Wednesday, February 24, 2010

So sharks have these sensing organs(electroreceptors) called Ampullae of Lorenzini which detect the presence of other fish around them due to the fields created from electrical impulses. This video shows how a strong magnetic field can deter sharks and prevent bites. Other animals have it too besides the shark. kind of interesting how sensitive these receptors are. according to the wikipedia page, they are sensitive enough to detect 5nV/cm fields.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Yay for electrical engineers contributing to biological research.

Yay for electrical engineers contributing to biological research.

One of my old mentors always said, "Measure what you want to measure!"
(and its corollary,)
"You cannot study what you cannot measure."

Here is an example of how finding/innovating the right tool for the job helps to pinpoint the mechanism of a genetically-linked cause of diabetes that has been very difficult to study (until now).

Yay for electrical engineers contributing to biological research.

"Perhaps the Investigators were lucky in this case, but their findings tell us that the method for measuring islet function precisely matches the defective pathway - such as the use of electrical monitoring of impaired insulin granule fusion [(at the cell vesicle membrane)] - the genetic effect is [finally seen as being quite significant contributor]."

NEJM 362;4 Jan 28, 2010
They implicate an "alpha 2 adrenergic receptor" (the adrenalin / norepinephrine receptor)
(stress --> adrenalin --> dysfunctional receptor mechanism described in article --> over time --> big risk for diabetes).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Channel Energy

It has been bothering me that we have been ignoring energy except for one slide early on. This is a quick video that explains the mechanics of the energy component for the channels (highschool bio basically).
(elaborates more on what Ari's video mentions)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Transatlantic cable

The cable was indeed laid by having two boats meet in the middle of the ocean, although it took several attempts. See

While that article does not mention Peter Cooper, this was taken from his wikipedia page. "In 1854, Cooper was one of five men who met at the house of Cyrus West Field and formed the New York, Newfoundland and London Telegraph Company. He was among those supervising the laying of the first Transatlantic telegraph cable in 1858."

Brain- Computer interface

For patients with neuromuscular disorders, MLS etc.

Thoroughly explains each state of the AP and what is happening in/out of the membrane

Action Potential Video

This video does a thorough job explaining how an action potential travels down an axon:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Action Potential Animation

This interactive animation on action potential explains different stages of action potential in terms of sodium and potassium ions movement across the membrane through sodium channel, potassium channel and a Na+/K+ pump.