Multiple choice…. again -_-

So there is a lot of controversy concerning how many exam questions we are actually supposed to do. Originally I did two which you will find in a previous post because that was my interpretation of what Mr. Matthew meant in the blog manual. However to be on the safe side I am including 2 more questions, besides a little multiple choice never hurt nobodyyyyyy 😛

multi

Admit it. You’ve done this before.Heck! you do this for every exam!! LOL

Select the correct multiple answer using ONE of the keys A,B,C,D or E as follows:

1. Oxidoreductase

2. Lipase

3. Glucokinase

4.Transferase

5. Lyase

Which of the following are Major classes of enzymes?

A. 2 and 3 only.

B. 1, 2 and 3 only.

C 1, 4 and 5 only.

D.2, 4 and 5 only.

E. All are correct.

Single answer MCQ

Which of the following is the storage Polysaccharide in animals?

A. Glucagon.

B.Starch.

C.Glycogen.

D.Chitin.

E.Cellulose.

Published Paper review, numero dos… Brown adipose tissue and it’s benefits on glucose metabolism, glucose tolerance and body weight.

Obesity is a medical condition whereby the accumulation of  excess body fat has reached an extent to which it may have adverse effect on health or even lead to death. Obesity is also known to increase the risk of diseases such as Diabetes. Both diabetes and Obesity affect an alarming percentage of people in the world and in modern times of fast food and reduced physical activity the numbers keep on rising. Scientists are constantly on the hunt for improved treatments for these types of disorders. Upon conducting my research I was presently surprised when I stumbled upon several published papers stating the positive effects of brown adipose tissue on glucose tolerance, metabolism and body weight.

New treatments for Diabetes are on the horizon because scientists have shown that brown adipose tissue (BAT) positively affects metabolism, glucose tolerance and body weight. Brown adipose tissue burns fat to produce heat unlike white adipose tissue which stores fat. Brown adipose tissue has a tissue rich in mitochondria which use glucose and fatty acids as fuel. Obesity is associated with increase in the mass of adipose tissue. Brown adipose tissue may have an integral role in maintaining a metabolically healthier, slimmer phenotype.

Researchers are studying whether BAT is involved in glucose metabolism and its effect on metabolism and weight loss. A study involves transferring BAT from male mice into the visceral cavities of mice that had been fed a diet high in fat. After a period of time the BAT transplant mice were fed a normal diet and exhibited an improvement in glucose tolerance, increased insulin sensitivity , a decrease in fat mass and weight loss. Three controls groups including mice with white adipose tissue transplant and a glass bead implant and surgery sans transplantation showed no improvement in metabolism. The study suggests that BAT is an endocrine organ which can improve whole body and tissue glucose homeostasis. The BAT transplantation even  alleviated the dangerous effects of a high fat diet. Even though the transplanted BAT actively took up glucose, this effect may be comparatively small compared with larger effects observed in other tissues.

A note worthy finding of the study was the ability of the BAT transplants to regularize glucose levels in the mice that consumed high fat diets. The beneficial effects observed  seemed to be due to the circulation of IL-6 which was increased in these mice. Increase in IL-6 is associated with glucose metabolism and this indicates that BAT can be targeted for treatment of obesity linked diseases including diabetes, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.

reference:

http://www.jci.org/articles/view/62308

Published paper review, numero uno…Leigh Syndrome- A mitochondrial DNA related disease.

So I must express how much I disliked doing this published paper review. My reason being is that many publish papers that I could sourced online were not free and also those that I did manage to have access to were very long and complex to interpret and comprehend. I decided to base my review on an organelle associated disease when I came across an article on Leigh syndrome. Before my conducting my research I had actually never heard of Leigh syndrome. I must say however, I am genuinely depressed after reading about how young children are affected by this disorder.I hope that my review on Leigh syndrome enlightens my readers and inspires you to do more research and truly hope that maybe one of the biochemians reading this blog becomes the scientific savior to discover the cure for such a terrible disease.

Leigh Syndrome is also known as juvenile subacute necrotizing encephalopathy and is associated with  Mitochondrial DNA mutation. It is a severe neurological disease that usually arises between 3 to 12 months of age and often occurs after viral infection.  This disease is associated with psychomotor regression as well as gradual loss of mental ability. Close to half of all affected individuals perish before age three due to respiratory or cardiac failure. Very few individuals develop this disorder in their adulthood.

Characteristic symptoms of Leigh’s disease include dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) and  persistent vomiting. Hyperventillation or irregular respiration , hypothermia and hyperthermia may be caused by brain lesions. The muscles of individuals suffering with Leigh syndrome are usually negatively affected. The individual may develop hypotonia or weak muscle tone, dystonia or involuntary muscle contractions as well as axtaxia or movement and balance problems. Peripheral neuropathy characterized by weakness or loss of sensitivity in limbs is common with affected individuals hence their ability to move is impaired.The eyes of the affected individual can also be affected and they may experience eye movement disorders and retinitis pigmentosa.

Cardiac ailments such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, hepatic disorders and renal disorders such diffuse glomerulocystic kidney damage are also common amongst affected individuals. The majority of affected individuals will show progressive deterioration with interfused with stages where they may show improvement which can last up to ten years in some cases. However it is more likely that the person will die around age 2 to three years. Also associated with Leigh syndrome are high levels of lactate in urine, blood or  cerebrospinal fluid of patients.

Brain lesions  (detected via Magnetic resonance imaging) are found in the  basal ganglia (movement associated region) the cerebellum (region associated with balance,coordination and movement) as well as the the brainstem. Demyelination  (loss of myelin coating around nerves) in conjuction with these brain lesions reduces the ability of muscle activation as well as the relay of sensory impulses back to the brain.

About 30% of Leigh syndrome is mitochondria DNA related. Most of the genes associated with Leigh syndrome are involved in energy generation in the mitochondria. This disease can be inherited by X linked transmission, autosomal linked transmission, maternal transmission or it may be sporadic. Many of the gene mutations associated with this disease affect proteins of protein complexes that are involved in oxidative phosphorylation (the process whereby the mitochondria uses oxygen to break down food into energy for use by the cell). There are other nuclear DNA mutations characteristic of Leigh’s syndrome which also affect steps concerning energy production and oxidative phosphorylation. Researchers link impaired oxidative phosphorylation to cell death  and tissues that require large amounts of energy including the brain, heart and muscles are especially affected.

There is unfortunately no cure for Leigh’s syndrome and the treatment is limited and not entirely effective.

reference:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1173/

Youtube video review…numero dos!

For my second Youtube video review I decided to pick a video using the opposite reasoning that was used to select my video for the first review. This time, rather than choose a topic that challenged me, i opted to go with a topic that I was well versed in and that it carbohydrates. The logic behind my choice of topic was that I would be able to access whether or not the information was useful and accurate.

Video title: Carbohydrates.

Youtube channel: Bozeman Biology.

Main points of the video:

Carbohydrates provide energy as well as structure (example cellulose in plants or chitin in the exoskeleton of an insect which is also the building block of fungi.)

1 sugar molecule= a monosaccharide

2 sugar molecules= a disaccharide

3-10 sugar molecules= an oligosaccharide.

Many sugar molecules linked together= a polysaccharide.

Empirical formula of all carbohydrates are the same: CH20 (ratio 1:2:1)

Glucose is the simplest sugar (6 Carbon) A lot of hydroxyl groups which makes it soluble in water. This is why it is utilized in the following:

a.cellular respiration.

b. produced by plants in photosynthesis.

Fructose: 5 sided sugar, sweeter than glucose. Found in fruit and corn syrup.

Galactose: A little less sweet than glucose.

Glucose, fructose and Galactose are the 3 basic monosaccharides. They all can be moved through our blood.

Sucrose/ table sugar(a disaccharide) =  Glucose + Fructose (both monosaccharides)

Sucrose must be broken down to it’s monosaccharides by sucrose before it can be used by the body.

Lactose= Glucose + Galactose.

Lactose broken down by lactase.

Lactose intolerance: Condition whereby a person lacks the enzyme lactase which leads to an irritation in the gut due to the fact that lactose cannot be broken down into its respective monosaccharides.

Lactose intolerance/tolerance is naturally selected.

Oligosaccharides

Biological Importance:

Important in the production of glycoproteins.

Fun fact: carrots have to be cooked for an hour for the body to be able to obtain the sugar from it.

Polysaccharides

Eg: starch (hundreds of glucose molecules linked together)

can be found in potatoes.

Is the storage molecule of plants.

Glycogen

A macromolecule with thousands of glucose molecules.

The storage molecule of animals.

Stored in the liver.

Cellulose

Structural  purpose.

Hydrogen cross bonds make it very durable.

Humans won’t have the enzymes to break it down in the gut. Bacteria in the gut of cows will help to break them down into sugars.

Hydrolysis

The breaking of sugars with the addition of water.

Dehydration

Losing a water molecule and forming a covalent bond between two monosaccharides.

Evolutionary Importance of sugar:

Sugar is an indicator of fruit and fruits contain other important nutrients needed by the human body. This is why humans are “programmed” to love sugar. However, too much sugar in the diet is now leading to an increase in heart disease and diabetes

My thoughts on this video: Once again I have randomly chosen a video that exceeds my expectations in a positive way.

Pros of this video:

1. The Youtube uploader Paul Andersen teaches science at Bozeman High School in Bozeman, MT. He is also the 2011 Montana Teacher of the Year. These credential speak volumes to me. They assure me that the information I am receiving  is very much accurate, reliable and specifically targeted towards students like myself.

2. The format of the video was very professional and well edited. I enjoyed that I could see the teacher in a smaller screen while he spoke and explained the concepts on the slides. This creates a classroom experience with out being in a classroom and made me feel like I was having a one on one class with the teacher.

3. Mr. Anderson spoke with simple language that was easy to understand and was able to break down complex terms in a way in which they could be easily comprehended.

4. I admire the use of pictures as well as chemical structures of what ever he was speaking about. Its easier to learn something by seeing it. These figure will also play a role in remembering material since the brain is likely to associate facts with specific pictures.

5. The duration of the video was perfect, not too long, not too short. I was very impressed at the amount of material covered in the space of time and how he was able to explain things a such a manageable pace.

6. I loved that I actually learnt something new in this video despite covering the topic in school already. I learnt that latose intolerance was naturally selected. He explains that  if our ancestors raised cattle they were more likely to continue drinking milk through out their life  and on the other hand if they didn’t that it would be unlikely for them to drink milk regularly in their adulthood and as such lactase would not function the same. I also enjoyed learning about the evolutionary importance of carbohydrates.

Cons: As with my previous video review, I honestly have no negative reviews or improvements for this video. I think it is fantastic just the way it is and I am really glad that I found this channel, I’m sure it will come in handy during my study sessions.

Conclusion: Paul Andersen presented information on carbohydrates with the flair of an experienced educator. Any one will be able to understand these biochemistry related concepts with his explanations. I recommend these videos to any student who wants a clear and concise breakdown on carbohydrates. If I were to rate this video I would give it 5 out of 5 stars 🙂

Amino Acids and Proteins Cryptogram solution and Bonus Amino Acid question….

So For those of you who attempted my amino acids and proteins crytogram here is the message that you were supposed to decipher:

cryptoanswer

Yup taken straight from BiochemJM’s awesome youtube amino acids and protein series of videos. Congratulations if you figured it out. Your prize is another challenge….

Challenge accepted you say? I’d think twice about that….

My Bonus Amino Acid question for you is…..

What is Sheldon Cooper’s favorite amino acid? *muhahahaha evil laugh* bet you weren’t expecting that 😛 take a look at this clip to find out

DUHHH it’s lysine!!  Isn’t lysine is everybody’s favorite amino acid?? 😛 haha . Wondering why Sheldon’s favorite amino acid is Lysine? Maybe the following facts will help us to understand his choice…

Lysine is an essential amino acid that can be found in animal protein. This means that the human body cannot synthesize lysine on its own but since it is necessary for various functions it must be obtained through our diets. Lysine is integral for producing antibodies, enzymes and hormones and is essential for growth and repair of tissues. L-lysine aids in the body’s absorption and retention of calcium as well as enhances the immune system. Sources of lysine include chicken,turkey, pork, eggs and fish to name a few. For our vegetarian friends, legumes and soy products are a good source of L-lysine.

Deficiency of lysine is rare but the symptoms will include enzyme disorders, lack of energy, hair loss, weight loss and retarded growth and anemia to name a few.

L-lysine is used as a supplement to treat the herpes simplex virus as well as prevent osteoporosis and cataracts. L-lysine also helps manufacture carnitine which is a nutrient that helps to lower cholesterol levels and converts fatty acids into energy. L-lysine also enhances the production of collagen in conjunction with Vitamin C. This is why L-lysine  has shown to be effective in the treatment of skin lesions associated with herpes as well as shingles.

Although the list of benefits of Lysine go on and on it must be noted that excessive build up of protein in the body can lead to liver and kidney problems.

references:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XUnuJdT1Uc

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysine

http://www.livestrong.com/article/410769-l-lysine-facts/

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-237-LYSINE.aspx?activeIngredientId=237&activeIngredientName=LYSINE

http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/lysine.aspx

http://www.anyvitamins.com/lysine-info.htm

Taking a passion for Biochemistry to another level!

Nerdy Nails!

So I just stumbled across this picture on one of my favorite facebook pages, I’ll be sure to link it down below. The picture was uploaded with the caption “If you’re going to be a dirty cheater, at least you’ll look good doing it!” LOL who would of thought nail art could be used to “assist” us in exams 😛

nailsamino

Biochemistry is a piece of Cake! Literally 😛

Check out this cool video showing you how to make your very own Plant cell cake. How creative! I’m pretty sure I would remember all the organelles of the plant cell by associating them with candy, who wouldn’t?! They say the best way to a biochemistry student’s brain is through their stomach…or at least that’s what I say .*hint hint Mr.Matthew make us a cell cake for being such awesome students :p *. Ah yes,  cells never looked better, If any citizen of biochem nation feels inspired to recreate their very own cell cake be sure to send it to me to uh… make sure the organelles are accurate and what not 😛

Once again thank you for visiting biochem nation, hope to see u in the next post! 😀

references:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=578252758862406&set=a.456449604376056.98921.367116489976035&type=1&relevant_count=1&ref=nf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0nmIadBM7I

 

Amino Acids and Proteins cryptogram!

Hola ,bonjour ,Hellooooo to all loyal citizens of Biochem nation! 😀

So something worth knowing about my learning style is that I like to make learning fun! I am the kind of person who literally opens a text book to read and falls asleep…sad to say I’m not exaggerating, not even a bit :/ This doesn’t mean I don’t like to be challenged though, as such I’m always on the look out for new and exciting but equally challenging ways of learning Biochemistry. I really think that cryptograms meet that criteria and as such I have created my very own Amino Acids and Proteins cryptogram 🙂 so take a crack at it! I’m pretty confident that anyone who has watched BiochemJM’s amino acids and proteins youtube videos *hint hint* will be sure to solve this cryptogram with ease. So just click to enlarge, I will be revealing the solution to this cryptogram in a subsequent post so look out for that and in the mean time be sure to leave a reply if you think you’ve figured it out.good luck! 😀

Amino acids and Proteins Cryptogram

Prokaryotic cells vs Eukaryotic Cells

So dear citizens of Biochem nation, if you read my tutorial tell all you would know that I crashed and burned when it came to my turn to give a difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells that hadn’t already been mentioned. Naturally, being the fearless awesome leader of Biochem nation that I am, I wasn’t about to accept defeat just yet. So I decided to do my research. Rather than present my findings in the traditional cut and paste to a word document (YAWNNN boringgg lol) I decided to present the differences and similarities in a venn diagram that I made using excel. I enjoyed this activity because before this I didn’t even know how to make a venn diagram or really use excel for that matter (sad I know :P).  I also enjoyed this activity thoroughly because it was a much more  fun way of learning this material and it is easier for me to remember because my brain now has mental image of the venn diagram stored for days when I will most need it J So I think this will be a great way  for those of you out there with “photographic memory” to remember the differences and similarities of Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic cells . Hence , I decided to share it with you all, because sharing is caring  yayyyyyy *insert sprinkles and rainbows here* LOL

venndiagram

so click on it to enlarge and happy learning my biochemians, hope this proves to be useful to someone out there 🙂

Tutorial Tell All: what went down in my first BIOL 1362 tutorial…

Well…. I’m still alive to tell the tale, so that’s good news right? It really wasn’t that bad! It went a little something like this… So I entered a familiar Nat sci classroom where I previously had BIOL 1263 tutorials in semester one. That was comforting, I had really enjoyable tutorial sessions there…but tell that to my pounding heart! We were informed that these biochemistry tutorials were deviating from the norm and we would instead be tested on relevant topics but in a game type of style. The class was divided into two teams and students would be called at random to answer and a right answer would ensure a bonus 2 marks be added to the entire teams final grade and a wrong answer would result in deduction of that mark. No pressure right? So basically I set myself up for the hunger games Jason Matthew style and naturally was scared to death! It’s bad enough to be embarrassed if you got the wrong answer but having to deal with the angry mob hungry for their bonus two marks multiplied the horror times infinity. My friend and I came up with the brilliant idea of wearing the exact same teal aeropostale t-shirt in hopes that it would A. confuse Mr.matthew (but he is the Hokage who were we kidding) or B. He would call us out by clothing color and we could easily pass on the question to one another. Now I’m the type of person to always get called out when I really don’t want to and never get called out when I would love to be.-_- So it was all just a matter of time before he would call me out… “You in the green shirt!” he said. The man is a wizard at Biochemistry but differentiating green from teal was a bit much to ask I guess :/ I dare not correct him and tell him it’s teal, I needed to get on his good side. I respond with a sheepish “me?” knowing very well who he was talking to. The question at hand was stating the differences between Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic cells. Being the unlucky soul that I am, by the time he decided to call me out all the obvious answers had been said already. No. being the unlucky soul that I am I give him a perfectly correct answer which he accepts before asking for ANOTHER. Kill me now! My team members are tense and depending on me, I can feel it…but all the answers we know are gone with the wind, I have no choice but to resort to what I call the “cute and confused face.” Hokage accepts the cute and confused face and moves on but inside I feel like:

dishonor

 

So Mr. Matthew manages to stretch this same question over almost the entire session before he asks us as teams to figure out the difference between cytosol and cytoplasm. Well none of the teams managed to do so and Mr. Matthew had to explain it to us. He concluded that of all the tutorial sessions, ours had the worst results, we managed to be down to negative marks :/ But despite the minor blow to our self esteem, I actually found the session to be quite helpful, I really learnt a lot and Mr. Matthew is a pretty cool dude I don’t know why I was so scared to begin with. What I gather is that all Mr. Matthew expects of us is our undivided attention and a genuine effort and that seems fair to me.