1 Current imaging techniques

A grainy Polaroid of the child in a mother's womb – an X-ray of a tibia fractured in a traffic accident – a report on a brain scan anxiously awaited. Very few of us have not had some connection with the techniques and practices of medical imaging. Often, these contacts are in periods of personal drama in which the medical images chart our physical status, the management of a condition and, in some cases, our future.

Imaging is a central feature of contemporary medicine. Along with c
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4 Unit summary

  • Many of the large icy bodies in the outer Solar System are internally differentiated. Thanks largely to tidal heating, some, especially Europa, are likely to have an ocean sandwiched between the icy exterior and the rocky core. Others may have had such an ocean in the past.

  • Wherever water rests on warm rock, water must percolate into it and become heated. This will cause hydrothermal convection to begin. Hot, chemical-rich water will emerge
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2.3.4 More surface disruption

Now let's examine some detailed images of the region of Europa's northern hemisphere that was indicated on Figure 17 (see Section 2.3.2). A medium resolution image is shown in Figure 21, and higher resolution images from within this area are shown in Author(s): The Open University

Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • identify the charactistics of primates and explain the main differences between the two suborders, prosimians and anthropoids;

  • describe the detection of colour and estimation of distance in primates and explain the advantages of stereoscopic trichromatic vision;

  • discuss the various types of communication seen in anthropoids and explain how playback experiments contribute to understanding vocal communica
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Introduction

In this unit we will focus on the Anthropoidea, a suborder of primates that includes monkeys, apes and humans. We will concentrate our attention here primarily on monkeys. Colour vision, a large brain and intelligence are of great importance in the lives of anthropoids, enabling them to eat foods inaccessible to many other animals and to exploit social situations. In this unit, we will be looking at characteristics of primates that differ, or are enhanced, in anthropoids and discussing these
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should understand:

  • some of the types of disease that might be treatable by gene therapy

  • the basic principals of genetic manipulation

  • the differences between somatic and germline gene therapy and some of the problems involved in these potential treatments

  • how genetics may be used in the design of drugs.


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References

Lindberg, J., Bjornerfeldt, S., Saetre, P. et al. (2005) Selection for tameness has changed brain gene expression in silver foxes, Current Biology, 15, R915–R916.
Lindblad-Toh, K., Wade, C. M., Mikkelsen, T. S. et al. (2005) Genome sequence, comparative analysis and haplotype structure of the domestic dog, Nature, 438, 803–819.

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1.1 Introduction

Since the invention of DNA sequencers in the late 20th century, measuring very small differences between the genes of different organisms has become much easier and more precise than quantifying phenotypic variation. Synonymous mutations and changes to introns are examples of genetic changes that have no consequences for the phenotype. Natural selection acts only on phenotypes, so the relationship between genotypic changes and phenotype is clearly very important to understanding evolution. Di
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Learning outcomes

At the end of this unit you should:

  • know about the electromagnetic spectrum and how it is used to infer properties of sources of radiation;

  • know about the range of sizes, distances and motions of objects in the Universe and how they can be measured;

  • know about the structure of, and the main processes operating in, the Sun;

  • comprehend concepts lying well outside everyday experience, including those that involve very large and very smal
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1 Life in the trees

As you work through this unit you will come across boxes, like this one, which give you advice about the study skills that you will be developing as you progress through the unit. To avoid breaking up the flow of the text, they will usually appear at the start or end of the sections.

As well as the un
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • explain the concept of energy transfer between trophic levels;

  • outline the usefulness and limitations of food chains and food webs;

  • using examples, weigh up the value of dietary specialisation and of omnivory;

  • summarise the physiological changes linked with ‘hibernation’ in grizzly bears;

  • give examples of variations in diet and lifestyle amongst the bear family;


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3.2 Shrews

Activity 2

The evidence for endocrine disruption in humans

Establishing a link between endocrine disruptors and human health is complicated by the fact that experiments of the kind conducted on animals are out of the question. It would be wholly unethical to administer DDT to people, for example, to see what effects it had on them. Studies on humans are thus limited to establishing a correlation between the presence of a xenobiotic chemical in the environment and some kind of health problem.

For example, the Aamjiwnaang are a community of Nativ
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4.5 Endocrine disruptors

Then he was a she…

(Lou Reed, American rock singer)

In 1996, a book called Our Stolen Future was published, bringing to public attention a debate that had been simmering among biologists for some time. Written by Theo Colborn and two colleagues at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), this book presented the hypothesis that certain industrial chemicals, commonly found as environmental pol
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1 Water as a global resource

We shall not finally defeat AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria or any of the other infectious diseases that plague the developing world until we have also won the battle for safe drinking-water, sanitation and basic health care.

(Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General (2005) The International Decade for Action 2003–2015)

Freshwater is a natural resource that is vital for human survival and
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3.8.1 Standard deviation: finding how reproducible a series of measurements are

Even if we know the maximum and minimum and middle values in a group of numbers, we still don't have a clear idea about the distribution of values within that range: are most of the values all bunched up at one end or spread evenly across the results?

For instance, if I count my pulse rate on the hour every hour, nine times over the course of a day, I might get the following values for the number of beats per minute (bpm): 61, 59, 60, 62, 60, 100, 59, 63, 61. The average result is 65 bp
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2.3 Common maths problems and errors in the workplace

In a busy, hospital environment mistakes with medicines and other treatments can happen at any time. Some of these are caused by communication/administrative problems, whilst others are due to mathematical errors (the news stories shown in Figure 7 are sadly typical).

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Study Note 3: ‘Dos and don'ts’ with decimals in the healthcare workplace

As suggested in Box 1 above, there are a number of common ‘dos and don'ts’ that you need to remember and apply whenever you are dealing with decimals in your workplace.

  • Look carefully! Because a decimal point is just a dot on the page it is sometimes easy to miss when reading, especially on lined paper or in faxed documents. For this reason if there are no whole units, always place a zero before the decimal point when writing decimal numbe
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5.1 Introduction

Figure 9
Figure 9 Lithotectonic units of the British Isles

In previous sections, it was revealed that in the British Isles, the Phanerozoic er
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6.4 Chemical equations and chemical reactions

The previous section shows how different elements can either exist on their own or combine with other elements to make compounds. This section builds on these ideas by looking at chemical reactions in more detail. It also shows how chemical shorthand can be extended to describing chemical reactions.

First, consider some of the molecules described earlier: water, methane, carbon dioxide and ammonia.

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