Laparoscopic observation of spontaneous human ovulation. A remarkably prominent vascular pattern was observed on the mature follicle (F, white arrows). A small follicular area called the stigma (S) was seen protruding like a reddish bleb from the follicular surface, with viscous yellow fluid (black arrows) evaginating outward into the peritoneal cavity.
The viscous fluid probably carried with it the cumulus–oocyte complex, surrounded by several thousand small granulosa cells known as corona radiata.
Today’s enormously important U.S. Supreme Court ruling on whether human genes can be patented has mostly been met with relief in America, even incredulity that this topic even needed to be discussed.
"How can a company patent my genes?" I see many people asking.
Most people don’t understand what patenting a gene means. Patenting a gene limits who is able to make money from the knowledge of a gene, particularly its sequence and how it works. It doesn’t mean a company owns your genes, or that you can’t use public knowledge about your versions of the gene to do whatever tests you like on your own genes or genome. Admittedly, the vast majority of us do not have access to the technology to do genetic sequencing on ourselves, and given the importance of testing in some medical cases, as Angelina Jolie recently attested, today’s SCOTUS ruling is reasonable.
But with the ruling’s benefits also comes a cost.
The work to sequence a gene, determine its structure and function, and understand its interactions with other cellular elements can be labor intensive and expensive, and without a reward at the end of this process, there will be less of an incentive to understand complex genetic diseases.
One solution might be to increase the budget of the National Institute for General Medical Sciences for this type of work.
Blood Vessel Formation Follows a Common Choreography
The fusion of blood vessels during the formation of the vascular system follows a uniform process. In this process, the blood vessels involved go through different phases of a common choreography, in which the splitting and the rearrangement of endothelial cells play a critical role. Markus Affolter’s research group at the Biozentrum, Univ. of Basel, has been able to demonstrate this in a living organism, the zebrafish. The findings have been published in the journal Developmental Cell.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/06/blood-vessel-formation-follows-common-choreography
Do New Dads Get Blue, Too? Three questions for our expert
Much is known about the sympathy symptoms men experience when their partners are pregnant –everything from weight gain to nausea. It’s called Couvade syndrome and has been used as fodder for plots in many a romantic comedy or television sitcom. But what about after the baby is born?
Both the “baby blues” and postpartum depression and anxiety (PPD/A) are characterized with irritability, restlessness and anxiety in women who’ve recently given birth. PPD/A is a more serious condition with lasting symptoms that can range from hopelessness to confusion to fear of harming the newborn.
If dads-to-be can experience nausea, fatigue and weight gain concurrent with moms-to-be, can new dads also experience PPD/A?
Question: First things first, what should women be aware of in order to discern between the “baby blues” and PPD/A?
Answer: “Baby blues” is related to the combination of a few major events that occur around childbirth: 1) you have a baby! (a pretty big emotional impact); 2) there is a massive drop in hormones immediately after the placenta is delivered, which can make chemicals in the brain go haywire for a little while; and 3) sleep deprivation from the third trimester and labor/delivery. The majority of women find that, within a few days of delivery, these three factors lead to tearfulness (often for no clear reason), irritability, mild insomnia and/or anxiety.
The important differences between “baby blues” and PPD/A are severity and duration: “baby blues” does not impact your ability to take care of your newborn or yourself, and does not last for more than 2 weeks postpartum. In contrast, PPD/A typically starts anytime in the first 6 weeks postpartum and (if untreated) can last for months or even a year. Women with PPD/A may be too depressed or anxious to take care of their newborn like they would normally be able to do, and almost always feel very overwhelmed and/or irritable.
Q: A 2010 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that up to 10 percent of new dads may experience PPD/A. Are the symptoms in men similar to those in women or are there specific factors that new parents should be on the look-out for? Does it differ from feeling overwhelmed by new responsibilities of fatherhood?
A: Just as with women, men with PPD/A report feeling overwhelmed and are typically irritable or “snappy” as a result. While most people expect a depressed mother or father to feel sad, both men and women with PPD/A often deny feeling sad but do report less enjoyment in their everyday life. I commonly hear statements such as, “I just feel ‘blah,’” “nothing excites me anymore,” and “I’m just going through the motions.”
While most new fathers feel tired and overwhelmed, and couples can certainly get a bit snappy with each other from the stress of caring for a newborn, a father with PPD/A feels all of this much stronger than expected. Guilt over not being the “perfect dad” in his mind, feeling trapped and losing the ability to concentrate are also common. The most notable (and frustrating) symptom is often difficulty sleeping—either trouble falling asleep or waking up even though the baby is sleeping. New dads are tired, for sure, but this is even worse with insomnia.
Q: Men are notorious for not seeking medical care and especially mental health care. If PPD/A is suspected in a new dad, what can friends or family do to help?
A: Talking with a new dad about how he is feeling, and letting him know that fathers are almost as likely as mothers to have PPD/A are the most important first steps. Just as women think “it won’t happen to me,” men often think “it can’t happen to me because I’m a man.” Awareness is the first step, then acceptance—letting him know that it’s a common occurrence and that getting better will help him be the best father possible. Giving him the articles and website listed below may show him that he is not the only man to go through this.
Understanding Male Post-Partum Depression
Slouching Toward Fatherhood
Image source: Sports Law blogspot
HIV escaping from a white blood cell
Researchers have for the first time unravelled the complex structure of the inner protein shell of HIV.
The US team, reporting in Nature, also worked out exactly how all the components of the shell or ‘capsid’ fit together at the atomic level.
Until now the exact structure had proved elusive because of the capsid’s large size and irregular shape.
The finding opens the way for new types of drugs, the researchers from the University of Pittsburgh said. It was already known that the capsid, which sits inside the outer membrane of the virus, was a cone-shaped shell made up of protein sub-units in a lattice formation.
Image via AHA
Cardiovascular disease experts are increasingly interested in two biomarkers, NT-proBNP and troponin T, whose presence in blood has been repeatedly and consistently correlated with heightened risk for heart attack and, according to a new study by doctors at my hospital, stroke, silent stroke, and ischemia-caused brain disease.
Researchers are growing confident enough about these biomarkers that some are calling for them to be measured fairly early on in life, as part of a battery of tests meant to assess a patient’s risk.
Work to clear up the correlation also continues. There’s already lots of evidence that NT-proBNP and troponin T production aren’t accidental correlatives, but are indicators of various metabolic and physiological processes that will, over time, directly affect cardiovascular health.
Today’s Google doodle is composed of interactive petri dishes in celebration of Julius Petri’s 161st birthday!
To me, there’s something really funny about the fact that a guy took a round dish with a lid, literally the most obvious and utilitarian thing you could think of to grow bacteria in, and named it after himself (or we named it after him, perhaps).
Imagine if a cup were called a “Smith vessel” or if a paper bag were called a “Wilson sack”. “Hey! Can I have a Smith vessel of coffee?”
But on the other hand, science is regularly a business of serendipity, scratching away to reveal the layer just beyond the obvious, and being ready in the starting blocks to run when luck drops something in your lap.
Just be sure to name it after yourself when that happens.