Biomedical Laboratory Science

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Putting A Q-Tip Inside Your Ear Is A BIG Mistake! This Is How You Should Clean Your Ears

The earwax inside the ears has a purpose, which is protecting the ear canal. It actually helps the ear clean itself and stay lubricated, protecting it thus from bacteria, water, insects, fungi, etc. the earwax is also called cerumen, which is the medical term.

The cerumen represents a protective barrier which saves the delicate and the sensitive skin inside the external auditory canal from harm.

From time to time, the earwax accumulates in the ear in greater quantities. The majority of people do not know how to use the Q-tips and put them inside their ears in order to clean them. Even though it sounds weird, the ear wax is actually good for you. Placing a Q-tip anywhere with the exception of the outermost parts of the ear can cause a lot of harm to your health.

It is recommended that when there is some earwax in your ears, you just leave it alone. The ear has a magically, wonderfully working system which works in the following way: the skin grows outward gradually and it almost forms a little conveyor belt that carries the earwax out.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The superbug that doctors have been dreading just reached the U.S.

For the first time, researchers have found a person in the United States carrying bacteria resistant to antibiotics of last resort, an alarming development that the top U.S. public health official says could mean “the end of the road” for antibiotics.

The antibiotic-resistant strain was found last month in the urine of a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman. Defense Department researchers determined that she carried a strain of E. coli resistant to the antibiotic colistin, according to a study published Thursday in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. The authors wrote that the discovery “heralds the emergence of a truly pan-drug resistant bacteria.”

Source: washingtonpost

The PhD journey: A guide to applying, starting and succeeding

To postgraduates, a PhD may seem like an ideal opportunity to improve research skills prior to future work. However, the application process is a competitive and often challenging experience. This article seeks to de-mystify some of the common questions surrounding PhD applications and provide some hints and tips for potential applicants.

1. Is a PhD for you?
An increasing number of postgraduates are applying for PhD study to develop their academic and professional skills. However, before you begin to consider searching for positions, you must be fully aware of what studying for a PhD actually entails. A PhD is the highest degree a person can achieve. It will involve around three years’ full-time (up to six years’ part-time) work, culminating in a thesis of somewhere around 80,000 words. It is research-intensive, with you developing and leading projects and writing papers in your chosen field of study. Although you will have the support of two or more specialist supervisors, a PhD is by-and-large independent work.

Source: academia
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Not unexpectedly, a new drug-resistant ‘superbug’ pops up in the United States

For years, public health experts have warned us that deadly bacteria are developing resistance to all our available antibiotics. This week, researchers reported the first known U.S. case of an Escherichia coli infection resistant to colistin, a harsh drug seen as a last resort to knock out stubborn infections. The finding, described in the American Society for Microbiology journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, is no big surprise to researchers tracking the rise of resistant bacteria. The resistance gene, known as mcr-1, was discovered in E. coli in China last year, and has since cropped up in Europe.

As the United States crosses the same ominous milestone, research to understand resistance and develop new drugs is surging ahead. As Science reported earlier this month, evolutionary biologists have recently revisited old dogma about how best to prescribe antibiotics—revealing that trusted strategies such as using a high dose may not actually help prevent resistance.

E. coli bacteria growing in a dish.
Source: sciencemag

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Down syndrome points to key gene responsible for type 2 diabetes

One of the key genes responsible for the onset of type 2 diabetes has been identified, opening up possibilities to develop a drug to combat the condition.

Key points
  • Onset of type 2 diabetes caused by failure of beta cells in the pancreas
  • Failure of beta cells also often seen in people with Down syndrome, who have an extra copy of chromosome 21
  • Comparison of beta cell genes on chromosome 21 and in people with type 2 diabetes narrows down one common gene called RCAN1
The discovery, published today in PLOS Genetics, was made by comparing genes involved with defects in insulin secretion of people with type 2 diabetes and those with Down syndrome.

Diabetes is the fastest-growing chronic condition in Australia with the preventable type 2 form accounting for 85 per cent of all cases.

DNA Purification

DNA purification, DNA extraction and DNA isolation are terms that are often used for the same processes. While DNA isolation aims to get as much of the DNA out of your sample as possible, DNA purification is done to reduce - or even eliminate - the contamination of the isolated DNA. Extraction is just one specific way to achieve isolation and purification. DNA extraction uses a solvent that serves as extractant and can be divided in above stages.

All three terms are often used for the same process which normally combines the DNA isolation and DNA purifcation.

Here at ZAGENO we realized how difficult it is to find the right DNA Purification Kit, DNA Extraction Kit, DNA Isolation Kit or DNA testing Kit. First of all one needs to define what type of DNA is to be extracted. Depending on the specific target ,a huge number of DNA test kits from many different suppliers exist:
  • Plasmid DNA
  • Genomic DNA
  • Viral DNA
  • cDNA
Read more: DNA Purification

Source: zageno

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Lowering LDL Cholesterol: When Numbers are Not Enough

Clinicians worldwide continue to be challenged by cholesterol management for their patients; specifically, whether to attempt low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C) reduction to previously described targets, or to specific percent reductions (e.g., ≥ 50% or < 50%) based on an individual's risk assessment as advocated by the US Guidelines. Indeed, Canadian and European Guidelines suggest using both strategies. Data addressing whether the high-intensity statin strategy (to achieve ≥ 50% LDL-C reduction) correlates with improved cardiovascular outcomes is limited.

In addition, it is known that LDL-C reduction to the same strength of statin can vary widely in the population4 resulting in a significant number of patients who may continue to be at increased, potentially modifiable risk, for future events. Recently, the Treating to New Targets (TNT) investigators reported in their known coronary artery disease patient population that visit-to-visit variability in LDL-C levels correlated with increased cardiovascular risk, suggesting yet another possible contributor to residual risk, reportedly independent of LDL-C levels.

Source: acc

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