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For critically ill patients arriving at the emergency department, the drug ketamine can safely provide analgesia, sedation and amnesia for rapid, life-saving intubation, despite decades-old studies that suggested it raised intracranial pressure. The results of a systematic review of 10 recent studies of what many emergency physicians regard as a “wonder drug” are published online in Annals of Emergency Medicine.
"Apprehension for many years about ketamine’s effects on blood pressure or injured brains inhibited its use for intubation, especially in North America compared to Europe, but our review shows those concerns are likely overblown," said lead study author Corinne Hohl, MD, of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, Canada. "In view of recent concerns about the potential negative effects of an alternative induction agent, etomidate, ketamine should be considered routinely in patients with life-threatening infections and more regularly for patients who have been ‘found down,’ or unconscious, before being transported to the ER."
Lindsay Cohen, Valerie Athaide, Maeve E. Wickham, Mary M. Doyle-Waters, Nicholas G.W. Rose, Corinne M. Hohl. The Effect of Ketamine on Intracranial and Cerebral Perfusion Pressure and Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2014.06.018
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Rhabdonella spiralis (marine ciliate) (40x)
Dr. John R. DolanVillefranche-sur-Mer, France
Technique:Differential Interference Contrast
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Rice University scientists have succeeded in analyzing transmembrane protein folding in the same way they study the proteins’ free-floating, globular cousins.
Rice theoretical biologist Peter Wolynes and his team at the university’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics (CTBP) have applied his energy landscape theory to proteins that are hard to view because they live and work primarily inside cell membranes.
The method should increase the technique’s value to researchers who study proteins implicated in diseases and possibly in the creation of drugs to treat them, he said.
The study appeared this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Caption: Rice University researchers are using a custom computer-modeling program to predict how transmembrane proteins will fold from basic genomic data. Here, the experimentally determined native structure of the bacteriorhodopsin subdomain (left), a predicted structure using AWSEM membrane (center), and a comparative alignment of both structures (right: native in beige, predicted in blue) shows how well the predictive algorithm succeeded.
Credit: Bobby Kim/Rice University
A Moveable Yeast: modeling shows proteins never sit still
Our body’s proteins – encoded by DNA to do the hard work of building and operating our bodies – are forever on the move. Literally, according to new findings reported by Trey Ideker, PhD, chief of the Division of Genetics in the UC San Diego School of Medicine, and colleagues in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Hemoglobin protein molecules, for example, continuously transit through our blood vessels while other proteins you’ve never heard of bustle about inside cells as they grow, develop, respond to stimuli and succumb to disease.
To better understand the role of proteins in biological systems, Ideker and colleagues developed a computer model that can predict a protein’s intracellular wanderings in response to a variety of stress conditions.
To date, the model has been used to predict the effects of 18 different DNA-damaging stress conditions on the sub-cellular locations and molecular functions of more than 5,800 proteins produced by yeasts. They found, for example, that yeast proteins could move from mitochondria to the cell nucleus and from the endoplasmic reticulum to Golgi apparatus.
Though the model debut involved yeasts, researchers said the coding can be adapted to study changes in protein locations for any biological system in which gene expression sequences have been identified, including stem cell differentiation and drug response in humans.
Image courtesy of Material Mavens
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Achnanthes longipes (a diatom, Bacillariophyta) (1000x)
Dr. Victor Chepurnov
De Water Architect, Ghent, Belgium
Technique: Differential Interference Contrast
Mudskipper is a fish which spend more time on land than in water. In fact, a mudskipper will drown if it’s never able to reach the water’s surface! Like other fish, mudskippers breathe through gills, but in addition they absorb oxygen through their skin and the linings of their mouths and throats. They are able to move over land by using their pectoral fins to pull themselves forward, or they perform a series of skips or jumps. Pokemon “Mudkip” is based on this fish.
And what about those funky eyes??
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Lyrella hennedyi (diatom) (1600x)
Empoli, Firenze, Italy
Technique: Inversion Technique of Color
Brain Evolution by Dwayne Godwin and Jorge Cham
(via: Scientific American magazine)
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So much still to learn here!
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development calls the placenta “the least understood human organ and arguably one of the more important, not only for the health of a woman and her fetus during pregnancy but also for the lifelong health of both.”
In May, the institute gathered about 70 scientists at its first conference devoted to the placenta, in hopes of starting a Human Placenta Project, with the ultimate goal of finding ways to detect abnormalities in the organ earlier, and treat or prevent them.
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Cristatella mucedo (freshwater Bryozoan or moss animal) (6.5x)
Spijk, The Netherlands
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