Aspirin

The History of Aspirin

Aspirin is a very common drug used that works pretty much every time and is also affordable. Versions of aspirin have been used for thousands of years before and in this blog I’ll be going over a basic timeline for aspirin.

1830s  A  Scottish physician found that the extracts of willow bark helps relieve symptoms of acute rheumatism.

1840s  Scientists isolated salicin from willow bark. Salicin is the substance that cures people.

1870/71  Professor Von Nencki demonstrated how salicin was converted into salicylic acid in the body. This was given to patients in a hospital and it was found to have cured the patients with fever and headaches, However, this medicine caused irritation and discomfort to the patients afterwards or during.

1875  Chemists made sodium salicylate and gave it to the hospital patients again. These also cured them and didnt irritiate them as much as the previous ones did.However this one on the other hand tasted really bad and the patients had a hard time consuming them.

1890  Felix Hofmann, a scientist at Bayer (dye) company developed an aspirin that worked but didnt lave a horrible taste after.  Some years later aspirin was sent for clinical trials so that it can be given to patients.

1982  Some scientists found a similar enzyme found in aspirin and other pain killer drugs.

1990s  Aspirin started being sold world wide with about 10 million kgs sold annualy.

Present  Aspirin is the most common drug that is also easily affordable to everyone.  35 million kgs are being sold every year now.

 

Cells part 1

 

My favourite topic in biology is the Cell so this week I thought to research the scientists behind the discovery of the cell.

Scientists have been studying cells for some time before the microscope was invented by Zacharias Janssen in 1590. After this, Galileo modified the model so that he could see the stars and planets and later on, Robert Hooke developed a new microscope in order to study living plants and animals instead of just stars.

A scientist called Malpighi, was one of the first people to look at cells in 1660. He described his findings as utricles and saccules ( which I couldn’t get the translation of unfortunately) Following him, Leeuwenhoek observed basic living cells such as blood cells, and he was the first scientist to draw one aswell. These drawings were just circles with some ribosomes and a dark squiggle(nucleus).

 

Hooke was most famous for his cork experiment. Here he cut a cork in thin pieces and shone some light on them. When observing this structure, Hooke found that this looked similar to a fly’s eye or a honeycomb structure. He called these structures ‘cellulae’ which means hollow spaces. These observations can be found in his book: ‘Micrographia’ which was written around mid 1660s.

In 1831, Robert Brown discovered some dense mass in the cell of a plant. He called this he nucleus. It was also around this time that scientists found that multiple cells join together to make a tissue or piece of skin.

After this, scientists started discovering more and more organelles util they got the final picture of the cell that we know now. Even then, there are still some organelles that scientists are looking into currently, but this won’t dramatically change anything.

Hooke’s cork observations

 Link to aritcle about Robert Hooke:http://www.history-of-the-microscope.org/robert-hooke-microscope-history-micrographia.php

Link to article about history of microscopes: http://www.history-of-the-microscope.org/history-of-the-microscope-who-invented-the-microscope.php

 

 

Cancer vaccines

Hey everyone,

I saw a post on Instagram about a cancer vaccine that has been successful in trails recently so I decided to make this blog post about this treatment. I won’t be able to cover all aspects of this as my knowledge is limited and I haven’t studied cancer in depth at college yet.

As you know, cancer doesn’t have a known cure that fully works yet. Scientists believe they might come close to a cure in the next 10-15 years. They have tried using everything from other organisms like mosquitos on cancer cells to using radioactive sources. Cancer comes in all sorts of forms for pretty much every part of the body as well sadly. In the US alone, there were an “estimated 14,738,719 people living with cancer of any site” in 2014. This number has been increasing ever since.

From what I have studied in Biology class, there are couple of treatments used for cancer. Weakened versions of the existing cancer is given to the patient so they can make antigens/antibodies. This doesn’t always work and it could be argued that this is not an ethical thing to practise as cancer divides rapidly, and there is a chance that the weakened vaccines can replicate and cause harm to the patient rather than healing them.

Cancer cells that are already killed can also be used in order to produce antigens on the surface of the patient cell. Again there is a risk of mutation and replication here.

Cancer vaccines are different from the vaccines used for viruses because try to get the immune system to attack cancer cells/tumours directly instead of preventing the disease. cancer vaccines are made up of multiple parts including: parts of a body cell, a cancer cell or an antigen that corresponds to the type of cancer.

I read an article yesterday by National Cancer Institute (NCI) about Exceptional Responders. If you don’t know, Exceptional Responders Initiative are used by NCI to look at the “molecular underpinnings of exceptional responses to treatment, primarily via chemotherapy, in cancer patients”. From what I’ve read, I believe, this is a piolet study where NCI will use malignant tissue and data gathered from a group of exceptional responders and analysed according to the website. The results gathered will be used in order to find a cure for cancer (I will update this when I get further information about this).

Article from NCI:  https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2017/exceptional-responders-progress

Inspiring Minds Social Sciences

Dear Readers,

I hope you are all well. This week I went on a trip to Loughborough university on 5 July 2017. It was called ‘Inspiring Minds Social Science Taster Day’ and as the name suggests it was full of short lectures that gave an insight to the different areas of science like psychology or geography. There were also other talks about UCAS.

Although this didn’t have much for me, in terms of courses, I went to understand the UCAS application process and to find out more about criminology as I’m very interested in this area. I watch crime shows and occasionally murder programmes in my free time. I understood a lot of sociological aspects about the ‘rejects’ of society, who were the criminals and importance of prisons, which can aid me in my studies (my 4th subject is sociology)

The sessions I attended were:

Student Finance and UCAS Application talk by Lisa Ambles from 10:00-10:50

  1. Personal statement and UCAS Application talk by Katy Noble from 11:00-12:00
  2. Sociology talk by Mark Monaghan from 12:50-13:40
  3. Criminology and Social policy by Dr Chris Kay from 14:00-14:50

There was a campus tour at the end from 14:50-16:00 but I didn’t attend because I will not be applying to Loughborough University as it does not offer my chosen course.

I go to events like these when I can so I can get a get an understanding of other subjects and socialize with different people. I met my good friend, Kylie, from an event like this earlier this year. I advise any students applying to university or college to have a look around to these opportunities that are available. They might change your mind to a course that you never thought you wanted to do.

Louis Pasteur

I was carrying out a research about Louis Pasteur recently when I came across this quote of his :

“Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity”. This simply just means that his success came by firmly grasping onto his goals and not letting anything take them away from him.

I believe this is very important for us in today’s society because it is very hard to keep determined in this day and age. Social media is a huge part of our lives and is being used ever single day all the time pretty much.  I’ve found that the majority of the younger generation drop out of  education in hopes to be like their favourite social media influencer, regardless of the fact that most of them do already have some sort of qualification that they can fall back on. They have no regard about what will happen when they are much older and if they fail to be successful. This seems to be such a simpler route to life (and money mostly) hence why so man people are choosing it. There is such a demand for high qualifications than ever before which means that they will not be financially stable which may lead to legal trouble or similar. “In 2013, 31% of high school drop-outs had committed some sort of crime or used/distributed illegal drugs, compared to 16% of high school graduates before the age of 20”

You can argue that some of the most successful people now are college drop outs like Bill Gates, who dropped out of Harvard University.

TBC..

idk what this was sorry.