• Posted on July 17, 2012 10:49 pm
    By Chris

    Sometimes the lightbulb just goes on, today was one of them and its left me buzzing! I really am Vet School material and I really have learnt a lot.

    I’ve spent the past day visiting my big brother and catching up as I am not sure I will get another opportunity before I leave for Slovakia. Today travelling home I grabbed a copy of the New Scientist to entertain me on the train as my laptop battery was low. Anyways this is kinda how it went…

    Read loads about the Higgs particle which even though was several pages can be summed up in three words – “They Don’t Know”

    Read about Climate Change actually being a good thing as the earth has been cooling and heading towards another ice age so we are preventing that by global warming… Then another article saying that the earth was previous warmer than predicted… And then another saying the earths poles are swapping round… Summed up as “No general consensus”

    Read about Stem cells in court in the USA as other countries have been offering unproven/untested stem cell therapy with adipose tissue stem cells… This reminded me of a lecture series I attended at BSAVA Congress by Dr Daisuke Ito on the use of Stem Cell therapy for Spinal Cord Injury with some rather promising results with Olfactory Ensheathing Cells.

    Then there was genetics… More using genetics to diagnose disease and how genetic counsellors will be needed as testing for one disease may also highlight unrelated risk factors for other diseases such as cancer…. Reminded me of the reading I had done about how a retrovirus was used 10 years ago to replace the genes within canine RNA that caused Haemophilia B giving a cure. And made me wonder again why this had never made it to market… There was then a article looking at how inbreeding could be reversed using epigenetic treatment to allow small groups of endangered animals to have a more diverse gene pool. Then I started thinking about the genetics of disease, CPV (Canine Parvo Virus) has several different strains, with just 1 protein difference on the gene affecting the virulence & pathogenesis of the disease.

    One area that really did interest me is robots made out of inflatable rubber… Can see so many surgical applications here as instead of metal instruments using inflatable rubber would decrease tissue trauma and reduce the risk of accidental damage.

    There was also a article on why there had been no tissue cells from Lonesome George (the last giant tortoise of his kind that recently died) been frozen. Suggesting that cloning could be used to restore extinct/endangered species. Ethically this is a tough area for me as I am not sure whether restoring species is morally right when their natural habitat no longer exists…

    Microbes in the house, especially the kitchen… One of the gals in the year above me actually did a similar experiment as part of a Microbiology Project… She went round swabbing toilets around the university to see what she could culture (grow)… Microbiology taught so much in actually identifying unknown bacteria and different classes that I was shocked at just how much I knew.

    All of this set my brain off looking at the stuff I had actually learnt over the past 4 years, and I realised that I actually knew more than I had realised. Whether it was how a tumour has a complex microenvironment, to how RNA can be modified, to routes of actions of medications, working with bacteria, climate change, ecology, zoology, cloning and reproductive technologies, the genome, physiology of different tissues, disease, and more. It actually shocked me just how much is there waiting to come out…

    I now need sleep, so will leave it on that note until tommorow 🙂

    Posted in categories: Vet School Diary
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