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visits member for 2 years, 6 months
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Aug
30
comment How does extracellular potassium ion concentration and calcium ion concentration affect the excitability of a cell?
Rory M - that's not always true about decreasing excitability. Case and point: > 25 mM K+ is a standard depolarizing agent in cell culture that triggers action potential firing. Also, a high K+ gradient across the membrane still leaks some K+ into the cell. Strictly speaking, this depends on the complement of voltage-gated and voltage-insensitive ion channels expressed on the cell surface.
Aug
30
comment Does scratched Teflon coated frying pans contain carcinogens which can cause cancer?
Hi there, I've tried to re-word your question to be more objective about the concern that Teflon (or some part of the pan) may contain possible carcinogens. I hope you are happy with this edit.
Jul
31
comment Verifying Protein Folds
That is what happens. These distributed computing platforms send out duplicate jobs for computation and the results compared after all are returned. It is also possible to get a sense of confidence in the fold prediction by comparing sequence homology to what is already known for solved protein structures.
Jul
8
comment What is the general name of the chip to simulate organ systems by iPS?
Are these microfluidic devices that have iPS-derived cells in them?
Jul
4
comment FRET only works for interactions between 1nm to 20nm.
That's also true, I assumed the discussion of proteins.
Jul
3
comment FRET only works for interactions between 1nm to 20nm.
While this is true, FRET is not a fool-proof experimental approach, and can give either false positives or false negatives. I think Bioguy wants a way to confirm FRET results.
Jul
2
comment Kinesin-5 / cytoplasmic dynein spatial density distribution in neurons
Are you sure that GFP tagged motors don't function properly in these two cases? I'm almost certain I've seen motors tagged before.
Jun
30
comment What equipment would one use to modify a virus?
It's not clear the biological purpose for how you want to modify a virus. As WYSIWYG suggests, the genome is one way, but it is also possible to modify a the external capsid of a virus and give it new function (think targeting a virus for chemotherapy).
Jun
3
comment How are cyclic hormones characterized?
@WYSIWYG - can mass spec differentiate between the reduced (acyclic) and oxidized (cyclic) forms of somatostatin?
Jun
1
comment Why are antibiotics prescribed with a viral infection like a cold?
You're missing the point, and clearly you have some agenda to make. I agreed that doctors can mis-prescribe, or even err on the side of caution to prescribe, antibiotics. It takes a long time to assess whether common infections are bacterial or viral because they have to wait for strains to grow or viruses to be immunoassayed. You seem to be taking a lot of "facts" completely out of context. For instance, 7000 deaths/year, where? The USA? So that is 0.002% of the population, or several of orders of magnitude smaller consider the number of hospital visits.
Jun
1
comment Why are antibiotics prescribed with a viral infection like a cold?
"Well you said "medication errors in hospitals" which is ambiguous. To which classes of medications does that statistic refer? It's not at all clear it applies to antibiotics. And it applied to hospital prescriptions. It's fair to say most people get antibiotic prescriptions from family/general physicians and thus outside of a hospital setting. Lastly, antibiotics are generally not a fatal medication, so how would a death occur? Perhaps the patient was severely allergic and had a reaction, or, perhaps they received a totally different drug than the antibiotic they were meant to, then died.
Jun
1
comment Why are antibiotics prescribed with a viral infection like a cold?
You're general sentiment is correct. However, it does not address the reality of how doctors end up prescribing the antibiotics in any case. The main reasons come down to: viral and bacterial infections may look similar in early stages and so it is prophylactic; patients can be "demanding" and get a prescription before leaving the office; and some doctors may use poor judgement. Prescribing a placebo is unethical when the potential for harm can be real (what if a patient is immunocompromised?). Lastly, the 7000 deaths/year is not specific to antibiotics and is an irrelevant statistic to cite.
May
28
comment Human female chest model or data representation?
What is the purpose for (ostensibly) a breast model? These are commonly used in radiotherapy models but I am not familiar enough to point you to a data source.
May
28
comment Is there differences in components of saliva among species
Some functions stay the same. For instance, at least in mammals, saliva helps to lubricate food for swallowing, begins digestion of starches by amylases and provides a liquid medium in order for taste sensation to funciton. More broadly conserved in animals is the inclusion of antimicrobial peptides in the saliva that function as a primitive immune function to keep the oral cavity clear of harmful microbes.
May
28
comment Is there differences in components of saliva among species
Not to nitpick, but venom is technically injected and is not a normal component of saliva. Toxins on the other hand are completely normal.
May
26
comment What is “bacto” peptone?
Thanks Alan, I've retracted my answer
May
26
comment What cells don't have a primary cilium?
Hi, if you found my answer acceptable, it would be a nice gesture to show this by marking it as accepted.
May
24
comment Why aren't we allowed to refreeze previously thawed breastmilk in refrigerator?
Something to note is that the thaw and refreeze cycle is not just about texture, but there is real damage happening to the proteins that are present in the milk. All the good things that make breast milk useful for infants (growth factors, hormones, antibodies, etc) will be destroyed by freeze-thaws.
May
15
comment Why do our eyes close when we sleep?
Why should there be more? Sleeping causes a state of paralysis, so it's better if the eyelids remain closed than open. Not to mention enviromemtal light directly modulates sleep/wake cycles, arguing again for closed being the preferred state for sleeping.
May
15
comment Why do our eyes close when we sleep?
Can you explain that? The points I've raised are matters of physics and physiology.