Early Semester Bio Tricks

Its that time of year where those of us who are in the upper-level courses have the massive 1 week review in every class of all the biology that has come before. I have a few tricks that help me remember the most simple concepts in Bio, that will hopefully help you guys save time too. Some of these I actually came up with, others I have learned from professors and such, but above all, I’m sure 10000 other pre-meds have thought of these before so feel free to steal them!

What bases pair and how many bonds? 

A-Two    C-Gthree

How many Na and K go in and out of the pump?

Na+ has 3 characters, so 3 Na go out, and K+ has two, so two K come in.

Which is afferent and efferent?

"A" comes before "E", so afferent receives the signal before the brain can send a response back through the efferent pathway. 

How do I remember Symporter vs Antiporter?

If the two molecules are going in the Syme direction its Symporter opposite directions=anti. 

How do I keep tendons and ligaments separate?

1st think of your Achilles Tendon. If that doesn’t work I used to use: Ligate the bones (ligate means to tie something up in surgery). 

Okay, thats about all I got. Like I said, there are only a few and they’re kinda cheesy but they work for me. Let me know if they help you!


Let's Reconsider Our Aesthetic Stance
"Efferent" vs. "Aesthetic"

First we must define the above terms. The efferent stance refers to reading and taking the direct meaning from it. Examples would be directions to follow, conclusions to be retained, information to be retained or acted upon after reading the text. Aesthetic stance on the other hand is when you pay attention to the feelings, images, emotions, sounds, or rhymes of words or tensions of the text.

Literature and Life

I try to relate the above two not just to literature, but also to life in general. You carry away with you what you learn but actually understanding and knowing why is a complete whole step. That’s why the efferent stance is unchanged (unless you take nothing from an experience) and the aesthetic stance is ever changing. Most things fall between efferent and aesthetics. But bringing your past and present feelings, ideas, beliefs, etc. will make your self expression better.

Reconsider Your Aesthetic Stance

Always know that your aesthetic stance is ever changing and I hope things will occur to challenge it. It can remain the same or it can broaden or narrow. Just know that it will reflect onto others. So when things don’t seem quite like you would want them, acknowledge your efferent stance but reconsider your aesthetic stance.

If you’ve got time to spare, check out the book “The Giver”.



On the 13th of May 1986..

God created one of his perfections, generally and commonly known as, Robert Thomas Douglas Pattinson..


Oh, and tell Kristen I said, ‘Hi!’


Researchers discover primary role of the olivocochlear efferent system

New research from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology may have discovered a key piece in the puzzle of how hearing works by identifying the role of the olivocochlear efferent system in protecting ears from hearing loss. The findings could eventually lead to screening tests to determine who is most susceptible to hearing loss. Their paper is published today in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Until recently, it was common knowledge that exposure to a noisy environment (concert, iPod, mechanical tools, firearm, etc.), could lead to permanent or temporary hearing loss. Most audiologists would assess the damage caused by this type of exposure by measuring hearing thresholds, the lowest level at which one starts to detect/sense a sound at a particular frequency (pitch). Drs. Sharon Kujawa and Charles Liberman, both researchers at Mass. Eye and Ear, showed in 2009 that noise exposures leading to a temporary hearing loss in mice (when hearing thresholds return to what they were before exposure) in fact can be associated with cochlear neuropathy, a situation in which, despite having a normal threshold, a portion of auditory nerve fibers is missing).

The inner ear, the organ that converts sounds into messages that will be conveyed to and decoded by the brain, receives in turn fibers from the central nervous system. Those fibers are known as the olivocochlear efferent system. Up to now, the involvement of this efferent system in the protection from acoustic injury – although clearly demonstrated – has been a matter of debate because all the previous experiments were probing its protective effects following noise exposures very unlikely to be found in nature.

Stephane Maison, Ph.D., investigator at the Eaton-Peabody Laboratory at Mass. Eye and Ear and lead author, explains. “Humans are currently exposed to the type of noise used in those experiments but it’s hard to conceive that some vertebrates, thousands of years ago, were submitted to stimuli similar to those delivered by speakers. So many researchers believed that the protective effects of the efferent system were an epiphenomenon – not its true function.”

Instead of using loud noise exposures evoking a change in hearing threshold, we used a moderate noise exposure at a level similar to those found in restaurants, conferences, malls, and also in nature (some frogs emit vocalizations at similar or higher levels) and instead of looking at thresholds, we looked for signs of cochlear neuropathy, Dr. Maison continued.

The researchers demonstrated that such moderate exposure lead to cochlear neuropathy (loss of auditory nerve fibers), which causes difficulty to hear in noisy environments.

"This is tremendously important because all of us are submitted to such acoustic environments and it takes a lot of auditory nerve fiber loss before it gets to be detected by simply measuring thresholds as it’s done when preforming an audiogram," Dr. Maison said. "The second important discovery is that, in mice where the efferent system has been surgically removed, cochlear neuropathy is tremendously exacerbated. That second piece proves that the efferent system does play a very important role in protecting the ear from cochlear neuropathy and we may have found its main function."

The researchers say they are excited about this discovery because the strength of the efferent system can be recorded non-invasively in humans and a non-invasive assay to record the efferent system strength has already been developed and shows that one is able to predict vulnerability to acoustic injury (Maison and Liberman, Predicting vulnerability to acoustic injury with a noninvasive assay of olivocochlear reflex strength, Journal of Neuroscience, 20:4701-4707, 2000).

"One could envision applying this assay or a modified version of it to human populations to screen for individuals most at risk in noise environments," Dr. Maison concluded.

Why is it that people say snide things about my clothes but this shorts wearing mother effer can just show up to Kim’s big shoot and nobody blinks.