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Archive for December, 2008

season of giving comes to a close

I will officially wrap up my holiday season today with the last installment in my “season of giving” posts.  And what better gift to give an authority figure and clinical role model than your innocence.  Yes!  Give it up!  Now, while what I refer to may be derisively called by some (such as ME), “getting my idea ripped [...]

il-12 and il-23 inhibitor shows promise for severe psoriasis

Ustekinumab is a human monoclonal antibody that antagonizes signalling of the heterodimeric cytokines interleukin 12 (IL-12) and IL-23 by binding to their shared p40 subunit. Previous work has suggested that IL-12 and IL-23 might be particularly important within psoriatic plaques (overexpression in both mice and humans with genetic deficiencies in these genes significantly decreased atopic [...]

milk: the newest sports drink?

Evidence has suggested that cow’s milk can be more effective than commercially available sports drinks for recovery after both resistance and endurance exercises. Based on so far limited research, milk appears to be an effective post-resistance exercise beverage that results in favourable acute alterations in protein metabolism: acutely increasing muscle protein synthesis, leading to an improved [...]

could someone finish the other 49% of this blog entry for me?

This is another entry along the “Season of Giving” theme.  This holiday season, what better gift to give to a slacker member of the lab than to do their work for them.  You know what really gets me?  People (graduate students, postdoc, research associates, whatever) who don’t take responsibility for their research projects and then [...]

homage to my cousin vinny

I’m sitting here watching the movie My Cousin Vinny for the 562nd time, lip-synching to every line in the movie and I’m thinking, this is the greatest movie ever made.  Classic lines: “Whoa!  Wait a minute!” “It’s the south–they’re all inbred–they sleep with their sisters…  Some of them do” “You wah serious about dat?” “You’re in [...]

“super” cytotoxic t-lymphocyte clones for control of hiv infection

One of the hallmarks of HIV infection is rapid mutation and subsequent “escape” from adaptive immune responses–in particular the CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response, which has been shown to be very important in the control of HIV replication in vivo.  Despite the ultimate failure of CTL responses to keep up with the escape mutations, CTL [...]

basic splinting techiques

How many times have you been faced with a patient who needs splinting for a sprain or a fracture?  Fractured wrist?  Splint it–follow up as an outpatient.  Here’s an instructional video posted on the New England Journal of Medicine website that is equally helpful for first-timers as well as pros looking for a refresher: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/359/26/e32

give the academic gift that keeps on giving

I hope everyone has been enjoying the holidays! Yes, it’s the season of giving and what better way to show you care than to give authorship on one of your papers.  This can be a very touchy subject sometimes and I’ve heard of some pretty crazy and ridiculous situations where people have been included as authors on [...]

therapeutic interventions for endoplasmic reticulum stress

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a subcellular organelle that is responsible for numerous functions including calcium homeostasis, protein secretion and lipid biosynthesis. However, cell death signaling pathways can be activated by prolonged stress to the ER originating from sources ranging from hypoxia, oxidative injury, high-fat diet, hypoglycaemia, protein inclusion bodies and viral infection. In fact, a [...]

need some practice with your EKGs?

ECG Library is an online resource by Dean Jenkins and Stephen Gerred, the authors of the book ECGs by Example, that includes EKG tracings for numerous cardiac pathologies as well as brief descriptions of the characteristic findings for each pathology. It’s a useful quick reference guide that can be accessed from anywhere and includes coverage [...]

t cell homeostasis – more interesting than it sounds

Look–we all know that T cells are important right?  I mean, it happens when someone is infected with HIV and loses just the subset of CD4+ T cells: AIDS.  There you have it–case closed.  Okay, so in a healthy person, where do T cells come from?  Easy–the thymus.  But as we grow older, the thymus [...]

PhosphoPep – a database of protein phosphorylation data

PhosphoPep is a database of mass spectometry-derived phosphorylation data currently from 4 different organisms: the fly (Drosophila melanogaster), human (Homo sapiens), worm (Caenorhabditis elegans), and yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). PhosphoPep offers different software tools which allow users to browse through single proteins, through pathways, and importantly to integrate the data with information from external sources, like [...]

obesity pandemic

And I wonder how it can be that there is a worldwide obesity problem amongst children of all cultures, including those that have traditionally embraced exercise and healthier foods.  

graduate programs in translational research gaining in popularity

The draw of translational research and the desire of many graduate students to gain some clinical exposure and to have opportunities to do research with tangible clinical impact has caused academic institutions around the country to address these objectives by designing graduate programs with a focus on translational research.  I’ve known a number of people who have gone through these programs [...]

reality check

Okay folks, with the stress of the holilday season and those of you also going through crazy interviews, time for a reality check. Back by popular demand, Final Countdown by Europe. Take 5 minutes, sit back and enjoy…   Europe-The Final Countdown @ Yahoo! Video

what makes mudphudder so special?

It’s amazing how there are such dramatic differences in the mindset/attitude/tone of clinical departments from one medical center.  You can walk into one department and find generally welcoming, laid back faculty (as laid back as possible in academia, I guess) and then into another department and find generally tense, sardonic faculty.  I’m so used to [...]

favorite knock from interviews so far

So my favorite knock against me by a residency interviewer so far was within the last 1.5 weeks when I gave a response to an interviewer’s question to which the interviewer responded in a derisive tone, “Didn’t I read that on a fortune cookie?  Well, your answer was much cheesier than the fortune cookie.”  The best [...]

job prospects for md/phds and physician-scientists

A survey of 837 clinical department chairs conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in 2005 reported that approximately two-thirds of department had junior faculty openings with more than half of those unable to fill their job openings.  So good news–the job market for md/phds and physician-scientists is excellent as there is a surplus of [...]

antibody resources for experiments

Good antibodies are critical for any research involving qualitative or quantitative protein detection, isolation, localization and visualization (e.g. western blots, immunoprecipitation or immunohistochemistry). Good antibodies that specifically bind to your protein, at a specific epitope—reliably—can make your life and research so much easier. In contrast, if your antibody is non-specific, you will pick-up a ton [...]

speaking too soon

Just when I thought I had made it home safe, I go and get stranded in Las Vegas.  I flew from Seattle today to Las Vegas where it was surprisingly snowing.  I got on board my connecting flight home, taxied out to the runway only to get called back to the gate because of the [...]

it ends

It is with some exhausted relief that my west coast swing and road trip for residency interviews has ended.  It was a week of meeting new people as well as adventure, excitement and at times terror.  I interviewed at three great residency programs–each a little different in pros and cons from the others.  I experienced [...]

buy some junk while you fly

I love those catalogues of random kitch you find on airplanes right next to the emergency safety instructions. I think it’s very considerate of the airlines. Bored on your flight? Choose from a delightful selection of reading options ranging from instructions on how to exit the plane in case of a water “landing” to suggestions [...]

on the road

What a crazy day.  I got an early start from Santa Nella, CA and made my way north making good time.  Beautiful country–not the typical California I had seen.  Orchards and farms.  Lots of grazing cows.  Happy cows come from California, I heard.  It was mostly overcast all day and started to rain about an [...]

mudphudder update

The state of the mudphudder is very tired.  Residency interview in San Diego on Friday, in L.A. on Saturday and fighting L.A./San Diego traffic the whole time.  I had heard about L.A. traffic and seen it on T.V. but never fully appreciated how bad the traffic is in L.A. until I drove through it.  Really [...]

AOA Helen H. Glaser Essay Award

Don’t have any plans this winter break?  Don’t feel like studying, but still want to do something that may be somewhat productive (and rewarding to the tune of some bucks?)?  How about writing an essay or looking through your old papers for one you’ve written already?  Alpha Omega Alpha is sponsoring the Helen H. Glaser [...]

finding an endpoint for your phd – part 2

So you have decided–mind and body–that it is time to finish your PhD but you have to get your advisor onboard.  What to do?  Before I go on, I make the disclaimer that I am not giving out advice on how to trick or bamboozle your advisor into handing a PhD over before you actually deserve [...]

i hate flying – my rant

So I made it to sunny San Diego today for another residency interview.  Granted the travails of flying are worth it for San Diego, I still hate flying.  Especially now that what little courtesy the airlines used to offer is non-existent.  I flew with Delta today and (1) the plane for my first flight was switched [...]

finding an endpoint for your phd – part 1

Finding an endpoint for your PhD (agreed upon between you and your advisor), is one of the last major hurdles to overcome before finishing your PhD.  This two-part blog entry is inspired by a recent comment that was left on this blog, which got me thinking about my own experience with this: Speaking of anything related to leaving the lab can [...]

the healing powers of… radon?!?!

Weird, huh?  I heard about this and couldn’t believe it, but maybe there is something to it.  I mean, what the mudphudder doesn’t know could fill an f’n… well, you get the point. Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that is a breakdown product of natural radium decay (science lesson for the day…check).  From physiology [...]

little magnetic beads saved my phd

One mainstay method for cell sorting is with flow cytometry. However, this can be a time intensive procedure and depends on the availability of a flow cytometer with sorting capability and someone who can run the machine. And while most major universities have flow cytometry cores with dedicated technicians, who often know waaaayyy too much [...]