Biology There Are Several Possible Methods Essay

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Biology

There are several possible methods and steps for determining the causative agent of Pasadena Fever. An initial analysis of the observed spread and prevalence of the disease could point to specific delivery methods within a community, such as a contaminated water supply or perhaps back to an animal reservoir. Mapping of the spread of infection would be essential in determining this reservoir and the reservoir potentials of other species, and would also yield clues as to the mode of transmission. More direct experimentation would be needed to isolate the causative agent of the disease, however.

This experimentation could involve the examination of blood and other body fluids from infected patients, and the isolation of any foreign entities noted therein. Administering these entities to uninfected lab animals could help to determine the specific causative agent, if symptoms occur. The isolation of the agent in many samples as a unique commonality could also lead to a fairly certain determination. The lab animals could also be used to determine the mode of transmission; controlled sharing of air, water, and contact between infected and uninfected animals would show transmission modes.

2)

In order to determine tissue type prior to a transplant (or for other donor purposes), the molecules that need to be looked for all exist along the surface of the tissue(s). Various antigen proteins, such as Class I and Class II Human Leukocyte Antigens, exist on the outside (or just under the surface) of cells and tissues in order to protect the cells (and tissue) from invasion by foreign bodies. They form as bundles of protein with a grove the effectively traps the antigen by hooking on to a strand of its protein or other structure. The antigen then extends outside the cell to "present" the foreign body to a T-cell for examination and often destruction. The introduction of various antibodies to a tissue sample will help to reveal what antigens are present, and thus determine a likely match of tissues between a donor and a recipient through various processes.

Many antigens that are present in an individual's cells have a genetic basis, and in fact new methods of tissue typing involve DNA tests, rather than some of the indirect means currently used to discover antigens through their reactions, rather than their causes. The genetic basis makes an exact match hard to find, but siblings are often close enough.

3)

Inflammation is a natural and nonspecific immune response to infection, irritation, and injury that essentially occurs because certain agents leave the bloodstream and enter the surrounding tissue where the infection or injury occurred. Though the body is attempting to heal itself this way, it can often cause additional problems including pain and immobility (which might have been useful as ways to force some healing time for the tissue at one point). Though there are other elements involved as well, the chemotatic peptides and the macrophages they act as activators and signals for play a large role in the inflammation process. Certain bacteria produce the chemotatic peptides, strands of protein that essentially send a signal to macrophages -- large white blood cells designed to engulf and digest pathogens and cellular debris. These stimulate increased lymphatic action, bring more of the body's own cells into try to deal with foreign organisms or debris brought on by tissue damage, and this increased activity and gathering of cells causes inflammation.

The four signs of inflammation are redness, warmth, swelling, and pain. The redness is primarily accounted for by the increased blood flow to the region and the dilation of blood vessels in the inflamed area. This increased blood flow, as well as the increased activity and other increased fluids to the area, also contribute to its warmth and swelling. Compressed nerves due to swelling account for some of the pain, as does macrophagial action.

4)

In order for antibodies to be produced, the B-cells that produce them must be activated either by a specific and repeated presentation of an antigen to the B-cell or by release of cytokines from a T-cell that has been primed with a prior presentation of the antigen and is presented with the same antigen by a B-cell. When the B-cell is activated, it starts to produce antibodies, or immunoglobulins, which are specifically structured types of protein that belong to one of five different classes, each specifically adapted towards attaching to and eventually destroying certain classes or types of antigens and foreign bodies.

The antibodies themselves do not actually destroy the antigens or foreign organisms, but instead bind to them and mark them for destruction by macrophages and other phagocytes. These cells recognize the presence of the antibody as a signal, and proceed to dismantle and digest the entire immune complex.

5)

Though Th-cells do not themselves attack or even mark foreign organisms and antigens for destruction, they play an enormous role in maximizing the efficacy of the immune system. Th-cells are activated by the presentation of a foreign antigen by an antigen presenting cell, which causes a binding of certain proteins on the Th-cell. A second reaction with the antigen presenting cell fully activates the Th-cell, which then begins to proliferate, both going through the process of replication and releasing chemical messengers that case other T-cells to activate and proliferate. Essentially, the activation of a Th-cell is one of the first steps in a cascade of immune responses, triggering the production and activation of other T-cells and eventually triggering the creation and release of antibodies by B-cells.

Without the activation of the Th-cells, these other immune responses would not be triggered as early or in the force that they are in a healthy immune response Furthermore, each specialized Th-cells retain a "memory" of the antigen by which it was activated, allowing for a faster immune response the next time the antigen is encountered in the body.

6)

Cancer is essentially the uncontrolled growth of a certain tissue due to the unhindered replication of cells. Once cancerous cell is all it takes to create a tumor, as the process of cellular division progresses unchecked at an exponential rate. The only way for this to happen is to have he natural genetically-timed division of cells and tissue growth altered via a mutation to the DNA. This mutation can occur in many ways -- radiation, certain foreign agents, or a simple mistake in the copying of DNA through a normal mitosis event. Some cancers also appear to be hereditary, meaning there is a genetic predisposition for such mutations.

Cancer cells could theoretically be detected and destroyed in much the same way as foreign bodies -- the genetic alterations that cancer cells necessarily go through in becoming cancerous also produce different antigens, leaving them vulnerable to detection by antigen-presenting cells and B-cells. Macrophages and other phagocytes would be signaled and brought to the site in order to destroy the cancer. Detection is made more difficult, however, because the tissue belongs to the same body, which also inhibits destruction.

7)

Hemolytic disease of the newborn, which can lead to heart failure and death in a newborn infant, is actually relatively straightforward in its cause. While still in utero, the fetus can receive antibodies from the mother through the placenta if the mother's body encounters a foreign agent and begins production of the antibody. Some antibodies do not transfer through the placenta, but IgG does. This can cause the developing fetus' immune system to start attacking its own red blood cells as though they were foreign bodies (the mother's IgG attaches to them as though they were unwanted antigens, as it does not recognize them as being form the mother's body -- which they aren't). The fetus' and infant's own immune system is not nearly developed enough to address this issue.

The only way to effectively treat… [END OF PREVIEW]

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