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Seminars       “The knowledge doesn’t come to our hands if we don’t look for it”. Today, manypeople place limits to their ...
bridges, such as ibuprofen, are used in antisense drug therapy, and also it was mentionedhow changes on them could alter a...
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Seminars Essay


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Seminars Essay

  1. 1. Seminars “The knowledge doesn’t come to our hands if we don’t look for it”. Today, manypeople place limits to their knowledge, and this provokes a “blindness” that prevents themfor exploring new things. In other words, people aren’t often willing to learn about otheraspects apart from the ones they already know about or like. However, there are lots oftechniques and opportunities that may help people to be familiar with other areas, and anexample of them is the assistance to seminars about science that are offered at theuniversity. In these seminars, mentors from different places of the United States come toPuerto Rican universities, and they talk about certain themes of interest. Besides, theyprovide information to students about the undergraduate, graduate or medical universitythey come from, and this could be very helpful for students who are thinking about going toanother university in the states after graduating. In the other hand, there’s a simplequestion: What are some of the themes discussed in the seminars? One of the seminars offered in the university was about epilepsy. Epilepsy is aseizure that affects a variety of mental and physical functions. A rare and catastrophic formof this seizure is known as Dravet Syndrome. This is affecting many children in the world,and it is caused by genetic mutations in ion channels of the nervous system. Now days,scientists are using pluripotency as a technique to study the nervous cells and to discovernew treatments for this condition. Basically, pluripotency refers to a stem cell (embryonicor adult) that has the potential to differentiate into any of the three germ layers: endoderm(interior stomach lining, gastrointestinal tract, the lungs), mesoderm (muscle, bone, blood,urogenital), or ectoderm (epidermal tissues and nervous system). Pluripotent stem cells cangive rise to any fetal or adult cell type. Another seminar given on campus was about small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs).Small RNAs are double stranded RNAs that regulate gene expression. They play veryimportant role through a mechanism known as RNA interference or gene silencing. Thisoccurs when double-stranded RNA is produced or externally introduced and then it inducesthe degradation of mRNAs that carry the same sequences of nucleotides. As a result, theprotein that this mRNA codes for can’t be synthesized. In the other hand, this informationcould be very helpful for scientists who are studying viruses’ infections. Viruses introducedouble-stranded RNAs to the cells and it induces the production of mRNAs that will thenbe translated into undesirable proteins. Finally, the antisense drug therapy was another theme of discussion in the seminars.Antisense therapy is a form of treatment for genetic disorders or infections. When thegenetic sequence of a gene is known to be the cause of a particular disease, it is possible tosynthesize a strand of nucleic acid such as DNA or RNA that will bind to the mRNA madeby that gene and inactivate it, preventing its expression. This is because mRNA has to besingle stranded in order to be translated. Besides, it was talked about how nucleoside
  2. 2. bridges, such as ibuprofen, are used in antisense drug therapy, and also it was mentionedhow changes on them could alter a drug and affect patients. In conclusion, the assistance to seminars is a good activity to “collect” knowledgefrom different areas and gather them in a “safe case”, known as the brain. In other words,seminars bring people the opportunity to learn new things and, as a result, they will be moreprepared for performing a good job in any area, because they will know in advance aboutthat field. Moreover, it is possible to make associations between the topics that arediscussed in seminars and the things people already know about other fields. For example,the ion channels of the nervous cells can be associated with the ion channels of the plant’sstomata. This simple association could have a positive effect on people because theyremember what they have learned before. Also it can lead to a better understanding of life.So far, the people who don’t understand yet what seminars are about, I would say to them:“Just assist, take a sit, and listen to the speaker.”