EPQ biology/chemistry based

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Report Thread starter 5 years ago
Hi there,

i'm trying to find a topic to base my EPQ on but honestly cannot think of anything for the life of me.
I'm really interested in diseases, pathogens, medications and pharmacology.

I also love the TV show House m.d due to their amazing range of unknown/rare diseases and the variety of tests they go through to diagnose so would love to do something related to that if possible?
idk something like "the diagnosis process for an unknown pathogen"

any ideas would be appreciated that i could mold into a question.

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Report 5 years ago

Choose one from:

(A) The jumping spider (Evarcha culicivora) that selectively feeds on female Anopheles mosquitoes (near Kisumu in Kenya where falciparum malaria is rife) THAT HAVE HAD A BLOOD MEAL from a malaria patient. This mosquito has evolved a specialized mechanism of recognizing such ac specific prey, and holds potential as a means of eradicating malaria! I have pasted an excerpt of the abstract from a research paper regarding this below:-

"Spiders do not feed directly on vertebrate blood, but a small East African jumping spider (Salticidae), Evarcha culicivora, feeds indirectly on vertebrate blood by choosing as preferred prey female mosquitoes that have had recent blood meals. Experiments show that this spider can identify its preferred prey by sight alone and by odor alone. When presented with two types of size-matched motionless lures, E. culicivora consistently chose blood-fed female mosquitoes in preference to nonmosquito prey, male mosquitoes, and sugar-fed female mosquitoes (i.e., females that had not been feeding on blood). When the choice was between mosquitoes of different sizes (both blood- or both sugar-fed), small juveniles chose the smaller prey, whereas adults and larger juveniles chose the larger prey. However, preference for blood took precedence over preference for size (i.e., to get a blood meal, small individuals took prey that were larger than the preferred size, and larger individuals took prey that were smaller than the preferred size). When presented with odor from two prey types, E. culicivora approached the odor from blood-fed female mosquitoes significantly more often the odor of the prey that were not carrying blood."
You could do a project on the various methods of control of malaria, including attacking mosquitoes (either their lavae by pouring oil on stagnant water to block their breathing tubes thus killing them, ot their pupae by adding parafin to reduce surface tension so they drown, or by introducing guppies (fish that eat mosuito larvae), OR using mosquito nets and insecticide sprys to prevent bites OR by reducing the malaria parasite in endemic areas by treating malaria actively with drugs (chloroquine (side effect: "bull's eye" retinopathy [eye problems]), proguanil, atovaquone, mefloquine (side effect: psychiatric problems) and newer drugs.

(B) The diagnosis and treatment of myasthenia gravis (a devastating auto-immune disease where the body produces antibodies against its own acetylcholine (ACh) nicotinic receptors at the neuromuscular junction, so that the patient gets ptosis (droopy eyelids), double vision (due to weakness of extra-ocular muscles), general tiredness later in the day, and eventually can ie of respiratory failure due to deranged function of diaphragm and intercostal muscles which permit breathing. Treatment: 1) anticholinsterase e.g. pyridostigmine, which prevents breakdown of ACH thereby increasing levels of ACh and recovering some muscle function (side effects: stimulation by the increased ACH of muscarinic receptors causing oversecretion of saliva, bradycardia (slowing of heart rate), urinary incontinence (micturition [passing urine] is mediated by the parasympathetic system via muscarinic receptors), etc. 2) immune suppressants e. g. azathiprine 3) removing and replacing the patients blood to remove the abnormal mtibodies -n in research phase currently. You could look into normal function of muscle and the problems in MG.

Let me know if you need more guidance/ideas - I am happy to point you in the right direction or help you with locating info.

M (former medical student)

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