactile information (like perhaps a pressure glove that can help simulate what things should feel like)

Here’s a really neat article on using Disney to reach an autistic child – which I love both because it’s a very moving story, and because it’s another reason to love Disney 🙂  It show how important it is in medicine/healthcare to think outside the box – how thinking creatively to a problem can help connect people in totally unexpected ways.  Which actually also reminds me of this moving story of Carly.

Here’s a few articles relating to music:
1) Ever get a song stuck in your head?  That’s called an “earworm” – great name huh?  You can thank the Germans for that.  This article briefly outlines what types of songs/conditions get songs like “Let it Go” stuck in our heads.
2)  Here are some random facts about listening to music and how it can affect your life.  These are all presumably based on research (I have to admit I did not go and check all the links for the studies behind these, but at least they have them so you can look them up yourselves if you want to verify the information presented).
3) If you loved The Sound of Music as much as I did growing up, and ever wondered what the real von Trapp family was like (yes, they were real people!), here is a comparison of the movie with the true history/personality of the von Trapps.

Here’s a few articles relating to nutrition sciences:
1) Visceral fat (known as the “bad” fat around your organs, which if accumulated may be detrimental to your health) has been linked to cells expressing the Wt1 gene, which may continue to act as a source of this fat in adults, modifiable through diet.  These cells are also the ones that may develop into the protective lining (mesothelium) around these visceral fat areas. Pretty interesting!
2)  A pretty good article that discusses the use of antibiotics potentially contributing to the obesity epidemic, and also touches upon one of the mechanisms behind it through modification of the gut microbiome.  Something to think about I think, for the future – truly, physicians need to be good stewards of antibiotics and not just give them out to anyone who has the sniffles or asks for them (not only for this reason, but because of the increasing cases of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that are now cropping up due to overuse of these meds).
3)  Apparently, there are two forms of the major milk protein casein that can be dominant in milk – A1 and A2.  According to this article, milk with predominantly A1 protein has been linked to a variety of diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and even autism or schizophrenia, while A2 is more digestable by humans.  However, as the article says, “the evidence is far from conclusive”, so take it with a grain of salt (especially given some of the comments below).  I do think t’s an interesting concept though, and one that might merit investigation.

And finally, people are starting to believe the Black Death in Europe in the Late Middle Ages was actually a pneumonic plague (spread from human to human through the air), rather than bubonic (disease form that causes infection through the lymphatic system in humans, spread by rat fleas).  Makes sense to me – I always thought it seemed to spread way too quickly for fleas to be the culprit.

That’s it for now, but there’s a whole other window with even more (older) tabs that I have yet to get to… hopefully that happens soon…


edit: Well, it looks like I was wrong, and I only have a couple more links (most of the other tabs were funding sources that I was looking into for a potential overseas research thing I was looking into, hah.  So just ended up bookmarking most of those).  So here are the other links:

Here’s a good resource if you’re interested in knowing what the latest consensus is in science about nutrition and how it affects cancers of various types/areas.

Speaking of areas in the body, here’s an um… enlightening article on what the female pleasure areas look like when they wake up, so to speak.  Kind of interesting, and also makes sense.  Share it with your SO’s, folks.

And finally, just because it’s too good not to share (and since it’s exactly what I’m doing right now, it seems to fit well), here is a non-scientific, but still interesting and very amusingly accurate picture of why people procrastinate.  And also an equally hilarious and illustrated follow-up to the article, including a few words of advice on how to beat the habit.

September 15, 2011

Anatomy lab

Filed under: Med School and the MSTP — sanguinemare @ 11:01 pm
Tags: , ,

We had our first anatomy lab yesterday, concentrating on the back.  Our cadavers no longer look full and whole like they did the first day we met them face-to-face.  The 2nd years have already been busily at work at the bodies for the last few weeks, dissecting the limbs and various other parts of the bodies, so the flesh under the neck has all been stripped clean.

Or well… it should have been.

Our poor donor seemed to be a little worse for the wear, and only about half of her skin was removed.  The muscles on the side that it was removed for looked semi-hacked to pieces, and we couldn’t really make hide-nor-hair of it (no pun intended).  Thankfully, the other side was ok, so we were able to see some of what we were looking for.

I was scheduled to be a dissector (how lucky…).  Luckily, the body was already turned face-down, so we didn’t have to roll her over.  Our lab books were extremely unclear about what we were supposed to do, so we spent some of the time just staring at the book, at the body, and back, trying to figure out where to start.  One of our members, E, was very gung-ho about it, (apparently she “fell in love with anatomy” somewhere along the way before med school), so she started helping us “clean” off the cadaver – which basically means trimming the fat off, like you would a piece of meat.  Our cadaver was on the heavier side, so she had quite a lot of fat (and the skin that we had to trim was literally 3/4ths of an inch think, due to the layer of fat underneath).  She was also more “wet,” as one of the professors said, so it was supposedly easier for us to see the muscles of interest.

Actually doing the dissection requires a bit of art.  You can’t cut too close, or you will cut into the muscle, yet if you cut too little, you can’t really see anything because it’s all blurred together.  And it was actually pretty cool when you reveal the muscle fibers from under the fat layers.  Yesterday we focused on the trapezius, latissimus dorsi, erector spinae (which help the spine extend and are divided to 3 parts: ilicostalis, longissimus, and spinalis), rhomboid major/minor, levator scapulae, and the 2 splenius in the neck.  My dissecting partner (we are paired into 2 dissectors, 2 readers, and 1 floater) for the day, A, seemed at a loss for the most part, so I asked him to help me peel off layers (you have to “reflect” muscles to see what’s underneath, which is done by pulling the muscle back enough to get tension between the layers, and using the scapel to cut through the connective tissue/fat holding them together).  E helped with the other side.  I think she got kind of frustrated at how badly the cadaver had been messed up before we got to lab.  Don’t blame her though – I can see why.  This is some of what you’ll have to deal with if you need to share cadavers.  We’re lucky though – at least our body hasn’t dried out or molded.  Apparently there have been e-mails sent out about taking care of cadavers because some 2nd years were not doing a good job.  :\

Afterwards, E and I both felt like our fingers were tingly, and hers actually felt numb.  According to one of the professors, the formaldehyde does that sometimes.  And another classmate spoke of it feeling like it was burning his throat and making him choke.  So not only does it smell bad, but apparently it causes numbness if it gets in your skin too long (I guess as it starts the preservation process on your skin…), and it also causes sharp burning pains in the throat/nose.  Also, apparently washing one’s hands 3 times afterwards, and showering, does not remove the smell on the hands after it has been immersed in formaldehyde for 2 hours.  Great stuff.

Tomorrow we have anatomy again.  This time on the neck muscles.  Oh joy.   (It really isn’t so bad if your attitude is to learn about it from a scientific perspective.  I’m just being melodramatic :P)

I also found out from one of our preceptors yesterday that apparently at my school, they had stopped using cadavers for a while before us, so the dissections were already done for the students.  I guess they just brought this back recently, because our preceptor is only a 3rd year resident, which means he went through the program here 7 years ago.  At any rate, as I’ve said in a previous entry, I’m glad they’re letting us do this the “traditional” way.  I think we learn more doing things hands-on, regardless of the confusion/frustrations.

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