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Sunday, March 24, 2013

World TB Day!


Do you know that today is World TB Day? Today commemorates the day bacteriologist Robert Koch discovered Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the etiology of Tuberculosis, on March 24, 1882. 

Tuberculosis is the 2nd largest infectious disease killer in the world. It arose from bovine TB during the Neolithic period. According to CDC, as of 2011, about nine billion people become sick because of TB. 1/3 of the global pop. is infected with TB but most of them don't show symptoms. When this happens, the immune system is able to control the disease from getting out of control. The bacteria is acquired by infected droplets of TB infected people, through skin, and un-pasteurized milk.

Mycobacteria tuberculosis invades many parts of the body. It usually starts out in the lungs if inhaled. This type of TB is called Pulmonary Tuberculosis. The bacteria can then spreads to other parts of the body like the Lymph nodes, Skin, Kidney, and Spine. This type of TB is called Extra-pulmonary Tuberculosis.

Symptoms for Pulmonary TB include chest pain and prolonged coughing, while extrapulmoary TB symptoms depend on where the bacteria spreads.

There are certain cases where the TB bacteria is resistant to some of the antibiotics used to treat TB. This case is called Multi-drug TB or MDR-TB. Sometimes the TB bacteria is resistant to almost all antibiotics used to treat TB. This case is called Extensively drug resistant TB or XDR-TB. Both can be fatal.

People at risk include the immunosupressed, smokers, diabetes mellitus patients, and alcoholics.

Search up TB to learn more!

Let's beat TB!

To the Stars!

Comet PANSTARRS - did you see?

Update March 25, 2013: Comet PANSTARRS will be dimming day by day. But you should be able to see it with binoculars. It is next to the constellation Pegasus approaching M31 or the Andromeda Galaxy in the sky. I realized I can't see it in my neighborhood because of light pollution and buildings. The Comet is next to the horizon so make sure nothing blocks your view when looking for PANSTARRS.

Did you see Comet PANSTARRS? Comet PANSTARRS was a comet officially named C/2011 L4 discovered by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) on June 6, 2011.
It entered Mercury orbit around March 5-10 and is brightest around March 12-13 near the the Moon and you should see it with the naked eye. By March 25, it should be above Alpharetz in the Pegasus constellation.
But you should be able to see it till May getting close to the Andomeda Galaxy with binoculars. Best time to see it is 60 to 80 minutes after sunset. 

If you want to learn more, go to:

To the Stars!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

SXSW Interactive last day

Here is a few things a learned at SXSW Interactive and wanted to share it with you:

1. 80 % of all Doctors will be replaced by algortithms.
2.  Stem cell technology can be used to test drugs and to treat disease
3. We need new technologies eg. nanotechnology to solve human and global problems for creating a starship since it will require colonies of people to live together just as if we were on Earth. Those who want to create a starship, you first must solve our problems here on Earth.
4. There is a problem with releasing genomes on the Internet. Medical Doctors think that it is wrong to release genetic data on the Internet. Giving the data of the genotyped patient 
5. Some cool technologies:
    - using lasers for glucose sensing
     -Using bomb detection methods for foodborne pathogen sensing
     - DNA Analytics for early pathogen detection

Stem cells: cells that mature into the different types cells in our body. In the future we could used stem cell technology to grow stem cells into heart cells or liver cells and test drugs for certain people. We can also use this technology to replace damaged cells or tissues.

Nanotechnology: the use of nano science in different technologies like using nano technologies for biosensors and reducing the size of computers.
Genotype: Genotyping is looking for variants that can cause allergies, diseases, and drug response. In this way we don't have to sequence "junk DNA" that is not required for genetic disease or other variants.

SXSW Interactive had ended today. It was a fun experience and I am excited for next year!

To the Stars!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

SXSW Interactive

Hi, It has been a long time since my last post but decided to come back. Many may have thought what happened but I'm still here. This time with more information and more knowledge to share for sure!

Let me tell you all that has happened in my life since My last post:

1. I got an A on both my college classes on History.
2. Started a Microbiology class and a Physics class. So far getting an A

Well, those are the main ones, there are more but of course I can't list them all!

Today actually I am attending one of the biggest technology conferences. It is where Twitter was promoted and where many devices are being showcased. Can you guess? It is called South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive in Austin, Texas. There were many speakers, VP Al Gore and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow to name a few. But the reason I'm here is because I was invited to be a panelist at SXSW's first all-child panel on children's view on the future and global problems. It was a lot of fun and met many  fun children and people there.

I also rushed to listen to Vice Pres. Al Gore. It was about his new book called "The Future: the Six Drivers of Global Change" Luckily I was in time to buy Al Gore's new book since they also had a book signing. So I able so able to meet him!

Well that is about it for today. I will tell you a little about what I learned on the last day of  SXSW Interactive, March 12, 2013. Till then, goodbye!

To the stars!
Tanishq Abraham