Rheumatoid Arthritis and the Cell Cycle

This is a paper in which Sci has a certain amount of personal investment. You see, Sci has a family member who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. And when I say suffer, I mean she suffers terribly. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where you own body attacks the lining of the membranes between your joints. The result is painful swelling and stiffness (arthritis) which usually affects the smaller joints first (like your fingers) and which can severely impair your quality of life. Symptoms can wax and wane, but right now there is no cure, and treatments (which include things like aspirin or harder pain killers, steroids, and other immunosuppressants) are often not very effective and have a large number of side effects.
About 1% of the population is affected, and while the disease isn’t itself fatal, it does shorten your lifespan by about 5-10 years, and seriously affects quality of life. Sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis often can’t work and daily living is often impaired. So even though it’s not a large population of people, it’s still very important to find better treatments and attempt to find a cure to improve the lives of those who suffer from the disease.
And so this paper looks at two different proteins that might be able to help the disease…by controlling cell division. In fact, one of them is the SAME protein that Sci wrote about a few weeks ago when she looked at the incredible healing mouse. Interestingly, that mouse apparently is used for some autoimmune disease studies like lupus. Hmmmm.
ResearchBlogging.org Nasu et al. “Adenoviral transfer of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitory genes suppresses collagen induced arthritis in mice” Journal of Immunology, 2000.
(Does anyone else always worry they are spelling “arthritis” wrong? It’s one of those words that look wrong if you look at it too long)
Anyway, let me introduce to you…the arthritic mouse:
(ok, they don’t really look like that, but it’s cute!)

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The Incredible Healing Mouse

This is one of those things that isn’t really related to neuroscience, to weird science, or to any of Sci’s normal science. Really, it was just something Sci found (in various places), and thought was really awesome. Cause it is!
For those who know about working with rodents, it looks like a rat, don’t it? It’s a mouse! But it looks like a rat because these dudes are some big boys. This is an MRL mouse, which stands for ‘Murphy Roths Large” (Sci can certainly believe the large). They were originally bred as a strain of laboratory mice, used for autoimmune studies (things like Lupus).
But these MRL mice might be the next big thing in wound healing. The story of their discovery is interesting on its own. The story of HOW it happens could change the world.
ResearchBlogging.org Bedelbeava et al. “Lack of p21 expression links cell cycle control and appendage regeneration in mice” Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010.
(Ok, I’ll admit I’m a little behind on this, apparently the big news broke in February or March. But still, I found it!)
And it all starts with a little ear piercing.

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A Paper on Pain and the Power of Negative Data

So Sci was scrounging around the internet for blog topics recently. Every time she does this, she is of course completely overwhelmed by the piles of cool and bloggable science out there (seriously, I’ve got like 20 topics for the next week, of course not all will make it). But she’s also surprised to see some familiar faces. A lot of times it’s a familiar face related to her field and the stuff she’s been recently interested in (for example, Yavin Shaham just wrote an interesting editorial on binge eating and food addiction in Nature Neuroscience which Sci might have to blog), but everyone once in a while it’s something like this:
zen blog1.png
OMG! Sci knows that guy!!
So of course Sci had to go and ask if I could blog it. And of course the gracious Zen said yes!
ResearchBlogging.org Puri and Faulkes. “Do Decapod Crustaceans Have Nociceptors for Extreme pH?” PLoS ONE, 2010.
And first of all, I would like to introduce you to today’s three species:
Louisiana red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii)
zen blog2.jpg
(Handsome little devil, no?)
White shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus)
zen blog3.jpg
And the grass shrimp (Palaemonetes sp.)
zen blog4.jpg
(By far the coolest because they are see through).
And now, let’s talk about nocioception.

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Basic Set: Female Reproduction 3, Oral Contraceptives

Continuing in our vein of basic science posts on female reproduction, we’re going to take a bit of an aside (and this is VERY relevant for the paper that Sci wanted to blog about that needed so much background). We’ve covered the basic anatomy, the hormones, and the monthly cycle. But what about…when you don’t want to ovulate?
What about oral contraceptives?
Of course, they aren’t all oral anymore. Now we’ve got the patch and the ring, and I’m sure pretty soon we’ll some sort of nasal insert (maybe something that looks like a nose ring?) for those who cannot be bothered with either a patch or a ring, let alone a pill.
So what about these?
the Pill
the pill.png
the Patch
the patch.png
(I do seriously hope they make the patch in darker tones than that. I do not think it would be hard to make a patch that actually matches your skin tone, so I really hope they market them)
the Ring
Heh. Ooops.
the ring.png
(on the other hand, if you wanna make me a birth control absorbed through the skin that can be worn as a RING, and make it to look like the One Ring, I WILL wear it. Drug companies, take note.)
So, remember this?
menstrual cycle2.jpg
Of course you do! Excellent. Let’s go.

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Basic Set: Female Reproduction Part 2, get out your iPads

Extra points to you all who will read the menstrual cycle post on your iPad.

Welcome to part two of Female Reproduction, the hormones and menstrual cycle. Part one covered the basic anatomy, and today we’re doing…the menstrual cycle. Here is the picture you’re going to need:
menstrual cycle.jpg
It’s a lot, Sci will admit. But the glorious thing is how is all entertwines and fits together so beautifully! The whole thing just comes together in perfect synchronicity. Brilliant.

The Hormones

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Basics Set: Female Reproduction, Part 1

Sci was handed a paper a few days ago, on the concept of evolutionary psychology (or physiology, possibly) and mate choice due to things like birth control. She thought she’d blog it. And then she realized that, to blog it successfully, she was going to have to do some MAJOR background. And then she had an idea!
sci idea.jpg
(Sci and her idea, except that I’ve never understood why they have these pictures of people on their laptops on the floor. My back would stand exactly five minutes of that sort of thing.)
It’s time for another series, y’all.
And so, without further ado: the female reproduction series.
This series is going to be broken up into a couple of section. Today’s will be the basic anatomy. Then we’ll be covering the female cycle in all its glory and all its hormones, and then on to the basics of fertilization and possibly pregnancy. It’s gonna be a good time. Except for the fact that a lot of the hormones don’t have very good names. But that’s ok.
Let’s do it ladies. (Pics probably NSFW, even though it’s straight up anatomy, some people probably shouldn’t be staring at vaginas during work hours.)

(This woman can DANCE. And you gotta love a woman with some good curves. /Beyonce worship)

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