My Chosen Cell!!!!


I am like a biconcave disk flattened in the centre which gives my donut shaped appearance. I have no nucleus, I can live for about 3 to 4 months. You know me and you definitely can’t do without me.  I provide a large surface area for diffusion to occur.  I bet you know who I am at this point. Last hint! I contain the red pigment, haemoglobin. Ah, so now you know me! Who am I???? I am a RED BLOOD CELL.

     I am a red blood cell (erythrocyte). I have originated from bone marrow, i.e. the flexible tissue in the interior of bones. To be more specific, I have originated from red bone marrow. Red bone marrow is found mainly in flat bones, such as the pelvis, sternum, cranium, ribs, vertebrae.  I started as an immature cell and after a period of 7 days I matured. I am released into the bloodstream. I particularly enjoy being found in my most favourite organ, the heart. This heart is a hollow muscular organ which pumps blood to all the systems of the body. In this case, the mouse’s petite body.  The red blood cells contain a special protein called haemoglobin which carries the oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and then returns carbon dioxide from the body to the lungs to be exhaled. The appearance (red) of blood is due to the large number of red blood cells which get their colour from haemoglobin (iron- containing pigment).  Most of the iron in new red blood cells is recycled from old red blood cells.  


My Model Organism- THE MOUSE


    The mouse is a vertebrate mammal which is approximately 7cm. It has 2 sexes which are useful in genetic experiments. Foreign DNA can be introduced into these organisms.  The mouse has close genetic and physiological similarities to humans and therefore scientists can use its genome for analysis and manipulation.

The mouse is better for observation and developmental processes of the systems such as the skeletal, nervous and other systems that mammals share. Mice also naturally develop diseases which affect their systems that humans and other mammals get such as diabetes, cancer and others. However, by simply manipulating the environment and mouse genome, diseases such as Alzheimer’s can be induced as it is not the norm in mice. In addition, there is the ability to create transgenic mice. Here, a new gene is inserted into the animal’s line sequence.  There is also ‘knock out’ genes where  there is replacement of existing genes with altered versions.  There is the preservation of the mice strains which aid in propagation of strains of poor reproduction. They have even looked into reproductive technologies. For example: in vitro fertilisation.

    An example of a disease that mice have assisted scientists in understanding is Down syndrome. This is a common birth aberration resulting from an extra copy of chromosome 21, also known as trisomy. The Ts65Dn mouse imitates trisomy 21 and displays the defects associated with Down Syndrome in humans which include thymic defects, small size and mental deficits.,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.53217764,d.dmg,pv.xjs.s.en_US.pH0zO5MLsZ0.O&biw=1366&bih=595&dpr=1&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=h45DUv6UBbLe4AOlg4DQBQ#facrc=_&imgdii=_&


Model Organisms



A model organism is an animal, plant or microbe that can be used to study certain biological processes. By using model organisms, scientists can observe anatomical functions and actions. This can lead to methods of developing diagnostics for treating diseases in humans as well as health maintenance. These models are usually affordable and grow rapidly. They are also widely available for experimental research. They have shown basic standards that can be used for operating which are similar to living things.

In addition, these organisms can develop a disease or its symptoms associated with this. This can allow researchers to study and learn more about the disease.  These organisms can reveal changes at the gene or molecular level that can aid in research of the diseases.  An example of such a model organism is the mouse (Mus musculus).

I have chosen my model organism to be the mouse.

It’s been a while!!!!!

It’s been so long! I didn’t think i would have revisited this blog any time soon. Now that I’m here I might as well get on with it.  So, I am currently in year 2 and this is a  new journey that I embark. I am doing a course called Cell and Developmental Biology and I have an assignment to do which involves a chosen cell in given organisms. So you’ll be hearing from me as we go through this semester with this assignment.



Benefits of Enzymes

Enzymes are so useful to us. Enzymes are biological catalysts that speed up the rate of a reaction. The article I chose was entitled: “Use of Enzymes for Fibrosis, Scars, Keloids, Lung Diseases and Cancer.” According to the article by Tony Isaacs, a natural health author, advocate and researcher, as we get older,  one of our leading deaths is caused by fibrosis. So you are probably wondering what is Fibrosis? Well, Fibrosis is scar tissue. In other words, we produce less enzymes while aging and this results in less ability to overcome fibrin accumulation from cuts or blood vessels.

He stated that people who suffer from the disease cystic fibrosis do not produce enzymes at all and therefore die at an early age. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease characterised by a build up of thick, sticky mucus which affects your body’s organs. It affects your secretory glands which make mucus and sweat.

The fact that as we age, enzyme production decreases, can be seen in women as a result of various conditions such as uterine fibroids and fibrocystic breast disease. Therefore, our wounds do not heal as fast as they would have as if we were younger. It is also noted that doctors in the United States have become aware of the enzymes’  benefits since by replacing lost enzymes, it reduces scar tissue fibrosis.

Research done has resulted in a powerful enzyme, Serrapeptase which is derived from a species of bacteria called Serratia marcescens E1. this bacteria is found in the intestines of silkworms and permits the worms to exit the cocoon to continue its growth.  Based on the studies carried out, the serrapeptase decreases scar tissue development and inflammation while promoting healing. Serrapeptase has an important role in diminishing such scar tissue. Serrapeptase is sensitive to a low pH and aids in being an anti-inflammatory agent. It also assists in cancer and tumors.


Does Red Meat Really Raise The Risk Of Heart Disease?

    So I know some of you like red meat. Those are meats like duck, goat, rabbit, lamb etc. Red meat simply refers to meat that is red in colour before it is cooked. The article that was chosen was entitled: “Red meat boosts gut bugs that raise heart disease risk.” This article was based on people who consume red meat in an abundance, increase their risk of heart disease. This is simply due to a the presence of a nutrient called carnitine.

Carnitine is a quaternary ammonium compound derived from an amino acid. It is made up from the essential amino acids lysine and methionine. L-carnitine is the most popular type of carnitine. Carntine is used as an energy supply for the cells and muscles. It also prevents in the build up of fatty acid in the heart, liver and skeletal muscles.

Based on the discovery from Stanley Hazen at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute in Ohio, too much carnitine increases the risk of atherosclerosis (the thickening of the artery walls). He and some of his colleagues carried out an experiment with mice and the use of carnitine. They included a diet high in carnitine and fed it to the mice. This resulted in an increase in the disease, atherosclerosis. Similarly,  some people were also placed on a cardiac evaluation and those who consumed the high levels of carnitine were thought to be at a greater risk of the heart disease.  In addition, this experiment was done with meat eaters and vegans. They were both fed the carnitine. It was noted that the meat eaters  had higher levels of carnitine than the vegans. Due to the fact that they had higher levels of carnitine, there were higher levels of TMAO (trimethylamine-N-oxide), excreted in urine. This substance was converted from TMA(trimethylamine) in which carnitine is broken down and found in the gut where bacteria are located.

TMAO levels are important as they aid in the removal of bad cholesterol which can build up as plaque in the arteries. Carnitine is tranported to the mitochondria where it can be burned preventing the fatty acid build up.

Stanley Hazen, therefore hopes that he can use this and form a test for doctors to detect the high cholesterol levels and monitor the TMAO  so that they can monitor the disease of atherosclerosis.