“On The Spot” with Lani – Ph.D. Grad Student.

Graduate school can be tough, but being a graduate student in the STEM can be exceptionally challenging. The challenges are not just academic, but social, and personal. In my experience being a graduate student is somewhat of a mystery to many people. To illustrate what its like to pursue a Ph.D in science, I’ve interviewed another Doctoral Candidate, from Auburn University, Alabama. She responded in pink font, and I felt it was so indicative of her personality, that I kept it. I enjoyed reading about her journey. Keep reading to find out how a one time aspiring model becomes a scientist.

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Allergic to Penicillin? Maybe Not.

Most people can recall being asked by the doctor whether they have an allergy to penicillin or not. In fact, 10 percent of the general population is estimated to have Penicillin Allergy. However, in the past few years, the prevalence of Penicillin Allergy has decreased.

Studies have found that when tested, the vast majority of people who reported having Penicillin Allergy, are not allergic to the drug. Clinicians found, that many people who were told they were allergic to penicillin, never had their allergy confirmed with testing. Interestingly, others who were positively diagnosed in the past, were no longer allergic to penicillin.  Continue reading

Ebola Vaccine

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I recently wrote another article for Bioislifemedia.com about an Ebola Vaccine. Before you read it, first learn about Ebola by reading this article that I published last year What Ever Happened to Ebola?!

“Ebola is a virus in the family of Filoviridae along with Marbug virus, that causes Hemorrhagic Fever. The virus leads to hemorrhaging by causing the body to lose the ability for your blood to clot, through multiorgan damage and drop in blood pressure. There are actually several Ebola viruses: Sudan Ebola, Zaire Ebola, Cote D’Ivoire Ebola, and Bundibugyo Ebola. They are all distinct species of Ebolavirus. The virus got it’s name from a small river in northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). – Stacia Nicholson, What Ever Happened to Ebola?!

Then read about the candidate drug that may be the first vaccine to prevent Ebola in humans.

 

Science Writer

15698247_10102718125616547_9037553185852513701_nI have joined forces with BioisLifeMedia.com, a new website designed ” to bring trustworthy, clear, and noteworthy biomedical science & scientific content to the public”. The concept is dear to me as It mirrors my own mission; to present science in a practical manner, in which to give the public the information they need to truly understand current issues in science.

Bio is Life Media was founded in fall 2016 by Scientists,  Lebaron Agostini and David Deming II, and Advertising Account Manager, Nate Valazquez. The interactive site does not use sensationalism and dramatised conclusions to bait the public. Bio is Life Media works to promote an interest in science by sharing the perspectives of scientists, graduates students, medical professionals, entrepreneurs, and tech innovators. This is accomplished by creating quality content that bridges the gap between the scientists/scientific information, the media, and the general public, so that society can make better informed decisions.

Two years ago when I started Aliquot the Science Spot, it was my vision, that a community of responsible scientists and medical professionals would network to change the face of science journalism as we know it. I am ecstatic to see that dream actualizing, and to be able to collaborate with other researchers who share the same vision and passion as I do.

I have signed on as a Contributor for Bio Is Life Media, and my first article with the site has recently been published. Read the article I wrote, entitled Monkey AIDS and Man.

 

Varicella Disease: Chickenpox & Shingles

Varicella was once a common childhood disease. Due to childhood vaccination initiated in 1996 in the United States, the viral infection has already begun to fade out of common knowledge. Many young adults and adolescents today, have never experienced the itchy blistering rash, or missed days of school because of it. Some people have even begun to contest the necessity of vaccinating against the virus that causes chickenpox infections in children. However, preventing chickenpox can also prevent two painfully debilitating conditions later on in life; Shingles and Postherpetic Neuralgia.

Varicella-Zoster Virus

The Varunknownicella-Zoster Virus (VZV) is a DNA herpesvirus that infects humans and some primates.  It is the cause of both Chickenpox (Varicella disease) and Shingles (Herpes Zoster).

Varicella Disease: Chickenpox

Chickenpox is a highly infectious childhood disease that primarily affects children between the ages of 1 and 9 years old. It causes an itchy vesicular rash to appear on the body, accompanied by fever and malaise.

Chickenpox is self-limiting, and does not require treatment to be resolved. Healthy individuals develop a mild disease that  generally clears within a few weeks. Symptoms such as dehydration, fever, and puritis, can be managed with fluid replacement, acetaminophen, and calamine lotion, respectively. Continue reading

Phony Pharmaceuticals, Counterfeit Medicine as Dangerous as Street Drugs.

Fraudulent pharmacies have popped up all over the internet, to take advantage of the high profits that can be made off of selling pharmaceutical drugs. These sites often offer cheap prices and discounts on otherwise expensive medications. They also usually allow the purchase of prescription medicines without the need for a prescription. Often-times the medicines sold online are counterfeit medicines, and while they may seem like a suitable alternative to expensive prescription drugs, they are harmful. The manufacture, warehousing, distribution, and sale of counterfeit drugs is a criminal enterprise, and worldwide problem affecting the healthcare system. Globally, the counterfeit pharmaceutical drug trade is a multibillion dollar industry, and ten percent of the worlds medicines are counterfeit.

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#Phdlife: Friday In the Lab

I finally completed sample collection for all my experimental treatment groups. Very taxing undertaking, as I had four groups done in triplicate and the corresponding appropriate controls.

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It’s Friday, and I forget that means nothing to me, because I’m not on a 9 to 5 schedule. So, there went any lofty ideas I may have had about taking it easy, and having a half day. I decided to go for the three-hour colorimetric assay – decided to take the productive I want to graduate route. The only problem is that it is still Friday, and some people leave by 6pm and it was already 3pm and I still had sample preparation to complete before I could even get started. Continue reading

The Truth about Cow’s Milk

The public has a negative perception of drinking animal milk, precisely cow’s milk, with many critics citing that no other mammal, besides humans, continue to drink milk into adulthood. Milk has also gained a bad reputation for containing hormones. The natural assumption that has followed, is that milk is not healthy or beneficial for humans. Cow’s milk has been associated with possibly causing increased risks for developing Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, and certain cancers, but what exactly is in milk, and is drinking milk good for you?

What is milk? Continue reading

Heroin Chic: The Art of Imitating Life

images-7.jpegHeroin use in the United States has grown over the past decade into a national epidemic. What was once viewed as a drug of abuse for indigent war veterans in the 1970s and Black urban males in the 1980s has revealed itself to be in all geographical regions, in both genders, and in all races; but primarily amongst Caucasians. While the current heroin epidemic is far from glorified, there was a time —not so long ago, when such addiction was trendy.

In the 1990’s the opioid narcotic heroin was glamorized by pop culture where it featured heavily in “drug movies” such as, The Basketball Diaries, Trainspotting, Pulp Fiction, and Requiem for a Dream, and adopted in the Fashion and Art as what came to be known as: “Heroin Chic”.  Heroin Chic was blamed for the highest resurgence of heroin use for youths since the 1970’s. Continue reading