Thursday, October 1, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
And again, unsurprisingly, the media coverage of the incident is full of air quotes around police brutality and the insinuation that the students deserved getting beaten by batons and thrown tear gas for swearing at the police.
Monday, August 17, 2009
I wished for another shower as soon as I got to the lab. I don't remember being this sweaty in Ithaca ever - this is something I only associated with PR, not the north-fucking-east. I put on some music and started working. Everything was going fine until I chose the wrong centrifuge tubes. I lost my goddamn samples for being stupid and not running the centrifuge with empty tubes first. GRR. Wasted Sunday due to my stupidity. I would have been comparatively ahead if I just skipped coming to the lab yesterday.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Me alzo y salto entre tus dedos sabré caer
ojalá que sea cierto que odio tus dedos
me estiro y espero que algo enrosque tu
espalda en flor ojalá que sea cierto que
odio tu espalda cuando respiro en tu boca
y penetra tu ojo en mi ojo cuando respiro
en tu boca me escondes como sangre a la herida
me pongo de pie y perdono al daño que
a mi oído destrozó que sea cierto que
odio el silencio cuando respiro en tu boca
y penetra tu ojo en mi ojo me precipito
hacia el cielo cuando respiro en tu boca
cuando respiro en tu boca de par en par
tu flor tensión y caída cuando respiro en tu boca
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
This can be represented in a sort of body map, called homunculus, in which the size of the body parts is proportional to it's representation in the cortex, and is placed onto the region of the cortex that represents it.
However, although a bunch of body parts have been localized in this "body map" in our cortex, it was still unknown where the clitoral stimuli is processed. Swiss scientists worked to fill that gap of knowledge and studied 15 healthy women to map the somatosensory representation of the clitoris (Michels et al., 2009). The Neurocritic gave a great discussion of this paper. Go visit and take a look at the brain image and where the clitoral stimulus is processed.
Curious about their methods?
Prior to the imaging session, two self-attaching surface disc electrodes (1 × 1 cm) were placed bilaterally next to the clitoris of the subjects so that we were able to stimulate the fibers of the dorsal clitoral nerve. Before the start of the experiment, electrical test stimulation was performed to ensure that subjects could feel the stimulation directly at the clitoris. In addition, the strength of electrical stimulation was adjusted to a subject-specific level, i.e. that stimulation was neither felt [as] painful nor elicited – in case of clitoris stimulation – any sexual arousal.
(It makes me want to make a pin-the-tail type game with a fMRI image of the brain and some body part cartoons.)
Friday, July 24, 2009
A couple of weeks ago I finally solved the project boundaries issue with the senior research associate. I told the PI to please make a list of the projects within the grant project and specify to whom each task belongs to. I also asked to pump up the projects of the sen. res. assoc. and make mine look simple and uninteresting to avoid having him feel cheated/taken advantage of.
The PI gave us both the list and the sen. res. assoc. approved - and actually quite liked- having things set down on paper like that. So my professional relationship with him is good now, and we are collaborating nicely.
LAB PEACE YAY!
Monday, July 13, 2009
After the first, open phase of Lab War, I made the point to stay far away from Lab War conversations by anyone involved. My theory that the war started by a failure to communicate properly about a collaborative project still stood, so I don't necessarily think anyone is on the right.
Despite the warnings not to go to the next groupmeeting, given by RA2, I went. I expected him to bash the guys involved, certainly, but I didn't expect him to appropriate basically all the projects in the lab - including my thesis project.
This was a low blow. Up to this point I hadn't had any problem with RA2. Au contraire, he has always been very kind and respectful towards all the women in the lab. So I went out to have a really good lunch, some awesome blueberry vodka with champagne, and some venting time away from all the other people pissed off about the meeting.
Mid twitter venting- by this time I was having a sangria in some other place- my boss emails me to go talk to him. Damn. I calm down as best I can and head back to the lab.
The boss agreed that what RA2 had done over groupmeeting was wrong and over the top, and promised to talk to the guy about it.
Then on Saturday, when I came over to do some benchwork, RA2 showed up to talk to me. He apologized if he had 'hurt my feelings' (my feelings? WTF? That has nothing to do with anything!). I listened for about an hour, trying to make him understand that I just needed to have my part of the project to myself without him going paranoid over people 'stealing his projects' and/or taking advantage of him.
I told him that the umbrella project that has my thesis project, as well as a lot of other projects was not clearly divided by our PI. I told him I wasn't upset at him, just upset there weren't some clear boundaries between the different projects to allow us to work without stepping in each other's toes, and that it was our PI's responsibility to place those boundaries.
The conversation with him made me realize that, regardless of how things have actually happened, RA2 feels that a lot of the projects of the lab work thanks to him and people don't give him enough credit. He also thinks that basically all the projects with my protein - with the exception of the electrophysiology studies- are his. And no matter how you broach the matter, as I later learned from another of the female grads that had also talked to him that day, he would not change his mind.
This meant that somehow I had to get my professor to set boundaries in the project without upsetting RA2. Regardless of people's personalities I have to collaborate with lab members on both sides of the Lab War, and I rather work on good terms with people.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
La calle San Sebastian is part of the tourist areas, and everybody hangs out over there. I have cousins that live in that street. Usually the bichotes know better than to mess with the tourist areas because that means the cops will be all over their asses. But apparently the bichotes are now recruiting minors as shooters because they get served lighter sentences.
Puerto Rico, like Miami and NYC, is one of the biggest drug ports in the US. However, the resources it has to deal with the drug market are minimal. And every year the violence related to drug traffic gets worse.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
- Jonah Lehrer (remember cute guy pic from a recent CEFAD post - him) explains the Endowment Effect - or why I paid a ridiculous amount for a gorgeous ring I bought impulsively after my A exam.
- The first group of Bonobos is being relocated from the Lola Ya Bonobo sanctuary and into the wild!
- Dave explains a model of how we perceive maps, directions, and finally - video games.
- Isis's husband receives a very serious warning over eating the last ice cream sandwich - that's cold, man.
- Your stomach is a lying bastard. Dave explains a curious study that measured satiety when the control group was served by waiters and the others had a self-refilling bowl.
- Neuroskeptic has a very thorough post about the marketing of some antipsychotics when they are new, and just about as effective as previous treatments.
Among the findings:
So the more a nation believes in the stereotype of the scientific male (even unconsciously), the greater the gap in performance between boys and girls in both science and maths. In fact, these hidden biases were a better predictor of the gender divide than what people actually said about science stereotypes. These explicit opinions accounted for about 2% of the international variation in the science sex gap, while implicit associations accounted for a much larger 19%.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
It all began in a groupmeeting. Research assistant 1 (RA1) gave a groupmeeting in which he discussed crystallographic data and some subsequent analysis of it. The problem? That crystal data was gathered by RA2, and the idea for the analysis was his as well. RA2 had not been notified and had not given permision for anyone else to use that data. Scooping someone else with their own data in the same lab = not cool.
RA1 is a young American, and RA2 is a senior researcher that had already retired from his professorship at the university of his country, and has been working under my PI for many years. His move to this "lower" position was mostly done to provide better opportunities for his kids . RA1 is from a segment of the lab that believes that RA2 doesn't know jack, and that everything RA2 does has to be, by extension, trivial and easy to do. This, of course, ends up showing in the interactions RA1 and RA2 have while working on a collaborative project. A lot of the projects in my lab overlap, exacerbating the 'lack of boundaries' problem our PI has.
After the groupmeeting, RA2 sent a very strong-worded email to RA1 stating that what he did was unethical, disrespectful, and illegal according to the university's code of conduct. RA1, instead of talking it out with the PI and RA2, proceeded to complain loudly and indignantly to everyone at the lab about the horrific and preposterous email he received from RA2.
And then everyone and their cousin had to stir the fucking pot.
An incredibly arrogant grad student went on to say that RA2 had to be 'put in his place'. A visiting scientist stated that all data belongs to the PI and he doesn't have to say anything to whomever acquired the data if he chose to share it (said visiting scientist almost scooped another labmate with her own data last year). RA3, who had serious issues with RA2 at the beginning of his post-doc in the lab, insisted they all go bitch about R2 to the PI with the hopes of having him let off.
Suddenly, when I didn't know anything of what was going on, RA3 and Arrogant Grad Student popped into my side of the lab, which is (due to my unwillingness to deal with their constant gossip, prejudices, and bitching) a very strange thing. They were trying to convince me of going to the PI to bitch about the problems I've had with RA2. I have made myself as scarce as possible after that.
Yesterday one of the non-gossipy grads, who shares the office with RA2, told me to skip the next groupmeeting because some serious shit was gonna happen. It's gonna be RA2' s groupmmeting. It's on and it's gonna be pretty bad.
Monday, June 15, 2009
If you go by general descriptors, there was little difference on how would an acquaintance describe them and Mr.B and me. Yet he went at her throat with a knife and she died from blood loss in the woods. Most of us are just horrified and confused. It's like conceptually I totally get that some abuse victims do go on with no visible signs of their abuse. And maybe he was good enough at it that not even her close friends noticed. Or did he suddenly go insane all of a sudden? But my mind can't really wrap itself around it.
Friday, June 12, 2009
pero lo nuestro es pasar,
pasar haciendo caminos,
caminos sobre el mar.
Nunca persequí la gloria,
ni dejar en la memoria
de los hombres mi canción;
yo amo los mundos sutiles,
ingrávidos y gentiles,
como pompas de jabón.
Me gusta verlos pintarse
de sol y grana, volar
bajo el cielo azul, temblar
súbitamente y quebrarse...
Nunca perseguí la gloria.
Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino y nada más;
caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace camino
y al volver la vista atrás
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante no hay camino
sino estelas en la mar...
Hace algún tiempo en ese lugar
donde hoy los bosques se visten de espinos
se oyó la voz de un poeta gritar
"Caminante no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar..."
Golpe a golpe, verso a verso...
Murió el poeta lejos del hogar.
Le cubre el polvo de un país vecino.
Al alejarse le vieron llorar.
"Caminante no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar..."
Golpe a golpe, verso a verso...
Cuando el jilguero no puede cantar.
Cuando el poeta es un peregrino,
cuando de nada nos sirve rezar.
"Caminante no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar..."
Golpe a golpe, verso a verso.
- Antonio Machado
Thursday, May 21, 2009
After one of the worse experiences with college emergency medical care, I reopened my stomach (that was shrunken and spastic), re-hydrated myself, gave up caffeine, and slept over the next 48 hours. I returned to the doctor (who's this awesome lady) and talked about my extreme fight or flight response to the A exam. We decided to go with beta-blockers, since they reduce the social anxiety experienced in performance situations, and won't make me sleepy/fuzzy as opioid anxiolytics would.
I do have an anxiety disorder - along with a hereditary depressive disorder- but I self-regulate my treatment along with my psych. nurse, and I had kept panic attacks at bay for years. But this exam changed everything. This was even knowing I chose an excellent committee, full of pretty hard-core people in my fields (pharmacology and biophysics) that are all genuinely dedicated professors, and just very good people all around. And maybe that was part of it, since under-performing (as I anyways feel I did, because of the nerves fucking with my memory) was one of my worst nightmares.
After they told me I passed they gave me the very constructive and accurate criticism of my proposal and performance, and told me I did a good job. By the time I packed the stuff with the help of the hubs (who went out of his lab to give me support while they deliberated) my body was just begging to cry.
And although I used beta-blockers my body found a way to tell me it was freaking out. I have a contraceptive implant - I have "periods" very, very rarely now [yay]. Guess who came down for a visit the moment I went out of the exam? Yup, bitch aunt Flo.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
He got me string cheese and protein smoothies!!!! :D
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
She gets up, runs after one, swats him a couple of times and then turns back, looks for the other one, then slaps and hisses at him. I swear if she could wield a chancla, those two would be fucked.
|From Kittehs galore|
Sunday, May 3, 2009
The A exam is in a couple of days. Sometimes it takes an effort to mentally change the scope of what you're dealing with. Starting with memory formation, you go down to receptor trafficking, followed by receptor- and then domain- structure.
However to properly explain how you obtain your data you start from how electronic spins behave in the magnetic field up to the manner in which different amino acids interact with each other's electronic envelope.
I've got one hell of a headache.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
This would have made my year so badly if I were a kid! What's the probability of them finding a message in a bottle on their same language with a call back number? Well, the news got around both in PR and Galicia. Both the sailors and the kids were really happy and wanted to meet each other. But meanwhile, they have begun to exchange letters and pictures.
Here's the message:
The adventuring kids that found it
And the cool Spanish sailors
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The governor has issued a statement in which he explains that 30,000 government employees will need to be fired. The Puerto Rican government is the largest employer back home. The opposition Party's response: dressing in black with purple bows to symbolize the mourning of those who will be fired.
La delegación popular en a Legislatura, salvo algunos casos, entró esta tarde al hemiciclo de la Cámara con indumentaria negra y con lazos color púrpura en la solapa.
Según había explicado horas antes el representante popular Luis Raúl Torres, el simbolismo detrás de la vestimenta y los lazos representa el "luto" que siente el país ante el inminente despido de 30,000 empleados públicos.
Honestly, every.single.politician and their uncle have known since decades ago that the public workforce needed to be reduced. However, both parties (the statehooders and the colonialists) paid lip service to the fact and kept adding employees in a politically biased manner in order to increase party influence in state agencies and unions.
Although the State budget has not been balanced fordecades, its solvency became increasingly strained after Dr. Rosello's government (1993-2001). He began several high-cost projects (not necessarily a bad thing) and had such a corrupt government that more than 40 of his government officials - from Undersecretaries of Governance up to Heads of Agencies- were indicted, and to the most part convicted, on fraud and corruption charges.
The two following terms were ran by the colonialist party (PPD). However, instead of dealing with the problems at hand they dedicated themselves to adding patches to the budget (at the expense of the working class, natch) and blaming the last guy. Their inaction concerning both the changing economic climate and the terrible condition of the State's coffer led to state agencies closing down for days and being unable to pay employees. Also 9 officials were indicted on corruption/fraud charges on Calderon's term.
After the PPDs inaction, and the boon of the Obama campaign, the statehood party (PNP) had such a resounding victory at the elections that the two minority parties (pro-independence PIP and non status-based PPR) lost inscription rights and the PPD became a minority in the Legisature.
What the people forgot (though heavens know why) is that the guy they chose as the Governor is a Reaganite Republican. So obviously, the brunt to the economic debacle resulting from decades of crooks and idiots in office will be shouldered by the working class. Wich brings us back to the 3oK workers to be fired and the moaning and gnashing of teeth of the colonialist party by picketing with the unions and playing dress-up.
Sigh. I have no hope you guys. The place is going to the shitter.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Organogenesis Company, Canton Massachusetts, developed artificial made skin, from the cells of infant foreskin, called Apligraf. A Boston hospital provides the company with sample infant foreskin. The samples are broken down into their cellular components, were those cells are seeded into a petri dish, filled with bovine collagen. The cells grow in cell banks. A single infant foreskin sample produces 200,000 skin samples of Apligraf. Approximately, three weeks later, the human equivalent skin is teased out of the petri dish.In Podiatry Today they reviewed the use of these tissues to treat diabetic foot ulcers that do not respond to standard woud care.
According to Organogenesis, in Canada approximately 150,000 people, with open wounds, such as venous ulcers and burns, can benefit from Apligraf. Major advantage of Apiligraf, no rejection and no imuno-suppression required.
Badiavas, et al., examined the grafthost interaction of Apligraf treated wounds via biopsy two weeks after application. Histologic examination found degeneration of the Apligraf collagen and dermal cells, and the presence of excess mucin indicated a mutual stimulatory interaction between the host wound bed and allograft.This finding indicates that the Apligraf fibroblasts may serve as a living tissue that stimulates host and graft cells to produce excess ground substance, which elicits a wound healing response.
Friday, April 24, 2009
But that shit is everywhere.
- I changed my plastic containers to glass and aluminum, including my water bottle. But I still buy vending machine soda. Think about it, soda is acidic, and acids will dissolve small molecules (like phtalates) from plastic better than water. Smart going, me.
- I have a skin condition, called Pityriasis Rosea. It itches like crazy, and your skin becomes really dry. So I make a quick run to the store and grab the sensitive skin Lubriderm. When I look at the ingredients the preservatives (parabeinzoic acid)were on the do-not-want list. I still use it because I'm broke and I rather not itch like crazy.
- My scrub! The cheap girl's scrub from St. Ives also has those preservatives.
- Some self-tanning lotions have those preservatives too. I threw mine away during Spring cleaning.
Sometimes I just feel like this is not fucking worth all the trouble, because I'm terrified of failing this test. I admire every single one of my committee members, and really do fear under-performing on the exam.
My frontal lobe feels so heavy all the time, sometimes turning into a headache. My neck and arm muscles get all achy and it doesn't go away, no matter if I sleep. For the first time in 7 years, I'm having despairing thoughts.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I loved hanguing out in Jezebel because it was a place to talk to highly intelligent and motivated people about sensitive topics in a rational, and even amusing manner. Now, some people seem to target those posts to pick fights, engage in 'holier/leftier than thou' arguments with others, and randomly criticize political figures for totally unrelated shit.
So I may take a Jezebel hiatus. It makes me sad, because some of you bitches are awesome. You make my day with your wit, and with the ability of many of you to explain complex ideas from your fields of knowledge.
But screw it, I have massive amounts of studying to do and the awesome:wtf? comment ratio has decreased too much. I'm still hanging out with Jezzies in other places, like facebook, so if you're over there as well tell me so I can add you!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I've been thinking about getting new sex toys from a couple of months ago, but I'm broke and allergic to using my plastic. However, I have my Ph.D candidacy exam coming up, and I have to deal with the proposal. I think I deserve some new kinky sex, but using the plastic scares me. High %APR - it has it.
Nothing comes easier than madness in the world today
Mass paranoia is a mode not a malady
Yeah, I'd like to watch 1,000 cable channels but there's nothing on
And my high speed connection's monitored daily by the Pentagon
These things are seldom what they seem
I'm not inclined to enjoy my dreams
Won't go away
(no peace) No peace, (and no friends) and no friends
(we trace) We trace the mortal edge (with no defense)
To state the obvious,
This world is perilous for us
No sense (no sense) and no guide (no guide)
Ain't it beautiful to be alive (yeah, right)
I won't resign before the struggle ends
So I'll construct this sound defense
We are the prey and culture is the predator
I'm running out of time where conditions are positional
Shadows of a doubt cast reluctance and depravity
There's got to be a way to overcome this grim reality
Is there an option left for me
I'm not immune to despondency
There's no way
(No peace) No peace, (and no friends) and no friends
(We trace) We trace the mortal edge (with no defense)
To state the obvious,
This world is perilous for us
No sense (no sense) and no guide (no guide)
Ain't it beautiful to be alive (yeah, right)
I won't resign before the struggle ends
So I'll construct this sound defense
There's a signpost on the corner
And it keeps everybody safe
We were all made in the shade
And your mother's in the kitchen
Where she's patching all the cracks in the wall
We never had a care in the world
(No shade) Too much to sacrifice, (no light) it's hard to recognize
(Just black) Traps to compromise (and white) obscuring deadly alibis
(My plans) It's combinational, (designs) the pressure's so intense
So I'll construct this sound defense
(No way) Nothing's plainer than the madness in the world today
(No sign) I must conceal myself and steal myself and break away
(No grace) I seek initiative in matters that are black and white
(No sense) So I'll construct this sound defense
Monday, April 20, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Nothing says 'just democracy' like being able to torture with the blessing of the motherfucking State. And seriously, don't come to me with cheap excuses saying that Al Qaeda operatives were the only ones tortured by our institutions. Some of those torture techniques have been used previously on Puertorrican political prisoners. With another excuse and some time in their hands, how long do you think they'll take before they find another reason to torture their opponents/critics? Human rights shmuman bites apparently.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Now check this out. Further proof of the awesomeness of ants. You know that ants take prisoners of wars as slaves and force them to take care of the larvae. Well the slaves can become rebellious motherfuckers:
Achenbach and Foitzik collected 88 colonies of the slave-making P.americanus ant that had abducted workers from three species of Temnothorax. They found that the workers clearly care for the larvae, and nearly all of them were raised until their pupated. But at that point, the slaves' behaviour changed dramatically, taking on a more homicidal bent.
Two-thirds of pupae died before they hatched. The mortality rate was even higher (83%) for pupae containing queens, but very low (3%) for those containing males. The duo saw that the captives were deliberately killing the healthy pupae. In about 30% of cases, as in the photo, the workers would gang up to literally pull the developing ants apart. Another 53% of the pupae were killed by neglect, by workers who moved them out of the nest chamber.
These murders were solely the acts of the slaves. No P.americanus worker ever lifted a mandible against its own pupae. Nor are the deaths a reflection of a generally poor standard of care on the part of Temnothorax. In their own colonies, the majority of pupae hatched, with just 3-10% dying before that happened.
This rebellion takes its toll on the slave-makers and may explain why the nests of P.americanus tend to be very small. The captives may never reproduce themselves, but they do their part for their relatives back home by crippling the workforce of the slave-makers. These indirect benefits are particularly pertinent to Temnothorax ants because a single colony can occupy many different nests - a family of sisters spread out over a large area. If one nest is raided, it pays to ensure that none of the related nests are targeted later.
- 2 amino acid mutations in one of its membrane proteins can give this bacteria both penicillin and tetracycline resistance.
- There's no effective vaccine for children, and the adult vaccination has to be given every 2 years. 3% of all cases are fatal.
- Global climate change means that the vectors of many of these bacterial infections are migrating into places they would not have at survived before.
- There are receptors that specialize in targeting pathogenic bacteria, while leaving the good, symbiotic bacteria alone. When people have defects in these receptors (called toll-like receptors) and they can't differentiate a bacterial friend from foe, they get IBS.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
With a clean and bright place to warm our food
a cool espresso machine...
and showering here. Actually, this would be a nice shower to have in a lab area.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
God, I haven't touched thermodynamics in ages.
But then I fell I'm just bitching because project he added is actually juicy, he could have easily given it to another student, and I can probably get to publish in a good journal because of it.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Welcoming News After Interwebs Hiatus:
- The rape simulator games being sold in some sites and their supporters.
- Racists asshats attack a pregnant woman for speaking Portuguese while in Switzerland. The woman miscarried her twins soon afterward.
- A woman gets gang raped in Saudi Arabia. The result? She's sentenced to a hundred lashes and a year in jail for adultery.
- 2 judges from Pennsylvania pocketed $2.6 million from bribes from some detention centers - and they sentenced tons of kids to them. Oh, they also ordered the state-run detention center closed.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
A part of me has returned, and my love of all things metal with it too. I've been without my pills for 2 days, have the fucked up withdrawal, and still feel all sorts of awesome. And I suddenly feel hopeful about halving gradually my daily dose.
Friday, January 30, 2009
So which of the current idiotic moves I'm ranting about? Ratzi's reinstatement of bishops that are Holocaust denialists. Here is a video, taken just last week, of Bishop Richard Williamson.
WTF Church? What's next, the Church endorsing goecentrists, or denying that the current genocides exist?
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
First of all, how does drug absorption happen in each case?
In subcutaneous and intramuscular sites, absorption occurs by diffusion from the drug deposit to plasma. The absorption rate depends on the area of the capillary membranes absorbing the drug, and the solubility of that drug. When you administer a drug intravenously, you circumvent all the factors relevant to absorption.
This method permits controlling drug delivery with an accuracy and immediacy not possible with any other procedure. It also permits the adjusting of drug dosage according to patient response, for example with anesthetics.
This the best, and many times the only method for administering irritating substances, since blood vessel walls are relatively insensitive, and the drug is greatly diluted by the blood.
There are also downsides to this, of course.
- Unfavorable reactions may occur, since you can obtain high concentrations of the drug in your blood and tissue quickly. It is reccomended that you administer the drug slowly, by infusion, rather than rapid injection, and that the patient's response should be monitored closely.
- Once you inject it there is no going back.
- Drugs that are in an oily matrix, precipitate some of the blood components, or screw up your red blood cells should not be administered by this route.
This method is very often used. However, keep in mind it only works with substances that are not irritating to the tissue. If not, you run the risk of horrific pain, necrosis, and tissue sloughing.
The drug absorption rate using this method is rather slow and constant - making it able to provide a sustained effect.
There are some nifty tricks that can be used to vary the rate of absorption of the drug. A good example is insulin delivery. A suspension of insoluble insulin will slower absorbed slower in this method than the soluble preparation of insulin. You can also add a vasoconstrictor to the drug to make the capillaries around it absorb the drug slower.
Some hormones are administered subcutaneously in a solid pellet form. Absorption of these preparations occurs over a period of weeks or months.
Drugs in aqueous solutions can be absorbed by this method quickly. However, the absorption rate can vary depending on the blood flow to the injection site. Absorption can be modulated by massage, local heating, or exercise. You can slower the absorption of a drug administered intramuscularly by putting it in an oily matrix or in suspensions. This is done often with antibiotics.
A good example of blood flow modulation would be injecting insulin and running. If you inject the insulin to your thigh and then run, you'll probably get a sudden drop in blood sugar. The increase of blood flow to the leg due to running causes an increase in absorption. Injecting in the abdominal wall or arms before jogging could decrease this drastic drop in sugar levels.
The amount of fat covering the the muscular tissue is also important. When we woman are injected in our butt, for example, we absorb the drug slower than males because we tend to have more subcutaneous fat there than the men, and fat is relatively poorly perfused (fatty tissue doesn't have many blood vessels). In very obese or emaciated patients drug absorption can exhibit unusual patterns in both subcutaneous and intramuscular administration.
Monday, January 26, 2009
However, a family propensity for Estrogen Receptor positive (ER+) tumors (my dad's 2 sisters and 2 of his cousins have already dealt with those) is not the only danger.
My environment is full of estrogen receptor agonists (an agonist is any molecule that binds to a receptor and elicits a response) that can increase my chances of getting one of those tumors. So I've been, slowly but surely, removing all the ER agonist containing stuff from my life.
- I don't reheat anything in plastic - Plastic is made flexible by adding small molecules like phtalates and Bisphenol A. These are released if the plastic is heated, cracked, or if a liquid remains in it for quite a while. The solution: bowls and containers made of glass, food-grade stainless steel, or lead-free ceramics.
- I am phasing out my cosmetics and personal care products (shampoos, conditioners, face and body wash, etc.) that contain parabens (like methyl parabezoic acid), placental extracts, or benzophenons. I have to give up the St. Ives apricot scrub and am not pleased.
For those of you equally concerned about reducing the risk of brest cancer, Cornell's Sprecher Institute has written a very nice article explaning the research done to ascertain this. They have videos explaining things too, but I have no idea how to embed them here. Go watch!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Once, I was jogging with a friend of mine through an incredibly cute area. It has a tiny creek and behbeh bunnies jump about, cute squirrels frolic, there's songbirds all over the place, and there's always deer and their cute behbehs too - and it was Spring!!
So anyways, we were running, and gossiping, and cooing at the behbeh bunnies and we passed some deer at the other side of the creek. We cooed and moved on. And then we went for the second loop, and the deer were on our side.
The males started coming towards us - flicking their tales and acting all macho- so ran like crazy bitches - fearing we would have to run into someone's apartment screaming for safety. Lesson learned.
I have never trusted those cute bastards since, they had to be plotting something, right? And then I saw more evidence of their evil plotting:
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
So what regulates how much drug can be absorbed by the GI tract?
- For starters the rate of dissolution of the pill, if taken in pill form.
- The surface area for absorption - for example the stomach's surface area is small and covered by a thick mucous layer, while the villi in the upper intestine give it a large surface area that's able to absorb a drug better.
- The pKa of the drug and its lipid solubility - Different areas in the GI tract have different pH, and you need to get the drugs through the membrane barriers into the blood plasma.
The goal of this type of preparation is to produce slow, uniform absorption of the drug for 8 hours or longer. This is cool because the patient can take less pills (making it easy to comply with treatment), therapeutic effects can be maintained overnight, and you decrease the incidence of undesired effects because you avoid the peak of drug concentration the bloodstream that occurs when you use immediate-release dosage.
Of course not everything is unicorns and rainbows - there are several drawbacks. There is greater variability between patients on the systemic concentration of the drug. Another problem is that if the controlled release mechanism fails, and all the drug can be released at once. Since the amount of drug in the controlled release preparation is higher than the drug amount in immediate release preps, this "dose-dumping" can result in drug concentrations high enough to cause toxicity. Controlled release is best used with drugs that have a short half-life (<4>
Your oral mucosa can also absorb drugs, especially if they are nonionic (has no positive or negative charges) and highly lipid soluble. Nitroglycerin is a perfect example:*Those plus and minus signs are partial charges, not formal charges, and arise from the electrons in those "tips" of the molecule liking the 2 Oxygens (O's) better than the Nitrogen (N's) and spending more time (in average) with the O than with the N.
Nitroglycerin also has various things going that makes it an awesome candidate for sublingual administration:
- It's very, very potent. You only need to absorb a few molecules of it for it to have a therapeutic effect.
- The mouth's veins drain into the superior vena cava, and thus goes straight to the heart, bypassing the hepatic first pass metabolism.
This is very useful when the patient is unconscious or is vomiting. About 50% of the drug absorbed through the rectum will bypass the liver and thus you loose less drug to first pass metabolism than with oral administration. On the down side, rectal absorption absorption can be irregular and incomplete, and lots of drugs can irritate the rectal mucosa.
*I have no idea how I resisted making many, many puns.
NEXT: On Pins and Needles: Parenteral injection
First of all, what is a drug? You can consider a drug any substance that binds to some tissue in your body and produces an effect. So yes, a *lot* of things we ingest can be considered drugs.
Today, I'll write mostly about pharmacokinetics, in other words about what the body does to a drug. What does it do?
A - Absorption - is the movement of the drug from the site of administration to blood circulation
D - Distribution - is the process of diffusing or transferring the drug from within the vascular system to the rest of the body tissue.
M - Metabolism - is the chemical conversion or transformation of the drug into compounds that are easier to eliminate
E - Excretion - is getting rid of the drug and/or its metabolites via renal, pulmonary, or biliary processes.
These processes all have one thing in common- they involve the drug passing through cell membranes. In order for us to understand what's going on, we have to know the characteristics of both the drug and the cell membrane.
Let's talk a little bit about the cell membrane.
Take a look at the right end of the cartoon. Thephospholipid bilayer is the main component of the membrane. Phospholipids are a type of organic molecule that have water-hating tails (that touch each other in the middle of the bilayer), and water-loving heads (in the outside of the bilayer).
Since the middle of the membrane is hydrophobic it likes oily, non-charged compounds mostly. Charged or highly polar molecules would have a hard time passing through that, since they tend to be soluble in water. This membranes are also very flexible and fluid, and have a high electrical resistance. There are several proteins embedded in that membrane that transport molecules from one side to the other, among a lot of other things.
So if we want a drug to cross this membrane we need to know a few characteristics that can help or hamper its crossing.
- Molecular size - Is it too big to pass through the membrane by passive diffusion across a concentration or electrochemical gradient?
- Molecular shape - Can it be "grabbed" by one of the many molecules that have transporter proteins in the membrane? Can it be recognized by one of the transporter proteins by itself?
- Degree of ionization- Depending on the pH of its environment some areas of the molecule can acquire or loose a hydrogen atom. The number of electrons in that end changes, and with that the polarity of the molecule.
- Relative lipid solubility - like dissolves like. The more polar a thing is the more likely it likes water soluble and not lipid soluble.
- Binding to tissue proteins - Here's where the tricky part starts. You'd like it to be able to bind to the specific receptors you want to have an effect on, but chances are it will also bind elsewhere.
"The most basic duty of government is to protect the life of the innocent. My Administration has been committed to building a culture of life by vigorously promoting adoption and parental notification laws, opposing Federal funding for abortions overseas, encouraging teen abstinence, and funding crisis pregnancy programs. In 2002, I was honored to sign into law the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which extends legal protection to children who survive an abortion attempt. I signed legislation in 2003 to ban the cruel practice of partial-birth abortion, and that law represents our commitment to building a culture of life in America..."
We now have this:
"Reproductive ChoiceSupports a Woman's Right to Choose: President Obama understands that abortion is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. However, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority in his Adminstration. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in that case.
Preventing Unintended Pregnancy: President Obama was an original co-sponsor of legislation to expand access to contraception, health information, and preventive services to help reduce unintended pregnancies. Introduced in January 2007, the Prevention First Act will increase funding for family planning and comprehensive sex education that teaches both abstinence and safe sex methods. The Act will also end insurance discrimination against contraception, improve awareness about emergency contraception, and provide compassionate assistance to rape victims. "
More little good things to make one sleep at night.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Here's Ms. Mota. She came as a tiny and stealthily pregnant kitten. She had 5 more kittens soon afterward, of which 2 were adopted by us.
She is made of extreme cuteness (if I say so myself-ahem) and softness. She is also scared of strange humans.
Johny Walker- or Johny the cat with a baseball bat, takes *vocal* to new levels. He'll talk to you nonstop even while he's purring. He also opens my bedroom door and wakes me asking for food with nose kisses. Adorable bastard.
If you think that Ewok's gray belly is asking to be scratched it's because it.is.
Vets Beware: He has to be scratched all throughout the visit, so good luck checking out his pulse with his constant purring.
He's also known to manipulate vets into giving him all sorts of treats- even cheese- so be strong! Don't let Ewok's mind control powers get you.
I've been thinking these past few weeks about starting a blog. I'm preparing for my A exam -after much procrastination- and it seems like an appropriate place to escape -for my sanity's sake.
Also a rather good place to put basic pharmacology principles as I review everything I've taken. So bienvenue chez moi!