October 31, 2010

Sniper No Sniping!

So I nerd sniped myself last night in the middle of dinner by derailing to entire conversation to prove that twin primes always surround multiples of six (answer: in a given set of three numbers, one will be a multiple of three, and this cannot be one of the primes, so it's the middle value. Additionally, primes are odd, but odds and evens alternate so the middle number must be even. Even multiples of three are multiples of six. Proof made).

Last night I also didn't sleep enough (shocker) because it was my beloved Cammie's birthday. Well, birthday party, but it amounts to the same thing. We had a Harry Potter role-playing battle at the park, then went back to her house, watched Moulin Rouge (or however it's spelled), and stayed up until 3 am talking. In our defense, we thought daylight savings time was applied, and it was actually 2 am, but this turned out not to be the case.

Aside from that, MIT applications are due tomorrow, but I already finished mine, so this doesn't really matter. I ought to be studying for my chem test, and I think I need to read Candide this weekend, and I should figure out where I'm going with my Lit X, and write my college essays, and do a thousand other things on my to do list.

They'll get done. Someday.

October 10, 2010

Yeah, yeah, yeah

I've been a very bad blogger, I know. I'm working on it. I am, I am, I am.

To start with making it all up to you, I'm going to dive into my old schoolwork. Because I know you all really enjoy that (I know that a lot of you don't. But I'm doing it anyways.) Yay!

From what I can tell, I left off work in the middle of the Science Research folder of freshman year. So, basically, back when I actually did work for that class, instead of just continually reformatting my paper.

The first article is a study which found that leukemia with slower cell division is more successful, partly because it allows them to avoid therapies designed to destroy cells that divide quickly (this is why hair falls out during radiation: it divides quickly. At least, I think that's why...). Scientists found this by studying the p21 gene. I wonder if all p-genes are related to cancers.

The second article is about which transcription factors must be turned on to render somatic cells pluripotent. Prior to this study, Oct4, Sox2, c-Myc and Klf4 were needed to change fibroblasts into stem cells (genes have such fun names). This work found that Esrrb can replace the last two entirely, as it regulates expression of Klf4 in stem cells. It can also bind to the reprogramming factors Nanog and Oct4, thus inspiring (not the right verb, but whatever) pluripotency.)

The third article is no longer at the link I have. According to my notes, embryonic stem cells are derived from preimplantation embryos, which I've known since I did my independent study project on stem cells in sixth grade, but it apparently is still a piece of information that needs to be included in discussions of science. These cells have normal karyotypes, but I don't remember what karyotypes are (google newsflash: it's the number and appearance of chromosomes in eukaryotic cells). These cells have high telomerase activity, and telomerase is that protein that reverses telomere reduction and is totally going to cure aging someday. The cells have pluripotent markers and can divide for an ├╝ber-long time. If they differentiate into neurons (or, as Sadie would say, nyoo-rons), various growth factors, antagonists thereof, and morphogens become activated. I miss bio, but not enough to give up physics. Apparently, though scientists try to control this, they have trouble making all cells differentiate to the same thing. It still sounds cool, though.

The fourth article is about how the reprogramming factors work. Scientists examined when in the cell cycle and to what genes the pluripotency factors bind, and they found some nifty stuff. I just got really distracted by the fact that I now have access to Cell, where the actual journal article I couldn't read way back when I was doing this research is located. There are pictures. I can see them! I love summerschool's database access.

The last article is basically investigating the whole chimeric embryo thing. It found that differences in karyotypes and mitochondria will prevent inter-species hybrids from being formed. These scientists made a bunch, and none of them divided particularly much. I was kind of confused, because I thought human-animal hybrids were illegal, but apparently not.

I have now relearned something today.

October 3, 2010

Your Beloved Tea...

Is depressed. Again.


In other news, Rube is engaging in a cyber-barage of friendliness, and I've set a busy auto-reply to avoid him. Because I'm conniving like that.


Now I'm trying to write a prewrite, which is a surprisingly difficult endeaver. Especially considering that all I really want to do is curl up and sleep.

I blame college-related stress. I could do a long drawnout I-feel-like-I'm-losing-control-of-my-life, thing, but I think I'll just link to this post instead. Bubbles summed it up rather nicely.

Gretchen's "no one should be allowed to leave people in suspense for that long" was pretty good as well. Please, please let the early application work out. I don't want to spend any more time than I have to with an entirely mysterious future.

Aside from that is the not-good-enough grade in English, which, in the scheme of things, and considering my really, really good AP science grades, shouldn't be an issue, but still bothers me.

That sentence makes no sense.

I'm going to cover it up with a cauldron-full of faked enthusiasm, then go write a paper. I'm (not really) looking forward to it.