Category: Biology

The Life Cycle of a Retrovirus: HIV

Retroviruses are a class of viruses that not only infect host cells but also integrate their genetic material into the host genome, establishing a permanent infection that cannot be cured. The most common retrovirus is the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV, which targets and destroys helper T-cells.

What is Maladaptive Daydreaming Disorder?

Daydreaming is a common human phenomenon, one that we all experience in our daily lives. Studies show that we actually spend around 47% of our waking time in the dream world. We utilize this important tool to think-out different scenarios, re-visit special times in our lives, imagine new ones, or even just to pass time. Daydreaming is vital to the human experience. But one may wonder, what happens when one daydreams a little too much?

Sleep 101: Brain Activity and Sleep Disorders, Sleep Apnea, Circadium Rhythms, and How to Sleep Better at Night

Sleep and Brain Activity Sleep disorders affect up to 70 million people and cost around $15.9 billion annually. EEG stands for electroencephalography, which was used to examine human brain waves in the 1950s. Sleep Disorders: Insomnia, OSA, Apnea, Narcolepsy. Regulation of Sleep. Sleep-Wakefulness Cycle: Circadium Rhythm and Homeostatic System. Tips to sleep better at night.

Primary Essential Hypertension vs Secondary Hypertension: Causes and Health Effects of High Blood Pressure [Biology, MCAT, USMLE]

In this quick, easy-to-understand lesson, we learn about secondary hypertension for USMLE and medicine. Secondary hypertension is defined as high blood pressure (>140/90 or >130/80) caused by an underlying disease, medical condition, or drugs. While primary essential hypertension comprises of the majority of hypertension cases (90%), only 10% of patient cases is secondary hypertension.

Direct Hernia vs Indirect Hernia

Direct vs Indirect Hernia: What is the difference between direct and indirect inguinal hernias? In this easy-to-understand lesson, we explore the differences between direct inguinal hernias and indirect inguinal hernias. Overall, an inguinal hernia is a medical condition, where protrusion or bulge of abdominal contents into the groin area and/or inguinal canal. There are two types of inguinal hernias: 1) direct inguinal hernia and 2) indirect inguinal hernia.

Embryogenesis: Definition, Stages, and Development [MCAT]

Sonic Hedgehog Gene. CNS development and Limb development. In embryology and developmental biology, embryogenesis is the development of an animal or plant embryo, starting with fertilization of an egg cell by a sperm cell. After fertilization, the ovum becomes a diploid zygote. orms forebrain, separates right and left brain, and establishes midline. f there’s a mutation, then we have a whole brain with no separation of right and left, which is bad. This is called holoprosencephaly. Left and right hemispheres fail to separate. There are also facial abnormalities, cleft lip/palate and even severe cyclopia (single eye like a cyclops).

Running Into History: Eluid Kipchoge’s 1:59:40 Marathon

On October 12, 2019, Eluid Kipchoge became the first person in history to run a marathon, 26.2 miles, in under 2 hours. He crossed the finish line, smiling and waving at the crowd that had lined the course in Vienna, in 1 hour 59 minutes and 40 seconds. This amazing accomplishment, once thought impossible, stunned not only the world of running but also the entire athletic community. Kipchoge’s run symbolized his motivation, the message he has been working to share with the entire world, that no human is limited.

Soft Robotics 101: Definition, Examples, and Soft Robotics Applications

When you hear the word “robot”, what image usually comes to mind? Is it a metallic, boxy machine? A sleek android that talks to people? A robot is a machine that is automatically operated and completes tasks in replacement for humans. Some robots are humanoid and have actions that resemble human movement, such as ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility), a robot created by Honda that can walk with two legs (Honda).

Psychology 101 and the Brain: Stress – Definition, Symptoms, and Health Effects of the Fight-or-Flight Response

The “fight or flight” response is in response to impending danger. For example, the stress responses kicks in when seeing a snake slithering towards you or running away from a bear in the woods. Homeostasis is the normal equilibrium of body function, so stress can be induced by belief that homeostasis might be interrupted. In this guide, we share the effects of stress on the human body system, psychology, immune system, and long-term health effects of chronic stress.

Learning Languages 101: Top 5 Benefits and Top 5 Tips of Learning New Languages

Humans have diversified themselves through the means of several distinct features. Take, for example, bipedalism, the use of fire, and a brain with intelligence far beyond that of any of our non-human peers. These unique abilities are distinct yet not completely unique to homo sapiens. In 1981, remains of Homo erectus and Australopithecus were discovered to have been capable to use fire after discovering charred bones from 1 to 1.5 million years ago while the non-extinct Australian Firehawk is capable of using fire to intentionally cause wildfires. Ostriches, orangutans, and even beavers are capable of if not accustomed to bipedalism. Rauisuchia, a crocodylomorph from the Triassic period, have been proven to be capable of bipedalism as well. The intelligence of dolphins and other cetaceans that have the closest known intelligence to humans. They are capable of complex actions such as feeling empathy, understand body language, and communicate in echolocation. So what really makes us unique? Many argue that the most distinctive and decisive difference between us humans and other animals is our ability to communicate in the form of languages. Today’s world has an array of languages, some with several exotic cultures. Languages allow us to express ourselves in ways that are unfathomable to any other known species in the entire universe. Join us on all the benefits of learning several languages!

Dinosaurs 101: The Shifting Image of Dinosaurs – Facts, History, and Evolution

Scientific discoveries reach the general public through schooling and news stories, though occasionally this kind of information gets filtered through the lens of pop culture. When it comes to dinosaurs, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park is a prime example of this. Insights and ideas gleaned from science can inform new and creative plot elements or action set pieces, though the same is true of scientific distortions and misunderstandings. Rather than nitpicking elements of a single film, this article will briefly highlight the areas in which our understanding of dinosaurs has evolved over the past few decades.

Vaccines 101: Vaccination, Immune System, and the COVID-19 Vaccine – Benefits and Side Effects

The question of how a vaccination would work to combat the current COVID-19 pandemic is a major concern right now. Everybody has their own perspective on the situation, and in some people’s minds, vaccines do not fit into the equation. Therefore, it’s extremely important to understand what a vaccine’s purpose is, how it is supposed to achieve that purpose, how a vaccine is developed, and its benefits versus side effects before coming to a final conclusion on the subject as it relates to the pandemic. To understand a vaccination’s purpose it is necessary to first understand how a pathogen works. A pathogen is essentially any foreign material (foreign in the sense that it is not a part of the human body), that can cause disease or a malfunction of the body. They spread from surface to surface and person to person.

Biology 101: Microfilaments vs Microtubules in Cell Biology

Microfilaments and microtubules are both important elements of the cytoskeleton, maintaining the structure and integrity of the cell, but there are several differences between microfilaments and microtubules. In this article, we share this information on microfilaments versus microtubules.

Microfilament and Microtubulues are made from different individual subunits. Microfilaments are made from ACTIN, while microtubules are made from TUBULIN.

Arthropods 101: Insects, Evolution, Classes, and Examples of Arthropods

Making up around 75% of all animal species in the world, arthropods are are a vast phylum of the kingdom Animalia. The name comes from the Greek words “arthro”, meaning joint, and “podos”, meaning legs. While they all share segmented bodies with joined legs, members in this phylum vary wildly, from butterflies and millipedes, to scorpions and lobsters. They are also all invertebrates, which means that they do not have backbones. Instead, they use hard exoskeletons to protect themselves, which are made out of chitin. Because these exoskeletons are relatively inflexible, arthropods molt as they grow larger, which means they shed their exoskeletons.

Cardiology 101 – Atrial Fibrillation (USMLE) : Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatments

In this quick easy-to-understand lesson, we learn about atrial fibrillation, causes, symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments for USMLE medicine. Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia. This means the heart beat has an irregularly irregular rhythm. Symptoms can include fatigue, dyspnea (difficulty breathing), and heart palpitations in the chest. You diagnose atrial fibrillation via EKG. It can be treated with medications or surgically.

Beyond Fuel: Petrochemical Products and Environmental Impacts

Petroleum (or oil) and natural gas are widely used sources of fuel. Around the world many transportation, energy, and heating infrastructures depend in large part on one or both of these hydrocarbon-rich fuels, petrochemical products. While in the past it may have seemed inconceivable that people would have to step away from fossil fuels, climate change increasingly necessitates greener alternatives. It is also hard to imagine life without plastics. For many applications, such as in healthcare, there may be no better materials. A future with zero plastic is neither warranted nor desirable, but the threats to various ecosystems are likely to force the development of greener and more sustainable materials.

Immunology 101: Innate Immunity vs. Adaptive Immunity

Innate vs Adaptive Immunity: What are the differences between innate and adaptive immunity? The human body has two protective immunological systems against pathogens: the innate immunity and the adaptive immunity. In this quick and easy lesson, we will explain the differences between the innate and adaptive immunity. The innate immunity and adaptive immunity differ based on the type of components that are used to protect the human body. For example, the innate immunity consists of neutrophils, dendritic cells, natural killer cells, macrophages, complements, physical barriers. On the other hand, the adaptive immunity contains components such as T cells, B cells, and antibodies to protect us from viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.

Cardiac Arrhythmias: Definition, Types, Symptoms, and Prevention

The heart’s function is to consistently move the blood in the body for the blood to spread nutrients to other body parts or to be replenished with oxygen and nutrients from other respective organs. The heartbeat is a way to understand the pace at which the blood is moving and how quick the heart is pumping itself. A heartbeat changes based on its environment. Running and high-intensity movement causes the heart to increase its number of beats whereas resting may lead to a lower heartbeat for the low amount activity that does not require as much oxygen. Depending on the difficulty and intensity of each activity, the heart accommodates via changing its pace to fit the body’s needs. In certain cases, however, a cardiac arrhythmia occurs and can lead to different cardiac issues that may or may not be harmless. Cardiac arrhythmia has affected millions of people in a multitude of forms. This article explains the basics of this condition such as heart block and bradycardia. The article is solely for educational purposes and not to diagnosis. What is a Cardiac Arrhythmia?

Taxonomy: History, Definition, Classification, and Taxonomy Mnemonic

Cougar. Mountain Lion. Puma. What do these animals all have in common? Believe it or not, they are actually all names for the same animal! Because this feline spans such a large area, different areas call it different names. As you might think, this could get confusing if scientists try to discuss the same animal, so what do they do? They use taxonomy.
Taxonomy is the science and process of organizing organisms into categories and naming them. Every species of animal has a unique taxonomic, or scientific, name. A species is a group of organisms that reproduce among itself and produce offspring. The scientific name is used by scientists all over the world for ease of communication. After all, it is very important to be specific in science. For example, the scientific name of the cougar/mountain lion/puma is Puma concolor. The name cougar/mountain lion/puma refers to the animal’s common name. Organisms can have many common names used by the public, but when scientists are referring to them, they use the scientific name. Domain Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species