Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Alteration of gametophyte and sporophyte generations

All living species in their life cycle go through 2 phases or generations- the gametophytic and sporophytic-for cytogenetics we call it the N and 2N phases where N refers to the complement or set of chromosomes.

After browsing through one of my old books on botany I found graphs throughout this book showing alterations and dominance of these 2 cycles or phases. Basically there was a shift from dominance of the gametophytic or N generation found in the lower forms of life to the sporophytic or 2N degeneration in the higer forms of life like the gymnosperms and angiosperms. I cant imagine an animal kingdom sporophyte being a "parasite" first before shifting or evolving to the dominant phase in the higher forms of life but it would appear that this evolutionary shift also occurred in the animal kingdom.

Unfortunately, there is no way to include these cycles (diagrams) in a more descriptive blog because the book was published over a century ago. Still, this is a most fascinating piece of evolution and survival.

Please follow the postings on my new blog for future updates.

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Neural crest embryology

My recent internet search reconfirms the comments made in my earlier blog that the islet cells in the pancreas were of neural origin and therefore the treatment and/or management of any pathology of these cells including cancer should be approached from the category of "Diseases of the Nervous System ". Also surgeons doing islet transplantation should be aware that they are doing transplants of brain tissue - except in a location where lymphocytes are readily available to trigger the homograft rejection reaction.

Some of other adult tissues which have their origin in the neural crest of the developing embryo include melanocytes situated in the basal layer of the ectoderm and the medullary or chromaffin cells of the adrenal gland which produces adrenalin. Embryologists consider the medullary cells to be modified neurons which have lost both their axons and dendritic components! For example hypersecretion of epinephrine and norepinephrine by the medullary cells (chromaffin cells) of the adrenal glands are called pheochromacytoma tumors . These tumors may also be located in other tissues or glands besides the adrenal.

By searching the internet the reader will note that there are many other cells and tissues which are derived from the neural crest including post gangiolic cells of the parasympathetic nervous system, craniofascial cartilage, enteric neurones and glia cells.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Xmas 2008

Only half of our family of 6 celebrated Christmas Eve and Christmas day in Winnipeg. Marge's brother Sam joined us for both events but not my brother Bill. Our son Sam who now lives in Toronto where Marusia and Richard also reside (the other half of the family), did make an unexpected trip to Winnipeg on Boxing day on business matters for his uncle Bill. Most of the gifts received and given out by the family were monetary. Marusia surprised her dad with a monetary gift to my endowment fund at the U of M. medical library.

A major event occurred in the Hrushovetz family in September 2007, namely my brother Bill sold the remaining acre of the Michael Hrushovetz 50 acre estate. He had to vacate within a year, i.e by Sepember 2008. As a result during this 12 month period my wife and son Steve spent most of this period assisting my brother in disposing of the numerous items he had accumulated on the farm- you don't get rid of articles, like farm machinery, tools, household furniture etc which have gathered dust and rust over the past 80 odd years in one weekend - What a fascinating history awaits production. I hope to produce this video with Marusia's professional help.

Health and happiness to all bloggers in 2009.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

On Charitable Donations...

On Saturday November 5 2008, I attended a University of Manitoba Medical College function where one of my classmates, namely Dr. George Yee made a substantial donation to his alma mater. The funds were earmarked for innovated teaching methods for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

The purpose of this blog is not to comment on the details of this financial donation, which is well documented U of M website. Rather I want to mention that Crown corporations, and other " not for profit" organizations, seem to have overlooked the fact that there are other types of charitable donations which are not monetary. To use the words of the MasterCard commercial - "priceless". For example, the donation of ideas, or the reference to personal experience and/or the gift of ones collection of scientific articles, books, etc. Such donations may also be considered as charitable. We also see examples of this "priceless " category where retired employees volunteer to sit on Charitable Boards to offer their advice.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Our daughter is in from Toronto and has helped me return to my blog. Here is the latest update. Raining all weekend and watching on TV the American and Canadian election campaigns.

Have sent emails with ideas to some Canadian candidates for suggestions. Hope they consider them. Also sent email to U of M  medical school following recent faculty of medicine breakfast to share some of my ideas and reflections on CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Contrast agents imaging and Kidney disease

According to a recent Life Extension update  (22Feb,2008) the risk of experiencing contrast induced nephropathy (kidney damage) following CT scans and/or angiograms can be as high as 1 in 10, increasing to 1 in 4  in those patients with diabetes and/or heart failure. The authors recommend especially for the latter group of patients that they discuss this risk  with their doctor and decide whether  they should take a  N-Acetylcysteine tablet before the Xray procedure. 

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Blog for MUGS

Our new president of MUGS Tom Cherveny who is also the web master for our club asked me to give a short presentation at our January 2008 meeting on how to create a blog. I agreed but have decided to expand the demonstration to include iWeb and podcast features which require a dotMac account.

Following the presentation I will add a blog to let you all know how the presentation went. I might add that I am somewhat uncomfortable making any presentations re: Mac computers as I am a novice at this game.

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Obesity and Life Styles

I just prepared a blog on this topic which was prompted by reading an article in the Winnipeg Free Press where the CEO from PepsiCo Canadian division came to Winnipeg to present the Pepsi's "Canadian Bottler of the Year Award " to Arctic Beverage a soft drink bottling company located in Flin Flon.

It is well known that soft drinks have very little nutritional value and depending on the amounts consumed may be harmful to ones' healthy leading to obesity and many illnesses including heart disease, some forms of cancer and adult onset (and childhood) diabetes as well as tooth decay.

It is hoped that such bottling companies include an educational program with their sales cautioning buyers about the health hazards of excess consumption. With the sale of tobacco and alcohol products, we have laws preventing their sales to minors. It may be necessary to introduce the same legislation for soft drinks and associated fast food products. Sounds like I should have included this statement regarding regulation with my letter to the editors.

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Letter to Editor re: Obesity and Bottled Soft Drinks

Further to my previous blog post, here is the entire contents of my Letter to the Editor of the Winnipeg Free Press in response to the article on Obesity and the Sales of Bottled Soft Drinks:

Reports from vital statistics on overweight and obesity in Canada found that for the 10 year period (1994-2003) about 30% of adults became overweight or obese. The figures for children were even more alarming and indicate that for the 10 year period 1987-2001 children ages 7-13, the increase was an alarming 200-300%.

Since scientific studies have linked overweight and obesity with increase risks of a broad range of illnesses including diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer it was most gratifying to read that many school divisions in Manitoba have already banned in their schools the sale of soft drinks and items like potato chips and other snack foods.

What was not so gratifying to read was the recent article in the Free Press, where the head of PepsiCo’s Canadian division came to Winnipeg to present to Arctic Beverages - a native owned beverage company located in Flin Flon - the “Canadian Bottler of the Year" award. He praised the owners for having posted double-digit sales growth. Such financial success is not surprising since the distributional area for the company covers roughly 20% of the geographic area of Canada undoubtedly targeting many native communities. Even more disturbing, the article also mentions that the president of a “sister company” which sells potato chips and other snack foods is contemplating a partnership with this soft drink company.

I wonder whether the bottling company and/or the provincial health authorities have gathered any vital statistics on obesity and overweight for this geographic area?

- Dr. S. B. Hrushovetz

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