Sunday, February 26, 2012

University exams and workload

Well it seems now everything is beginning to get serious around my classes and courses in general. My first psychology exam went pretty good, got decent grade but that's something I will work on to improve even more. In the next coming weeks I will have exams in 4 classes ranging from economics to computer systems and I can say economics is my major worry. Its that hard its just Im not a fan of economics at all. Last semester in my college took Micro-econ and it was kinda boring and didn't really garnish my full interest to do good. Sounds like I was just lazy in general but I really didn't like that class. Looking at this semester I have to take this Macro-econ class a bit more serious and just get it over with. On a side note I recently found out my college was ranked in the top 15 for most stressed out and unhappy students in the nation. It was pretty funny considering we ranked  as more unhaDesignppy than most military academy's. I blame it on the requirement courses to follow your major, I mean seriously why would we require anthropology or black studies if we are gonna major in Finance or mathematics. Combine that with a busy New York City life and the fact we always have to be on the move, surely doesn't help our cause.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

College Life

College keeps on passing by day by day and its getting closer to that time when I have to make my decision on my major. My lectures and classes are all made up of prerequisites at the time completely unrelated to my "intended major" which is that of finance. It just sucks that I have to take close to 20 classes that barely have anything to do with that career path. For one it offers grand knowledge on a wide variety of topics but then again the stress and workload piles up on you and your not even taking your career path classes. Hopefully everything works out and the payout at the end is worth it from then on.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

University Research- Parkinson's Disease

Researchers have made a breakthrough with the human debilitating disease, Parkinson's. For the first time ever, researchers have created human brain cells from the skin cells of patients who carry a mutated gene related to the disease. This means researchers can now track and follow exactly how this mutation, in a gene called parkin, causes the disease in about 10% of the patients. This is a major and incredible breakthrough because it will allow researchers to study brain cells affected by in real time mode. Animals that do not have this gene cannot easily develop similar like symptoms, so researchers must use human neurons for the study, but it’s generally difficult almost impossible to get live human brain cells to study as such a case might be. These further findings are a major breakthrough in University Studies and are continuing the future of humans.

["Jian Feng and colleagues at the State University of New York-Buffalo took skin cells from 4 patients, including 2 healthy patients and two patients carrying the mutation. They induced the skin cells to become pluripotent stem cells, and then differentiated them into neurons specifically, mid-brain neurons that create dopamine, called dopaminergic neurons. The loss of these neurons, which are the brain’s primary source of dopamine, causes symptoms like loss of motor control.
The gene indirectly harms those neurons. Here’s how it works: parkin regulates the production of an enzyme, monamine oxidase, which in turn keeps dopamine at bay. Mutations do not control this MAO, and the MAO essentially runs amok, causing harm to the dopamine-producing neurons."] Source: PopSci, NY State University Research.

Hopefully major breakthroughs arise from this technological breakthrough and some sort of vaccine is the result. During my psychology lecture class we saw the effects of this horrible disease and it was sad to see the people affected by it. It is reassuring to know colleges and University are ongoing with their research time to find a cure.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

College Books- Online Access Keys

After having spent a couple hundred dollars on textbooks for classes thus far, I must say this is a growing business to further get even more money out of students now with their so called "online key" access codes. Last semester during my economics class, I was required to pay $90 for an access pass to use an online system just for that semester, meaning the online code would work for only that semester and cost even more than the textbook itself. To much dismay my professor frankly said if we dont purchase this we would fail the course. I had no option and had to shelve out money to pay for something that I was basically renting for a couple months. Fast forward to this semester, yet again I had to purchase more online access keys. I had to do this for two classes and each one feels like a big business model that wants to somehow make everything be limited as opposed to just buying a simple textbook. Whether it is to stop people from reselling books or the fact that textbook publishers are more money hungry its apparent the college student is ever more part of one big business with their college. Whats even worse is that most of the time all these online keys to access online partitions for the course come bundled only with the newest editions of the texts. What does this mean? You are going to pay more for a book that just changed its cover but has the college online key with it. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

DARPA and Their Fancy Contact Lenses

When you think of contact lenses you can just expect something someone puts in their eyes for either a fashion statement or for better eye sight. Well DARPA has taken the time and money to invest into something really crazy but extremely incredible as well. Simply put, Augmented-Reality Contact lenses are the thing DARPA has taken into account. As mentioned from POPSCI and DARPA, "The augmented reality future we were long ago promised has been slow to come around, perhaps restrained most by the basic biology of our own eyes, which are unable to properly see detailed images placed very near the pupils. But via technology developed in part with a certain government agency, Washington-based Innovega has created a unique contact lens technology that allows the eye to focus on images projected very close to the eyes as well as objects in the real world beyond." POPSCI 2012- Lenses.

This technology is somethings straight out of the future almost reaches the heights of saying it as human engineering. DARPA is looking to use this incredible peripheral and implement it into the military for various uses. I see the tremendous ability something like this could bring to the military but also even in everyday life of people. Medical uses are also a possibility and who knows, with the right university or college researching this further, this can help various eye sight issues.