Monday, December 21, 2015

Photometry: Principle, applications and types


Fig. Principle of colorimetry
When light is passed through a coloured solution, certain wavelengths are selectively absorbed giving a plot of the absorption spectrum of the compound in solution. The wavelength at which maximum absorption is called the absorption maximum (λmax) of that compound. The light that is not absorbed is transmitted through the solution and gives the solution its colour.

Photometric instruments measure transmittance, which is defined as follows:

                               Intensity of the emergent (or transmitted) light         Ie
Transmittance (T)= ------------------------------------------------------------- = ------
                                               Intensity of the incident light                    Io

Transmittance is usually expressed on a range of 0 to 100%.

If the concentration of the substance in solution is increased linearly, or if the path length that the light beam has to traverse is increased, transmittance falls exponentially. So a term absorbance is defined so that it is directly proportional to the concentration of the substance.

Absorbance (A)= log1/T = log  ----

Absorbance has no units. Photometric instruments electronically convert the measured transmittance to absorbance values.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) : Formation, composition, function, pathological state and biochemical analysis

A. Formation

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear, colourless fluid filling the ventricles and subarachnoid space. CSF production is a result of the combined processes of diffusion, pinocytosis and active transfer. The majority is produced by selective dialysis of blood plasma by a specialized sponge-like structure called the "choroid plexus" of third, lateral and fourth ventricles.

Fig. CSF collection
The anatomy of the ventricular system allows for movement of CSF in and around all the major structures of the brain. From the lateral ventricles located within the cerebral hemisphere, it circulates through the foramina of Monro into the third ventricle. At its caudal end, the third ventricle is connected by aqueduct of Sylvius to the fourth ventricle. CSF then flows into the basal cisterns and subarachnoid space by two lateral foramina of Lusckha and median foramina of Magendie. From the cisterns the CSF flows / throughout the subarachnoid space and over the hemispheric convexities and around the spinal cord.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Protein separation techniques: Protein fractionation

Fig. Protein purification steps
Proteins differ in their molecular size and charge. They can be separated on the basis of their following properties:
1.       molecular size
2.       solubility
3.       electrical charge
4.       adsorption properties
5.       specific bioaffinity.

Many techniques for protein purification exist, but the emphasis here is on some of the most popular procedures and the principles involved in their use.  Protein fractionation is required to separate and characterize a protein in detail.

Qualitative and qualitative estimation of Proteins

Proteins are the most abundant biomolecules, constituting more than 50% of the dry weight of the cell. They are known to perform many different biological functions.  Qualitative and quantitative estimation of proteins in biological fluids is based on the physico-chemical properties of proteins.

Denaturation of proteins

In each type of protein, the three dimensional structure is essential for its biological function.  A protein in the biologically active form is termed as the native protein and the native state is called “optimum” state. The disruption of the three dimensional structure is called denaturation.  On denaturation, the primary structure remains intact.  It is an all or none phenomenon and does not cause any alteration in the quantity of protein present.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Transforming Blood Testing : ELizabeth Holmes invention

The next time you get a blood test, you might not have to go to the doctor and watch vials of blood fill up as the precious fluid is drawn from your arm. No more wondering to yourself, "Ah, how much more can they take before I pass out?" Instead you might be able to walk into a Walgreens pharmacy for a reportedly painless finger prick that will draw just a tiny drop of blood, thanks to Elizabeth Holmes, 30, the youngest woman and third-youngest billionaire on Forbes' newly released annual ranking of the 400 richest Americans.

Fig. Elizabeth Holmes featuring in Fortune magazine

Revolutionizing the blood test is a golden idea. Because of new testing methods developed by Holmes' startup Theranos, that lone drop can now yield a ton of information. The company can run hundreds of tests on a drop of blood far more quickly than could be done with whole vials in the past—and it costs a lot less.

A Billion-Dollar Idea

Holmes dropped out of Stanford at 19 to found what would become Theranos after deciding that her tuition money could be better put to use by transforming healthcare.

Traditional blood testing is shockingly difficult and expensive for a tool that's used so frequently. It also hasn't changed since the 1960s.  It's

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Swine flu: Panic in India

Indian Health Minister JP Nadda has urged the public not to panic, as the number of deaths so far this year from swine flu passed 900 from 16,000 cases.

Rajasthan and Gujarat are among the worst affected states.

Officials in Ahmedabad, Gujarat's largest city, have announced restrictions on public gatherings as a precautionary measure.

The current outbreak, which began in December last year, is India's deadliest since 2010.

Nearly 4,000 people have been killed in separate outbreaks of the H1N1 virus since 2009.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Megaloblastic Anemia: Folate and Vitamin B12 Metabolism, Causes, diagnosis and therapy

Fig. Megaloblastic anemia showing megaloblastics cells

An increased MCV can be due to a number of reasons but careful review of the patient's history and blood smear can narrow the diagnostic possibilities.  The differential can be divided into two broad categories based on RBC morphology.

Round macrocytosis-due to abnormal lipid composition of the eryth­rocyte membrane.  Common etiologies include:
            1. Alcoholism.
            2. Liver Disease.
            3. Renal Disease.
            4. Hypothyroidism ("myxedema of the red cell").

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Chronic Cough: most common 8 reasons

Are you fed up with your stubborn cough? There are many reasons why a cough may not improve, and that can be frustrating for people and their doctors alike.

Reason 1: Irritated Airways After a Cold or Flu
The most common cause of chronic cough is predictable. It's the aftermath of a cold or other viral infection, says Norman H. Edelman, MD, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association. Most cold symptoms may go away after a few days. Your cough, though, can
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