Annie Sherry

Biology 111!

-Annie Sherry-

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Post 1!

When researching topics to put on my wiki, I remembered the brief conversation we had the other day about the bacteria that mascara can harbour. I then began to think about all the other make up that girls use on a day to day basis, and wondered how long should we keep them before throwing them out? I was incredibly suprised at the fact that eye make is not the only major holder of bacteria in make up!

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"It’s difficult to know because cosmetics usually don’t include expiration dates," adds Dr. Bowers. Experts say you should go by when you first opened the makeup. Eye make-ups and liquid foundations last the least amount of time and should be tossed out after just three months.

"The bacteria can get in there and the preservatives might not be working quite as well as they were when you first opened it. If you get some of that in your eye you may develop conjuctivitus which we know as ‘pink-eye,’" explains Dr. Bowers. Powders and foundations opened more than a year ago can also cause problems.
"Some women may develop a peri-oral dermatitis from using some old, expired makeup that might irritate the skin and cause little red bumps that look like acne," adds Dr. Bowers. In addition to makeup, makeup applicators should be replaced regularly as well.

"If you use sponges to apply makeup, you should replace those at least once a week," says Dr. Bowers. It may be painful for most women to throw out expensive products, but not doing so could hurt worse.

"If you end up in the doctor’s office with an infection, all those savings are negated. You always want to have a clean face with some good, fresh product on there," adds Dr. Bowers.

Also, sharing lipsticks is another way that makeup can cause health problems. Sharing lipsticks, lip glosses or lip balms with someone who may have a strain of the herpes virus could leave you with cold sores of your own. Remember, people can harbor this particular virus on their lips without having an active cold sore so it will not always be visible.

If makeup looks old or changes texture is it a good idea to throw it out? Yes, experts even advise to smell your makeup. An unusual odor usually means that it contains bacteria."

Personally, I think that I will begin to write down the dates that I opened my makeup from now on! Makeup may make you look hotter, but how hot are you really gonna look with pink eye or "pretend" acne!?

Baylor Health Care System (2007, August 14). Food Isn't The Only Thing That Can Expire -- Old Makeup Can Harbor Dangerous Bacteria <_

Post 2!

 Highly Potent Anticancer Drug From the Sea, Identified!

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A team of researchers from led by Dennis Carson M.D., have identified a anti-cancer drug from a toxic blue-green algae found in the South Pacific. They envision it will be perfect for emerging technology, particularly nanotechnology, which is being developed to target cancerous tumors without toxic side effects. They found that ScA (the anti-cancer chemical within algae) inhibits neovascularization, the formation of blood vessels that feed tumors, and also had a direct impact on tumor cell growth. One of the researchers noted that if a normal-sized swimming pool full of cancer cells were treated with ScA, it would take only three milligrams -- about the weight of a grain of rice -- to kill all of the cancer cells! Professor of pathology at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center said, "ScA is the first, and most potent compound we've identified so far. But we don't yet know how abundant ScA is, or if it's feasible to harvest, so it is important that we have been able to produce this natural product in the lab."

Please note that this anti-cancer compound was founded in 2008. We still have yet to have heard it being used..

University of California - San Diego (2008, February 20). Novel Highly Potent Anticancer Drug From The Sea Identified. ScienceDaily

Bonus Wikipost # 1!

To Creatine, or Not to Creatine.. That, is The Question

external image muscleman.jpg my opinion, athletes should be able to use creatine as long as they are using it responsibly, and as long as they know the risks of using such a drug. It is completely one's own choice to inflict harm upon yourself (though it is ill-advised). However... Let's weigh the pro's and con's, shall we?Pros:- Creatine supplements deliver more testosterone to the cells of the body, which can cause larger muscle mass.-Can help draw liquid to muscles which could lead to a 3% to 10% increase in muscle mass.- Helps athletes to work out longer.Cons:-Can cause short term effects like diarreah, and sudden mood swings.- Studies have shown that creatine can lead to kidney damage.The International Olympic commitee has banned creatine, but not creatine specifically. It has a ban on erogenic aids like performance enhancers. However, there is no testing that can be done on athletes to see if there are sufficient amounts of creatine present. Also, there is a common misconception that the NCAA has put a ban on creatine. This is not true. In August of 2000, they banned member universities from distributing creatine to their athletes. This was mostly because they did not want better financed universities giving their athletes more advantage. Not in result to a safety issue. The atheletes themselves however, are free to go and get creatine supplements on their own terms.A specific article I found was by "Rocky Balboa" ( evidently a profile name people...) who talked about how he understood both sides of the spectrum. He talked about how creatine and protien supplements benefit an athlete or body builder. But how they can also be dangerous. It's all about knowing when enough is enough! This is also my take on the creatine use situation. It could be the spinach to your Popeye! However, spinach does not lead to kidney failure. So as long as you know the long term effects that creatine could have on you, and you can use it responsibly pop them suckers back! (RESPONSIBLY OF COURSE)Citations:

Bailey, J. (2010). Creatine pros and cons. Retrieved from Clifford, JP. (2002-2009). The creatine faq. Retrieved from"Balboa", "R". (2009). Supplements for athletes. Retrieved from 

Post 3!

The Genetic Battle of the Sexes

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A new joint study by the universities of Exeter, Okayama and Kyushu has shown that a genetic battle of the sexes could be even more important to evolution that previously thought. Intralocus sexual conflict (genetic battle fo the sexes) is when certain genes for a trait which are good for the breeding success of one sex, are bad for the other. It was recently thought that this issue was resolved when the trait becomes sex specific ( meaning that it only develops in the sex that it benefits).

What the study has shown is that there isn't always an end to the sexual conflict. Researchers used broad-horned flour beetles to conduct this experiment because the males have enlarged mandables that are used to other male beetles. These enlarged mandibles aren't present in females, which makes it a gender specific trait.

Through specific breeding by mandible size, researchers were able to show that the bigger the mandibles were in males, the bigger success rate of breeding. However, the females with larger mandibles were much less successful in breeding! Although the females did not inherit larger mandibles through specific breeding, it was evident that they were inherting the smaller abdomen size of the males. This gene trait could effect the number of eggs a female can carry. This is an example of a gene trait that did not become sex-specific even though it was obviously benefitting the males!

Kensuke Okada, also from Okayama University, said: "The view that sex-limited trait development resolves this kind of genetic battle of the sexes is based on the assumption that traits are genetically independent of each other, which is frequently not true... What we're seeing here is that genetic architecture can provide a general barrier to this kind of conflict resolution."


ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 7, 2010, from­ /releases/2010/11/101104154219.htm

Stem Cell Research; Personal Views!

Before this unit started, I had heard of stem cell research but I had no idea what it really was. This unit has opened my eyes to all spectrums of stem cell research, as well as what it can do for people health wise. Learning about many different culture's perspective's allowed me to also learn about religious views, not only on stem cell research, but on the religious beliefs as well. Personally, I do not have a religious background influencing my opinion on Stem Cell Research, but I understand where other cultures are coming from on their opinions on it.

Pre-Existing Stem Cells: I believe that since they are not destroying an embryo, there is no reason why scientists should not be able to use them for research and medical purposes. There should be no reason for controversy over something that could potentially help someone if it is not destrying a potential life.

Excess from IVF Clinics: Although I can see where this could become controversial because some people do not believe in using IVF, I think that if these embryos were going to be discarded, that there is no reason why they shouldn't be used for ESC research! There is no reason for them to be left in a garbage can when they could be potentially curing a disease with them! As long as the clinics have informed consent from the donor, there should be no reason why they cannot be used.

Embryos Created by IVF for research: I do not believe that embryos should be created solely for research from IVF clinics. If they are left over, by all means go ahead! But there is a big difference in using what is given to you to do good, and creating potential life and destroying it. While it may save a potential life in the future, I don't think it is ethical.

SCNT-Theraputic: By harvesting plurtipotent cells for theraputic purposes, scientists are potentially makign new skin for a person who has lost a lot of it from a fire. The fact that it is generally cloning from existing ESC lines makes it all that juch better. This is a great scientific discovery that could help a lot of people! I believe that as long as it is used to help others, it is great!

SCNT-Reproductive: I do not believe that reproductive cloning is right. This is not because I think it is messing with how life is made, but because of how unstable it could be. Dolly the sheep, for example, was made from Reproductive cloning, and died prematurely. There is always room for error, but I think that this source has the most potential room for error, and is not safe. Therefore, I believe it is illegal for a reason.

This was a great eye opener into the world of stem cells, and their potential. I hope to hear of diseases being cured in the future because of it!

Post 4!

Northern Birds are Fatter!



Dr. Williams of Simon Fraser University has been tracking migrating birds for several years. The research he conducted was to determine the importance of habitat quality in specific migratory sites for birds. His findings will contribute to decisions about whether these sites are protected and which sites are prioritised for protection.

Two techniques were used to study Western Sandpipers on their migration trip from Mexico to Alaska. 80 birds were fitted for radio-telemetry tracking devices ( miniaturized radio telemetry device which can monitor the magnitude and distribution of pressure generated between the cartilage-covered surface of the hip socket and the surface of a hip prosthesis which replaces the spherical head of the femur in the hip) and another 400 had blood samples taken to give measurements of their fattening rate. Dr. Williams found that the birds got fatter the more north that they flew.

Dr. Williams' conclusion to his research is that the weight gain is not soley based on the bird's desire to eat more in the north. Although he did say the following, " ...there are major differences in gut structure and digestive enzymes between non-migrating and migrating birds." Therefore the birds bodily functions may change when flying north because they have to adapt to the changes in the weather as well. This change would allow for more efficient digestion, making the bird fatter.

So I guess we're in a pretty good spot for bird hunting! When you hear a goose honk above, pull out your rifle and shoot that sucker! You'll be more full than someone who shot one of those geese further down south!


Society for Experimental Biology. "Northern Birds Are Fatter!." ScienceDaily, 5 April 2006. Web. 9 November 2010.

Carlson, Charles E. Mann, Robert W. Harris, William H. A Radio Telemetry Device for Monitoring Cartilage Surface Pressures in the Human Hip " IEEE Explore, 12 March 2007.

Post 5!

Leptin Therapy Improves Type 1 Diabetes!

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In a recent study, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have been injecting a continuous stream of leptin ( hormone produced by the body's fat cells) into the brains that naturally lacked the production of insulin. This lack of insulin production is also known as Type 1 Diabetes. The researchers found that the leptin reversed the lethal consequences of Type 1 Diabetes! The results show that the brain could be a potentially critical site for mediating the metabolism-improving actions of leptin.

A human clinical trial is currently under way at UT Southwestern. The study will determine whether or not adding leptin to standard insulin therapy will reverse the effects of Type 1 Diabetes on humans. However, it might not be effective or cause unwanted effects. Dr. Coppari from UT Southwestern said, "...if we understand the mechanisms and how leptin improves type 1 diabetes, then perhaps we can develop alternatives to harness those mechanisms."

So, if leptin works on humans just as it does in mice in a lab, Mrs. Holeyoke-Waslh won't need an insulin pump, or to be on a donor's transplant list anymore! Yay for scientific advancements!


UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Brain Might Be Key to Leptin's Actions Against Type 1 Diabetes, Researchers Find." ScienceDaily, 14 November 2010. Web. 14 November 2010. [[­ /releases/2010/10/101019171711.htm]].

Post 6!

Why Don't Dogs get the Flu?

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Early on this week, my little brother came home from school with the flu. Throughout the week, every single one of my family members within the house got it too. Well almost everyone... Our dogs didn't! It got me to thinking, why don't dogs get the flu!? Turns out, I'm not the only one who has wondered this as I found multiple people asking the same thing online.

Turns out that dogs do get the flu, but it is a respirtory flu, or severe diarrhea. Not the kind of body aching, vomiting, lathargic feeling flu that we get! Dogs actually get vaccinated against our human flu when they get their first shots as a puppy.This is because if our canine friends got our flu, it could be fatal!

So next time you're throwing up, don't worry about giving it to your dogs! Also, if you didn't make it to the bathroom, I'm sure they'll really appreciate the nice treat you just left them on the floor.

Iconoclast, The. "Can I Give My Dog The Flu?." n. pag. Web. 10 Dec 2010. <>.
Lamm, CG; Rezabek, G.B. Parvovirus infection in domestic companion animals. In Kapil, S; Lamm, CG (eds.) Veterinary Clinics of North America Small Animal Practice: Emerging and Reemerging Viruses of Dogs and Cats. W.B. Saunders Co, Philadelphia, PA; July 2008:837-850.
Macintyre, D. Management of Severe Parvoviral Enteritis. Presented at the Western Veterinary Conference, Las Vegas, NV; February 2004.
Drs. Foster & Smith , . "Parvovirus: Serious Diarrhea in Puppies & Dogs ." n. pag. Web. 10 Dec 2010.

Post 7!

A Little Corruption = A Better Society

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A recent study conducted by Franciso Ubeda at the University of Tennessee, and Edgar Duenez of Harvard University has proved that a little corruption actually benefits society. They looked at what causes people to cooperate in society even though the people in charge display some levels of corruption. They developed a model that allowed law inforcers and government officials to behave in a corrupt manner by failing to cooperate with the law. These are the people who punish the non-abiding people in society everyday. When building this model, they also kept in mind that these people are able to side-step punishment by the law because of their rankings within the law. What they discovered was that most of society cooperates with the law because there are people there to keep them in line, and they do not want to be punished for being out of line.

Law enforcers themselves are sometimes consider themselves above the law. But even when this occurs, the overall cooperation with the law and society is maintained. The problems generally begin when the law enforcers have too much power, or the corruption within the law is too high. This causes the cooperation within society to break down.

 "Law enforcers often enjoy privileges that allow them to avoid the full force of the law when they breach it. Law enforcing results in the general public abiding by the law. Thus law enforcers enjoy the benefits of a lawful society and are compensated for their law enforcing by being able to dodge the law," said Franciso Ubeda.

So basically what this study has found is that without power and corruption, law enforcers have less incentive to do their jobs. But without law enforcers, society has less incentive to cooperate on the whole. This study's findings have proved things in many different areas. In psychology, this study shows the relationship between power and corruption observed in humans. In biology, the study may help to explain the corrupt behaviors in social insects. I guess it goes to show that corruption can open a lot of doors scientifically!


University of Tennessee at Knoxville. "Power and corruption may be good for society." ScienceDaily 14 December 2010. 15 December 2010 [[­ /releases/2010/12/101214181934.htm]].

Post 8!

Three Punches Kills B.C. Teen

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Last night while watching the news, I came across a segment that was rather eery. While at a party, Brad Levesque and his friend were playing a simple punching game. The friend punched him in the chest 3 times, and Brad suddenly collapsed. Someone tried to perform CPR on him until the paramedics came, but they were unsuccessful. Brad Levesque died all because of a punching game.

A local cardiologist explained to CBC that he could have died because he was hit in hard enough in the few milliseconds between heartbeats, that his heart actually stopped. He continues to explain that when the heart is hit between beats, it goes into a state of shock. During that time, you only have a few moments to get the heart going again beofre it completely stops. This is incredibly rare, and only happens to 250 people in North America every year. This is not to say that you should stop playing sports or doing physical things, because the benefits far outweigh the risks. However, Brad's family and the whole community of Terrace B.C. want everyone to realize how unnessecary petty violence is. It may be fun at the time, but is it really worth the bruises, cuts or possible death? Please think thoroughly about the next time you decide to play "Helmets and Gloves" or some other rough game with your friends, guys.

CBC News, . "B.C. teen dies after "game" of punches: grandmother." n. pag. Web. 8 Jan 2011.

Post 9!

Grolar Bears

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As the world of science develops, new species of animals are being formed. Some of these new species are called hybrid animals. They are a mix of two different species which are generally bred by humans. In the case of the grolar bear, however they are not! In result to the ever climbing global temperature, polar bears are coming further down south. Because of this, they have been meeting up with grizzly bears. Instead of killing eachother, they are actually mating with eachother creating a whole new species! The only downside to this is sometimes when a grolar bear cub reaches about 6 months or so, they lose their new born scent and the mother bear stops looking after it. In some cases, it is the survival of the fittest and they grow on to become full grown bears. But in many cases, the cub dies because it is too young to look after itself. However, scientists are hoping to learn more about these hybrid species and possibly find a way to help them out!


Arctic Focus, . "A Grolar Bear? The Perils of Shrinking Arctic Ice." Arctic Focus; Your Gate To Arctic Region (Dec. 28): n. pag. Web. 12 Jan 2011. <a-grolar-bear-the-perils-of-shrinking-arctic-ice>.

Andreas Viklund, . "Hybrid Animals." Animal Danger (Copyright © 2009 ): n. pag. Web. 12 Jan 2011.

Post 10!

Color Blind Sharks!

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Since we just dissected sharks, I thought it might be neat to give a little insight on something we didn't get to dissect within the shark!

A study was conducted by Dr. Nathan Scott Hart and colleagues from the University of Western Australia and the University of Queensland in Australia regarding whether or not they can see color. Their study shows that although the eyes of sharks can see many different light levels, they only have a single long-wavelength-sensitive cone type in the retina which means they are potentially color blind. This new research may reduce the number of shark attacks by recognizing how their eye sight works, and making surfing, swimming, and fishing gear accordingly. Until this study, it was unclear whether or not sharks had color vision. Dr. Hart and his colleagues used a different kind of technique called microspectrophotometry to identify the pigments in the shark's retina and measure their spectral absorbance.

They looked at the retinas of 17 different sharks and found that in 10 of the 17 species no cone cells were observed. However, cones were found in 7 different species of shark from 3 different families! In each of these cases, only one cone shaped cell was found. This provides strong evidence that they possess cone monochromats, and are therefore potentially color blind!


Springer Science+Business Media. "Are sharks color blind?." ScienceDaily 19 January 2011. 19 January 2011 [[­ /releases/2011/01/110118092224.htm]].

Nathan Scott Hart, Susan Michelle Theiss, Blake Kristin Harahush, Shaun Patrick Collin. Microspectrophotometric evidence for cone monochromacy in sharks. Naturwissenschaften, 2011; DOI: 10.1007/s00114-010-0758-8