Edudorm Facebook


Importance of Iodine in women

Iodine deficiency is a major problem that is affecting many parts of the world especially the areas whose food supply has low iodine levels. Iodine is one of the most important elements in the human body; it is the essential element that is required to ensure that there is a healthy production of thyroid hormone (Biban & Lichiardopol, 2017). A deficiency in iodine is likely to cause hypothyroidism which is a condition whereby the body is not able to make thyroid hormones.  Iodine is not something that the human body make, it should be acquired through diet and it is hence very important to take a balanced diet. The importance of iodine is often overlooked, because most people do not understand how important the element is. The issue of iodine deficiency was a major problem within the United States in the early 1900s something that was solved by the addition of iodine in the common table salt (Briden, 2016). Even though many people are able to acquire iodine today, the issue of iodine deficiency is on the rise especially among women and in most cases this goes undiagnosed.

The role of Iodine

Iodine is responsible for the production of the thyroid hormone that is essential in both the adult and childhood life. The hormone helps in the regulation of various metabolic processes most especially those ones that are involved in matters of brain and other organs development as well as energy disbursement. Women particularly require more iodine because of the maternal roles which puts them at the great risk of deficiency (Burns et al., 2018). Iodine is important for many tissues with the human body and this includes the ovaries, uterus and even breasts and much of the iodine is normally concentrated in those tissues because it is an important antioxidant. Iodine is greatly required by women because it affects ovulation and oestrogen, the ovaries contain a great amount of iodine than all the other organs with the exception of the thyroid and this is what helps to promote healthy ovulation (Briden, 2016).  Iodine helps to reduce ovulation pains, it boosts progesterone and helps prevent ovarian cysts.  Iodine is one of the treatments that are given for oestrogen dominant symptoms because it helps in promoting the healthy detoxification of oestrogen (Briden, 2016).

Iodine is also greatly important in all phases of human development which includes before birth and thus without enough iodine levels, women find it hard to conceive because their bodies do not have enough iodine to make thyroid hormones for herself and the baby (Burns et al., 2018).  Women who have deficient iodine levels have almost half conceiving success chances, as compared to the women whose iodine levels are adequate. If a woman is able to conceive without enough iodine levels, there is a high chance of one getting a miscarriage because their bodies do not have enough elements to sustain the required development of a baby (Lindorfer et al., 2015).

Adequate intake of iodine and development of the thyroid hormones are important for the brain development of a foetus. Without enough iodine, there is the risk of the foetal brain growing at a reduced rate which in turn slows down the production of myelin which is required in the conduction of the nerve impulse (Briden, 2016). The brain of a baby begins to develop as early as the second month even before a woman recognizes that she is pregnant and it is hence very important for a woman to get enough iodine even before one conceives. Inadequate iodine levels in a mother can lead to lower IQ, mental retardation and in extreme cases even an irreversible brain damage on a child (Biban & Lichiardopol, 2017). Iodine is still required the baby even after birth since the child is still developing, the mother still requires to ensure that they have sufficient iodine levels since breast milk is the only food source for the baby. Enough iodine intake for the baby helps to keep the thyroid hormone in a stable range which in turn ensures that the child is able to utilize energy and have a normal growth rate. A child that has a low thyroid hormone level is likely to have a low growth rate and they could develop muscular disorders and other physical problems (Burns et al., 2018).

Iodine is also important during menopause, this is the time when the thyroid is sluggish and so little detoxification occurs which can be very uncomfortable. Iodine in this case is needed to helps support the thyroid thus making it function better and reduce the intense menopause symptoms (Lindorfer et al., 2015).

Iodine supplements

Supplements are important and are appropriate for the individuals that have higher iodine requirements such as pregnant women or those individuals that do not consume sea foods or dairy products. Supplements are the perfect supply of iodine for individuals that cannot get a good source of iodine. Supplements are advantageous in that they are easily accessible and one can take the required amount with fear taking too much or less amount (Lindorfer et al., 2015). There are two common forms of iodine supplements that are perfect for women including;

  • Potassium iodide (KI)
  • Molecular iodine (I2)

Between the two, I2 is the better form for women health because it is less likely to cause thyroid problems. The supplements contain about 150 micrograms of iodine which is the recommended amount for the normal woman (Pearce, 2013). The prenatal vitamins always contain iodine, this is however not enough for lactating mothers and they are expected to include foods that supply the rest of the required iodine in their diet. Supplements should only be taken by women, pregnant or lactating after a recommendation from a physician because too much exposure to extremely high levels can be harmful.

The recommended daily iron for various types of women

Childbearing age; 150 micrograms

Pregnant; 220 micrograms

 Lactating; 290 micrograms

Menstruating; 150 micrograms

In menopause; 150 micrograms

Side effects of excess iodine intake

There are other adverse effects that can be associated with excessive intake of iodine supplements including; inflammation of the salivary glands, intestinal upsets, sore teeth and gum and severe allergic reactions (Sharma & Toshyan, 2017). Other serious side effects include acne, where an eruption of acne for some people can happen after an increased intake in iodine supplements. Excess intake of iodine can cause the swelling of the thyroid gland also known as goitre something that can also happen with iodine deficiency. Excessive intakes of supplements such as KI can also greatly reduce the ability of the thyroid to absorb and retain radioactive iodine which can cause cancer. The risks of experiencing side effects with the use of iodine supplements is only prevalent if the recommended dose is exceeded, the medication should be taken in the right doses for several days or if an individual already suffers from the thyroid disease.

Foods that contain iodine

The daily requirement iodine intake amount for a normal woman is 150 micrograms, for the pregnant or lactating women, the amount increases to 250 micrograms because they need enough for them and the baby. Iodine is readily available in various foods most especially sea foods and dairy products such as cow’s milk, yogurt, white fish among others (Sharma & Toshyan, 2017). Others foods such as eggs, cheese and some meat also provide some smaller amounts of iodine. For vegetarians, there are some challenges in getting iodine but seaweed has great amounts of iodine though they can have some minerals that are dangerous for a baby (Pearce, 2013). The easiest way to get iodine is through iodized table salt that delivers about 600 micrograms of iodine for every teaspoon. Iodine rich foods and the amount of iodine per serving;

  • Sea vegetables; 16 micrograms to 2,984 micrograms of iodine
  • Yogurt; 75 micrograms
  • Iodized salt; 71 micrograms
  • Dairy milk; 56 micrograms
  • Enriched beans; 45 micrograms
  • Eggs; 24 micrograms

Iodine deficiency is something that can be prevented through correct education on the importance of iodine and the foods that women can take to boost their iodine levels. The elimination of iodine deficiency is a major goals of World Health Organization and this is something that can be achieved with the provision of iodine supplements for region that are most affected. The elimination of iodine deficiency will greatly help decrease mental health disorders among infants and improve the overall wellbeing of society. Women of all ages should make an effort to have their iodine levels analysed and also ensure that they take adequate iodine in their diets in order to help improve their reproductive health. 




Sharma, J. B., & Toshyan, V. (2017). Iodine Deficiency in Pregnancy. Indian Obstetrics &

Gynaecology, 7(1), 8–9. Retrieved from

Pearce, E. N. (2013). Monitoring and effects of iodine deficiency in pregnancy: still an

unsolved problem? European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 67(5), 481–484.

Burns, K., Yap, C., Mina, A., & Gunton, J. E. (2018). Iodine deficiency in women of

childbearing age: not bread alone? Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 27(4), 853–859.

Lindorfer, H., Krebs, M., Kautzky-Willer, A., Bancher-Todesca, D., Sager, M., & Gessl, A.

(2015). Iodine deficiency in pregnant women in Austria. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 69(3), 349–354.

Biban, B. G., & Lichiardopol, C. (2017). Iodine Deficiency, Still a Global Problem? Current

            Health Sciences Journal, 43(2), 103–111.

Briden, L. (2016). Why Iodine Is One Of The Most Crucial Supplements For Women’s

Health - Retrieved from


1606 Words  5 Pages

Discussion on Otolaryngology

 Otolaryngology (ENT) covers all the steps taken to make appropriate diagnoses of the various conditions and diseases, which could be affecting the ears, nose, neck and throat (Behrbohm, Verse & Stammberger, 2009). The close proximity and interrelatedness of the organs leads to the view that any conditions and diseases affecting one of such organs could affect another. It requires proper examination and reliance of established facts to determine the exact issue that a patient could be recording when they complain of various issues in their nose, neck, throat or ear.

Some of the conditions that could emerge from the ear ought to be considered whether their origin is the middle or inner ear. The middle ear is often responsible for conditions like vertigo, which could lead to loss of balance, dizziness and nausea (Behrbohm, Verse & Stammberger, 2009). Some of the conditions that arise from the middle ear include otitis media, which results from drainage in the middle ear. Conditions such as sinusitis and rhinitis are common in the nasal section, and they require proper diagnosis to ensure that they are addressed comprehensively to avoid instances of them developing to even more complicated stages. The throat on the other hand serves a critical role in determining the health and proper working of the immune system in the human body (Behrbohm, Verse & Stammberger, 2009).. In most cases, if a serious infection arises in the human body, the affected patient ill most likely record a sour throat. As such, a patient complaining of a sour throat should be examined and various tests run to determine the nature of viral or bacterial infection they could be suffering from. Following this discussion, it is clear that ENT serves a critical role hence the need for healthcare professionals to undertake measures and understand the proper diagnosis practices required for all such conditions.  




Behrbohm, H., Verse, T., & Stammberger, H. (2009). Ear, nose, and throat diseases: with head and neck surgery. Thieme.

331 Words  1 Pages

             Apophenia is the human tendency to conceive meaningful patterns or connections in random and meaningless data.  The term apophenia was coined to describe the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. Science historian Michael Schemer called this phenomenon patternicity.  Humans tend to see spontaneous connections between unconnected events, people, and lives, and weave meaning into those connections (Shermer, 2007).

             Some basic type of apophenia include; clustering illusion which is the tendency to consider the presence of a pattern of some kind in truly random samples. This arises from the tendency to underestimate the variability in data. Confirmation bias when checking if a certain assumption is right, humans tend to give emphasis on proving it to be true, rather than false. Gambler’s fallacy that refers to assuming that there's more probability of something happening since it has not happened before or in a long time. Paraeidolia referring to the phenomenon of seeing different shapes or faces in any object is the most common form of apophenia (Shermer, 2012)

            Existing examples of apophenia is gamblers; gamblers believe that they see patterns in numbers. It happens sometimes that gamblers expect a certain outcome because it hasn't come in a long time. Seeing faces or patterns on the moon is a very common example of apophenia. We love to stare at the moon and find a man, a staircase leading to heaven, chariots and dragons. Children will mostly find clouds resembling certain animals, people, or other objects; adults also tend to derive meaning out of various shapes. We tend to see faces in the dust on vehicles, or even on a piece of toast. This may include seeing familiar faces or symbols of our religious affliation. Even from illuminated surfaces, or the texture of a wall, we tend to imagine shapes or patterns and derive meaning out of them.

            Apophenia also surfaces in the more complex patterns of our world in our normal interactions. Conspiracy theories, such as the destruction of the twin towers of 9/11 were believed to be a controlled demolition perpetrated by the  Bush government, are confabulations based on misperceived patterns. For example, despite a lack of evidence showing a causal connection, many parents do not vaccinate their children because they believe such vaccinations cause disability.

             Although there is no substantial explanation to the existence of apophenia, there exist theories that try to explain the tendency. A proximate cause , in which our brain and senses are prepared to interpret stimuli according to an expected model e.g.  Religionists see the Virgin Mary or chariots in cloud forms and Paranormals may hear voices of deceased relatives speaking to them through a radio receiver.

            An argument is put forward that our brains are belief engines: evolved pattern-recognition machines that connect the random events and create meaning out of the patterns that we think we see in nature. Sometimes the dots are connected, sometimes they are not. When it is, we learn something valuable about the environment from which we can make predictions that help in survival and reproduction (Shermer, 2012).







                                                            Works Cited

Shermer, Michael. Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition and Other     Confusions of Our Time. London: Souvenir Press, 2007.

Shermer, Michael. The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies- How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them As Truths. New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2012.

Shermer, Michael. How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science. New York: H.      Holt, 2003.






579 Words  2 Pages


Genetically modified organisms are beings with cells and genetic materials engineered in a scientific laboratory to favor certain physical traits. In turn, the traits enable the creature to produce more of a specific biological product. In the past, farmers would cross breed two different animals belonging to the same species group to bring up an offspring that would produce more of a specific biological item. However, with progress and advancement in the field of genetics, genetic manipulation is one of the options. Equally important to note is the fact that genetic modification and genetic recombination methods are able to go an extra mile and combine genes from diverse species. Combination of different species is not possible with conventional methods.

Purpose of genetically modified crop vegetation

 Usually crops are sensitive to climate change, pests, and diseases among other vices. However, through genetic modification, crops are able to acquire new traits that resist pests, diseases, and climate change. Hence, modification gives a crop the natural ability to become more economically viable and endure unpredictable weather. Comparatively, genetically modified crops are drought resistant since they have a trait that enables them to grow in more than one climatic condition (Dittmann, 2012).

 Through adjusting crop genes, plants can survive various herbicides sprayed by farmers. This tolerance allows farmers eradicate weeds with ease and make use of no-till ways of   conserving fertile soils and preventing soils erosion (Dittmann, 2012).

An example of a genetically modified crop is cotton. Previously, farmers could not plant cotton without the exhaustive utilization of pesticides due to pests and disease that would attack the crop and cause unrepairable damage to them. More so, over the past years, pests and diseases became more tolerant and resistant to pesticides. Therefore, modifying cotton genes made them more resistant to diseases and pests. Apart from cotton, the papaya crop in Hawaii, survived the ringspot disease due to genetic modifications that gave proper traits (Dittmann, 2012).

 Generation of GMOs

One of the consequences of discovering central dogma was genetic engineering. Scientists concluded that alteration and manipulation of DNA was possible. Altering DNA would affect gene expression, which would in turn affect the physical traits of an organism. Stakeholders of the industry probed further into the function of a single gene. Hence, finding cure to various diseases was a reality. Later, the technology would spread to the food industry (Robbins, 2011). 

Coupled with the information above, genetically modified organisms come about when foreign genetic content encounters a host organism. This occurs by threading genes and DNA fragments into molecules to form a plasmid. The plasmid has a set of instructions, which can redirect processes within the host organism leading to modification (Robbins, 2011). 

Foods with GMO

Soy flour and protein shakes contain GMOs. GMOs enable soy and protein shakes harbor more supplements and vitamins than usual. Apart from Soy flour, dairy products have growth hormone, Rbgh. Alfalfa is a food substance eaten by livestock. Consequently, pork and eggs among other products may have traces of alfalfa (Robbins, 2011). 



Safety of GMO food

Most people prefer natural foods compared to genetically modified food items. Some experts claim that genetic materials may have negative effects in the future if consumed. In short, the public has a negative attitude toward GMOs. However, consequences of GMO are yet to arise. Because of the unknown effects of GMOs, the laws state that companies should inform consumers incase if their products have GMOs (Robbins, 2011).  

In conclusion, genetically modified organisms have altered genes that enable them express certain physical traits. The purpose of genetically engineering crops is to enhance their traits, making them withstand emerging environmental challenges. Introducing foreign genetic material into a host organism leads to genetic modification of the host’s genes. Effects of GMOs do not presently exist.











Dittmann, R. (2012). Brighton baby: a revolutionary organic approach to having an extraordinary child: Book one. Bloomington, IN: Balboa Press.

Robbins, J. (2011). The food revolution: How your diet can help save your life and our world. San Francisco, CA: Conari Press.








672 Words  2 Pages


Effects of salivary amylase on starch


            Enzymes to a human body they are the best components which assists in speeding up chemical reactions.  For that reason it means that they assist in speeding various human chemical reactions a person encounters each day. Basically these enzymes assist in building as well as altering some of the chemical reactions which happens in a human body.   The specific essence of these chemicals is to assist in adding respiration, food digestion, nerve and muscle function, amongst thousands of other functions (Cheeke & Dierenfeld, 2010).

On the same note, salivary amylase plays a crucial role in enhancing digestion. Other than making food easy to swallow, salivary amylase assists in breaking food into starch. This in return assists in easing the work of the pancreas (Lieberman, 2009).


The aim of this experiment was to examine the effect of salivary amylase on the reaction between iodine solution and starch

            Hypothesis and reasoning

Due to the fact that three experiments will be carried out, each one of them will give different results. Iodine ions will slip into starch in the first test tube with no salivary amylase. This will cause the solution to have an intense blue-black color. Adding salivary amylase to the second test tube, the same result will be obtained as in the first one. In the last test tube, it is expected that a clear orange solution will be obtained on the test tube due to the decomposition of starch by salivary amylase.


Dependent- reaction between starch and iodine

Independent- the presence of salivary amylase


Place 2ml solution of starch in the three test tubes and label them

To the first test tube, add one drop of iodine solution and observe the reaction

To the second test tube, add 1ml of salivary amylase immediately after one drop of iodine solution and observe the reaction

To the last test tube, add 1ml of salivary amylase and give it 30 minutes for the reaction to take place before adding one drop of iodine solution. Then observe the reaction to taking place


  1. Results









Average         2




                               1     2       3       4      5       6      7        8      9       10                       X-axis

                                                           Rate (%)


            In the first test tube, the solution turned black because of the reaction between iodine and starch. The reason as to why the reaction was accelerated is because iodine ions merged with the starch molecules hence acting as the main pigment. By giving the mixture time to react, it implies that starch was broken down into sugars (Lieberman, 2009).

             In the second test tube, there was no time for the salivary amylase to react on starch molecules. To the third solution containing starch and salivary amylase, a clear golden solution was obtained. The reason for that is because starch was broken down into sugars. On adding iodine solution, there was no time for it to react with the solution. This is what made the mixture to turn into a clear solution (Cheeke & Dierenfeld, 2010).


















Cheeke, P. R., & Dierenfeld, E. S. (2010). Comparative animal nutrition and metabolism. Wallingford, Oxfordshire: CABI.

Lieberman, . (2009). Lippincotts illustrated q&a review of biochemistry. Lippincott Williams And Wilkin







546 Words  1 Pages


An enzyme is a biological catalyst within living organisms. It controls the rate at which chemical reactions occur without altering its natural structure or chemistry during the entire process. Chemical reactions facilitate normal functioning of the body. Either without the presence of enzymes, some of the reactions would fail to take place or they would occur at a slower rate than usual. Temperature, ph., and the concentration of substrate affect enzyme activities. The substrate binds onto the active site of an enzyme during chemical reaction processes (Bisswanger & Wiley, 2017).

The experiment focuses on substrate casein, found in milk and enzyme rennin or chymosin. Chymosin is an enzyme found in the stomach of various animals. Chymosin coagulates milk in the stomach of animals. Without coagulation of milk, digestion of protein milk would not take place. Chymosin converts milk into a semisolid substance consequently increases its chances of storage in the stomach. According to the experiment, the substrate is the dependent variable and the enzyme is the independent variable (Bisswanger & Wiley, 2017).

Hypothesis and reasoning

If the substrate concentration increases, then the chemical reaction between rennin and substrate Casein increases. However, the number of active sites remains limited. During the chemical reaction, all the enzyme’s active sites combine with the substrate, in this case casein, which in turn increases the reaction. More so, the maximum reaction occurs when the substrate occupy all the active sites until the saturation point. The reaction levels off at a certain point. The presence of a high number of substrate indicates saturation of enzymes within the chemical reaction (Bisswanger & Wiley, 2017).


 A reaction between enzyme rennin and substrate casein in the laboratory. The observations that take place between in enzyme rennin in milk and casein are subject of discussion. First, the activity of rennin is hydrolytic in nature hence splits casein into particles of paracasein. Secondly, after the split of casein would make it easier for coagulation to take place (Buchholz, Kasche, & Bornscheuer, 2012).

During experiment, when preparing casein solutions, mixing pure casein and lime, and then shaking vigorously. Another way is grinding calcium carbonate instead of using lime liquid. Therefore, the casein solutions are neutral in nature and to litmus. The curds from the reaction sieved off and the remaining solution checked for races of nitrogen. Nitrogen solution was present but it was not constant and did not have any links to rennin and casein utilized during the experiment (Buchholz, Kasche, & Bornscheuer, 2012).

In the control side of the experiment, addition of enzyme rennin into the casein solution did not take place. However, nitrogen found in both the control and the actual experiment was similar. In the control experiment, filtering out of the nitrogen was not possible. Besides, nitrogen, acetic acid was present. Casein solutions prepared for the experiment contain basic components of caseinates, which may either basic or neutral. Casein solutions can undergo auto hydrolysis, which can explain the presence of nitrogen during the experiment (Buchholz, Kasche, & Bornscheuer, 2012).


A mixture of flask with 150cc of pure water, 75 cc lime liquid, and tuol. Shaking the content of the flask saturated it with casein and in turn, the resulting mixture was calcium caseinate, which was basic in nature. The separation of undissolved casein from the solution through centrifuging and sieving to determine the amount of casein in solution alone. The solution had 50cc. Portion of the 50cc were drawn at various intervals and precipitated with acetic acid (Buchholz, Kasche, & Bornscheuer, 2012).

Discussion of the results

In order to understand the action of rennin one needs to know the specific roles of the enzymes plays. Rennin curdles milk in the stomach of animals like goat and a lamb. Curdling milk converts it into a semisolid substance such as a cheese. The resulting semi solid substance is durable within the stomach. The production of rennin is highest during the first days after birth. Amount reduces as time goes by and pepsin replaces the enzyme. Rennin occurs in an inactive form known as prochymosin. Later an acid activates the enzyme and helps it perform its functions (Stubbs, Suleyman, & Horton-Szar, 2014).

 The aim of the experiment was to clarify that if substrate concentration increases, the chemical reaction catalyzed by the enzyme increases. High substrate concentration increases the active upon which enzymes can act on. Thus, in the end, increase in substrate increases the pace of the chemical reaction. It is vital to note that the reaction levels of at some point due to enzyme concentration and by products formed that slow down the entire process (Stubbs, Suleyman, & Horton-Szar, 2014).


A calcium caseinate solution neutral in nature is free from rennin. Another solution of calcium casienate, acidic when submitted to a litmus test and has basic properties is subject to curdling by rennin. Ammonium and potassium caseinates may not experience curdling by rennin. In such solutions, the casein converts into paracasein, which are soluble bases. Formation of a paracasein in the presence of a rennin, allows no other by-product to form. Thus, rennin acts on substrates when within acidic conditions. More so, acidic nature activates the enzyme further. Hence, optimum conditions for rennin must be acidic.




















Bisswanger, H., & Wiley-VCH,. (2017). Enzyme Kinetics: Principles and Methods.

Buchholz, K., Kasche, V., & Bornscheuer, U. T. (2012). Biocatalysts and enzyme technology. Weinheim: Wiley.

Stubbs, M., Suleyman, N., & Horton-Szar, D. (2014). Crash Course: Cell Biology and Genetics. Saint Louis: Elsevier Health Sciences UK.









915 Words  3 Pages



 Gender identity is a developmental process that is influenced by biological and   environmental factors.  When people develop gender identity, they adhere to   gender-typical behaviors which are established by the society.  Biological factors influences gender identity due to genetic difference that is; X and Y chromosome.  On the other hand, people form gender identity due to environmental factors that pushes male and female toward developing masculine gender-identity and feminine gender-identity.  The socialization gives reinforcement and punishments and sets cultural norms that guide behaviors.  Gender identity is socially constructed and it helps people understand who they are and where they belong.

 Genetic influences gender identity

 Genetic factors play a role in influencing sexual orientation.  Historically, scientists believed that the sex differences between male and female occur due to gonadal hormone secretion but the emerging research has confirmed that genetic component influence gender identity. Genetic differences arise when females gain a genetic make-up of XX whereas male gains a genetic make-up of XY (Wienclaw, 2013).  During prenatal development,   the genetic differences form an identical foetus. According to Ngun et al (2011), evidence from family and twin studies show that genetic component influences sexual identity.  Male and female are different in both biological phenotypes and psychological traits.  Apart from the environmental, mental factors that influence these differences, other fundamental factors like genetics do.   For example, the brain of men and women are different, and the differences affect the biochemical processes which influence specific behaviors (Ngun et al, 2011). Genetics influence gender identity in that the genes in the sex chromosomes influence neural developmental and sex behaviors.  In other words, X and Y genes produce direct genetic effects which result in sex differences.

Biological factor in gender

 Biological factors play a role in gender development.  This occurs when the genes in the XY or XX chromosomes are formed to give physical sex.  Gender identity is also formed during gender development or when a child is named as a boy or a girl based on genitals.   In other words, boys and girls have distinctive sexual organs which are further differentiated during puberty.  Hormones which influence sex determination influences the different sexual characteristic.  Hormone play a role in that some children both boys and girls have more androgens than other peers and the difference affects the behaviors and play a role in shaping gender identity (Crooks & Baur, 2011).  For example, girls with high androgens tend to behave like male, and apart from having male genitalia, they like socializing with male, playing with masculine toys and they are physically active.


 Environmental factor influencing Gender identity 

 Genetic and hormonal factors play a role in gender identity in the development of the embryonic brain, but environmental factors occur after birth.  In other words, as children interact with other people in the social environment, they learn and observe different behaviors and differentiate between the appropriate and inappropriate behaviors.  Children normally imitate and internalize behaviors and tend to repeat the patterns in their daily lives.  Since gender identity is based on the internal sense of being a male or a female, there are social constructs that shape the gender identity (Lee & Houk, 2005).  In other words, the environment allows male to develop masculine-gender role behaviors and female to develop feminine gender-role behaviors.

Culture and customs environment impact gender

 In addition to environmental, biological and genetic factors, cultural and customs influences gender identity by shaping attitudes and behaviors that one should exhibit in the society.  In the society, people adheres to cultural standards which define sexual roles or gender schemas that are linked to either gender. Culture differ in different societies and both men and women are expected to behave in a certain way to be regarded as masculine of feminine (Alters & Schiff, 2013). For example, women have less autonomy whereas men are expected to make decisions.  Thus, cultural perceptions and male and female gender are strongly connected and people are expected to socialize and learn about their culture in order to be perceived as masculine of feminine.


            Gender identity is a sense of being male or a female, and the internal sense creates a social identity which allows one to fit in social category.  Gender identity is influenced by various factors such as genes and hormones where scientist affirm that during the foetal development, there are sex-determining hormones which affects males and females differently. Other factors include environmental and cultural factor which conclude that people form gender identity through socialization and the formation of well-defined gender roles and norms.  Gender identity is important as it allows children to gain gender constancy.  Both genetic and environmental factors play a significant role in shaping gender since children gains physical development and develop positive behaviors by adhering to the cultural standards.













 Wienclaw, R. A. (2013). Gender Differences: Biology and Culture. Research Starters: Sociology (Online Edition),


Gender biology. [electronic resource] : men and women really are different. (2008). New York, N.Y. :

Films Media Group, [2008], c1998


Alters, S., & Schiff, W. (2013). Essential concepts for healthy living. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett



Crooks, R., & Baur, K. (2011). Our sexuality. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.


Lee, P. A., & Houk, C. P. (2005). Impact of environment upon gender identity and sexual orientation: a

lesson for parents of children with intersex or gender confusion. Journal of Pediatric

Endocrinology and Metabolism18(7), 625-630.


Ngun, T. C., Ghahramani, N., Sánchez, F. J., Bocklandt, S., & Vilain, E. (2011). The genetics of sex

differences in brain and behavior. Frontiers in neuroendocrinology32(2), 227-246.

922 Words  3 Pages

Vertebrate Embryology

The phylotypic stage is the stage at which all vertebrates resemble one another. Hence, it is the stage at which chick and mouse embryos are most similar morphologically. In this phase of development, the template bodies of the vertebrates are being laid down and certain biochemical signals – epigenetic changes - decides the fate of early embryo’s cells (Richardson, 903).  It resembles the organogenetic period when many organ primordia that are undifferentiated are beginning to appear. Various peculiarities make it hard to clearly point out a well-defined phylotypic vertebrate development phase among all these species (Irie and Atsuko, 1). 

Firstly, the developing organs of the vertebrate organs do not appear in synchrony but appears to have a progressive development from the head to tail.  Secondly, the level of developmental autonomy indicates that the developmental primordial in a specific species develops is in synch with other species of the vertebrates.  This blurs the various landmarks that can be used in staging, and even makes it hard to compare the various stages between these species (Richardson, 903). . The similarities would make it difficult for an individual to differentiate between the embryo of a mouse and a chick at this particular stage of development.

 At the earliest stages of development, embryos have some specific differences that relates to the body size, body plan, the pattern of growth and development timing. This could be due to the notion that the eggs of various vertebrates are different. As such, the early cleavage embryos of various vertebrates such as chickens and mouse are different because of the limitations that the large chicken yolk imposes (Luskin,1). This means that the body size, growth pattern and the timing of the chick will be different from that of a mouse.


Irie, Naoki, and Atsuko Sehara-Fujisawa. "The vertebrate phylotypic stage and an early bilaterian-related stage in mouse embryogenesis defined by genomic information." BMC biology 5.1 (2007): 1.

 Richardson, Michael K. "A phylotypic stage for all animals?." Developmental cell 22.5 (2012): 903-904.

 Luskin, Casey. "Biology Textbooks Misuse Embryology to Argue for Evolution." 1



351 Words  1 Pages

Developmental Biology

As biotechnologies are improving and especially in relation to research on stem cell , it provides great potential for  regenerative medicine necessary for treating genetic human defects. Therapeutic cloning is whereby nuclear material that has been isolated from a given somatic cell is transferred into an oocyte that is enucleated so as to derive embryonic lines of cell having similar genome to nuclear donor. While the procedure has continued to attract huge opposition from the scientific community, it could offer invaluable method for therapeutic research for clinical treatment (Konrad &Rudolf, 275).  

The promise offered by therapeutic cloning is that it could proof an effective technique of deriving stem cells from an embryo and then using them to develop therapies that are disease and patient specific. They could also be used to produce stem cells that have characteristics of a specific disease.  The process also includes clinical applications by using the therapeutic cloning product as way of delivering genes m creating animal models of various diseases affecting humans and also, therapy that involves cell replacement in regenerative medicine (Kfoury, 112).  The technique can offer an effective way of enhancing the treatment of various diseases including blood disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and even diabetes. Recent breakthroughs especially in relation to the two diseases mentioned lastly offers great potential for improved treatment for humans (Greggains & Gareth D., et al, 3844).

 However, there are various risks involved which relates to the fact that the process can be inefficient and prone to many errors which can result to failures. The process can lead to other immune disorders and other drawbacks such as oncogenic activation and past research have shown possibility of inducing leukemia in some patients (Kfoury, 112).  There is much that remains to be known regarding the specific characteristics of stems cells from human embryo which further complicates the issue.

Works cited


Greggains, Gareth D., et al. "Therapeutic potential of somatic cell nuclear transfer for degenerative disease caused by mitochondrial DNA mutations." Scientific reports 4 (2014): 3844.


Hochedlinger, Konrad, and Rudolf Jaenisch. "Nuclear transplantation, embryonic stem cells, and the potential for cell therapy." New England Journal of Medicine 349.3 (2003): 275-286.


Kfoury, Charlotte. "Therapeutic cloning: promises and issues." McGill Journal of Medicine: MJM 10.2 (2007): 112.


378 Words  1 Pages

Zebrafish as a model: Introduction of genetics to undergraduates in a large laboratory class


Laboratory activities based on zebrafish, Danio rerio and nematodes have been created for a more comprehensive integrated biological laboratory course. The course will is meant to enable students examine zebrafish at its various developmental phases and take note of  shifts taking place  in response  to   the interested genes, that is the Pax6a and Pax2a within an adult zebra fish brain. A six week laboratory module was made based on examinations methods including bioinformatics. Students are expected to perform various sets of experiments including observation of a zebrafish in its natural habitat and at its stages of development or embryogenesis and important dye staining of mutants. Activities and procedures carried out in the laboratories are supposed to equip the students with hands-on skills, increase research oriented information and enhance their reporting writing skills and oral presentations (Detrich, Westerfield &Zon, 2011).

This intensive six week course for undergraduate students will aim at development and genetic makeup of zebrafish. It will cover standard and novel technology focused toward their application in zebrafish .Morning and evening will be devoted to laboratory procedures and evening will be devoted to discussions and lectures Detrich, Westerfield &Zon, 2011).

The lectures and laboratory work will introduce students to development of the zebrafish and methodologies for manipulation and examining gene functionality   such as genetic and micro molecule screening, mapping and cloning; mRNA approaches and cloning (Detrich, Westerfield &Zon, 2011).




The main objectives of this course

The wide field of development biology and genetics is highly interdisciplinary with all the fundamental scientific sections as wells plant and organism biology. Its main objective lies in assisting students acquire a systematic understanding of the processes cells undergo to achieve their various fates and the combination of intercellular signals and intracellular regulating circuits encoded within the body. The course will be engaging the students in realistic research while giving them essential skills and concepts required to achieve a  their student objectives (Determination of Expression of pax6a and  Pax2a in adult Zebrafish Brain.PDF




Learning objectives of genetic lab

To demonstrate knowledge and understanding of genes Pax6a and Pax2a within the zebrafish development stages. To be evaluate, accurately interpret and participate in reporting the results from the experiments conducted in the laboratory. To assist in developing knowledge and understanding in dealing with advanced specialized biological topics. Zebrafish are vertebrates hence they have a high degree of similarities and functions with mammals including humans.



             Standard set of experiments will be carried out to help researchers study the expression of a gene that exists within a specific tissue type. The first laboratory tests will   focus on working on the RNA and it separation   through the organic extraction methodology .Trizol will be used to conduct   this experiment Trizon. Function as a reagent  that  isolates a protein from its nucleic acid .Subsequently, the extraction of  organic biological materials provides a chance  for further separation  of the RNA form the DNA .After the RNA is separated from the DNA ,reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reactions is  conducted. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reactions are variants of the PCR that can be conducted founder the Murder Mystery Laboratories. This type of variant of a PCR is normally carried out in a Murder Mystery Laboratories. In this type of variant, enzyme reverse transcriptase to create a corresponding DNA version of the RNA. CDNA is used in the polymerase chains reactions to upgrade particular genes of interests .Agarose gel determines whether amplifying of particular genes of interest was successful or failed. The PCR product is placed within circular pieces of the DNA   known as the Plasmid (Determination of Expression of pax6a and Pax2a in adult Zebrafish Brain.PDF).



Genes of Interest

Pa6a and pax2a are responsible for the differentiating of cells, the migrating of neural cells and the maintenance of the neural cells. They are categorized as transcription factors .Transcriptors bring together other proteins that will ensure other functionality of other genres are turned off hence they cannot express themselves. The Pa6a and Pax2a   are made up of DNA binding domain known as the paired domain (Determination of Expression of pax6a and Pax2a in adult Zebrafish Brain.PDF).

Pax6a or the master regulator   forms the eye. When Pax6a homologs are expressed deliberately i.e. inserted in an   organism’s cells, eyes will be generated instantly.Pax6a is an indicator for stem neural cell. It develops neurons located at the forebrain   and midbrain of each and very organism. Any mutations within the brain or eyes are as a result of lack of pax6a regulator (Determination of Expression of pax6a and Pax2a in adult Zebrafish Brain.PDF).

Pax6a develops vital organs such as the optic nerve, ear and the kidney and the cerebellum. However when introduced within the human body, it is not enough to form these vital organs. In a human heterozygous mutation leads to hole in the eye: coloboma, hearing loss and kidney failure (Determination of Expression of pax6a and Pax2a in adult Zebrafish Brain.PDF).

The expressions of   Pax6a and Pa2a are antagonizing to each other’s expression .Hence they cannot be expressed in the same cell. Whereas pax2a is expressed in the optic nerve where they transmit visual information, the Pax6a is expressed in the retina, where it converts light into pictures. When Pa2a is absent, retina retreats into the optic nerve region and when Pax6a is absent, it retreats to the eye forming a blind spot in the middle part of the eye (Determination of Expression of pax6a and Pax2a in adult Zebrafish Brain.PDF).

RNA Extraction methodology

Liquid-liquid extracting method is used for the separation of mixtures of various molecules. The different solubilities of each molecule in two v variant immiscible liquids. Liquid-liquid extraction is used to separate RNA, DNA and proteins. Kirby realized that nucleic acids can be isolated from proteins in 1956. The same procedure can be used to isolate RNA (Determination of Expression of pax6a and Pax2a in adult Zebrafish Brain.PDF).


RNA extraction methodology

Use a syringe to homogenize the tissues then pipetting up and down.1 brain per 750ul of the trizol .The syringe is placed in a sharp container the reaction is incubated at room temperature for 5minutes.02ml chloroform is added in an inverted c tube. The tube is then closed for 30 seconds and then incubated at room temperature for 15minutes.centrifuging is done at a speed of 12k for a duration of 15mintues. The aqueous is then extracted.0.5ml isopropyl alcohol is included in the colorless ad mixed. Incubation is repeated for ten minutes at room temperature. Ice is placed on the resultant solution for ten minutes. Pining is done yet again at speed of 12k for ten minutes .RNA are expected to appear as white pellets at this point. Supernatant are removed and washed with 0.5ml of cold 75 ethanol (Determination of Expression of pax6a and Pax2a in adult Zebrafish Brain.PDF).

 The pellets are then dried by invert on of the tube on paper towel for a duration of ten minutes. The dried pellets are then dissolved in 150ul pure water and put in water bath at a temperature of 55c for around ten minutes.20ul of 10m NH4OAC is added to the resulting solution. Then removed with chloroform .After the aqueous phase is subtracted 100% of ethanol is added to the mixture and labelled. Incubation is done at -80 for a duration of a week (Determination of Expression of pax6a and Pax2a in adult Zebrafish Brain.PDF).



RNA extraction and RT-PCR

Spinning at 12k for around 15minutes then remove the supernatant .The pellets should be washed with 500ml of 75% of cold ethanol. The results should be spanned at a speed of 12k for a duration of 5minutes.The supernatant is then removed and dried for 10minutes in a towel paper (Determination of Expression of pax6a and Pax2a in adult Zebrafish Brain.PDF).

cDNA synthesis

5 ul RNA template is put in a centrifuge tube, 1 ul oligo primer and 1 ul if is stored at a temperature of 65c for 5minutes.incubation is done in ice at temperature for 1 minute. The results are then centrifuged in a tube. The solution is then pipetted up and down and spinned shortly in a centrifuge. Incubation is done for at a temperature of 50c for 30 minutes. Incubation is repeated for 15minutes at temperature of 70c (Determination of Expression of pax6a and Pax2a in adult Zebrafish Brain.PDF).

Polymerase chain reaction.

These are the reagents needed when using the bioline protocol:

2.5ul 10x PCR buffer

2ul MgCl2

0.5ul forward primer and reverse primer

0.5 taq polymerase

5ul cDNA created in previous

1ul NTP

13 water

The PCR is run through the thermocycler by utilizing program at 95c for around 5minutes and 30sec, 95c-30sec and 55c-60sec (Determination of Expression of pax6a and Pax2a in adult Zebrafish Brain.PDF).



Worksheet for lab 7 and 8

Question 1

Use detergent and wash the hands thoroughly.

Question 2

 They should be completed in a fume chamber


It settles at the bottom of the immiscible mixture.

Question 4


Question 5


Question 6


Question 7


Question 8

 It indicates that there is DNA replication with in the cells (Determination of Expression of pax6a and Pax2a in adult Zebrafish Brain.PDF).


Bacterial cloning

This is TA technique used for sub cloning that limits usage of restriction types of enzymes. It is quicker than other methods of sub cloning .It entirely relies on the ability of adenine and thymine which are complimentary pairs within the Various DNA pieces. This happens in the presence of ligase (Bioinformatics Exercise 2.PDF).

Methodology of the isolation of DNA

This procedure makes use of bacteria for the production of large amounts of plasmid. The plasmid is then extracted for evaluation. This process makes use of   column extraction kits known as mini prep kits. They are available commercially. The process is centered on centrifugation which separates plasmid from the rest of bacterial genome. During   carrying out the procedure gloves are worn to avoid the irritant chemicals (Bioinformatics Exercise 2.PDF).




Methodology of restricting digest with Ecorl for verification inserting sizes

Double stranded DNAs are cut at particular regions by restriction enzymes. The enzymes are protein in nature. Scientists W.Arber and D.Dussoix were the first individuals to use the enzymes in the 1960. They used it to explain bacteriophages i.e. bacteria that are infected by viruses but do not affect others. Restriction enzymes are normally separated from bacteria (Bioinformatics Exercise 2.PDF).

Methodology of Agarose Gel Electrophresis.

It is done under three stages: Microwaved until it melts and more clear or colorless and then cooled. For 3 minutes. Gel is then poured into a cassette. The gel is then run for 30 minute duration .It is then imaged (Bioinformatics Exercise 2.PDF).


In Sanger sequencing, a primer is utilized to begin replicating from one strand of the DNA to other. In our context, the plasmid contains two sequences t flanking the inserts. They are known as T7 and SP6.In addition to the conventional nucleotides, when they are integrated, they play an important role of preventing   any further amplification of any specific strands. Dye terminator nucleotide is usually added to the normal nucleotides. DNA strands of different lengths can be isolated through the process of electrophoresis. This is conducted when various fluorophores are placed on different bases .The reaction can be interpreted by a capillary gel i.e. contained in one lane. The smallest among the fragments move faster within the gel whereas linger strands take more time to get through to the detector. This produces to the output (Bioinformatics Exercise 2.PDF).

Analyzing the sequences.

First open the first sequence file within the APE. It opens the chromatogram. The colored lines should correspond to each and very dye as they are passed through the detector. Intensity is illustrated on the Y access. The blue shadings usually represent quality of the sequencing reads or interpretations. The initial readings are usually of a lower quality and it improves as it is progressing into the sequences. This a general phenomenon due to lack of better technology (Bioinformatics Exercise 2.PDF).

Primer Design

Separated fragments are just but a small portion of a gene. Small fragments of PCR products are good for deciding on expressions. To get more Valuable results can be improved when pax6 and pax2 (Bioinformatics Exercise 2.PDF).

Bioinformatics exercise 2

This is the use of computer software and information technology to research on biological systems and other scientific phenomena. This a very vast field or profession and includes various  topics such as drug designs and protein folding .Many computer programs for instance, Java and SQL  can be used for biological study purposes and other  aspects  of the field (Bioinformatics Exercise 2.PDF)..

Being familiarized with bioinformatics tools is very useful in the biological field as it helps understand vital modernized concepts such as molecular biology and DNA cloning and replication of the RNA. Even other files of biology such as ecologists can make use of bioinformatics and other specified fields of biology which are dependent on computer programming and information technology (Bioinformatics Exercise 2.PDF).

PubMed is a database that has all biological information in terms of literature. This Literature is hosted at the Ana institution known as Biotechnology Information. Since DNA sequencing was discovered, the amount of data that came with was enormous and exploded hence the need for database. All known DNA sequences are arranged in a catalogue at NCBI.The data base that has all of the genetic sequences that are used to study other components yet discovered .Gen Bank is the database. By the year 2008, Gen Bank had already listed more than 100billion base pairs that is, their nucleotides and their corresponding partners. The rate at which the data increases per year is very fast than the theory of Moore’s Law i.e. the ideology that the numbers of transistors non a computer’s chip, complimentary to speed would increase twice the number of the previous year due to the growing and advancing DNA sequencing which has contributed largely to this fact (Bioinformatics Exercise 2.PDF).

Scientists use a lot of tools to look up information. Using the link, against drop down list one can choose ‘all databases’. An icon is next to search bar. Then type Tubulin and process the search button. This page will give the amount of times one has searched for an will also reveal the number of articles that are related to the tubulin the researched word .Therefore it is very systematic and orderly (Bioinformatics Exercise 2.PDF).

Each of the databases have highly valuable information and can help one to advance in their careers. It is helpful to learn the types of information that are contained in the databases. The link   at the top of the website can be used to show older book editions. It is labeled ‘books’. It can be used for referencing of the books. For people who are interested in the field of medicine of needs to use the GTR link. The link leads to a gene tests registries. Clicking on the GTR label it opens up the beta tubulin which consequentially leads to a list of hospitals laboratories that provide gene tests for specific disorders and can be easily compared (Bioinformatics Exercise 2.PDF).

Going back to the home database page. Conserved proteins domain are sections of a protein that can be folded independently and are normally associated with a certain role. On the conserved domain one can look up the definition portrait above. Present in the tubulin are the conserved domains (Bioinformatics Exercise 2.PDF).

There is the gene page. Click on a link labelled gene. The page contains curate of other sections of the database and arranges them into a more comprehensive summary of gene topics. When one clicks on gene, the results can be picked from 29000 genes. This can be singled out by typing TUBA1A.Now one can view only pick one alpha tubulin gene. When one looks keenly look at the list, it is discovered that there are various alpha tubulin. For example: Homo sapiens. Mus muscles etc (Bioinformatics Exercise 2.PDF).

 This is the table that tabulates the developmental stages of a zebrafish laboratory modules which is arranged in terms of weeks corresponding to the specific activities that will be carried out.


Lesson: Fundamentals  to Zebra fish

Week 2

Observing a live zebra fish and how it develops from conception

Week 3

Mutation and their developments:1defining a mutant by analyzing its arrangement of gene expressions in the wild kinds and deviation

Week 4

Mutations and developments two: blotting using critical dyes to define morphological differences within wild categories and mutant.

Week 5

Environmental impacts on development

Week 6

Laboratories group presentation







Introduction to biology laboratory course work takes a step by step approach in the field of experimental biology and genetics.This course has utilized the zebra fish exemplary system that fitted in well with this kind of laboratory course work. The introductory course does a good job and address all other issues that previous similar courses failed to do. It is relevant and interesting and gives a new perspective to genetics due to its engaging experiments. In addition, this course can be termed helpful and can be applied to other laboratory courses.














Bioinformatics Exercise 2.PDF

Determination of Expression of pax6a and

Pax2a in adult Zebrafish Brain.PDF

Detrich, H. W., Westerfield, M., & Zon, L. I. (2011). The zebrafish: Genetics, genomics and informatics. Amsterdam [Netherlands: Elsevier/Academic.













2956 Words  10 Pages

Animal-assisted therapy


Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a form of treatment used to treat patients with emotional and cognitive problems which affects social functioning. AAT is a treatment plan where the treatment provider ensures that the interaction of human and animal accomplishes specific goals. Animals which are commonly used are dog and cats, but other kinds of animals such as rabbits, fish, horses, and elephants have been used. Although people have not understood the real benefits of the Animal-assisted therapy, it has offered great assistance to patients including solving psychological and physical problems. Researchers have found that Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA) have improved the human wellbeing and more importantly in alleviating the mental issues. Various researchers and studies have found that animal-assisted interventions are associated with positive health outcomes. Through interaction, the person with psychological disorder decreases the anxiety level, enhances self-esteem, increases emotional awareness and reduces depression. A therapy animal provides a comfortable social conversation to a human being. Note that people with mental disorders are isolated and relationships weaken since people do not understand the social cues. In this case, animal therapy offers non-verbal cues and the person with the mental disorder is engaged in a positive environment. The paper will conduct a comprehensive research to find out where the relationship between animals and human is rooted and how the relationship improves the well-being especially on people with mental disorder. The paper will review the historical studies which provide credible information based on animal-assisted therapy and the strong rapport which improves the well-being.

Thesis: Animal-Assisted Therapy is the best treatment for people with mental disorder since unlike human beings, animals have a natural tendency to offer unconditional acceptance, create affection, interaction and a safe atmosphere. 


The human-animal bond

  Author Kalof  (81) provides his thinking in the scholarly topic of animal studies and tries to examine the ‘animal question' which has gained a priority position in different areas such as in politics, ethics, animal-human relations and more. The animal studies started back in the 1970s and, the interdisciplinary field has rapidly grown where researchers show their interest in the areas of human-animal relations. In analyzing this particular area,  Kalof starts by showing the human-animal relations by arguing that there is a strong bond that units human and animals and, the evidence is rooted back from archaeological and anthropological studies that show animal-human bond through the chronological account (Kalof, 81).  Also, the archeological evidence presents animal-human relations from ancient times where humans were buried with animals. For instance, in the pre-Natufian cemetery, there is evidence of human-pet burials, dog-human burial in Germany and Israeli and cat-human burial in Mediterranean island. These shreds of evidence show that there is a unique relationship between animal and human and the relation provides positive interaction (Kalof, 81). 

Given that there an archaeological and anthropological evidence of animal-human relations, the author connects the ties to therapeutic intervention and asserts that the bond between animal and human acts as a therapeutic intervention. Levinson, who was a psychologist, presented this evidence by showing that patients who were suffering from psychological and physical disabilities improved the condition whenever they interacted with his dog. The dog provided companionship and helped the patients and therapist build trust. Researchers at Ohio State University tested Levinson's ideas by establishing a ‘pet-facilitated psychotherapy' program. In the study (Corson study) the researchers selected 47 uncommunicative patients who were requested to care for the laboratory dogs (Kalof, 82). The researchers reported that all patients who interacted with dogs showed some improved and the researchers made a conclusion that animal-assisted therapy aids mentally ill patients in developing self-respect and self-confidence.  In conducting the research, the dogs were social catalysts, and through interaction, patients experienced a non-threating condition that helped them break loneliness and social withdrawal (Kalof, 83).

             Animal improves the mental illness of individuals by offering nonhuman social support. Theoretically, human beings need social support for them to develop a sense of belonging and improve physical and mental health.  Researchers and studies have shown that supportive relationships increase the human survival by improving psychological well-being and protecting individuals from diseases such as cardiovascular illnesses, cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and more (Kalof, 85). The mechanism by which the social support enhances health includes social buffering and hormones such as neuropeptide and arginine vasopressin which have a down-regulating effect and increases pleasurable social interaction. The purpose of touching the area of social support and the underlying mechanism is to show that animal-human bonds also have the similar underlying mechanism for providing social support and improving health.  For example, some published studied showed that human-animal interaction increased plasma oxytocin- a hormone that decreases the stress responses. Thus, animal provides stress-buffering and social-buffering properties which provides mutual benefits (Kalof, 89).


Adverse effects of the human-animal bond

 The author asserts that human-animal bonds contributes to negative effects which affect the individual, the society, the natural environment as well as the animals. For instance, dog bites cause physical and emotional damage and immeasurable cost to the victims, to the dog owner and the community. The national health protection agency in U.S reported that the total number of people bitten by dogs in every year add up to 4.5 million and 885, 000 require emergency treatment (Kalof, 88).  Little children aged 10years and below are vulnerable to injuries and the bites are inflicted by pets which are kept for protection or entertainment. Animal-humans bonds also cause public-health risk since animals transmits zoonotic diseases which cause a public health threat.  Pets also damages the environment. For example, the exotic animal trade, free-roaming cats, polluting the natural landscapes with animal waste and the use of farmland for the production of animal foods imposes an environmental burden. In case of a failure in the animal-human therapy, these animals are abandoned and mistreated. These adverse effects raises an ethical concern that people need to consider in animal-human relation and the theory in therapy (Kalof, 88). The author adds that the research community did not put interest on animal ethics but it concentrated on societal ethics. This become an issue of concern since animals have their rights and needs such as psychological needs, biological needs and pain control. The Animal Welfare Act brought a relevance concern on the ethics of animal research with an aim of protecting the human sensibilities (Kalof, 89).

Animal-Assisted Interventions

Kruger & Serpell (21) assert that the advent of scientific medicine disrupted the therapeutic setting where animals were used in the therapeutic intervention. However, in the 1960s, the writings of Levinson led to the re-emergence of animal-assisted therapy as he stated that his dog improved the health of children and teenagers who had mental problems.  In defining animal-assisted therapy, the authors assert that there is a difference between the use of the animal for recreational activities and treatment of mental and emotions problems (Kruger & Serpell, 23). The article puts its clear by stating that animal-assisted therapy involves the treatment goals and objective, animal and health professional and measures progress directed toward each individual. On the other hand, the Animal-assisted activity does not include treatment goals, but it involves trained professional which assist the patient-animal interaction for recreational. The authors provide a theoretical framework that provides a mechanism of actions that show the therapeutic interaction between animal and humans (Kruger & Serpell, 24).

Intrinsic Attributes of Animals

  Animals have inherent qualities such as pro-social behaviors that mediates interaction and improve physical and mental illness. This statement is supported by the biophilia hypothesis that states that human being tends to form an emotional bond with other forms of life. The author such as Melson supports this theory by saying that when a child interacts with animals, he cannot only experience unconditional love, but he can also gain new possibilities and caring sensitivity (Kruger & Serpell, 27). The statement is supported by the learning theory which states that pleasurable activities contribute to self-reinforcing behaviors and unpleasable actions will contribute to negative reinforcement and withdrawal behavior. The learning theory helps understand that animals in the therapeutic setting eliminate the anxiety-generating stimulus that may affect the patient and lead to withdrawing. When interaction with animals, the patients experiences a peaceful environment and gains self-monitored control (Kruger & Serpell, 29).

   In a therapeutic setting, animals act as a catalyst and provide a rapport- building process. In other words, animals have social-facilitating effects which build rapport between patients and therapists. In the literature of AAI, it is found that when human beings interact with real fictional animals, they reveal their feelings to them (Kruger & Serpell, 22).  This shows that pet not only increases social interaction but they also creates a meaningful interaction that leads to positive healthcare implications. For example, the presence of animal as a social mediator may create friendly and a less threating environment to the therapists and alter the perceptions of patients where both therapists and the patients will have positive social interaction and achieve positive treatment outcomes (Kruger & Serpell, 22).

Attachment theory

 According to the attachment theory, there is a loving bond between animal-human relations and the relationship helps the patients and therapist achieve the goals and objective of the treatment. For instance, a human being needs social interaction which is reinforced by behaviors such as touching, smiling and more (Kruger & Serpell, 29). Animals are incorporated into the in the therapeutic setting to provide social attachment and positive therapeutic outcomes. The attachment theory is further supported by the ‘transitional object' which means that in a therapeutic setting, animals have transitional potential as they show intentional behaviors that develops patient's awareness and insight.  It is also important to understand that animal as a transitional object provides strong attachments between therapists and patients in the therapeutic setting (Kruger & Serpell, 29).

 Cognitive and social cognitive theories

 Behavioral therapy in mental health disorders is used to help the patient change unhealthy behaviors. The authors assert that animal-assisted intervention helps them observe and learn the appropriate actions through social interaction (Kruger & Serpell, 32). Note that animals provide an immediate response to both pleasant and unpleasant stimulus thereby increase self-efficacy and personal agency. These theories also help understand that animal-assisted theory offers continued learning and behavior change after the intervention.

Role theory

 Animal-assisted intervention assists in behavioral change and helps the clients set new behaviors or new roles that align with the code of norms. When interacting with animals, clients are provided with programs which help them assume roles such as being a teacher or any position that will help learn and change behavior (Kruger & Serpell, 33). Animal-human relation helps the client understand the duties, norms, and expectations and more importantly learns new skills.


Moretti et al. (125) assert that pet therapy offers immeasurable benefits to the patients with mental illness by improving their well-being. Animals act as co-therapists where they assist the patients in changing behaviors, gaining a sense of responsibility, reduces depression and increases social interaction. The authors conducted a study to investigate whether pet therapy improves the health of individuals suffering from psychiatric diseases by alleviating depressive symptoms and enhancing cognitive functions in elderly. Since elderly people suffer from cognitive and mood disorders, treatment based on emotional motivation works effectively in alleviating the problems (Moretti et al. 126). In the study, 25 elderly patients with depressive symptoms, trained physicians, and four dogs were included.  Pet therapy intervention involved pet activities for 90 minutes in 6 weeks.  Patients were required to interact with the dog by walking, talking and playing.  The dogs were trained for pet therapy session, and they had interacted with other patients with mental illnesses before. After the study, it is was found that pet therapy alleviated the depressive symptoms by 50%. Patients also increased self-perceived quality due to the strong animal-human bond (Moretti et al. 126).The authors also explain the mechanism by which the bonds alleviate the depressive symptoms by stating that the bond causes the secretion of corticosteroid hormones which reduces the psychological stress that causes cardiovascular disease. 


Work cited


Kalof, Linda. The Oxford Handbook of Animal Studies. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. Print.


Kruger A. Katherine., & Serpell A. James. Animal-Assisted Interventions in Mental Health: Definitions and

Theoretical Foundations. Handbook on Animal-Assisted Therapy, 2006


Moretti Francesca, et al. Pet therapy in elderly patients with mental illness. Psychogeriatric 2011;


2054 Words  7 Pages



            Application of bioluminescence has significantly assisted the biomedical scientists in the biomedical research as they gain valuable techniques in the biological processes. This article provides valuable information on the application of bioluminescence in biomedical research and in specific, in cancer research (Badr &Tannous, 2011).The natural phenomenon which occurs through the chemical reaction has introduced a new research known as bioluminescence imaging and this mainly involves detecting the photons in the biological system. Badr &Tannous (2011) assert that the biological system requires luciferase (enzyme) and oxygen. They add that Luceferases enzymes that are used in the medical research are Photinus pyralis (Fluc)-found in North America, Renilla renoformis (Rluc) and Gaussia princeps (Gluc). Gluc and Rluc are naturally secreted while Gluc is found in the blood and urine and they help in the biological processes in the external environment (ex vivo).Since Flu and Rclu are naturally secreted, the biological processes occur within the living organism thereby producing higher light output. In bioluminescence imaging, Flu, Rluc and, Gluc are temporally distinct and they offer two biological processes (cultured cells and living organisms) which are combined to increase the sensitivity of bioluminescence imaging. In cancer research, biomedical scientists use BLI in the tracking of cellular events and cancer stem cells. In addition, BLI is used in clinical trials to find and test the efficacy of anti-tumor treatments (Badr &Tannous, 2011). In tumor therapy, the in vitro and in vivo biologically process of luciferase reports cell proliferation.  In most cases, tumor therapy is done ex vivo experiment where process-specific promoters are used.   The collected specific tissue or cells are used in the experimental models to monitor cancer cells and therapy.  An important point in the cancer research is that there are many clinical trials for gene therapy and biomedical scientists are able to study therapeutic genes, viral tropism, and viral replication.  Scientists use the animal models to understand the pathologies and to identify the best treatment (Badr & Tannous, 2011).

As Badr &Tannous (2011) say that bioluminescence is used in imaging technology and drug discovery where luciferase acts as a reporter gene, Thouand & Marks (2014) adds that bioluminescne or rather Luciferases play role in the immunoassay and the biomedical scientists use the method in disease diagnosis and therapy. Luciferases are used in the medical diagnostics especially as reporters in binding assays.  In most cases, fireflies and marine bacteria are used in the bioluminescent systems since they have cDNAs coding for light-emitting proteins, recombinant proteins and synthesized substrates (Thouand & Marks, 2014). In analyzing the application of bioluminescence in medical diagnostic, the authors focus on vitro binding assays and the role of luciferase as a reporter assay.  Immunoassay is mainly used in the medical laboratory to measure antibodies or antigens and to separate antigen-antibody. The immunoassay in the immunometric acts as a powerful tool for providing affinity, avidity and cross-reactivity. The authors provide an example of immunoassay such as Sandwich Elisa which is used to measure the antigen. The procedure of the Sandwich Elisa involves the activation of a sandwich surface with the antibody where the combination results to immunocompelx signal generation (Thouand & Marks, 2014).To understand more in medical field, bioluminescence has enhanced chemiluminescent where researchers now use Western blotting and ELISAs in protein analysis.  In bioluminescent imaging, researchers identify the proteins by staining the protein samples with gel electrophoresis. It is also possible to detect a specific protein by using immunochemical detection.





 Badr E. Christian & Tannous A. Bakhos. (2011). BIOLUMINESCENCE IMAGING: PROGRESS AND

APPLICATIONS. US National Library of Medicine, 29(12): 624–633.

 doi:  10.1016/j.tibtech.2011.06.010


In Thouand, G., & In Marks, R. (2014). Bioluminescence: Fundamentals and applications in




617 Words  2 Pages



            The importance of zebra fish lies in their ability in helping to create basic understanding of the various biological processes that occur behind muscular dystrophy. The success in aiding with such studies have made it possible for medical breakthrough in treating diseases as well as understanding them so as to prevent or treat ailments such as cancer. The benefit of zebra fish has to do with the similarities that they have to human genetics and could help in discovering diseases as a result of the similarities. A limitation however exists in that the zebra fish lack various mammalian organs such as lungs, prostate, breast tissue and other organs that need to be studied in order to better protect them from diseases that affect them specifically (Burke, 2016).

            The zebra fish belong to the order Cypriniformes and are in the minow family. Their size ranges between 2.5 cm and 4cm and have stripes along their body that contributed to their name, zebra fish (Goldsmith & Jobin, 2012). The benefits of their general features have to do with their similarities to humans in terms of major organs and tissue which make it easier to study and better understand the human body. They have a lifecycle of about three months. The male is present during ovulation and spawning and fertilizes the eggs outside the female's body which become transparent immediately after fertilization. After 36 hours, the major organs appear and a yolk is formed which divides into thousands of tiny cells which move to the side of the yolk to form the head and tail. The fish consumes the egg as it grows and becomes an adult in about three months (Burke, 2016).

            The zebra fish are said to share 70 percent gene similarities with human beings as being vertebrae means they also possess major tissues and organs that are similar to those of human beings. An example is their eyes, kidneys, muscle and even blood which make them ideal models for human bodies. When trying to identify a mutation in a person's gene that could result to the person getting a disease, doctors use DNA sequencing (Burke, 2016). To determine if losing a certain function for a specific gene could cause the symptoms present in a patient, the gene is knocked out from the zebra fish first as the test subject and then observations on the impact it will have on humans is determined by the observations made from the fish.

            The popularity in using zebra fish has to do with the fact that their eggs develop externally. They are also transparent and this makes it easier for scientists to study and analyze. The eggs can be easily manipulated and since they take short periods to develop, the study is conducted faster and results attained quicker. They are also easily accessible as they are being sold even in pet shops (Brennan, 2014).

            In comparison to humans, the zebra fish have two eyes, a spinal cord, liver, heart, teeth, blood and other organs found in the human body. The genes that are needed to grow such organs are also closely related between the two and as a result, any disease that will affect the zebra fish in the test subjects is also likely to have the same results when exposed to the human body. The downside however is the lack of mammalian organs such as the breast tissue and lungs which make it impossible to carry out tests on the fish with the aim of treating humans diseases that affect these organs (Burke, 2016).






Brennan C, (2014) "Five reasons why zebrafish make excellent research models" retrieved from,           models

Burke E, (2016) "Why use zebrafish to study human diseases?" Intramural Research Program,    retrieved from,      diseases

Goldsmith R and Jobin C, (2012) "Think small: Zebrafish as a model system of human     pathology" Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, retrieved from,


657 Words  2 Pages

Page 3 of 6

Get in Touch

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to inform us and we will gladly take care of it.

Email us at Discounts

Busy loading action
  Working. Please Wait...