Thursday, March 31, 2011


For a unicellular prokaryote (some bacterium for instance) it's easy to adapt to the changing environment because they only have one cell to take care of. For us eukaryotes it's a bit trickier because we have lots and lots of specialized cells and organs. That's when our senses get involved. We need information what's going on inside of our system and outside of our cells. That is one major key to survival. How vulnerable would you feel if all of your senses were switched off? See? I think you got my point why senses are so important.

We can sense many different types of things:
  • Mechanical energy (e.g. touch and pressure)
  • Electromagnetic radiation (portion of visible light)
  • Temperature (hotness and coldness)
  • Chemical substances (e.g. flavours, odours and metabolical products)
There are also some internal senses such as stretch receptors. The thing with receptors are that they can only sense the adequate (appropriate) form of energy for them. E.g. light for the receptors in the eye. This is so specialized that even a mechanical energy to the eye, a hit for example, is being sensed as light. That's why you see stars when you take damage. 

It could be useful if we had receptors to detect e.g. radioactive radiation or magnetic fields. Imagine the possibilities!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Leukaemia genes' role discovered

During leukaemia, a cancer of the white blood cells, the bone marrow, which produces blood cells, starts to churn out immature white blood cells. This changes the balance of the blood: The white blood cells are not properly developed so they cannot fight infection and there are too few red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body. The disease can be fatal within weeks if left untreated. And now three groups of mutations which cause acute myeloid leukaemia, have been identified by scientists. This could lead to new treatments. You can view the original article here.

This is obviously good thing, no doubt. But I've been playing with the idea what if the giant medicine firms are worse than you might think? Could it be possible that for example a cure for HIV has already been found like 10 years ago and the firms haven't published it yet because they can make more money by producing weaker medicines first. This is of course only speculation and hardly true, hopefully. It's still good to think about these things even if they seem far-fetched.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Talking about medical science the top priority is obviously to increase the number of healthy living years. But how far can we go in the future? The average lifespan worldwide is already double in comparison what it was 200 years ago, according to this article. And there isn't any signs of slowdown. Is it really immortality we are going for? Atleast for the maximum limit I suppose. In my point of view it would be amazing if I could live over a century, healthy of course.

While the life expectancy increases, the gap between socioeconomic groups is also increasing. The ones with higher educational levels are expected to live longer and those with higher earnings are also in better position when it comes to health care. Especially in Finland the development of this difference hasn't gone in the right way being the main challenge for health care in the next couple of decades.

What comes to immortality, I really don't know whether it's actually as fashinating as it sounds. Imagine yourself as a tree for instance. An old tree living next to some younger plants in a dark forest. Do you feel happy? Don't you feel like you've already filled all of your goals? I think it's definitely the quality and not the amount you should be looking for.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Someone once said to me: "Muscles use energy even though they aren't working." and I was blown away. Nevertheless this isn't the most thrilling question of all times, at that time it was to me. Our system is much more convoluted than we might first think. And that's more or less why we are studying it around-the-clock. It's definitely not simple. Vaccines and medicines can have surprising side effects when our system responds in an unexpected way, as we have seen for example with the much speculated H1N1 vaccine in Finland and other countries possibly causing narcolepsy.

What comes to the muscles using energy while relaxed, I pondered that it might have something to do with the calcium pumps in the muscle cells that pump the Ca++-ions actively back to the sarcoplasmic reticulum after a muscle contraction, constantly keeping the Ca++-concentration low in the intracellular fluid. I'm sure there are many other things too that use energy but this was one thing that crossed my mind.

Regarding to muscle building and medical science I found a nice chapther from Galenos. This chapter tells how creatine phosphate works as a phosphate buffer. At the beginning of our muscular effort we use mainly the energy gotten from ATP (adenosine triphosphate) forming to ADP (adenosine diphosphate). Creatine phosphate then anaerobically donates its phosphate group to ADP to form ATP again and thus we can get the same energy again by ATP forming to ADP. Quite logical but it was cool to find it from the big G too.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Thought I could share something about my musical taste. I'm not sure how to categorize it but I think it's vocal trance and progressive trance which I like the most. I love how this kind of music can give me chills. And especially I love the relaxed atmosphere. It just fits everywhere: to the club, car or even to an intensive moment with your lover. I tend to listen Digitally Imported. There you can choose from many different channels so there is a bit for everyone. Here are three of my favourite tracks at the moment:

If you happen to like music of the same kind, please link some good picks :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


We are all the time reacting on variety of things. The whole system of ours has been compared to a complicated reflex. Whether it's a sentence someone said or a knock on the shoulder, everything comes down to reflexes. Although generally speaking reflex means quick and time after time equally happening action. The comparison is therefore kind of misleading because for example: an insult said to another can be turn into action after a week for instance.

I thought of the patellar reflex today and tried to work out how it works. Basicly it means striking the patellar tendon just below the patella which stretches the quadriceps muscles and the muscle spindles in the thigh making the leg kick. It just couldn't get into my head how can the muscle spindles stretch if we strike the tendon. After a while I just simply came to a mindblowing conclusion: they just do :D I guess the stretching doesn't have to be that massive after all so that the quick and snappy strike to the tendon makes the muscle stretch a tiny bit.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Second place

Or should I say: "Silver pocal, yay!"? What I'm trying to say is that last weekend we had our last hockey match of the season and we ended up second in our league. It's kind of historical because none else in our city has been able to pull that off before. We had many nice & tight matches and I think our strenght was the evenness of our players. None is professional and none is a total flour sack. Too bad we almost won the whole thing but silver is still very good achievement for us.

I have been talking about feelings a lot lately so I'm not going to try to describe that feeling this time. You can imagine. After the game we went out to a club and had a lot of fun in a perfect group. This season has been just amazing and hockey has never been this fun to play. It's sad how all the good things have to come to an end but that's just life. I'll never forget these guys and I'll save these memories for the rest of my life.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Respiration (simply breathing) isn't something we have to think all the time. It's automatic most of the time but it's controlable to a limited amount. I read about respiration from Galenos (the entrance examination book of medicine in Finland) today. Why do we breath? I try to give you a little briefing what I remember.

We breath so that we can get oxygen, which massively boosts our metabolism. In other words: we get much more energy if we use oxygen. On the other hand, we breath so that we can get rid of carbon dioxide and other metabolic waste. Brains are very dependent on oxygen: if a brain-leading artery gets blocked, only a pause of 5 seconds in oxygen transmission can cause senselessness.

How come the air flows into our lungs? By breathing yeah, but we can't just grab those molecules in. The answer is: under pressure. As the diaphragm (the main inspiratory muscle) contracts, it expands the volume of lungs, which creates under pressure inside the lungs and the air flows from higher pressure (outside) to lower pressure (lungs).

Remember to breath folks! ;) It's essential!

She is the one

Do you ever feel that you have found the right one for you? The person, who makes you happy without even trying? The person, who will stand by your side what ever will come across?
I'm happy to tell you that I think I've found mine. Every morning I wake up as the happiest man on Earth. Love is an incredible feeling. Every one has sometimes been in love and I think it's the best thing in world. Eventhough it can hurt you sometimes, being able to live with the love of your life is just amazing. I wish I could write down all the feelings I got but they are mostly inexpressible. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I love Icehockey

I've played icehockey since I was the height of a foam extinguisher. Icehockey has always been close to my heart, eventhough I hurt my ankle couple years back. This season we have had an extraordinary team constisting of pack of old friends who last year were on their own ways in army and other teams. The main reason why I have kept playing is because it gives me so much joy. Winning matches with your best friends, having so much fun while exercising. 

However, hockey is rough and injuries are normal. You just have to live with it. I just read from the newspaper that a young talent from HIFK Markus Granlund got injured yesterday in a game versus Jokerit. The original piece of news can be found in finnish here. It has raised some discussion and my own opinion about the case is that cleaning the goal area is part of the game and none is going to just tickle you a little if you go there, escpecially when it's play-offs now. They are not going to be any more gentle for little Markus in the NHL either.

Friday, March 18, 2011


I'm currently studying for getting into medical school. I would be more than thrilled if I could get in. I've tried now two times but third time lucky, right? :D I'm on a preparation course in Helsinki and so far so good. Biology seems easier at this point, which is good, since it wasn't my strongest subject last year. At the moment I think I'm having hypertension of these calculations which I'm doing, and regarding to that here is a link from YouTube, which I find kind of useful. Check it out!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The day I started again

So it's my frist post of this new blog and don't really know where to start from. I hope you'll keep reading eventhough this is quite different blog than the previous one. I'll have to comment on the situation in Japan is awful. :( I feel sorry for them! I hope it's going to be alright and everyone will be safe soon. Here is one hopeless before-after picture: