The maintenance of blood pH within normal limits (7.35-7.45), called acid-base homeostasis, is a complex process involving three organs (lungs, kidneys, and brain) as well as chemical buffers in the blood and blood cells (erythrocytes). Your blood needs the right balance of acidic and basic (alkaline) compounds to function properly. Even slight variations from the normal range can have significant effects on your vital organs.
1. Do our bodies tend to produce more acids or bases? Why?
2. Describe how the kidneys help maintain acid base balance in the body.
3. Describe the condition of metabolic acidosis or metabolic alkalosis. Which condition do you think is more serious? Why?
The media often misreports on science, especially new treatments for disease. For example in 1965, in the prestigious science journal Nature, it was reported that “It is not yet clear whether the increased frequency of XYY males found in this institution (prison) is related to aggressive behavior or to their mental deficiency or to a combination of both.” A second example in the early 90’s implicated beta-amyloid in causing Alzheimer’s-like damage in rats and a substance P in preventing the damage. As a result, many families of Alzheimer’s victims had their hopes raised. The press has given poor coverage to many new discoveries before they have been fully defined and characterized by other known scientists.
Read the following article on This Year’s Top Ten Stories in Genetics and view the following video on Personalized Medicine:
Personalized Medicine in Cancer: What does it mean and how is it done? Siteman Cancer Center. Retrieved May 3, 2018 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iNV8Fuc8pk
1. What is Personalized Medicine?
2. How might personalized medicine impact our healthcare?
3. Do you think the media may be overemphasizing the benefits of personalized medicine? Why or why not?
4. In the article link above on “This Year’s Top Ten Stories in Genetics,” a gene editing tool called Crispr was described. What do you think the impact of this technology might be in the future of human medicine?
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