Welcome To My Biology 111 Wikispace!

Hey everyone! Thanks for checking out my Wikispace. I'm still new at this, so just hold on tight until I manage to figure out how to work everything! Thanks!

Today in my Biology 121 class we learned about creating new species such as mules and ligers. I found this to be very interesting and so I decided to find some information on the liger, because they're much more fun than mules! Ligers are a mix between a tiger and a lion and although they have only been able to create the liger in a laboratory, and not in the wild, it is very interesting. I found a very interesting video on youtube. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Click the picture to navigate to the youtube video!
(2008) Liger on National Geographic Humanzee. Retrieved 23, September 2008. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zOWYj59BXI>

Spinal Cord Injury
As many of you probably already know, most of the cells in the body are dividing or going through the process known as mitosis quite frequently, such as skin and hair cells. Other cells in the body however do not regenerate and if they are damaged, are not able to repair themselves. One example of this would be the spinal cord. If the spinal cord is damaged it can lead to being paralyzed completely. Although I know a bit about this, I decided I would like to do some research on this...

(2007) Brain and Spinal Cord. Retrieved 7, October 2008. <www.ohsu.edu/thinkfirst/brain.htm>

First to understand why you may become paralyzed when your spinal cord is injured you will probably need to know what the spinal cord is responsible for. In a nutshell, the spinal cord is the pathway for nerves to send information to the different limbs so that they can carry out their functions. There are different sections of the spinal cord that help to move the torso and upper body. Each section of the spinal cord is responsible for sending different information to different areas.
The cervical spinal cord has eat levels and each is responsible for different functions in the neck, shoulders and arms, up to the brain.
The area of the spinal cord which nerves are connected to the chest muscles is the thoracic region. This muscle helps with breathing and coughing.
In the lumbosacral region of the spinal cord, the nerves supply sensation to most of the lower body including the feet, legs, pelvis and lower abdomen.

In the picture shown above, you can see each region of the spinal cord. Depending on what part of the spinal cord is injured, a different part of your body may be in jeopardy of getting paralyzed. In most cases, wherever the cord is damaged, it is from that point down that is paralyzed. In many cases, you lose both control of the limbs, and of the bowel and bladder. As you move up the spinal cord, more functions are lost as you become closer to the brain. A paraplegic is one who has been paralyzed and lost control of their lower limbs and in part or whole of their torso. A quadriplegic is one who has been paralyzed and lost control of their upper and lower limbs and in part or of their torso.


-> Over only one year, between 20 and 30 people in New Brunswick incur spinal cord injuries.
-> In Canada an estimated 36 000 people live with spinal cord injuries with and estimated 1 050 new injuries each year.
-> About 80% of spinal cord injuries occur in people under the age of 30
-> Over 82 300 people over the age of 15 in New Brunswick have an injury related to mobility, that's 11% of the population!!!
-> The most common cause of spinal cord injuries in Canada is car accidents, and the second is falls.

Spine Anatomy 101. Retrieved 7, October 2008. <http://www.canparaplegic.org/en/SCI_Facts_67/items/7.html>
Fast Facts. Retrieved 8, October, 2008. <http://www.cpanb.ca/fastfacts.html>

Kristine Howie asked me if there is anything one can do to help prevent spinal cord injuries, and I guess what I found out is really, no there is nothing special you can do, other than the normal safety precautions that anyone should take already. But here are a few anyways...

When Driving:
-> Always wear a seatbelt.
-> Any children in the car should be in car seats appropriate to their size

In General:
-> Make sure handrails are secured to the wall in stairwells
-> Place non-slip mats in and around your shower/bathtub
-> Wear non-slip shoes
-> Do not reach high for objects, always find a step stool
-> Exercise regularly to keep the muscles from becoming easily damaged
-> Do your best to prevent taking medications which cause dizziness
-> Always pick up anything laying in on the floor to prevent falls

In Sports:
-> Always take the proper time needed to warm up before engaging in any sport

Eating well and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help to reduce any risks of your body itself being at high risk of these injuries. You should also have regular physicals done to make sure you're healthy!!

Spinal Cord Injury(SCI):Prevention Tips. Retrieved 8, October 2008. <http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/sciprevention.htm>

Why Your Stomach Growls
Have you ever wondered why your stomach growls? I'm sure most of you have felt your stomach growl when you're really hungry, but did you now that your stomach, and even your small intestine can growl at any time. The study of this actually goes as far back as to the Greeks who gave the name Borborygmi. They used this word because it sounds like the action of your stomach growling, and is therefore and onomatopoeia. It now translates as "rumbling".

Most people believe their stomach only growls when their hungry but this is not true. Your stomach can growl at any time but is heard more when the stomach and small intestines are empty. When the stomach growls it is due to muscle contractions trying to push the food, water and any gases you may have in your digestion system. When the stomach is empty, or nearly empty these growls can be heard louder because there is nothing to muffle the noise.

Here is a short video to explain it better...

Andrews, Mark A. W. Why does your stomach growl when you are hungry?. Retrieved 6, November 2008 from Scientific America Website. <http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=why-does-your-stomach-gro>

Why? Tell Me Why! :: Stomach Noise. ( 1, March 2007). Retrieved 6, November 2008 from Youtube website. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLldX5mJZEI>

Klinefelter Syndrome
Also known as XXY Syndrome, Klinefelter Syndrome affects roughly one in every 500 male births. Many males born with this extra X chromosome can live their entire lives without ever knowing it, but in others it can cause phyical changes, or cause infertility. For those males who are diagnosed with XXY syndrome, it is not usually until they hit puberty and they begin to grow breasts. Many of these are not large enough to cause the affected person discomfort or embarassement, although some might seek medical attention to have them removed or reduced. Others who have been diagnosed are adults who are seeking medical attention for infertility. When being examinded the physician might also recognize that the affected person may have undersided testes. The physician may also order tests to detect increased levels of the hormone gonadotropin which is common in those affected by XXY syndrome. To complete a diagnosis for Klinefelter's syndrome a blood sample is taken and a karyotype is done to prove whether or not the extra X chromosome is present.

Regular Male XY karyotype:

Notice normal X and Y Chromosome at bottom right of screen.

Male affected by Klinefelter Syndrome karyotype:
Notice at the bottom right of the screen there are TWO X chromosomes for the one Y chromosome.

In more rare cases and with more exaggerated symptoms there can be three or four X chromosome present in a male. To follow are some pictures of males affected with XXY Syndrome.

Bock, Robert. (August 1993) Understanding Klinefelter Syndrome - A Guide for XXY Males and Their Families. Retrieved 07, December 2008 from National Institute of Child Health and Human Developement website. <http://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/pubs/klinefelter.cfm>

(2008) Heredity. Retrieved 07, December 2008 from MSN Encarta Website. <http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761564762/Heredity.html#461570154>

(2007) Klinefelter Syndrome - XXY Syndrome. Retrieved 07, December 2008 from Centre for Genetics Education Website. <http://www.genetics.com.au/factsheet/fs31.html>