Lizanne Vanderlee

Welcome to Lizanne's Wiki!ENJOY being a SCIENTIST! :)
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Post 13: A Mammoth Might be ''Born'' This Year:

This coming year Japanese researcher are starting a project where in they hope to resurrect the long-extinct mammoth. The hope to do this by using cloning technology to bring the ancient pachyderm back to life in around five years time. They are using a tissue from the carcass of a mammoth that has been preserved in a Russian research laboratory.
They will insert the nuclei of a mammoth cell into the elephant's egg cells from which they have removed the nuclei, this allows them to create a embryo containing mammoth genes. After this has been done, they will insert the embryo into the elephant's womb and hopefully the elephant will give birth do a baby mammoth. Researchers hope to have accomplished this aim within five to six years.
After the baby mammoth is born, researchers hope to study its genes and hopefully they will be able to identify why mammoths became extinct.

- Moyer, Edward. "Scientist says he can clone long-extinct mammoth." cnet News >.2011: n. pag. Web. 19 Jan 2011. <

Post 12: Triplets Born 11 Years Apart?

You might be wondering right now, ''How in the world can a triplet be born 11 years apart from the other two?'' Well, it is much easier then you think, and it really surprised me. Because the mother had health problems and therefore was unable to become pregnant, she and her husband decided to do treatment. This treatment included taking away eggs of the mother, in total 24, and taking sperm of the father. The doctor had 14 successfully fertilized eggs, 2 were implanted in the mother and the other 12 were frozen. The women had a wonderful pregnancy and delivered two healthy girls.
About nine years later the couple decided that they wanted to have another child. In order to get an implant she returned to the same clinic and the doctor implanted one of the twelve frozen embryos. Though there was the possibility of the body rejecting the frozen embryo, this didn't happen, and so in December 2010 they received the triplet
So for future references, there are many options! :)

- Muessig, Ben. "Miracle triplets born 11 years apart."Aol.News (2010): 1. Web. 19 Jan 2011. <>.

Post 11: How Do Humans Pick Their Friends?

According to James Fowler, who is a geneticist at the University of California at San Diego, and many other scientists that he worked with, humans pick friends that have similar character traits to themselves. Scientists have been able to identify two distinct patterns within social networks, two genes, one DRD2 which is linked to alcoholism and CYP2AP which is linked with the character trait of openness.

It is very easy, people with DRD2 tend to make friends that also have it, and people without it tend to make friends with other peoples that do not have DRD2. This also counts for CYP2AP. As the researchers have looked at four other genes, those did not show the same pattern among friends.
It hasn't been proven for any other genes to have the same pattern, but they are very busy testing other genes to this theory.
Isn't this cool?

- Reuters, . "People pick friends with similar genes."CBCNEWS .(2011): n. pag. Web. 19 Jan 2011. <>

Post 10: A New Bizarre Jelly Fish?

It wasn't up until 2009 that this Jelly-nose fish had been heard off. Scientist found the fish but weren't sure what it was. Though with the technology and scientists available they were able to identify the new creature to be part of the Ateleopodidae, or also known as Jelly-nose. They are famous because of their soft, blunt noses and scaleless tapered bodies. The fish is thought to be a bottom feeder, since it doesn't have large teeth, scientists believe that they suck in whatever they can at the sea-floor. Jelly noses are known for their deep sea habitat and they can grow more then 6 feet long!

- Than, Ker. "Bizarre Gelatinous Fish Found in Brazil."National Geographic News .Sept. 22 - 2009: 1. Web. 19 Jan 2010. <>

Post 9: Breaking Wine Glass By Sound:

WARNING: You might want to turn down your speakers before watching this video! :)

After watching this little video you might be wondering if you could possibly do this with any type of glass. Well, no, the glass must be made out crystal; simply because it resonates at one particular harmonic frequency. A great example of this, that most of you have heard before, is when you make your finger wet with water and rub it very gently around the rim of the wine glass you can hear a 'hum' when you do this at a constant motion, this is due to the vibration that are created by rubbing your finger on the rim. When an object vibrates naturally at some frequencies we call this ''resonance frequencies.''
In the video shown above the high pitch sound is the frequency that makes the glass vibrate. Because the sound is non stop we can see 'waves,' meaning that the crystal glass starts to move more. These waves get bigger and bigger, until it breaks the glass.
An interesting thing is, that there are universities that require the singer to break the crystal glass by the constant sound of a high tone. You might wanna try this at home!

- DiBonaventuro, Frank. "Physics & Astronomy Online." N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Jan 2011. <>

Post 8: Why Does Turkey Make Us Sleepy:

Turkey makes humans tired because it consist a nutrient called Tryptophan, which is an amino acid that our body can not produce, this is why we consume it by eating for example Turkey. The human body uses Tryptophan to produce serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain that regulates sleep. By eating Turkey by itself humans will not get tired from the Tryptophan, but like any other time you eat a big meal, you feel a little more tired as usually after dinner time. This is due to the large amount of carbohydrates that have been consumed with dinner; often consumed from potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, bread, or desert. The massive intake of carbohydrates stimulate the release of insulin, which triggers the absorbtion of most amino acids from the blood into the muscles, but not tryptophan. Because many amino acids are taken out of the bloodstream, tryptophan can make its way to the brain, where is can produce serotonin. Though, without the insulin surge tryptophan would have had to compete with all the other amino acids that are trying to make their way to our brain via a chemical transport route. Lastly, if you would consume Tryptophan on an empty stomach, you most likely will get very sleepy, because there are no other amino acids that block the Tryptophan of going to your brain, instead it all goes at ones.

- Ballantyne, Coco. (2007, November 21). Does turkey make you sleepy. Retrieved from
- Wanjek, Christopher. (2007, November 20). Thankgiving myth: turkey makes you sleepy. Retrieved from

Post 7: Obesity:

Obesity occurs when a person consumes so much fat that it could have a negative effect on their health. In North-America the obesity rate is a lot higher then in the Asian countries, but why? So far scientist have been unable to identify why. Obesity can be caused due to a lack of willpower, lifestyle/environment, biology(genes). Scientist believe that genes have a big impact on the obesity rate. In order for you and/or doctor to know if you are obese a BMI, Body Mass Index, measurement is used. There is two different type of measurements: BMI

(weight in pounds x 703) or BMI

weight in kilograms

height in inches² height in meters ²
When a person's BMI is under 18.5 this person is considered underweight, a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered to be normal (healthy), a BMI between 25 and 29.9 has a weight status known as overweight, and a BMI of 30 or higher is obese. Though a muscle man can have a BMI of 35 and not be obese, this calculation can be used in most cases, but their are exceptions that it could be inaccurate.
The causes of obesity can be different per individual, some are obese due to a lack of willpower or lifestyle/environment, like mentioned before. Scientist of Howard Hughes Medical Institute believe that genes have a large impact on obesity. A simple example given is the fact that most Asian people are healthy, while a great percentage of Americans are obese. This is due to the environment and lifestyle of the to different cultures, but scientist have proven that many Chinese people in America do not become obese. Dr. Friedman, a scientist at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has done many experiments with mice and has proven that obesity can be prevented by the use of leptin.
Because there are six different leptin receptors, leptin can function in many different ways.

- Bermant, Michael. "Bermant Plastic Surgery." N.p., 29 Sept 2010. Web. 10 Dec 2010 <
- Friedman, Jeffrey M. "Mutations in a Leptin Receptor Cause Obesity in Mice." Howard Hughes Medical Institute 1996: n. pag. Web. 15 Dec 2011. <>.

Post 6: The H1N1 Virus:

The H1N1 virus is an A-type influenza virus, that is most of the time harmless, but sometimes there can be a severe outbreak of the virus. Some strains of the H1N1 virus can be present in humans, while other are present in birds and pigs, also known as swine flu and bird flu. The first time that an outbreak of H1N1 occurred in Europe in 1918, known as the Spanish flu. It was called the Spanish flu, because Spain was the only European country that send out information to the public about the flu; many other countries thought that this would cause panic. This outbreak killed between fifty and one hundred million people in approximately a year time. Adults were more at risk then children and elderly by this pandemic.
The most recfent H1N1 virus occurred in 2009, this virus was a mix of human, swine and bird influenza viruses. The signs of the H1N1 are very similar to the regular flu, the most common symptoms are: - a fever
- sore throat
- runny nose
- cough
- head aches
- chills
- body aches
There are a few more symptoms that showed up, such as diarrhea and vomiting, lastly there have been occasions that people died from the virus as well.
Like many other flu's and viruses the H1N1 virus is mostly spread through sneezing, coughing, touching infected areas or touching an infected person. Though the virus might seem very dangerous to many of you, it actually is just as dangerous as the regular flu. It occurs in some countries, where people have very low immune systems, that they die from it, there have been a few situations that a healthy person has died from the virus, but there hasn't been proven if they actually were a 100% healthy.
There is a vaccine available that helps your body to fight the virus. Other ways to prevent you from the virus is to make sure that you sneeze and cough in your elbow, wash your hands regularly (especially after using that bathroom and before and after cooking food) and try to avoid contact with sick people.

- Lloyd, Emma. "Wise Geek." N.p., 09-09-2010. Web. 01-dec-2010. <>.

Post 5: Stem Cells: What do I belief is right?

Coming from a Christian Reformed family I believe that embryonic stem cell research should be prohibited, simply because our belief considers killing an embryo at any stage is murder. I think that any potential life should have the ability to rise and shine in the world, and possibly make the world a better world. Though I believe that it should be prohibited, I believe that stem cells from aborted embryo's should be controlled for research purposes only. Since the embryo is going to be killed regardless of my opnion, I believe that we should be able to use this embryonic stem cell for a good cause, for example for combating diseases. Also I think that reproductive cloning should be prohibited. I believe that God is the creator of the earth, meaning that we should not be trying to play God by creating new people. Therepeutic cloning in my opinion should be controlled, because you are not creating a fully new human being.
No matter what peoples beliefs are, scientists will always keep coming up with new ideas to fight diseases and possibly save human lives. I think that this is great and am really glad that scientists are able to do research for diseases and possibly come up with a cure for them. The stem cell research that has been done so far has really interested me, but I believe that scientists should be doing this without killing human beings, by taking out the embryonic stem cell before the Gastrula stage. Lately scientists have been able to take an adult stem cell and convert it back to an embryonic stem cell. I think that is great that they are able to do new things, and that it will safe many lifes.
Knowing that many people have serious diseases, for example my grandfather has had type 1 diabetes since he was 8 years old, and his hoping to turn 80 coming December. Seeing my grandfather injecting himself at least twice a day, makes me realize that there are many more people in this world that have to deal with this. I think that if scientist in the future will be able to have stem cells, created by not killing embryonic stem cells, doctors should be allowed to use these stem cells.

Post 4: Bonus Opportunity: Should Creatine Supplements Be Banned?

3. Writing an Editorial:

Have you ever heard of the dietary supplement called Creatine? Most pro-athletes use is to build up more muscle. Usually your cells already have a reserve of ATP so that you can do intense activity for a short amount of time, but if you take creatine your cells will contain twice as large the amount of ATP reserves in you muscles, which forms the creatine phosphate molecule! Doesn't this sound like a really good deal!? Thought it sounds like a great thing to do it most certainly is not. When your muscles starts to use that available ATP in your body, phosphates are transferred from creatine phosphate directly to ADP, producing ATP faster then you could ever imagine. If the muscle contains more creatine phosphate it can do a longer intense activity. Because creatine is a natural substance found in the cells of the human body and foods, example meat, taking in more creatine can be harmful to your body. Some symptoms that could occur are: Water loss, risk for dehydration, muscle injuries, diarrhea, kidney failure, and possibly death. Though creatine hasn't been determined as unsafe a 100%, it is better for you body to stay away from it! If you eat the normal amount of nutrients each day you will be much healthier! What is more important: muscles or health?

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- Miller, L. (2008). Should creative supplements be band?. Boston, Massachusetts: Pearson Education.

Post 3: What is Autism:

Autism is a complex developmental disability know as ASD, Autism (Autistic) Spectrum Disorder. Autism is any developmental disabilities caused by a brain disorder. Often autistic people have difficulty with social and communication skills, but will also stick to a set of behaviors and will not accept any minor or major changes in their daily activities. Autism is wide-spectrum disorder, which means that nobody has the exact same symptoms. There are symptoms know as mild symptoms that are pretty basic symptoms and there are severe symptoms they can cause more trouble. This list below shows the symptoms that are most common found by autistic people:
  • Social Skills
  • Physical Contact
  • Speech
  • Obsessions
  • Physical Tics and Stimming
  • Learning
  • Development
  • Repetitive Behaviors
  • Noise, Smell, and Lights
  • Understanding of other people's feelings

Social Skills:
When the person has mild symptoms he/she may seem clumsy, or may be offensive in comment. If the symptoms are more severe then the person often doesn't seem to be interested in other people at all. People that are a lot around the autistic child/person often say that it make very little eye contact, but if this symptom is not severe it often becomes better as a teacher, or a professional teach them that eye contact is very important. Also autistic people miss the little clues that we give each other when we talk; it often occurs that they do not know when somebody is talking to them.

Physical Contact:
Often autistic people do not like cuddling or being touched by other people. Some overcome this ''fear'', but often they still act different. For example an autistic child might get very excited by tickling somebody's feet, but would NOT like it when somebody tickled their feet.

The higher the severity of autism, the more affective it is on their speaking skills. Many kids with autism do not speak at all; when autism people talk they often repeat words or phrases that they hear, an event that is called echolalia.

People with autism often have obsessions.

Physical Tics and Stimming:
It is not uncommon for autistic people to have tics; some may be more complicated then others. Often when parents see their child have tics for the first time they are in shock, but the autistic child is of can control these ticks (not all autistic people can control them) and will then often do it on a place where it feels comfortable.

How an autistic child learns is unpredictable. Sometimes it learns things on the harder way, before they learn it the easy way. It also occurs that they read long words before other kids, but then forget them completely later on.

The development of an autistic child differs a lot from other children. Sometimes they develop really good in their build, but do not develop community skills at all or it may not be able to catch a ball but has a really big vocabulary. It differs per autistic child how he/she develops.

Repetitive Behaviors:
Autistic people like order; although they like order, they do not like to change the order in which they do things. It is very important for them that everything goes in the order that they want it to go; if somebody tries to teach them a different order it often throws them off. For example an autistic child might brush their teeth first, then take a bath and then put on their pajama's; while most people first take a bath, then put on their pajama's and then brush their teeth.

Noise, Smell, and Lights:
Often when autistic people hear a loud noise, smell something different, or the amount of light changes on them it finds it very unpleasant. Not exactly because they do not like the noise, smell, or amount of light, but often because of the sudden change. When autistic people are prepared for the sudden change they often accept it no problem, but when something is a surprise it throws them off.

Understanding of Other People's Feelings:
An autistic person finds it very hard to understand somebody else's feelings. They often do not know what to say or how to react to somebody trying to explain them how they feel. Although they have difficulty with it, professional help often does help a lot. It takes just a little bit longer to be able to understand and listen to somebody feelings.

- Nordqvist, C. (n.d.). What is autism? what causes autism?.Medical News Today, Retrieved from

Post 2: What is HPV:
HPV is a disease, discovered in 1956, that stands short for Human Papilloma Virus and is one of the most common family viruses in todays world. It also is the worlds common sexually transmitted infection. There are more than 40 different types of HPV that could infect humans sexual areas. These HPV types can infect the mouth or throat. Usually the people that have HPV do not show any signs of it, which makes it easy for them to pass it on to anybody else and get even more sick of anything else since their immune system is no longer working properly. Facts have shown that at least 50% of all sexual active male and females have HPV at some time in their life. Often those people have low-risk HPV that doesn't do any serious harm to their body; a symptom that most of the time, not always, shows up with low-risk HPV are genital warts. Genital warts can occur weeks, months or even years after having sexual contact with an infected person. By woman genital warts can occur inside and outside of the vagina, in or around the anus, and on the vulva(lips/opening vagina), cervix, or groin; for man this is the same except the genital warts can grow on their penis, scrotum, or thigh. Genital warts do not often occur in the mouth or throat of a person that has had oral sex with an infected person. The size varies quite a bit; some are very tiny, not noticeable, they can be flat or bumpy and flesh colored, sort of like a cauliflower; they also can cause a burning or itching sensation, and cause discomfort. When people have high-risk HPV cervical cancer can occur if the high-risk HPV doesn't go away, but often high-risk HPV goes away on itself.
There is an HPV vaccine designed for girls that takes away the high risk factor of getting the virus. It is best to take this vaccine before their first time of having sexual contact, but it also can be given after. The vaccine is recommended for girls of 11 and 12 years, but can be given at 9 years old and to woman to the age of 26 who didn't get the show when they were younger. The vaccine is made up of 3 shots, when you get the shots it is very important that you get the same brands for all 3 shots; it can differ per person what type of brand that you need. Overall there is not treatment for HPV, but when genital warts occur you can get them removed by getting medication from the doctor.

Genital Warts
Genital Warts

-- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (n.d.). Genital hpv infection - fact sheet Atlanta, GA:
Retrieved from
-- Williams, J. (2010, February 21). The human papillomavirus. Retrieved from

Post 1: A Painkiller that only kills Pain:

Students of the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia have developed a compound called NP-A. This compound binds to the base of humans NMDA receptors. It stops glutamate and related neurotransmitters called NMDA from binding. This new compound, NP-A, is a painkiller that only has impact on the injured tissues in the human body and leaves the other tissues unaffected. Normally a tissue has a pH of around 7.4, but this drops down to around 7.0 in injured tissues, mostly because the blood supply is disrupted, resulting that waste products, such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid, to build up. The new drug blocks that NMDA receptors that we can find in cells throughout the human brain and central nervous system and a variety of nerve functions. Other drugs that did the same as this new drug, NP-A, but had lots of side affects that this drug doesn't have. This has been proven by Ray Dingledine ( a student from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia ) when he did an experiment with this new drug on rats. The rats were obviously in less pain when the NP-A was injected, they did not show any side affects. Dingledine believes that the compound NP-a could be used as a painrelief for people with nerve damage.

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- Khamsi, June 02). Smart drug kills pain and only the pain. NewScientist, 11.