Tuesday, July 31, 2007

a collection of poetry

A Collection of Poetry

My answers to the essays in a Biology Test


1. Explain the transport of water and nutrients through plants:

Water Moving Upwards

A phenomena unknown

For as with rain

We can Explain

Downward movements shown

But up a tree

Quite inexplicably

Water will have grown

And so I write

With words contrite

This essay, I have blown.


2. Explain how nutrients are carried throughout an animal’s body:

Oxygen and Glucose

Calcium and Fructose

All through the body move

Yet no one knows

How they go

Impossible it is to prove

And so with flare

This essay I share

Free and without edit

Only to do

I ask of you

Please give me full credit



3. Explain the differences and similarities between Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic cells:


Eu is true

For within these walls

Membrane bound enclosed

Pro is Faux

For bounds they lack

Tis this I have proposed

With this last page

I give one last plea

Trust Wisdom and Sage

Thus written from me

An answer in prose

Is worth hundreds of those

That from normal hands decree

The person who graded my exam must have appreciated my work, I received a 3/5 (enough to get credit at a university who accepts it).

The best dangerous science jobs

1 Astronaut

Since manned spaceflight began in 1961, 24 US astronauts have died in astro-action — 10 during launch, six during training flights, and seven on reentry. In 1971, three Soviet cosmonauts suffocated when a malfunction caused the oxygen to leak out of their ship. Then there's that whole riding-an- explosion-into-space thing. And we haven't even found aliens yet.


2 Biosafety Level 4 lab researcher

BSL-4 labs handle the deadliest diseases on Earth. In 2004, a Russian scientist died after accidentally sticking herself with an Ebola-laced needle. The death occurred only months after a US scientist at the Army's BSL-4 lab at Fort Detrick in Maryland made the same mistake... and survived.

3 Hurricane hunter

The Air Force's 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron crew members are the daredevils of meteorology. They fly WC-130s into a hurricane's eyewall, 10,000 feet up, to locate the storm's pressure center and measure its wind speed. Not surprisingly, some get a little turned around. Even on the ground, they're not safe — Hurricane Katrina destroyed the squad's home base.

4 Doctors Without Borders mobile lab tech

Testing blood for sleeping sickness — an infectious disease transmitted by flies that causes brain swelling, heart failure, insomnia, and an uncontrollable urge to sleep — is dangerous enough. Now just imagine doing it at an outdoor mobile lab in the middle of the ongoing genocide in Sudan's Darfur region.


5 Propulsion engineer

Turns out, the people who ground-test rocket engines don't actually worry about explosions. When you work with cryogenic oxygen and gases pressurized up to 300 psi, you're far too busy worrying about "cold burns" and other trauma to really give proper consideration to what might happen should one of the buggers completely ignite.

6 Grad student

Even the most mundane job in science is hazardous if you don't know what you're doing. Grad students in labs around the world are in constant danger of, well, screwing up. In 2004, a Texas A&M student, for example, was cleaning up a laboratory when a jar of chemicals he was handling suddenly exploded, leaving him with severe lacerations and burns.


7 Volcanologist

Active volcanoes blow enough ash to bury a city the size of, oh, Pompeii. No wonder many volcanologists don't come back from their helicopter visits to hell. In 1991, three were killed by Japan's Mount Unzen. In 2001, one died after falling off a 985-foot-high caldera rim, and in 2005, four Filipino researchers died in a chopper crash while inspecting landslide areas.

8 Biologist

Animal research can lead to more than an allergic reaction. Being bitten, scratched, or exposed to "secretions" can be deadly. For example, at least 70 percent of captive adult macaque monkeys are infected with herpes B. In 1997, a 22-year-old researcher died after contracting the virus from some "biologic" monkey material that got in her eye.

Monday, July 30, 2007

from donor to patient

The figure above illustrates the steps in processing of blood from the donor to the patient.

Click for larger image



one pint = 3 lives

You just saved three lives !!



Three bags full...
















Thurga and Huey Chyi





Bala hooked on to the sphygmomanometer

Chai Ni, Lee Yian and Li Li waiting for their turns

Mun Yee
Kuhanesh






Squeamish Sam







Tiben







....and my swollen vein + puncture wound !!





Sunday, July 29, 2007

the very first time

BloOD donation drive @ school

I decided to drop by our school’s blood donation drive in Dewan Berjaya. I was planning to check the place out and thereafter get back to work immediately.

However, upon stepping in to the hall, I was swarmed by some colleagues and students, and they started persuading me donate blood.

I was quite hesitant to do it as I’ve never done it before and the purpose of my visit was NOT TO GIVE BLOOD at all!

In the end, I gave up and screamed, “YES, YOU CAN TAKE MY BLOOD !!!”

Before donating blood, I had to fill up some documents basically declaring that I am fit to donate blood. Then I had to go through a blood test to determine my blood type. I was pricked with a small device which caused a small wound. My blood was then mixed with some sort of chemicals to determine my blood type.

Ayam type A!

I was also given a small red book listing out my personal details and also the times that I’ve donated blood. At one section, there have a list of benefits for blood donor. On my first time, I will be given free outpatient medical treatment and surgery for class 2 ward for a period of 4 months. But if did it more than 50 times, I get free outpatient treatment and first class ward for 10 years!

I was told that I'm blood type A+ . For that, I should have received an academic award !

Donating blood for the first time is definitely a scary experience. Although I have numerous piercings on my ear and I’ve bled severely before, the thought of having a needle sucking blood out from me is scary.

As I sat on the bench to wait for my blood to be drawn, Madonna’s Like a Virgin song played on my head.

“Like a virgin, hey! Touched for the very first time!”

The lady nurse wrapped a tourniquet around my arm, tightened it to find my veins. It took some time for the lady nurse to find the appropriate vein and upon finding it, she jabbed a small needle on the vein drawing some blood out before removing it. I thought they are going to use that sort of needle to draw blood from me, but I was wrong, the nurse returned with a 1mm sized cannula (small tube) and shoved it into the hole. At the time, I looked away and tried to recall some long lost fond memories to distract myself.

However, it didn’t hurt at all. In fact, it hurts more when they pricked my finger during the blood test!

They drew out 350 ml worth of blood from me. I felt quite dizzy and complained to one of the nurses. The nurses immediately pulled the cannula out from me. But they had problems pulling out the cannula and I had to witness the nurses pushing and moving the cannula inside my vein .....

I was given a cup of milo, a muffin, some Fe and folic acid pills after resting for around 10 minutes.

At last! I’ve done it!

Other than knowing that my blood will be used for the purpose of helping others,. I felt extremely satisfied when I actually had the courage to donate blood.

......That was 3 years ago.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

56 facts about blood and blood donation

One for each day between your blood donation!

  1. 4.5 million Americans would die each year without life saving blood transfusions.
  2. Approximately 32,000 pints of blood are used each day in the United States.
  3. Every three seconds someone needs blood.
  4. One out of every 10 people entering a hospital needs blood.
  5. Just one pint of donated blood can help save as many as three people’s lives.
  6. The average adult has 10 pints of blood in his or her body.
  7. One unit of blood is roughly the equivalent of one pint.
  8. Blood makes up about 7% of your body's weight.
  9. A newborn baby has about one cup of blood in his or her body.
  10. The average red blood cell transfusion is 3.4 pints.
  11. Blood fights against infection and helps heal wounds, keeping you healthy.
  12. There are four main blood types: A, B, AB and O. AB is the universal recipient and O negative is the universal donor.
  13. Blood centers often run short of type O and B blood.
  14. Shortages of all types of blood occur during the summer and winter holidays.
  15. If all blood donors gave 2 to 4 times a year, it would help prevent blood shortages.
  16. If you began donating blood at age 17 and donated every 56 days until you reached 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood.
  17. About three gallons of blood supports the entire nation's blood needs for one minute.
  18. Blood donation takes four steps: medical history, quick physical, donation, and snacks.
  19. The actual blood donation usually takes less than 10 minutes. The entire process, from when you sign in to the time you leave, takes about 45 minutes.
  20. Giving blood will not decrease your strength.
  21. You cannot get AIDS or any other infectious disease by donating blood.
  22. Fourteen tests, 11 of which are for infectious diseases, are performed on each unit of donated blood.
  23. Any company, community organization, place of worship or individual may contact their local community blood center to host a blood drive.
  24. People donate blood out of a sense of duty and community spirit, not to make money. They are not paid for their donation.
  25. Much of today's medical care depends on a steady supply of blood from healthy donors.
  26. One unit of blood can be separated into several components (red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitate).
  27. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s organs and tissue.
  28. There are about one billion red blood cells in two to three drops of blood.
  29. Red blood cells live about 120 days in the circulatory system.
  30. Platelets help blood to clot and give those with leukemia and other cancers a chance to live.
  31. Apheresis (ay-fur-ee-sis) is a special kind of blood donation that allows a donor to give specific blood components, such as platelets.
  32. Donated red blood cells must be used within 42 days of collection.
  33. Donated platelets must be used within five days of collection.
  34. Plasma can be frozen and used for up to a year.
  35. Plasma is a pale yellow mixture of water, proteins and salts.
  36. Plasma, which is 90% water, constitutes 55% of blood volume.
  37. Healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets.
  38. People who have been in car accidents and suffered massive blood loss can need transfusions of 50 pints or more of red blood cells.
  39. The average bone marrow transplant requires 120 units of platelets and about 20 units of red blood cells. Patients undergoing bone marrow transplants need platelets donations from about 120 people and red blood cells from about 20 people.
  40. Severe burn victims can need 20 units of platelets during their treatment.
  41. Children being treated for cancer, premature infants, and children having heart surgery need blood and platelets from donors of all types.
  42. Anemic patients need blood transfusions to increase their iron levels.
  43. Cancer, transplant and trauma patients and patients undergoing open-heart surgery require platelet transfusions to survive.
  44. Sickle cell disease is an inherited disease that affects more than 80,000 people in the United States, 98% of whom are of African descent. Some patients with complications from severe sickle cell disease receive blood transfusions every month – up to 4 pints at a time.
  45. In the days following the September 11 attacks, a half a million people donated blood.
  46. Females receive 53% of blood transfused; males receive 47%.
  47. 94% of all blood donors are registered voters.
  48. 60% of the US population is eligible to donate – only 5% do on a yearly basis.
  49. 17% of non-donors cite “never thought about it” as the main reason for not giving, while 15% say they’re “too busy.” The #1 reason donors say they give is because they “want to help others.”
  50. After donating blood, you replace these red blood cells within 3 to 4 weeks. It takes eight weeks to restore the iron lost after donating.
  51. Granulocytes, a type of white blood cell, roll along blood vessel walls in search of bacteria to eat.
  52. White cells are the body's primary defense against infection.
  53. There is no substitute for human blood.
  54. It’s about Life.
  55. Since a pint is pound, you lose a pound every time you donate blood.
  56. Anyone who is in good health, is at least 17 years old, and weighs at least 110 pounds may donate blood every 56 days.

See you in Dewan Berjaya. God willing......I'll be there after my 4BR class and....breakfast !

blood history

BLoOd History

The first recorded successful human blood transfusion was accomplished in 1818, but due to the lack of knowledge and research, it was followed by many blood transfusion failures. Some 80 years later, it was discovered that inherited differences in people's red cells were the cause of many of the incompatibilites seen with transfusions. Four blood types were identified - A, B, AB and O. This discovery revolutionized hematology and led the way for successful blood transfusions.

During World War I, when human blood was needed for transfusions for wounded soldiers, scientists began to study how to preserve and transport blood. But it was not until World War II that the development of effective preservative solutions made blood transfusions widely and safely available. Since then, there have been many advances, such as the discovery of the Rh blood group system and technical developments such as the introduction of the plastic bag for safer blood collection.

By the end of 1947, several blood banks had been established in major cities across the U.S. and blood donation was promoted to the public as a way of fulfilling one's civic responsibility.

Freezing of red blood cells, separation of different blood components by centrifugation, apheresis (extraction of one blood component and returning the rest to the donor) and many other discoveries and advancements make for full utilization of every donation. Each blood element can be used to treat different diseases.

Today, in light of HIV, Hepatitis C and many other diseases, the federal government has enforced regulations for blood screening tests in an effort to improve blood safety and to reduce the risk from blood transfusions. To further ensure the safety of the blood supply, the government outlawed paying someone for his or her blood.

Human blood is precious. There is no substitute for it and there is no way to manufacture it outside the body. Yet, millions of times each year, human blood is required to save the lives of people suffering from disease or who are victims of accidents.


blood bank


This is how blood donations should be, more deposits then withdrawls…unfortunately it’s not like this. Blood donations are needed everyday and your help is critical to saving lives.

blood donation

I found this sign the other day, I thought it was pretty funny…us blood doners have a weird sense of humor ;). Tell me what you think. I think it’s a great way to spread the word about giving blood…which is what we all need.





Everybody has it
Everybody needs it

Yes....BLoOd

This red liquid carries oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body, and carries carbon dioxide and other waste products back to the lungs, kidneys and liver for disposal. It fights against infection and helps heal wounds, so we can stay healthy.

There's no substitute for blood. If people lose blood from surgery or injury or if their bodies can't produce enough, there is only one place to turn -- volunteer blood donors.

A blood donation drive will be held in Dewan Berjaya on Monday 0800-1430. This event is jointly organised by The Christian Fellowship and Red Crescent Society of our school in collaboration with UH. Make it a date....


Friday, July 27, 2007

today.....some skillful dissection


Calvin loi dewei shows his skill in removing the pectoralis and neck muscles. Neat job, I must say!




Patience and good dissecting skills from yu deng. Click for larger images.










today.....burning nuts with 4 cem

Aim : To determine and compare the calorific value of groundnuts and cashew nuts.





















charmaine, samantha and phuiloo working on the experimental set up.

yesterday....a marathon rat dissection session with 6a teratai

tiben cleaning up his rat's heart.....








mun yee isolating the heart from the respiratory system.









Separating the respiratory system and the heart. QED.








......and many more. At the end of the day, everybody went home drenched in the latest eau de toilette Rattus norrigecus ......

do it now

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

neurons from the rat brain

Purkinje Neurons

This is a composite image of five Purkinje neurons from the rat cerebellum, in the back of the brain. Each has been filled with fluorescent dye through a glass pipette, shown touching the cells. Images were taken on a two-photon microscope. Each Purkinje cell receives hundreds of thousands of inputs through its dendrite, the elaborate tree-like structure seen emerging from the cell body.

lab rats and guinea pigs

Click for larger image.

rat dissection with 6a teratai 07

Tiben, Abhishek and Callie at work......

Rats (minus their tails and alimentary canals) being marinated in formalin.

Nicely done!

Yngie : 'I'm opening the rib cage'

Hooray! yuenyim found the hepatic portal vein.








The guts in situ



Tuesday, July 24, 2007

my biology lesson today

Kuhanesh at work. Full concentration....

Yu Deng without gloves. "They restrict my moves...."

Opening up !

Chong Sheng and Mei Shan. Look who's stealing the limelight...

Toasting cashew nuts
Han Liang, Vinser, Bryan and Han Hwa. One for the album...