So, I finally got around to posting the powerpoint my group used to make our final presentation for Physiology. I had a lot of fun making it. Just click on the slide to advance it. Please note, if you are a current M1 at the University of Tennessee it is an honor code violation to view this before you have made your presentation. We only had five minutes for this presentation and the slide supported the presenter (not a replacement).
Many times it is hard to step back from our activities and realize our place in life. Aptly termed the “Tyranny of the Urgent”, in many cases, is what determines the course of our lives. Yet, there are times in that “tyranny” that we should step back and see the big picture. See God’s hand at work and how His creation is glorifying HIm.
During the first two weeks of this semester I studied molecular embryology, an incredibly interesting subject. One of the more interesting topics we covered was a gene called PAX. The PAX gene are a multi-gene family that is a group of 9 unlinked members found in both mice & humans that controls their development. This is often pointed to as as sequence conservation between homologues of distantly related species. That, in so many words, basically means the PAX gene is used as proof that we have a common ancestor.
The similarities between the mouse and human PAX genes is quite striking. Both have the same number (9 of them) and each controls development of similar aspects in humans and mice. It is a really incredible design how the PAX genes cause our cells to express different parts of our bodies from our eyes to feet. The PAX gene takes a set of cells that are all the same and notifies them where they are located in the developing mouse or human and controls the differentiation of those cells (what the cells become . . . eye, feet, etc).
The PAX gene really is an ingenious idea and sorta reminds me of the development of the semiconductor. Before the development of the semiconductor, all electronics were large, bulky and expensive. After the semiconductors development, our electronics have miniaturized to the point that now we have more computing power in our cell phones then the most powerful computers created before the development of semiconductors.
The reason I thought of semiconductors when studying the PAX gene maybe best explained by a cell phone and an iPod. If we were to tear each one apart we would see common design and control based on semiconductors. It would be easy to see that each, the cellphone and iPod, has developed advantages over a common ancestor. The cellphone for example evolved wireless capabilities making it able to easily communicate with others of it’s species. The iPod, on the other hand, developed a click wheel making it easy for it to communicate with other species. It quite obvious that both the cellphone and iPod are based on semiconductors and without the semiconductors they wouldn’t exist. Thus, it is easy to deduce that they must have had a common ancestor, i.e. something like an iPhone.
Because we know the history of the semiconductor, cellphone and iPod it would be absurd to assume they came from a distantly related iPhone. The semiconductor was a simple, elegant design that revolutionized the way man has designed everything (not just electronic). In the same way, why should our Creator come up with a new design to control our development. If something works well, why come up with different designs for mice and humans. The PAX gene is a wonderful example of a simple, elegant design that is reused, just like the semiconductor, in many different applications. The simple elegance of it is why I look at it as evidence of a common designer and not of a common ancestor.
This is definitive proof that global warming is taking place somewhere else, at least it isn’t warming here in Memphis. We just got 1 and a quarter inches of snow. The funniest part is school has been closed. I don’t remember the last time I got a snow day and I had to move to Memphis to get it.
More pictures coming . . . They are posted. Checkout the snow images
that med school is all bad. Here are some names I had to memorize for exams next week.
Hedgehog, sonic hedgehog, indian hedgehog, and bone morphogenetic protein families are inducer molecules that cause cell differentiation through spatial signaling.
I wrote that statement and might have gotten it all wrong but it was sure fun memorizing those names. Especially thinking of the little cartoon character that in the video game (Sonic Hedgehog). I wonder how that inducer molecule got it’s name.
Ok, so I didn’t mean to take a month to post this, but time sorta got away from me. 🙂
This is gonna have to be short, but one block down and two to go till the end of the semester. Last Friday I followed around my preceptor (Doctor in the community that I apprentice under) and It was really cool seeing an EKG, looking at X-Rays and a urine analysis, listening to hearts and taking vital signs. This week is the beginning of my second block which ends with block exams the first week of Nov.
Right now my schedule is crazy. If you want to see it, just take a look at my calendar 🙂 (and that is just my school calendar). I might be able to update a little more regularly now that I have internet access at home. If you see me online, you can message me anytime, just might not receive a response right away.
Oh, almost forgot . . . tomorrow we get to dissect the heart out of our cadaver (we named him Merrill)
and only 206 weeks to go :).
Ok, so medical school isn’t really that bad. I just couldn’t think of anything else to title this post. It has been a busy two weeks at school. If I’m not studying, running around trying to get paperwork finished to get registered or in class, then I’m not me. That is all I’ve been doing for the last two weeks. It has be a little frustrating wanting to study when I have to spend several hours after class walking from office to office trying to get 2 simple forms completed so the Navy can pay for my medical school and I can finish getting registered. Oh, well. I will have to say I’ve met a bunch of new people and learned my way around campus with all the offices I’ve visited.
I’m starting to really enjoy my classes, especially now that I’m getting more used to medical school. If you haven’t heard this analogy of what medical school is like, it is like trying to take a sip of water from a fire hydrant.
Another way to think about it is just imagine your at the beach and are standing where you get hit by the ways. Your job is to keep as much water on the beach from each wave and all you have is your little sand pail. As you work keeping the water on the beach you notice much more of it running off the beach then you are able to keep. That is what medical school is like. You are hit by wave after wave of information and all you can do is get an overview of the information. No time to do any depth of study in each topic. Quite a new approach to learning for me.
Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
It is incredible how true that Proverb has become for me. Just this past Friday, without planning, I experienced two life changing events. First, I was commissioned in the U.S. Navy. Second I was “commissioned” into medical school. What a fitting end to such a hectic week of orientation. When I get a chance I’ll write more about it, but for now pictures will have to suffice. Oh, I also completed my first dissection today. It was really neat actually seeing it for real and not just in a book.
By the way, for those of you who can, make a note to ask my mom what I forgot to do before I moved into my apartment. I’ll be posting more about that this weekend.
How I got into medical school.
What is required.
What will happen.
How it works.