Cool Stuff from Last Semester

I did some cool stuff last semester in my science classes that I’d like to show you guys.

The gist of it is… This picture:


This is a picture taken by my lab group in my basic lab technique class last semester of a mouse fibroblast cell moving into a simulated wound on a glass slide.

Fibroblast cells are kind of like the contractors of your body when you get a scratch or wound. There are your first responders to the “disaster,” your immune system, and then fibroblasts go in to start the process of rebuilding your tissue by laying the foundation for other cells to move in.

A lot of scientists are interested in wound healing. How can we make it faster? How can we make it better so people don’t have lingering problems after the superficial injury has healed? How can we prevent infection? How can we prevent scarring?

Those questions are tested with a variety of experiments but one of the msot common is the scratch assay.

A bunch of fibroblasts are grown on a glass slide until they practically cover it. Then the slide is scratched.

The fibroblasts move into the scratch, thinking it is a wound. Their movement into the scratch is measured in a couple different ways and those measurements can tell us a little bit more about how wounds heal.

Which brings me back to the picture my lab group took. Obviously its got a lot of color and is very prety, but what are all those colors? What’s going on in that picture?

My lab group scratched the space above the big cell in teh picture. The cell is now moving into the scratch.

The red lines are called actin. Actin is the support structure of your cells. Cells move by extending actin filaments where they want to go and breaking them down behind them.

The green parts are called vinculin. Vinculin is spread throughout the cell and localizes into spots where the cell is attached to a surface to assist in adhereing to that surface. All those bright green spots are where the vinculin is helping the cell hold onto the glass slide.

The blue parts are cell nuclei. Each cell has one nucleus and I’ll bet you can pick out the one that belongs to all the actin and vinculin in the middle of this picture.

I did a lot more stuff on scratch assays in this class and leaarned a few new techniques, but the best part was definitely getting this picture.

Oh and apologies to any color blind people. I have no idea how to spearatae out the red and green things for you. Enjoy!

-GoCorral

Numb Finger

I'll just watch the clock while the doctor looks at my Xrays in the other room.
I’ll just watch the clock while the doctor looks at my Xrays in the other room.

A day or two before I left for my vacation on Bois Blanc Island I woke up with my left pointer finger feeling numb.

I’ve had numbness like this on other parts of my body in the past, but its always gone away in a day or two.

This time the numbness has stayed around for around a month.

I used WebMD to try and figure out what was going on and there was some pretty scary things on there. Fortunately, I didn’t match all the symptoms of any of the more serious conditions.

A self-diagnosis wasn’t enough for me so I made an appointment at the local clinic.

My wife had her eye on a particular doctor at the clinic to be her own primary care physician. I tried to get an appointment with that doctor so I could preview her for my wife, but she was on maternity leave until November.

Instead I got an appointment with a different, but equally competent male doctor.

I’ve never had a male doctor for my regular visits. Neither has my wife. Nothing wrong with the doctor I saw today, but I’ve always been more comfortable with women. I think we’ll go to the female doctor on maternity leave for any future problems.

So! The numbness in my finger! I’d feared something horrible like peripheral neuropathy or Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Instead the doctor said it was something much more mundane.

It was likely just physical trauma to my radial nerve which takes sensory information from my hand to my brain.

The damage would normally repair quickly, but its possible I’ve been aggravating the injury by sleeping on my hands.

So the injury might fix itself if I stop sleeping on my hands.

However it might be too late for the injury to fix itself within my hands.

In that case the nerve would need to regrow from my shoulder all the way down to my hand.

When nerves are regrown from the shoulder they extend about one centimeter each week.

My arm is roughly a meter long (I haven’t measured exactly), so if the nerve regrows from my shoulder then I won’t have feeling in my finger again for another two years or so.

So lets hope my finger gets better soon if I stop sleeping on it!

-Mister Ed

Defeating Heroic Naxxramas

I’ve been messing around with the Heroic bosses on Naxxramas and they are pretty hard!

Fortunately, I’ve started to learn a few tricks to beat them.

Initially I was looking up decks on the internet to try and get past them, but I just beat all of the Military Quarter using my own creations.

A part of me feels like looking up decks to win was cheating, like looking up the answer to a riddle.

So I think I’ll try beating them on my own in the future.

For those of you who don’t share the same compulsion, here’s the basic outline of a few decks that will help.

I’ve only needed four decks to beat the Heroic bosses so far.

The deck I use most often is a Divine Spirit and Inner Fire combo Priest deck.

I featured a game against Heroic Heigan using that deck on my Youtube channel. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_o_T9poGgwk

The deck list for the Priest deck is:
Circle of Healing x2
Inner Fire x2
Power Word: Shield x2
Northshire Cleric x2
Divine Spirit x2
Shadow Word: Pain x2
Lightwell x2
Nerubian Egg x2
Shadow Word: Death x2
Deathlord x2
Stoneskin Gargoyle x2
Lightspawn x2
Mogu’shan Warden x2
Holy Nova x2
Sludge Belcher x2

The deck works by plopping down a minion with lots of health, like the Stone Gargoyle I used in the video. Use Power Word: Shield and Divine Spirit to increase that minion’s health and then turn it into an unstoppable monster by using Inner Fire.

So far this deck or slight variations on it have worked for Heroic Anub’Rekhan, Faerlina, Noth, Heigan, Razuvious, and Baron Rivendare. Make modifications for those battles based on what cards you have and what your own experience with the bosses. I’m sure you can quickly modify the deck to win against any of the Heroic bosses.

The bosses that required special decks were Maexxna, Loatheb, and Gothik.

I already detailed a proposed Maexxna deck in a previous post.

That deck ended up working. Load up a Paladin deck with as many battlecries and heals as you can.

The objective is to fill Maexxna’s side of the board with 7 minions all only having 1 attack. Humility and Aldor Peacekeeper both help greatly with this for when she plays her Giant.

Voodoo Doctor, Earthen Ring Farseer, Lightbringer, and Holy Light will all help keep your health at a good level.

The game winning combo is Guardian of Kings and either a Wolfrider or an Arcane Golem if you have one.

Play the Guardian of Kings every turn to restore 6 life and then play Wolfrider or Arcane Golem to charge at Maexxna and deal her 3 or 4 damage.

Maexxna will bounce the Guardian and your charge minion back to your hand and then attack with all 7 of her minions to deal you 7 damage.

Then you repeat! Each turn you’re only taking an effective 1 damage while she takes 3 or 4.

If your health gets dangerously low you can play a Guardian and a Voodoo Doctor or Earthen Ring Farseer to gain a little health past what her 7 minions can deal you.

I beat Loatheb using a heavily modified version of the Divine Spirit/Inner Fire Priest deck.

Shadow Word: Pain is pretty much the only card that can remove Loatheb’s starting Fen Creeper before it deals you too much damage.

The Priest provides heals with the hero power and Lightwells to mitigate Loatheb’s hero power damage.

The additional cards needed are Elven Archers, Ironforge Riflemen, and Holy Smites to take out the spores. It’s best to get the spore bonus on as many minions as possible so the addition of Haunted Creepers, Murloc Tidecallers, or Razorfen Hunters is a good idea.

The final boss that requires a special deck is Gothik. Here’s the deck I used:
Innervate x2
Claw x2
Naturalize x2
Mark of the Wild x2
Wild Growth x2
Doomsayer x1
Sunfury Protector x2
Mark of Nature x2
Savage Roar x1
Coldlight Oracle x2
Deathlord x2
Poison Seeds x2
Swipe x2
Druid of the Claw x2
Ancient of Lore x1
Ancient of War x1
Ironbark Protector x2

The plan is to outlast Gothik until he has drawn his entire deck.

Kill the smaller of his minions and then turn them into taunts with Marks, Sunfury, or a Defender of Argus if you have them.

Naturalize should be saved for Gothik’s bigger minions.

Savage Roar is another good way to get rid of the Spectral minions Gothik gives you. Poison Seeds is also great.

Swipe is great for board and can sometimes do double duty if it clears an Abomination or Unstable Ghoul. Starfall would also be nice, but I didn’t have one.

Eventually Gothik will run out of cards and fatigue damage will kill him.

I’ll try to do some more posts for beating the Heroic bosses of the Construct Quarter and Frostwyrm Lair in the future!

-Mister Ed