Yes, this post is bound to be one of em nerdy ones. But fret not, I’ll be breakin’ this post into two parts, and if you do not have your schematic underpants on at the moment, feel free to proceed to part two which is a bit more… light.. and bearable lol :P Yes, I’m that considerate, thank you for noticing haha!
If you’re wondering what exactly Najwa and I do here in Northern Ireland, congratulations! You’ve made the right choice to be readin’ this nerdy part. It won’t be so bad, I promise you J Like most biomedical sciences students do during their industrial trainings, what we do is rather similar. We run samples, gain results, and interpret them. Nothin’ new there. But instead of running clinical samples and diagnose diseases, we run research samples, obtain results, and follow up each step of to what may be a piece of something newly discovered. To some, it may sound boring and nerdy and dull, call whatever it is that you want lol, but the idea of researching and discovering something that nobody has yet to discover, and knowing that this piece of knowledge may have a huge impact to the world, is just, to me, simply amusing and exciting to be part of.
The Diabetes Research Group of University of Ulster (as the name might have hinted), is working on a new cure for diabetes, particularly DM type II. Now, there’s a lot going on in this lab really. A whole lot of projects being run by post docs and phD students, (yes, we’re like the super juniors here lol), and we’re shadowing two particular projects. One is under Ojo (a phD student from Nigeria), who is testing the anti-diabetic effects of different peptides found in skin secretions of amphibians.
Basically, what he has to do is to extract every significant peptide found in the secretion, and test each one of its capability to reduce glucose levels, to increase stimulation of insulin secretion, its toxicity, and its ability to remain non-degraded in the human plasma. This involves a lot of different methods and machines, but we’ve been focusing on the HPLC for the past three days now. This particular machine apparently, detects the significant peptides in the crude sample, the retention time of the peptide for collection, the concentration of the peptide in the secretion, and if whether or not it’ll be degraded in the human plasma. I wish I could tell you guys how this specifically work, but I wouldn’t wanna bore neone. IF you’re interested, do buzz me, and I’ll give you the whole overview of it J
From the skin secretion of this particular amphibian, Ojo managed to extract 74 different peptides, and out of 74 peptides, 6 seem to be giving promising results. They were capable of remaining in the blood plasma for an hour without being degraded, and also reduce the glucose levels. We’ll be working on tissue cultures next week to test for their toxicity, and by then, the radioactive tags would have arrived, and we could proceed with the radioimmunoassay test on insulin levels.
The second project that we currently shadow is of Vikas’s (he’s another phD student from Bangalore, India). He’s working on hybrid forms of incretin hormones (GLP-1 and GIP + Glucagon) to prolong the availability of these hormones before it’ll be easily degraded by DPP-4. I’m not quite sure of his progress, for he has yet to tell us exactly what he does, but he’s been giving us articles and quizzes regarding the topic. Yes, quizzes. Hahaha I’ll elaborate this in part 2 :p
So basically, that’s how it’ll be for the next 6 weeks or so. There’s always something new to learn every day, and every day my mind is filled with so many new things lol. Like yesterday alone, Ojo explained to us the mechanisms of the insulin secretions, and the group’s strategies to tackle the problem. Although it was quite heavy material, but most definitely mind blowing I tell you. You should look it up if you’re interested, or ask me, and I’ll be delighted to explain it to you J See how perfect God has created us.. masyaAllah. At times it could be rather exhausting to absorb all that, but then you’ll be getting the feelin of going to bed with fact the that you’ve spent your day quite fulfillingly, it gives this kind of satisfaction that makes it all worth it you know.. :)
I’ve yet to write my part two, but I will soon. And when I do, I shall post it ASAP :) Have an awesome Thursday people! :)
Ps: the title are classes of anti-diabetic oral agents, in case if you’re wondering :P