BIOL367/F10:Class Journal Week 9

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Contents

Reflection Questions

Margie Doyle

  1. There has been an outbreak of cholerae in Haiti in the last week amongst the people already affected by the earthquake. How, specifically, do you think that research like that we are doing this week can contribute to an improvement in publich health? What do you think the barriers are for this research to lead to viable treatments that can reach the people in Haiti?
    • By helping to make the genomic data more accessible to scientists, we allow researchers to focus on their research rather then creating databases. When information is at their fingertips, solutions adn new treatments can be discovered faster and more efficiently. The more inexpensively and efficiently the research may be done, the greater the chances that it can be made available for use in areas of economic strain, such as Haiti.
  2. Next week we will be selecting the teams for the class final projects. What qualities do you look for in a good teammate? What are some of the things that make or break a team project?
    • Qualities of a good teammate include reliability, a good work ethic, and a willingness to work with others. Team projects are highly dependent on the compatibility of the group members, as well as individual desires to produce quality work.

Margie Doyle 13:13, 29 October 2010 (EDT)


Richard Brous

  • There has been an outbreak of cholerae in Haiti in the last week amongst the people already affected by the earthquake. How, specifically, do you think that research like that we are doing this week can contribute to an improvement in publich health? What do you think the barriers are for this research to lead to viable treatments that can reach the people in Haiti?
    • The Vibrio cholera research between pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains is already providing insight into the following:
      • How the pathogenic strain remains highly contaigous after passing from a human host.
      • How adaptable the pathogenic strain is to survive in different environments.
      • How the pathogenic strain seems to have high mobility when in nutrient poor environments increases survivability.
    • By comparing the two strains further there might be a way to minimize its ability to stay highly contaigious post passing or even to possibly block its ability to survive in specific environments.
    • In regards to likely barriers of research solutions to the people of Haiti:
      • Poverty will likely rank at the top of the list. For pharmacutical companies to develop treatment from research there needs to be profit in it for them. Countries like Haiti and others that suffer from high poverty and unclean living conditions just can't affor to pay. Which is in itself a catch-22 since if they had money...housing, sanitation, medical services, etc. would all be better, minimizing the type of environment where Vibrio cholera would be a risk.
  • Next week we will be selecting the teams for the class final projects. What qualities do you look for in a good teammate? What are some of the things that make or break a team project?
    • The qualities I look for in a good teammate are:
      • Understands the subject matter or a particular portion intimately.
      • Highly organized.
      • Flexible availability.
      • Values all opinions, not just their own which leads to easier group decisions.
      • Motiviated to start sooner rather than later.
    • I believe the previous qualities can make a great team but when team members don't embrace them problems will arise.
      • Not being available until the last minute.
      • Unmotivated to do the work thus being carried along by others.
      • Unorganized.
      • Not following through on individual responsibilities (sub-tasks) which would then be combined into the greater project.

Richard Brous 16:41, 30 October 2010 (EDT)


Andrew Forney

  • There has been an outbreak of cholerae in Haiti in the last week amongst the people already affected by the earthquake. For example, see the story by Partners in Health. How, specifically, do you think that research like that we are doing this week can contribute to an improvement in public health? What do you think the barriers are for this research to lead to viable treatments that can reach the people in Haiti? I quote G.I. Joe when I say that "knowing is half the battle." Corny children's shows aside, there's some truth to that statement with regards to fighting disease; how does one develop cures and treatment for maladies when they don't already know all that they can about the pathogen? Research like ours on Vibrio Colerae can help dissect the infectious and harmful nature of many viruses by isolating the individual components that contribute to them. Genetic level analysis can betray the weaknesses in these tiny adversaries or yield information crucial to their prevention--especially with regards to mapping genes to their grander functions. As far as barriers to viable treatments for the Haitians, there are two big ones: 1) Cost: this is a very destitute area that is most likely incapable of fielding the funds necessary for more advanced medicine--any substantive cures developed would probably have to be distributed in a pro bono manner. 2) Future Prevention: without access to a stable water source, as the article mentions, the probability of re-occuring infection is high, thus making treatment a mere bandaid solution.
  • Next week we will be selecting the teams for the class final projects. What qualities do you look for in a good teammate? What are some of the things that make or break a team project?
    • Attractive Qualities: Diligence, patience, and perseverance: It's perfectly understandable for people to get stuck on college level material, which may require outside help or further research; what is less forgivable is a resigned attitude to finding that obstacle's solution. Most problems, with enough elbow grease, can be overcome, and as such, perhaps the quality I look for most is dedication.
    • Lame Qualities: The worst offender in team project disruption is apathy for the task at hand; we go through life, especially college, doing things that we don't necessarily want to knowing that they'll pay off later. What can really kill momentum, though, is a team member who gets hung up on the difficulty, or the time investment, and won't let it go. This tends to only compound the inertia of the task and really hinders progress by harming the group morale.

Andrew Forney 03:06, 30 October 2010 (EDT)

Andrew Herman

  1. There has been an outbreak of cholerae in Haiti in the last week amongst the people already affected by the earthquake. For example, see the story by Partners in Health. How, specifically, do you think that research like that we are doing this week can contribute to an improvement in public health? What do you think the barriers are for this research to lead to viable treatments that can reach the people in Haiti? - Efficient and qualitative genomic analysis is the necessary first step to developing effective treatments to combat widespread disease such as V. cholera. Once we can understand on the genomic level why certain diseases become pathogenic and survive, we can then find cures through either genetic alteration of the strain, or creation of environments that resist pathogenic outbreak. These are just a few of the many possible ways in which genomic analysis can lead to future medical treatment on an international scale. Though there are several lifesaving possibilities to this technology, barriers to it widespread implementation do exist. As a wise men once said, money always talks, especially in the research world. But in research, the competition can become all the more hostile for funding, with only government willing to supply necessary resources for basic science, and big business only using it as a means for profit. Thus, one must be careful that this technology does not fall prey to industrialization, much like pharmaceutical's did. Otherwise the poor of the world will never be able to access the benefits of this technology, if and when it is implemented in a health care setting.
  2. Next week we will be selecting the teams for the class final projects. What qualities do you look for in a good teammate? What are some of the things that make or break a team project? - A good team member is diligent, a critical thinker, and devotes a quality effort to working with his/her team members. Whereas a poor team member is one who is not devoted to the project, lacking the least bit of interest in the end point of the project. He is also last minute in every phase, and does not communicate well with the rest of the group. The quality of the individual team members is critical to the overall quality of the resulting project, as each and every task makes up a crucial component to the body of work.

Andrew Herman 21:27, 30 October 2010 (EDT)

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