Topic 1 Reflection: “Neurological Effects of Caffeine”
“Neurological Effects of Caffeine,” Medscape, accessed on March 29, 2013, http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1182710- overview#aw2aab6b4
Thought to be a drug addiction, caffeine got the “award” for being the most consumed psychoactive essence. Caffeine lead to various neurological effects on the body. Related to uric acid in design, 1, 3, 7-trimethylxnthine (caffeine) undergoes “oxidation and demethylation” when metabolized. Derivatives such as acetylated uracil, 1-methyluric acid and 1-methylxanthine are urinary metabolites which occurred from 1, 7-dimethylxanthine. However the conversion of methyl xanthine to uric acid has not been evidentially supported. Genetic and the environment played a role in the determination of the rate at which methyl xanthine was eliminated. Metabolism of methyl xanthine followed “first order kinetics” but at higher concentrations, obeyed “zero-order kinetics” due to metabolic enzymes being saturated. The presence of other disease in the body also played a role in the breakdown of methyl xanthine. With a half-life of 3-7 hrs in plasma, methyl xanthine’s life increased through late pregnancy and ‘long term use” of “contraceptive steroids.” Methyl xanthine, “Translocated intracellular calcium,” “increased the build-up of cyclic nucleotides” and “Blocked adenosine receptors.” Caffeine interfered with the uptake and cache of calcium through the ‘sarcoplasmic reticulum” in striated muscles whilst it caused relaxation in smooth muscles. Caffeine also acted as a competitive ‘antagonist’ by receptors of adenosine within the therapeutic concentration range. Some other inferior effects of caffeine included inhibiting “prostaglandin synthesis” and the reduction of the breakdown of catecholamine’s. Low concentrations of caffeine suppressed the outbreaks of adenosine in the brain. Adenosine decreased the rate of neuronal transmission and inhibited synaptic transmission as well as neurotransmitters. The turnover number of a batch of neurotransmitters also increased. Furthermore, caffeine also lead to the inhibition and blockage of adenosine receptors which lead to “potentiation of dopaminergic neurotransmission.” Various clinical tests have been carried out and revealed that caffeine stimulated the ‘autonomic nervous system and increased alertness.” Caffeine also showed the relief of sleepiness. One the other hand, trials revealed that caffeine had no effect on the ‘arousal of memory.” Further studies are required to understand the long and short term effects of caffeine as it applies to the nervous system and so the human system as a whole.
I choose this topic because I love caffeinated drinks and I wanted to learn exactly how it affects my body. This article revealed some interesting facts about coffee. I am a frequent coffee consumer and I always thought it had an effect on memory. It showed me a wider understanding of caffeine with respect to the benefits but it did not reveal any disadvantages with consuming too much caffeinated drinks. Presume away but caffeinated drinks have kept me up in times of need and so i dedicated my first review to understanding how it really works. That said, the relevance of choosing the topic at hand was to portray my urge to understand how certain “necessities” work in the body. Thank you for reading and have a productive day.
Topic 2 Reflection: “Bacteria can Morph Host cells into Stem cells”
“Bacteria can Morph Host Cells into Stem Cells,” Medical News Today, accessed on March 24,2013, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/255150.php
Upon studying what happened to mice infected with “leprosy bacterium,” scientists have discovered that at early stages prior to infection, the leprosy bacterium protected itself from the immune responses from the host by be cloistered away in Schwann cells. Upon infection, the leprosy bacterium then went ahead to reprogramme the host cell into stem cells, leaving the host (mice) unprotected. This then prevented (Schwann cell) the nervous transmissions to the brain. The new stem cells had the ability to now transform into any cell which helped the leprosy bacterium to go from the nervous system to other systems. Astonishingly, they also discovered that the leprosy bacteria was able to trick the immune system and thus helped the bacteria in spreading. This was done through the secretion of proteins called “chemokines” which gathered immunity cells to obtain the bacteria and disperse it to other parts of the body system. This was the first discover in terms of a bacteria transforming mature cells into stem cells. Researchers were interested in this new mechanism because this process did not have the potential risks of developing tumors which was always a result otherwise when scientists tried to develop stem cells in the lab. Scientist revealed that they would get stem cells through means of the leprosy bacterium and then get rid of the bacterium using antibodies so the new stem cells could be inserted to tissues that have underwent degeneration through diseases. Furthermore they planned to use this knowledge, in order to improve synthetic stem cell creation in the lab as well as applying the knowledge to other diseases.
I choose to reflect upon this topic because I saw substantial relevance as it pertains to my field of interest. Many breakthroughs have been discovered and this is no exception. I have definitely learned something interesting however I would have liked to know how exactly the bacteria works as in converting the host cells to stem cells. I understand that it is a new discovery (article posted on 19 January 2013) and such more research is needed to understand how it works at the biochemical basis. The significance of this topic, well could be found in my first ever post. As I stated at the beginning, I would like to study microbiology in various aspects and for this, i see it fascinating and paramount to keep up with the “micro-trends” in the world. Some people prefer the “newest and latest” materials in the world today but i prefer to keep up with the new developing trends of the micro-world. Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.