Writing Exercise #15

My future career is going to be working in the pharmaceutical so I find this blog post very relevant to my future life. I hope to someday do research on diseases and come up with drugs and treatment options for patients diagnosed with those diseases. A particular disease I have always found extremely interesting has been Alzheimers. I don’t personally know anyone suffering from this disease, but from what I do know I would not want anyone I know to develop it. It is a sad thing to watch happen to a loved one, and I think would be an amazing topic to do research on.

I would love to fund a research team to focus on how our micro biome effects aspects of Alzheimer’s disease, and hopefully someday I will be working on the research myself.

Writing Exercise #14

Part 1:

Some infectious diseases that come to my mind are diabetes, IBS, IBD, obesity, mental illness, cancer, arthritis, parkinsons, stroke, heart disease, and allergies.

Part 2:

I have some similar overlapping diseases from my initial post the first week.  However, I have a much better understanding about what a non-infectious disease is and had a easier time of thinking of examples. An important topic that I am going to take away from this class is that our micro biome has an impact on our mental health. I read one of my peers final essays and they talked about this topic and I found it very important and relevant to my stressful life.

Writing Exercise #13

  • Can experiments detect differences that matter?
    • It is important to consider this question because an article is only relevant to the reader if it is something that matters to them.  They want to read about read about something that poses a question different to what they’ve previously thought.
  • Does the study show causation or correlation?
    • Determining the relationship between two aspects of a problem is very important to conclude results. Whether something is a cause of the other or just correlates is very important because it can either prove a question or just provide more evidence to back it up.
  • What is the mechanism?
    • Knowing how a experiment was performed is important to know because it allows better understanding of what is being tested.
  • How much do experiments reflect reality?
    • Some experimenters do a great job of designing how an experiment should be tested. Going out into the real world and finding direct results is going to provide better support rather than doing a test on something that doesnt use as good as methods.
  • Could anything else explain the results?
    • This is a great question to ask because it goes back to the correlation vs causation debate. It is important to obtain results that provide evidence about direct results.  Being unsure about results is never a good thing when it comes to trying to convince a reader of an experiment.

I think that the question about correlation vs causation is helpful to discuss when talking about controversy because it allows both aspects to be talked about. It helps to talk about how an experiment correlates and also the causation between the data.

Writing Exercise #12

It has become apart to those of the science world that a human’s micro biome influences almost every other aspect of our body you could imagine. Recent studies have been done to suggest that our micro biome even plays a role in our mental health. One specific example talks about the impacts neurotransmitters have on the sensory receptors of the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve interacts with the gut and relays that information back to the brain to processed and dealt with. Just like psychological stress, pathogenic bacteria will cause certain signals to travel to the brain which end up having negative effects.

Mental health states such as depression end up having other side effects that correspond with it such as stress, diet, and taking antibiotics. These contributions in turn shape the bacteria that live within our gut. High stress causes our bodies to go into “fight-or-flight” mode which causes hormones to be released into the blood which ultimately affect almost every aspect in your body. In the gut, particularly, sympathetic hormones cause our digestion and overall GI tract to slow down. This linkage between the gut and the brain is more apparent than people believe, and should be taken into consideration more when thinking about mental health.

Writing Exercise #11

After completing the peer reviews on two other essays I received, I got new ideas about ways I could incorporate their style of writing into my own essay. I think it was helpful to have read other students work before I turn in my own final draft. I felt that the essays I reviewed were much better than the essay that I wrote. Not sure if that’s because it’s my essay, or if I just received essays from two great writers. I learned that I should explain the studies I reference more and their importance relating back to my thesis.

Writing Exercise #10

Peer reviewing is an important aspect when writing an essay. It allows you to read your peers essays and get a new perspective of what your essay should or should not look like. The process includes reading through the entire essay without interruption then going back and deciding what things to critique. It is important to give honest responses to your peers, so they are able to fix their paper for the better. For those who don’t frequently review scientific articles, it is important to keep in mind that the facts, data, evidence, and studies come from a reliable source and match the essays thesis. Some words and information may seem unfamiliar, and it is important to let the writer know that they might want to re-write that section of writing so it is easier to understand.

The pros of peer review is that the reader gets a new perspective on what another essay looks like. They are able to determine the good and bad things while reviewing which can be incorporated back into their own essay. The cons of peer reviewing is that the feedback we receive may not be what we want to hear. Something that you think you wrote really well, other people might not like as much.

Writing Exercise #9

Decreasing your exposure to microbes might have different results depending on what your microbiota was like before the decrease. In order to decrease your exposure to microbes, you want to limit yourself coming in contact with them. Things like not owning any pets, using a lot of hypo-allergenic cleaning supplies, eating a limiting diet, not going out in nature, not traveling to different parts of the world, and all-in-all staying inside closed quarters. You pretty much have to quarantine yourself to the real world in order to completely reduce any exposure to microbes. However, evidence suggests that exposing yourself to the outside world, and getting dirty strengthens your immune system.

Writing Exercise #8

I have honestly found this class to be way more interesting than I was expecting. We are learning things that we can apply to our everyday life. Personally, I have always thought that gut health is super important. Everything we put into our bodies, and expose our bodies to will have some sort of positive or negative impact. Knowing this, I have made life choices that I know will benefit me in the near or far future. I choose to drink fermented drinks like kombucha, drink green green tea, eat fermented foods, and lots of greek yogurt. I am very conscientious about what goes into my body, and it is interesting to learn about how those things contribute to our overall health in this class.

Everything we put into our bodies, and expose our bodies to will have some sort of positive or negative impact. Recently, I have thought about this exact thought many times. I am a very healthy person, and I choose to be this way honestly because I am terrified of disease, cancer, death, etc. I want to do everything I can now to benefit my body for the future. I eat a plant based diet because I know it is the healthiest diet, and has the longest longevity. I exercise 5 times a week because I know that it helps keep my bones strong, my mind focused, helps me sleep better, and prevents many diseases in the future. I practice yoga at least once a week because I know the calming effects gives a euphoric feeling, helps relieve stress, and makes me feel good. I choose not to smoke because I know how addictive it is, how it creates reactive oxygen species in our bodies, and leads to many cancers. I wear sunscreen on my face everyday because I know it protects my face from even the minimal amount of UV rays we get here in Oregon.  I also choose not to partake in much alcohol consumption because it can be addictive and also can result in many health problems in the future. All the choices I make today, I choose to make because of the way it impacts my future self. I try and do stuff to better myself for whats to come.

For my final essay I think I want to discuss a few of the topics I discussed in the previous paragraph in order to be a healthier person. I am very passionate about health and I think I would enjoy writing about the topic of how exercise and diet contribute to being a healthy person.


Writing Exercise #7

One of the first ways that a newborn is exposed to new microbes is through its own childbirth. Children delivered by vaginal births have similar microbiomes to their mothers vaginal flora while newborns that are delivered by cesarean section have similar microbiomes to the mothers skin surfaces.

Another very important factor contributing to infants microbiomes is their diet. Whether a newborn is breastfed or fed by formula will contribute to different microbes. Bifidobacterium, Bacteroides, Streptococcus, and Lactobacillus are all common to find in infants that are breastfed. While those that are fed by formula tend to have more Staphylococcus, anaerobic StreptococcusClostridium, and Bifidobacterium. 

Writing Exercise #6

A few years back I ended up getting a bacterial staph infection known as impetigo. Let me start off by saying that it was one of the most unpleasant experiences I have ever had as it spread across my face. It took me two weeks to get into the doctor where they initially prescribed me a drug for coldsores. After a week of taking this drug, nothing was happening, in fact it was getting worse. I ended up going back to the doctor where they told me it was more than likely impetigo. I immediately started antibiotics and within two days could tell that my skin was healing. A week after starting antibiotics, the scabs on my face were practically gone.

That time in my life, I was more than thankful to have antibiotics that worked. It goes to show that a correct diagnosis is critical for giving a patient the correct prescription.