Monthly Archives: April, 2015

Renal Tubular Defects “Picmonic”

I’m a big fan of the Picmonic website, but they obviously don’t have images for every condition out there. Sometimes I like to make my own “Picmonics” as a fun way to remember things and drawing serves as a nice break from studying. Here is one I came up with for the renal rubular defects. Specifically, it’s to help remember where each defect occurs.

  • Fanconi (“Fan-of-cones”) syndrome: reabsorptive defects in the proximal convoluted tubule
  • Bartter (“Bart”) syndrome: reabsorptive defect in thick ascending loop of Henele
  • Gitelman (“Giggle-man”) syndrome: reabsorptive defect of NaCl in distal convoluted tubule
  • Liddle (“Chicken Little”) syndrome: increased sodium reabsorption in the collecting tubules

I may add some additional details to it at some point that detail the features of each condition, but for now that suits my personal needs. Hope this helps some others out there!


Heart Embryology – YouTube Video

It may be “old school”, but this is still probably one of the best embryology videos out there. Watch it with your notes, textbook or review book in hand as an additional guide and it definitely makes things much clearer. Always worth going back for review if you’ve seen it before too!

What is a superantigen and how do they work?

See this video for an excellent explanation of superantigens and the sequence of events they induce. A prototypical example of a superantigen is toxic shock syndrome toxin (TSST) released by S. aureus.

In a nutshell:
1) Superantigen binds periphery of T-cell and MHC molecule receptors
2) Non-selective T-cell activation with release of IFN-gamma
3) Macrophage activation and release of IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-alpha
4) Non-specific inflammatory response

Rubeola vs Rubella vs Roseola

I’m definitely someone who struggles keeping stuff organized when things sound the same, so I was always getting these mixed up. Here is a helpful cartoon courtesy of Jorge Muniz on to help keep things straight. The website actually has a lot of great cartoons that can really help you learn in a fun way. Enjoy!

NEJM Image Challenge – What Condition is Indicated by this PE Finding?

NEJM Image Challenge

Can you answer the NEJM image challenge? Click here to vote and see the answer.

Great Video Against Body Shaming!

A great video that everyone should watch. People are made in all shapes and sizes! Obviously healthcare professionals should encourage a healthy lifestyle, I think many people fail to realize that a healthy lifestyle does not mean a runway model body.

Be fit. Be healthy. Be proud of who you are.

95,000 Child Study Proves That Measles Vaccine Doesn’t Cause Autism But The True Believers Won’t Be Satisfied

Thought Catalog

via Flickr - EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protectionvia Flickr – EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

While I would have thought the overwhelming science on this issue would have put it to rest by now, it’s still controversial among some groups to say that the measles vaccine doesn’t cause autism but does protect children from measles. I know, it’s a shocking idea! Well, the Journal of the American Medical Association wants to put this to rest for good and they’ve conducted an enormous study using 95,000 children as subjects in order to check the “good science” box once and for all. Here’s the takeaway:

Conclusions and Relevance  In this large sample of privately insured children with older siblings, receipt of the MMR vaccine was not associated with increased risk of ASD, regardless of whether older siblings had ASD. These findings indicate no harmful association between MMR vaccine receipt and ASD even among children already at higher…

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My Apologies – I’m Still Here!

I’d like to apologize to all my followers for being absent lately. I’ve been finishing up semester courses, had a conference last weekend, present research next week and am trying to fit studying for Step 1 in there as well. Needless to say, it’s been pretty chaotic! 

However, I will try to post more often and get some more podcast episodes up now that the semester is coming to a close, so stay tuned!

Sarcomere Components

I remember when I used to get all the different parts of the sarcomere mixed up, but with a few simple tricks you can remember it easy and long-term.

First, understand the the I band is isotropic and the A band is anisotropic. Although these terms technically refer to the behavior of polarized light passing through, I like to think of isotropic = moving and anisotropic = non-moving (remember that “an-“ means “without”).

So how do you remember which is the thick filament and which is the thin filament? Just remember that the heavier something is, the less likely it’ll move! In other words, think of the thick filaments as too heavy to move which means they’re the A bands because “an-“ (or “a” if that’s easier for you) means “without”. By default, the thin filament will be the I band. Additionally, the letter “I” is thinner than the letter “A” so it’s gotta be the “thin” filament right?

Now Z lines are you endpoints which should be easy to remember, because the letter “Z” is at the end of the alphabet. This actually ties into the next point too.

The points that “move” during muscle contraction are the H band and I band which spell “HI”. In other words, the “HI” bands bring the ends of the sarcomere (Z lines) closer together so they can say “Hi”!

Obviously this doesn’t cover everything you should know about the sarcomere and muscle contraction, but hopefully it helps get you started if you were having trouble!



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