Author : Olwen Reina

Written on Jul, 18, 2017 by in

Every middle school biology student is told the same lies.

Well, perhaps it’s more fair to say the same, “incredible oversimplifications of the truth”.

In biology 101, I was told that the nucleus is the “brain of the cell”, the membrane is the “wall of the cell” and the mitochondria is the “power plant of the cell”.

The power plant of the cell…

*cringe!*

Let’s talk about the many functions of mitochondria in the body, mitochondrial dysfunction and how in vitro bioassays help ensure the safety of drugs. (more…)

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Written on Jul, 05, 2017 by in ,

You’re in a bakery full of delicious treats. After a lot of soul-searching, you set your heart on a pecan danish. You reach for your wallet. But wait – how did you go from deciding how wanted your wallet to having your wallet in your hand?

Thank your motor neurons.

What are motor neurons?

Motor neurons are the nerve cells that come from the brain, go through the body and eventually reach your muscles. When you want to move, they signal the appropriate muscles to contract.

There are two types of motor neurons: the upper motor neurons (UPNs) and the lower motor neurons (LMNs). The names are helpful: the uppers are in your central nervous system (CNS; your brain and spinal cord) and the lowers are in your peripheral nervous system (PNS; the nerves that connect the CNS to the organs, tissues and limbs).

How does the brain tell the muscles to contract?

First the short story:

(more…)

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Written on Jun, 13, 2017 by in , ,

Pharmaceutical quality is of vital importance.

Imagine getting a prescription from your doctor for drug X. You go to the pharmacy to pick it up, grab a bottle of water and then take the recommended dose hoping for the best because you have no idea what the quality of this bottle of drug X is!

This would includes not knowing if what you’re taking is:

  1. what it says on the label;
  2. safe for human consumption;
  3. effective;
  4. within a safe use-by date;
  5. of the correct strength;
  6. tested well;
  7. contaminated with microbes (anything else for that matter!)

*Merp*!

Thankfully, the FDA regulates these things (sigh of relief).

This is known as “CGMP” (Current Good Manufacturing Practice) or just “GMP” (Good Manufacturing Practice).  (more…)

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