A human hand, cut in half.

Scientists develop ‘electronic nose’ for rapid detection of C. diff infection
A fast-sensitive “electronic-nose” for sniffing the highly infectious bacteria C. diff, that causes diarrhoea, temperature and stomach cramps, has been developed by a team at the University of Leicester.
The team have measured the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) given out by different of strains of Clostridium difficile and have shown that many of them have a unique “smell”. In particular, different strains show different chemical fingerprints which are detected by a mass spectrometer. 
Identifying the unique ‘smell’ of C. diff which would lead to rapid diagnosis of the condition.
The research is published on-line in the journal Metabolomics.
Caption: This is an image of Clostridium difficile or C-diff. Credit: University of Leicester

C. diff definitely has a “unique smell”.

I quit.


I never thought I would have to tell a 15 year old girl she needs to stop smoking.

Let alone a 15 year old girl who has been smoking since she was 8.



Cardiac Markers!

A Swedish woman hitting a neo-Nazi protester with her handbag. The woman was reportedly a concentration camp survivor. [1985]

Volunteers learn how to fight fires at Pearl Harbor [c. 1941 - 1945]

A 106-year old Armenian woman protecting her home with an AK-47. [1990]

Komako Kimura, a prominent Japanese suffragist at a march in New York. [October 23, 1917]

Erika, a 15-year-old Hungarian fighter who fought for freedom against the Soviet Union. [October 1956]

Sarla Thakral, 21 years old, the first Indian woman to earn a pilot license. [1936]

Voting activist Annie Lumpkins at the Little Rock city jail. [1961]  
(freakin’ immaculate)
Source with more wonderful photos


They Are The Body Collectors: A Perilous Job In The Time Of Ebola

This powerful video taken by our NPR correspondents in Liberia will take you right to the scene as body collectors come to take away Rachel Wleh. In the space of a few days, her four children have lost both parents. One collector says, “My mom and dad don’t want me to do this job. But I feel I should do it to save my nation.”

Read the story and listen to the audio.


Scientists Link Alcohol-Dependence Gene to Neurotransmitter
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have solved the mystery of why a specific signaling pathway can be associated with alcohol dependence. 
This signaling pathway is regulated by a gene, called neurofibromatosis type 1 (Nf1), which TSRI scientists found is linked with excessive drinking in mice. The new research shows Nf1 regulates gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that lowers anxiety and increases feelings of relaxation.
“This novel and seminal study provides insights into the cellular mechanisms of alcohol dependence,” said TSRI Associate Professor Marisa Roberto, a co-author of the paper. “Importantly, the study also offers a correlation between rodent and human data.”
In addition to showing that Nf1 is key to the regulation of the GABA, the research, which was published recently in the journal Biological Psychiatry, shows that variations in the human version of the Nf1 gene are linked to alcohol-dependence risk and severity in patients.
Pietro Paolo Sanna, associate professor at TSRI and the study’s corresponding author, was optimistic about the long-term clinical implications of the work. “A better understanding of the molecular processes involved in the transition to alcohol dependence will foster novel strategies for prevention and therapy,” he said.
A Genetic Culprit
Researchers have long sought a gene or genes that might be responsible for risk and severity of alcohol dependence. “Despite a significant genetic contribution to alcohol dependence, few risk genes have been identified to date, and their mechanisms of action are generally poorly understood,” said TSRI Staff Scientist Vez Repunte-Canonigo, co-first author of the paper with TSRI Research Associate Melissa Herman.
This research showed that Nf1 is one of those rare risk genes, but the TSRI researchers weren’t sure exactly how Nf1 affected the brain. The TSRI research team suspected that Nf1 might be relevant to alcohol-related GABA activity in an area of the brain called the central amygdala, which is important in decision-making and stress- and addiction-related processes.
“As GABA release in the central amygdala has been shown to be critical in the transition from recreational drinking to alcohol dependence, we thought that Nf1 regulation of GABA release might be relevant to alcohol consumption,” said Herman.
The team tested several behavioral models, including a model in which mice escalate alcohol drinking after repeated withdrawal periods, to study the effects of partially deleting Nf1. In this experiment, which simulated the transition to excessive drinking that is associated with alcohol dependence in humans, they found that mice with functional Nf1 genes steadily increased their ethanol intake starting after just one episode of withdrawal. Conversely, mice with a partially deleted Nf1 gene showed no increase in alcohol consumption.
Investigating further, the researchers found that in mice with partially deleted Nf1 genes, alcohol consumption did not further increase GABA release in the central amygdala. In contrast, in mice with functional Nf1 genes, alcohol consumption resulted in an increase in central amygdala GABA.
In the second part of the study, a collaboration with a distinguished group of geneticists at various U.S. institutions, the team analyzed data on human variations of the Nf1 gene from about 9,000 people. The results showed an association between the gene and alcohol-dependence risk and severity.
The team sees the new findings as “pieces to the puzzle.” Sanna believes future research should focus on exactly how Nf1 regulates the GABA system and how gene expression may be altered during early development.

Medical School Course Requirements



A few of you were wondering which courses to take for medical school so here is the list of courses that is required for you guys to take in order to be accepted! The course numbers are only specific to UMD but the course names should all be similar for any school!

"From the very beginning you are being told to compare yourself with others. This is the greatest disease. It is like a cancer that goes on destroying your very soul because each individual is unique, and comparison is not possible."

My attention span while I’m trying to study….



It is a shame how much energy it takes me to just sit down and finish my review. I always have the urge to clean my apartment while I am studying. Ugh…

If I had a screen this wide, it would take studying to a whole new level.

Can’t sleep, so I’ll just study.


What classic chest x-ray sign is seen here?