Bacteriophage – Natural enemy of bacteria fights disease

Bacteriophage T4 - Artistic rendering

Bacteriophage - Bacillus phi29 - Illustration based on electron microscopy data

Bacteriophage - Cartoon representation of the entire bacteriophage MS2 protein capsid

Bacteriophage - Phage injecting genome into bacterial cell

Bacteriophage T7 - Structure

Bacteriophage - Artistic rendering - (09-04-2019)
Bacteriophage Synechococcus S-PM2 - Electron Microscope ImageBacteriophage P2 - View from Electron MicroscopeBacteriophage - Artists renderingVirus that feeds on bacteriaInfection at atomic resolution shows how the virus approaches the E.coli membrane and interacts with receptorsLego model - (01-02-2015)

Bacteriophage – Natural enemy of bacteria fights disease

Portrait of Felix d'Herelle– Felix d’Herelle

Bacteriophage – It was discovered over 100 years ago. Felix d’Herelle came up with the idea to use these natural enemies of bacteria in the fight against disease in 1919. The results of his first trials were very promising, but work ceased with the invention of antibiotics. These drugs were cheap and extremely effective, so they were quickly recognized as the ideal solution to fight disease.

However, it took several dozen years of excessive, inappropriate use of antibiotics for bacteria resistant to most or even all of these drugs to appear. This problem has again brought the attention of bacteriophages.

One of the main lines of research is devising a therapy effective against infections with bacteria of the genus Pseudomonas. Which very often cause pneumonia, sepsis, urinary tract infections and postoperative wound infections. In patients with weakened immune systems. In studies aimed at developing an alternative to antibiotics. It turned out that a mixture of several phages is definitely more effective than just one virus infecting Pseudomonas cells.

Prof. Rotem Sorek - Weizmann Institute’s Molecular Genetics Department– Prof. Rotem Sorek

Rotem Sorek, an Israeli geneticist from the Weizmann Institute of Science, found a trail of viral communication by studying bacteriophages found in soil. He discovered the social side of life of viruses that can attack bacteria. The so-called bacteriophages or shorter phages. These viruses can either stay in stand-by mode or multiply rapidly, destroying the attacked bacteria. And spreading in search of new hosts. Until now, scientists believed that the change in the dynamics of development was a process dependent only on the conditions in the bacterial cell.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sorek has proved that viruses are actively “discussing” about their strategy. When a bacteriophage enters bacteria, it can cause the release of a protein molecule made up of just six amino acids. This is news for other viruses. The more bacteria attacked, the more protein and the louder the signal that there are less and less free bacterial cells. The phages then stop the multiplication process and go into the dormant phase.

Because the virus that multiplies, breaks down the bacterial cell, and the daughter virions are released into the environment. It is when the host is scarce, that the virus stops infecting and saves.

Prof. Bonnie Bassler - In her officeProf. Bonnie Bassler - Talk on bacterial communication– Prof. Bonnie Bassler

The protein that changes the phage’s strategy was called arbitrium and, as its discoverer himself admits, it is quite a revolution in virology. Research has begun seeking arbitration in the community. It is already known that this protein produces at least a dozen other phages. Each of them probably “speaks” in their own language, so the conversation can only take place among the closest relatives.

On the other hand, phages are able to eavesdrop on information communicated by their victims. Molecular biologist prof. Bonnie Bassler of Princeton University found that viruses use chemical signals released by bacteria to choose the best time to multiply and annihilate the host. The natural abilities of molecular espionage were discovered, among others phages that infect cholera comma.

This is a great chance to effectively fight pathogens. Prof. Bassler – using the methods of biotechnologycreated phages that can eavesdrop on the bacteria Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium, which are harmful to health. This is the first step to obtain programmed killers of any chosen species of microbe. Dr. Sorek, on the other hand, has another idea: If we could genetically engineer a system that produces arbitrium into human viruses. Such as HIV or the herpes virus, which can stay hidden in cells for many years. It is the “sleep” molecule that would become a new therapy for these diseases. Despite decades of research on antivirals, we still have very little.

Muscular dystrophy – Is caused by muscle weakness

Muscular dystrophy - Make A Wish participant enlisted

Muscular dystrophy - National Poster Child of the Year

Muscular dystrophy - Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Muscular dystrophy - Child receiving torch money - Federal Building in Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Stem cells administrationDuchenne muscular photo essayDuchenne muscular dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy – Is caused by muscle weakness

Muscular Dystrophy – This disease is the result of weakened muscles and has nothing to do with damage to the nervous system. There is a 25% chance that the child will acquire muscular dystrophy from the parents. What is certain, however, is that the problem lies in the muscle cells themselves. The patient’s body is unable to produce protein dystrophins, without which our muscles cannot work. There are two types of dystrophy. The more severe one is Duchenne dystrophy, which affects both adults and children. Sick boys quickly end up in a wheelchair, and the work of their hearts and lungs deteriorates. The maximum life expectancy with the disease is 20 years.

The second type of dystrophy is called Becker’s dystrophy. It manifests itself in patients a little later, usually after the age of 10. The first symptoms of this type of dystrophy include weakness in the calf, pelvic and thigh muscles. Scientists warn that 30% of patients did not get sick for reasons genetic , but their chromosome was attacked by a new mutation.

Haemophilia – Result is a morbid bleeding tendency

Haemophilia - American practice of surgery

Haemophilia - Protein registered with 1cfh code

Haemophilia - Protein registered with 2aer code - (18-02-2009)

Haemophilia - Family tree of Queen Victoria
Haemophilia - Javier Barbero - World Haemophilia Day 2018World Haemophilia Day 2018University Hospital La Paz, MadridThe diseases of infancy and childhood

Haemophilia – Result is a morbid bleeding tendency

Haemophilia – It is a hemorrhagic diathesis associated with the deficiency of blood coagulation factors. The disease manifests itself exclusively in men. The result of a blood clotting disorder in a patient is a morbid bleeding tendency. The disease spreads through a defective X chromosome allele. Women can only be carriers of haemophilia, while men who have this mutation will or may not have the disease. Daughters of sick men transmit the disease always because they inherit a defective X chromosome, while all sons remain healthy (inherit a Y chromosome).

Treatment of haemophilia is possible and is done with injections of a concentrated substance that helps blood to clot, which the patient’s body lacks. If untreated, the disease can lead to spontaneous bleeding, which most often manifests itself in severe pain in the affected joint. In extreme cases, it can even lead to intramuscular bleeding, into the digestive system or urinary tract. The worst option is bleeding into the brain, which can be fatal.

The most famous carrier of haemophilia was Queen Victoria.

Down syndrome – Chromosomal birth defect

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Down syndrome - Charity gifts for children with cancer, the Vanessa Isabel Foundation

Down syndrome - 2019

Down syndrome - Trisomia

Down syndrome - Guy with down syndrome
Down syndrome - He just having fun at workPianistNewborn with down syndromeWilliam i Tommy JessopMarch for Life 2019

Down syndrome – Chromosomal birth defect

Down syndrome – This is the most common chromosomal birth defects. This happens just after fertilization, when one extra chromosome appears in the first cell. Each healthy cell in the human body contains 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs. In Down’s syndrome, there is an anomaly in which each cell contains three 21 chromosomes, instead of two. This is why the other name of this disease is chromosome 21 trisomy (tripling). Only 4% of patients experience this so-called translocation (displacement), whereby a redundant part of the 21st chromosome attaches to another chromosome.

The outbreak of this disease is considered a genetic lottery, and scientists have yet to investigate the cause of the mutation. Children with Down syndrome have distinctive facial features – slanted eyes. A stronger build and a flat rounded face. They are also often more prone to cardiovascular disease. They are also 3-5 times more likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s.

The risk factor is the age of the parents – in mothers over 35, in fathers more than 50. 92% of affected fetuses in Europe are aborted.

Cystic Fibrosis – Affects respiratory & digestive sys.

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis - Clubbing of the fingers

Cystic Fibrosis - Manifestations

Cystic Fibrosis - Young poster child
Cystic Fibrosis - CFTR ProteinInfection in the respiratory systemHigh-resolution computed tomography-HRCTNational Genetics and Genomics Education Centre (NHS)

Cystic fibrosis – Affects the respiratory and digestive systems

Cystic fibrosis – attacks primarily the respiratory and digestive systems. It attacks the lungs, but it is not contagious, at least for a healthy person. Symptoms of the disease appear shortly after birth. These include, among others recurring respiratory infections damaging the lungs, forming thick mucus on them, which then becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and all kinds of contaminants. Unfortunately, this type of infection is virtually unresponsive to antibiotics.

As the disease also affects the pancreas, patients also have digestive problems which can be the onset of diabetes. Other complications associated with cystic fibrosis can be, for example, cirrhosis or osteoporosis. Disease causes male infertility, and for women it depends on their overall health. So far, the goal of therapy is only to relieve symptoms with daily inhalation, respiratory physiotherapy and high-calorie nutrition.

Albinism – The body doesn’t produce melanin

Albinism - Thierry Moungalla

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Albinism - Nigerian advocate
Albinism - Ikponwosa Ero - Nigerian lawyerSalif KeitaStanley Sataan Kaoni - Albinistic former Solomon Islander militant leaderThando Hopa

Albinism – The body doesn’t produce melanin

Albinism – This is a fairly rare genetic , disease as a result of which the patient’s body does not produce melanin. You can recognize them at a glance. They generally have a white complexion reaching pink, very fair hair and body hair. Their eyes are pink and sometimes even red, which is caused by the show-through of the capillaries. The cause of albinism is the lack of the tyrosinase enzyme, which is responsible for the production of melanin. If another pigment, such as carotene, for example, remains intact, the skin of the affected person does not have to be snow-white.

Melanin is responsible for the color of the skin, hair, hair and eyes. Its main function is to protect the body from ultraviolet rays, so that albinos also have to use a protective cream in winter. Melanin also protects the eyes by helping to regulate the amount of light entering them. If this pigment is missing in the eyes, the patient develops conditions such as photophobia or strabismus.

The albino is at a higher risk of developing skin cancers. Their skin also tends to age faster.

Achondroplasia – Most common cause of dwarfism

Achondroplasia - Hands of a girl

Achondroplasia - Hands of three sisters

Achondroplasia - Photo of young woman

Achondroplasia - Treasury of human inheritance
Mr. Keizer, the smallest man in the NetherlandsGirl with Achondroplasia and woman with MyxedemaChondrodystrophia foetalisAchondroplasia - An achondroplastic female dwarf

Achondroplasia – The most common cause of dwarfism

Achondroplasia – It is one of the most common causes of dwarfism. The disease is caused by an abnormal mutation in the FGFR3 gene , the receptor for the fibroblast growth factor. Achondroplasia is one of the bone dysplasias, i.e. impaired bone growth. People with achondroplasia are generally small. The adult reaches 120-130 cm, has a characteristic long torso and very short limbs. The skull, on the other hand, is expanded and has a broad, convex forehead.

Diagnosis of achondroplasia in a child is possible already during pregnancy using ultrasound of the amniotic fluid. The disease is caused by a gene mutation that prevents the skeletal system from developing efficiently. A parent’s disease means a child is 50 percent likely to have it. The disease cannot be treated, but spinal canal surgery is performed to prevent compression of the spinal cord. Limb extension surgery is also one option.

The main risk factor is the age of the parents.

St Kilda – Hirta – Atlantic, Scotland – Exiled people

St Kilda - Hirta - Atlantic, ScotlandSt Kilda - Hirta - Atlantic, ScotlandSt Kilda - Hirta - Atlantic, ScotlandSt Kilda - Hirta - Atlantic, ScotlandMap of archipelago - (15-08-2007)Fulmars hunting - (01-01-1898)Mailboat - (01-01-1898)Puffins hunting - (01-01-1898)

St Kilda – Hirta – Atlantic, Scotland – Exiled people

St Kilda – Hirta – To reach the place called „the edge of the world”. You have to bounce off the west coast of Scotland and over 60 km across the cold Atlantic. There, among windswept and waves, several small islands protrude from the sea. They are so unfriendly and distant from the mainland, that it is not surprising that they are uninhabited, so it is surprising that Hirta, part of the St Kilda archipelago, was already inhabited in the Bronze Age.

The life of indigenous peoples almost all the time concentrated on making supplies for the winter. Harvesting: Peat, which was a source of heat for them. Sheep wool for yarns and sea birds as food. There was no possibility of fishing – the waters around were treacherous enough.

Weather is so hard and unpredictable, that up to the last century for eight months of the year. Hirta was completely cut off from the world. Even in the nineteenth century, its inhabitants, whose number ranged between 100 and 200, when they wanted to make contact with the world. They threw messages in bottles, into sea, at favorable winds. Hoping that someone in Scotland will catch one.

Community lived in great isolation

To the extent that her genetic pool has been weakened: brought from outside, quite innocent diseases. Which destroyed her almost completely. The last 36 survivors surrendered in the 1930s. After the decision of the British Parliament, they left a sinister place. It was the end of the settlement, which lasted over two thousand years…

Amoco Milford Haven – Biggest oil spills

Amoco Milford Haven - Fire of sinking tankerAmoco Milford Haven - Sinking tankerMT Haven - Burning tankerMT Haven - Tanker fire

Amoco Milford Haven – Biggest oil spills

  • Place: Genoa, Italy
  • Date: 11 April 1991
  • Amount of spill: 159 000 000 liters
  • Costs: $ 85 mln

Amoco Milford Haven – The tanker was built in Cardiz shipyards in 1973. The ship was 334 meters long and 51 meters wide. In 1991 a catastrophic explosion took place near Genoa, Italy. During routine pumping operations, a part of the load. To adjust the draft of the ship. At one point, a powerful explosion shook the front tanks, and a few minutes later a huge fire began on board. Although sailors and firemen fought together with fire. They could do nothing.

Precautions did not help

Flames reached 100 meters in height and a total of six crew members were killed. To prevent a major ecological disaster. Experts recommended towing the ship as far as possible into the open sea and leaving it at the bottom. It also happened. After another explosion, the ship broke into two parts and sank after three days. Spilled fuel reached the coasts of Italy and France. Despite immediate action after installing 10 km long barriers. Oil flooded local beaches and caused great damage.

Colchicum autumnale – Protected and very poisonous

Colchicum autumnale - Jena, Germany (16-09-2007)Colchicum autumnale (1)Colchicum autumnale (2)Colchicum autumnale (3)

Colchicum autumnale – Protected and very poisonous

Colchicum autumnale – It belongs to protected as well as very poisonous plants.

  • Deadly dose: 20 – 40 mg (5 – 10 seeds)
  • Death: to 4 days
  • Poison: colchicine
  • Aftermath: paralysis, pulmonary edema, renal failure
  • Where it grows: Southern and Western Europe
  • Occurrence in Poland: yes

One flower contains more than 20 alkaloids, the most dangerous of which is colchicine and its derivatives. Thanks to the appropriate dosage, they can be used for treatments of cancers. Medicinal products for rheumatism, ascites and kidney diseases are produced from wintering seeds. However, if you carelessly handle (for example when confusing with wild garlic leaves), poisoning may occur. Fowl and goat’s milk may also be dangerous. The first symptoms of taking harmful substances appear after 2 – 6 hours after ingestion. At the beginning you can observe mouth burning, vomiting or cramps. Without proper help, a man can die.