Still Used

18 Sep

Ah hobo # 1 here. It shames me a bit to see this wonderful blog go to waste in the interweb archives. It’s been collecting virtual dust and grime since… well, this thing was graded.

For those who are too lazy to click the ‘About’ tab, this wordpress account was originally made to aid us in our biology assignment, hence the title Biology Means Business. You’d be happy to know that we got a shining A for our hard work. Huzzah!

Us 5 hobos have moved on. See, this blog was made when we were in grade 9 and, of course, we’re from the same class. That’s no longer a viable fact, though, since one of our hobo pal has changed school sob sob we miss you sob. But, no worries! We’re still good friends and we still hold our titles as professionally trained hobo pals.

So, since I’ll be officially opening this blog to the public again, I’m gonna edit some stuff in the About tab. Is anyone reading this, by the way? *shrug* I wave my hand to the virtual readers.

Let’s hope that this blog will go on until we hobos die off one by one. AMEN.

I’m Feeling “Nervous” Now.

24 Apr

Have you ever experienced touching hot objects for pleasure? Of course you will never do that, won’t you? Even idiots won’t do that. Anyway, when you unintentionally touch hot or spiny objects, your hand will automatically move away from it, but why and how? Now I, hobo#4, will show more details about nervous system and its numerous medical problems.

Slight warning: there would be a lot of complicated medical terms that I also found confusing so always have wikipedia ready with you.

Firstly, a diagram of the human nervous system:

*click for a closer look*

Back to Basics

We as a living organism are able to react to changes in our environment. Changes in the environment that causes an organism to react is called stimulus. While response is an organism’s reaction to a stimulus. Examples of organism that respond to a stimulus: plants grow towards the light, cockroaches (the most disgusting animal in the world for me) hide from the light, and so many on. These organisms able to respond to a stimulus which in termed sensitivity and irritability.

Nervous system controls various activities in our body and is divided into voluntary and involuntary actions. Our nervous system is made up of central nervous system (CNS) which consists of brain and spinal cord and the other one is peripheral nervous system (PNS) which consists of cranial nerves from brain, spinal nerves from spinal cord and senses organs. First, sense organs receive stimuli, hence they are called receptors. Then, they inform CNS of changes in the environment by producing electrical messages called nerve impulses. Next, the nerve impulses are carried by nerves to CNS. The brain receives the nerve impulses and responds it by sending nerve impulses to muscles, the muscles (based on the unimportant example above in the very first sentence) contract/jerk away. Thus, muscles are known as effectors.

Each neuron has a cell body, nucleus, cytoplasm and nerve fibers. A nerve fibre is a strand of cytoplasm extending from the cell body. After reading boring articles above made by a bored hobo, let’s refresh your mind by looking at the diagram below. It shows the structure of a motor neurone (I take that back; this diagram is so dull it won’t refresh my ice tea).

Diseases

There are a lot of problems that can be found among nervous tissues. Most would be directly linked to problems in the brain. I am going to explain some here.

Poliomyelitis

It is an acute viral infectious disease spread from the infected one to another. There are spinal polio (mostly infect legs), bulbar polio (weakened of muscles innervated by cranial nerve) and bulbospinal polio (combination of spinal and bulbar polio). It is caused by polio virus (PV) and there is no symptom at all from this disease. Passive immunization and vaccine can be applied to prevent it. To treat this disease, treatments such as antibiotics, physical therapy and, in some cases, orthopedic surgery.

Epilepsy

It is a common chronic neurogical disorder classified by seizures. These seizures portray of abnormal signs and symptoms and excessive neuronal activity in brain. It is caused by hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, CNS infections, trauma, congenital CNS abnormalities, metabolic disorders, stress, etc depends on your age and no symptoms as well as prevention. Medication, surgery, therapy, ketogenic diet, electrical stimulation and canine warning system are ways of medication.

Stroke 

Also known as cerebrovascular accident (CVA) develops rapidly to make brain lose its functions due to the blood clot in blood supply to brain. It is because of ischemia which is lack of blood flow caused by blockage (thrombosis, arterial embolism), or a hemorrhage (leakage of blood). The symptoms are sudden-onset face weakness, arm drift, abnormal speech, hemiplegia, numbness and reduction in sensory or vibratory sensation, altered breathing and heart rate, etc. Ways to prevent are control blood pressure regularly, do physical activities, healthy diet and lower down alcohol, cigarette and drugs consumption. It can be treated by surgery to remove blood clot, treatments which are thrombolysis (breaking the blood clot) and thrombectomy (remove it mechanically), medications aspirin, clopidogrel and dypiridamol), mechanical thrombectomy, angioplasty and stenting.

Here’s a video about another nervous system disease: Meningtis

Yep, I think that’s all from me. I hope you can understand better.

See ya next time~

Hobo #4 (Jessica Nanny)

You’ll Never Know When It’ll Come.

23 Apr

Hi! This is Hobo#3 reporting. I’m going to tell you about basic circulatory system and about the silent killer. You can find facts, links, videos, pictures about circulatory system and the silent killer here. Yes, right here. Right in this article.

Now, we start on the basic knowledge about the circulatory system. Circulatory system is system that involves heart, capillaries, arteries and veins that moves blood throughout the body. Our heart, of course, is the heart of it all. No pun intended. Along with the heart are the many arteries and veins which act as pipes that pass blood around the body as well as numerous other important things like hormone and food substances.

Here’s how the heart works: our heart pumps blood to 4 chambers; 2 atrium and 2 ventricles. Ventricles’ job is to pump the blood. Left ventricle pumps the oxygenated (rich in oxygen) blood to the other parts of your body, while right ventricle pumps the deoxygenated (opposite of oxygenated) blood to the lungs. There are 4 valves in the heart that controls the flow of the blood. The blood enters the right ventricle when the valve open, other valve also open to transfer the deoxygenated blood to the lungs. When the other valve open, the oxygenated blood is pure to the left ventricle then to the aorta. The blood then send to the other part of the body.

To put it in a visual form, just watch this video:

Want the full explanation about The Human Circulatory System?Click here!

The Silent Killer

There are around 459,840 people per year, 38,320 people per month, 8,843 people per week, 1,259 people per day in USA die because of heart attack, the silent killer. It is called that because of how you cannot see obvious symptoms until it’s too late. Most circulatory problems always lead to heart attacks.

Anyway, heart attack usually happens then the flow of oxygenated blood to the heart muscle (in coronary artery) is blocked. When blood flow is not restored quickly, the heart muscle begins to die. The inside of the coronary artery is harden because of the plaque (fatty materials). This condition is called atherosclerosis. When plaque cracks, it will start to build a clot on the surface of the plaque. The clot makes the passageway of the blood narrower or it might completely block the blood flow in the artery. Then, the part of the heart muscle becomes damaged, the heart can’t pump the blood to all parts of the body. It causes chest, back, jaw, arm pain; hard or shortness of breath; or other symptoms.

Heart attack can also caused by severe spasm (can occur to people with or without coronary artery disease) or coronary artery that become tight. Severe spasm and tighten coronary artery can cut the blood flow to the heart muscle.

Click here for quick facts about heart attacks.

First Aid to a Heart Attack

Heart attacks are immediate and unexpected. It’s always good to prevent them but just in case it happens you still have a little time to ease the pain before it becomes fatal immediately in place.

When you feel pain on the left side of the chest and starts to spread to the arms and chin, you have to:

  • Call someone that is near or with you (your family or your neighbor) for telling them that you get heart attack.
  • Ask them to lay your body and loosen your clothes, so you can breath easier.

When your heart beat is not normal,  you feel like you want to faint, and no one is with you:

  • Cough as hard as possible, but you have to take a deep breath before you cough. Repeat every 2 seconds until your heart beat back to normal or help arrives.

Do’s and Don’ts

Here are some tips on how to prevent heart attacks or circulatory problems.

Do’s:

  • Regular physical exercise
  • Choosing to live a healthy lifestyle
  • Proper stress management
  • Control your blood pressure and diabetes
  • Maintain your weight

Don’ts:

  • Smoke
  • Eat fatty foods, excess salt, and too much red meats
  • Stress

So, always check what you’re eating and exercise. Maintaining a healthy circulatory system is essential for everyone. You don’t want the Reaper to suddenly knock on your door don’t you?

Adios!

-Hobo#3 (Eugenia Marianne)

Meet the Endocrine Mafia

20 Apr

C-C-C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER! Yes, it’s Hobo #5 (y’know, the one who made the awesome background?) reporting telling you all you need to know about the endocrine system. Now before I start, let me tell you that  I am most certainly not good with words, so expect more pictures than paragraphs from me. Besides, I like pictures.

Inside your body, there is a group of organs. Like a mafia, they are indistinguishable and undercover but plays a large (and

Oh my God, a hermaphrodite!

important) role in your body.  These organs, or glands to be exact, secrete special chemicals called hormones that stimulates other organs to do their work. Hormones are essential in controling your bodyly functions and very crucial in growth and in homeostatis. (I could tell you what that is, but that’s a different hobo’s job!)

So where do all of these hormones come from? Hormones are created in different glands called the endocrine glands; together, they make the endocrine system. Endocrine meaning two words in Greek; endo which means ‘inside’, ‘within’ and crinis meaning ‘to secrete’. Basically, the endocrine system is a system that secretes substances inside the body. They are ductless organs you see, which means they don’t have a special duct/pathway from the original gland to the target organ. The hormones are transported inside the bloodstream.

The Family

This gland reminds me of something... (Click picture for details!)

Starting from the head, we got the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland makes all necessary hormones to trigger and control other endocrine glands. The hypothalamus on the other hand, serves as the link to the endocrine and nervous system. Nerve cells in the hypothalamus control the pituitary gland to stimulate or suppress production of hormones it secretes.

An idea of what it looks like.

The bow-tie or butterfly-shaped organ in your throat is called the thyroid gland. It secretes thyriod hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine which play a role as a controller of the rate of cells burning fuels from food to produce energy. These hormones also play a part in bone growth. When a person recieves too little thyroxin, dwarfism occurs and when the opposite happens, gigantism will occur. (Now what else will you blame for your inaverage height?) The parathyroids, they are the wee glands attached to the thyroids that regulates the amount of calcium in the blood, with the help of calcitonin produced by the thyroids of course.

Next we move to the pancreas. Yes people, the pancreas actually DOES have a job keeping your body in tip-top shape, it’s not much

Carrots.

of a lazy carrot who likes to hang with the digestive system for the sake of being seen like you always thought. Now the pancreas is responsible for regulating your blood glucose levels, by secreting the hormones insulin and glygocen. When blood glucose goes way above the normal level, that change in the environment stimulates the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas to secrete insulin, which then the hormone stimulates cells to convert glucose into glucogen for energy, this is usually done after eating. The glycogen acts on opposite conditions, when the blood glucose level drops below average. Unlike insulin, glycogen prevents cells for too much conversion of glucose to glycogen thus blood glucose levels rises.

I want those hats.

Right, now for the funny looking gland. This ‘twin’ gland sits atop comfortably on each kidney, making odd shaped hats. Each secretes a hormone called adrenalin and both are called, yes you guessed it, the adrenal glands! Adrenalin is secreted when you’re in stress, when exercising, anger or when you’re in utter danger. This gives this gland here its name, the ‘fight or flight’ organ. It enables you to be more focused and aware of your surroundings. You’re strength , eyesight, hearing and reflexes could be doubled, tripled even, for your body to be ready for any situations possible. I like to think they are natural meth for the body.

Ah, I have expected for you to be eager for this. Last but not least, the gonads. Of course

This guy lacks testosterone.

you know where they are, just right below the belt you have the testes for gents, and ovaries for the ladies. The testes secrete a hormone called testosterone, they are responsible for the growth of our male counterparts. Tetosterone regualte body changes mostly for sexual development like penis enlargement, growth spurt occuring during puberty, and secondary changes like voice deepening, facial and pubic hair and don’t forget growth of muscle and strength. Also with the help of the master gland, testosterone helps the production of sperm cells.

Think about it people, you all originated here.

For our female counterparts, in addition of egg cells the ovaries produce two hormones which are oestrogen and progesterone. Estrogen involves in sexual features like breast growth, the fat distribution around the hips and thighs and growth spurt. Basically, that hormone is what makes the females look attractive to men, so girls with large hips, keep on the bright side that you’re much more attractive than some women (girls, you’re not alone). During pregnancy and menstruation, oestrogen works together with progesterone to regulate menstruation cycles and the stages of pregnancy.

You can ask Aunty Wiki about the endocrines here, or have a look at these other places, like this or this.

Oh look! Interactives!

The Troubles They Bring

Of course, all of your internal organs can be infected in one way or another. When something threatens the endocrine family, it is important to cure (or better, prevent!) any diseases happening to the system, since this is an internal organ system that affects all the internal organs we’re talking about. Do you want something bad happening, INSIDE YOU?

Diabetes

On the pancreas, there’s diabetes. Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) has two types, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 usually occurs on early stages of adolescence, starting around 13-14 years old. That is caused by insufficient secretion of insulin by the Islets of Langerhans, in other words, your pancreas fails to do its job. This of course leads to overboard increase of blood glucose concentration levels. Type 2 diabetes happens mostly on adults or obese people. This is caused by cells not working properly to use glucose for energy. On both types, symptoms include: easy tiredness, constant urination and increased hunger. Symptoms show faster in Type 1 in weeks or months, while in Type 2 symptoms shows after years or just absent.

Type 1 diabetics need to inject insulin in order to keep sufficient level of glucose concentration in the blood. Type 2 diabetes need to watch out on their sugary diet and do routine exercise. If diabetes still occur, Type 2 diabetics might also need to inject insulin.

For more information on other endocrine problems, refer to here, here and here.

Well that’s all I could tell you about this little organisation. If you want to know more, then why don’t you take a major in physiology, eh?

Now for a little eye candy.

The family. Can you name them all?

Cheerios!

-Hobo #5 (Apsari Marsha Saraswati)

Pleasure Brings PAIN!!

17 Apr

Okay, if hobo#1 shared about the ugly lungs and respiratory system of the ugly smokers to you, now it’s time for me (the other cool hobo, hobo#2) to get you to know something about drugs.

I’m pretty sure that you guys have heard about the word: drug. According to my biology teacher’s drugs article, a drug is any substance that will affect your body in a chemical way once it is taken.

There are legal and illegal drugs. Legal drugs are mostly medical drugs used to treat and cure diseases, while illegal drugs are mostly drugs that have more severe effects to an organism’s systems, which are most times called recreational drugs.

Dependency and Addiction--some of the things that would likely happen with drugs.

Different drugs, different effects.

Have you ever seen a person in an “over-eighteen” movie taking drugs and then they’re going like an epileptic, laughing out loud without any reason, and then saying things that they couldn’t even understand? Yep, that’s what will happen if you take too much of illegal euphoric drugs such as nicotine, heroin, codeine or morphine. It changes the way in which neurons send impulses. It acts at synapses in your nervous system!

Here are some  examples of drugs (legal and not) and its health effects on us:

(there are links on the sub-titles that concerns the topic so click away!)

Alcohol

This is one of some drugs that I admire the most. Do you know why? Because it’s amazing! Once it’s drunk, it’s absorbed very quickly to the blood because it is a very small molecule that doesn’t need to be digested. It’s soluble in cell membranes and also absorbed really quick through the walls of stomach and small intestine.

If it’s not over consumed, alcohol has positive effects. You can get relaxed, energetic, confident and more “alive”. You will also feel less tired so that you don’t need much rest.
But, in abusive use, alcohol could make you unable to think and judge things clearly. It can also cause euphoria, loss of motor control, slurred speech, loss of control, balance and etc. Alcohol can also cause aggression. After a very heavy dose of usage, you will have a total loss of coordination, extreme confusion, coma, or even death.

Stimulants (Amphetamines)

Methamphetamine and Dexedrine are some drugs that can increase your alertness and physical activity. These drugs will increase your heart and breathing rates and blood pressure, dilate your pupils and make you lost your appetite. The side-effects are sweating, blurred vision, dry mouth, insomnia, and dizziness.

Large dose of usage of these drugs can result in a condition known as amphetamine psychosis; which can result in auditory, visual and tactile hallucinations, extreme paranoia, irrational thoughts and beliefs, delusions, and mental confusion.

Cocaine

I wish this was only snow...

These drugs are all very addictive stimulants. It gave the users a short-lived intense euphoria. This is why the users usually use these drugs again and again to gain the first effect of usage. Cocaine can cause an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, respiration and body temperature. Since sometimes coke is taken in to the body by inhaling, too much inhaling coke could damage nasal membranes.

Heavy usage of the drug could cause insomnia, hyperactivity, anxiousness, agitation and malnutrition. Overdose of usage can lead to immediate death!

Nicotine

Nicotine is a legal drug. This chemical ingredient that is found in tobacco or cigarettes can cause lungs cancer, larynx cancer and mouth cancer. It negatively affects some natural biological functions of the body like how it raises the rate of your heart beat even though you feel relaxed and this causes strain to the circulatory system and increases chances of stroke; along with the other chemicals in cigarettes, it damages the cilia in the airways leading to the lungs causing respiratory problems; cigarettes also damage your teeth and gums and give you a case of bad breath.

Nicotine is highly addictive. Once you’ve become dependent on it, it will be so hard for you to stop the addiction.

Caffeine

Toothpastes hate me.

Yes, I said it! Put that 3rd cup of coffee down, workaholics. Caffeine can be found mostly in coffee, tea, soft drinks, cocoa and some drugs that you can find in the drugstore. Yes, they’re legal, I know, but it could be concluded as a drug since it, too, change how a lot of stuff goes in the body. Too much consumption of caffeine may lead to nausea, insomnia, diarrhea, headaches, and etc. Pregnant women that consume too much caffeine can also increase the risk of miscarriage and low birth weight of the baby.

So, it’s almost basically the same for any kind of drugs. Once you’ve become addicted, and you want to stop the addiction, you will get fatigue, headache, nausea and irritability. Problem is, with addiction, you’ll also develop a dependency over the drug which is saying you couldn’t live without them. That’s a good thing to say to your loved one, that you can’t live without them, but to a drug just say “NO THANKS, BIZZOY, AND KEEP YOUR DISTANCE FROM ME.”

Drugs also do a whole lot of bad thing to your physical appearance. You’ll look dead before you could even say ‘where’s my coffee?!’

Witness this poor sap:

I do not want to believe they are the same person... but they are.

Yeah, that’s not good, man… That’s what I call “pleasure brings pain”. At first, you’ll feel a great, unexplainable pleasure. Then, you’ll feel pain. And then you can’t feel anything; you’re dead and your mama’s crying beside your grave. Isn’t that pathetic?

So, if you don’t want that to happen to you, never try to taste or even touch those illegal things except your doctor told you to do so, okaaaaay?

Go here and here to find out about other drugs.

And now for the videos~

SAY NO TO DRUGS!

-Hobo #2 (Felicia Jovita)

Puffing Ain’t Pretty

14 Apr

In most mornings before school I would take my breakfast real quick. A few weeks ago a poured myself a bowl of cereal and munched it down like I’ve never eaten cereal before; the morning was growing late. Coincidentally, my dad had to go to work earlier so we had our breakfast at the same time. We agreed that he’ll take me to school on his way to work. My mom and my sister already went first.

Dad told me to wait outside while he get his things packed and have the car ready. But while I was waiting I spotted some guys across the street having breakfast. Sadly, their breakfast was less (much, MUCH less) healthier than mine: some sticks of cigarettes.

I started coughing just seeing it. And they made a few coughs too.

Then I started thinking: how much does smoking REALLY affects your health? Particularly on a certain specific system.

That is what I, hobo #1, am going to discuss about in this here post. Since my article should revolve around the physical health of the respiratory system, I think that I should bring this old case up and go back to square one. You know, just to make everything clear and all.

An overview

Let’s see the difference between a healthy person’s lungs and a smoker’s lungs:

Eww.

We can understand that smoking is not modest at all in choosing its victims. It is not sexist, racist, anarchist or any kind of –ist. If smoking was a person, he would be very well respected. But, NO, it is not a respectable person. It is a harmful habit and it should not be tolerated at all, AT ALL!! I cannot stress that enough.

Yay for descriptive pictures!

In any case, smoking is also not modest in choosing its target organs. For one thing, it increases your chances of having all kinds of heart diseases and cancer. If you think the smoker is doing himself something awful, try the non-smokers who sit next to them on their way to work in a public transportation who inhales more smoke than the smoker himself. That’s just a new level of being extremely rude. Anyway, speaking of inhaling, it gives us a very clear idea on what them cigarettes harm the most: your poor lungs. Heck, it’s actually the whole enchilada: your respiratory system!

What’s in them?

You like smoking paint and batteries, dont you?

Let’s be bad cooks for a while and discover the ingredients that are in cigarettes, shall we?

First up is tar. Tar is a sticky chemical and it is arguably the big cheese in causing respiratory health problems from smoking. It mostly affects the cilia which are these tiny brooms found a lot in the trachea. Its main function is the same as real brooms: to sweep dirt. But it won’t work well with tar covering it; dirt will get stuck on it instead. Tar also affects the amount of mucus produced by the glands in the trachea by increasing it. Having excess mucus and dirt in your trachea can narrow the airways, making it harder for air to flow. Sooner or later it gets worse and your cilia won’t work at all.

The trachea isn’t the only part of the airway that is affected. Your bronchi will also fall as a victim. Hydrogen cyanide is our culprit now. Combined with the powers of tar and other chemicals, it aggravates the already damaged airways and exacerbates the bad effects on your bronchi. This can cause chronic bronchitis which makes you cough really, really hard. Like, ouch.

These violent coughs affects out little air sacs or alveoli that are in out lungs. Since harsh coughs exerts pressure to the air sacs (the place where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide happens) so much, it damages the physical shape of the partition walls of the air sacs which will make them lose their elasticity and it becomes hard for gaseous exchange to happen. This results in short breaths. This is a chronic disease called emphysema.

Emphysema yo!

Other ingredients (a whole 4000 of them!) affect every other system in your body. Nicotine, for example, raises blood pressure. Carbon monoxide (the stuff from your car’s exhaust pipe), is a dangerous poison to your circulatory system, too. But that’s a story for another pie.

But, if you haven’t developed any of the chronic diseases, there’s still chance to heal your lungs! By just simply stop puffing cigarettes slowly, the body’s cells will repair itself after a long while so your lungs will go back to normal. Not only that, but we’ll throw in a ten times decrease in chances of having lung cancer with no additional price! Isn’t the human body awesome?

To learn a bit more about how smoking affects to the body and the benefits of  quitting, go here and here.

So, now that you’ve read a lot here, you must’ve learned a nugget or two about smoking and how it affects the respiratory system. It truly brings more bad than good if you think about it. Even only a few sticks could cause pain to you and those around you so it’s better to just call quits before you have emphysema or lung cancer or death, right kids?

And now for a real quick video on how smoking affects the lungs.

Have a nice day!
-Hobo #1 (Ivanova Anjani)

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