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Posts posted by Greippi

  1. Depends on the specific retrovirus as different ones have different preferred methods of infections. I'd say eye drops would probably be more effective than the oral route (unless there are oral lesions present).


    For example, the retrovirus HIV is transmitted more easily when there's access to the blood stream. Chance of infection orally is extremely low unless there are at least small cuts in the mouth.

  2. Low IgM could be indicative of various issues (such as autoimmune disease), however obviously further investigation is needed to isolate the cause. However, your blood test could have been taken on a "bad" or "odd" day for you and the results may not be indicative of your "normal" IgM levels. Also, sometimes blood levels that fall outside the normal range are normal for that person (if not related to some sort of health problem).


    Your doctor should determine the next course of action, depending on how far outside the normal range your levels were, and your symptoms.


    It's highly unlikely to get a false nagative HIV result so I'm sure you're fine in that respect.

  3. I have never heard of NaCl being used to adjust pH, if you're using pure NaCl then it definitely shouldn't affect pH. I mean, Cl- can act as a weak acid, and Na+ can be a weak base, but the effects in a solution like that are negligible. What is the solution for? The NaCl is most likely a vital ingredient, especially as it's in there at a not insignificant concentration!

    For pH-ing something like that I'd use HCl or NaOH. It's probably best to make up more than 3ml of your solution, as it's quite difficult to make up something like that in small volumes, especially as you have to pH it.


    So what, exactly are you stuck on when it comes to making up the solution? Do you know how to make up a solution of a certain molarity? Do you know your equations? Or are concentration calculations something you've never come across.

  4. It really depends on whether you're considering going to university, it's perhaps best to keep that option open if you're not sure.

    These days, a lot of the most exciting science stuff is multidisciplinary. I did biology and chemistry (as well as history) for A-level, went on to do a degree in biochemistry and am now doing a PhD involving biology, chemistry, physics and engineering. I am very glad I kept my options open, and wish I'd been able to do maths or physics at A level.


    For now I'd say stick with what you love doing, but keep your options open. Unless you have other subjects you want to do, I'd say perhaps you should do all 3 sciences at AS level, and then when it comes to deciding what to continue on to A level you'll be able to make a more informed choice about what to pick. There are a whole host of career options available that you have probably never considered, and won't be able to know whether you'd like to do them until you're further on in your academic career. How about scientific research? During AS levels you'll learn which areas you find most interesting, and you'll learn what degree courses are be available.


    Good idea, so long as one's finger is reasonably dirty to begin with (likely for most folks and almost a certainty for high school students).


    Even if you would consider your finger to be "clean" there's still going to be bacteria living on it, so I wouldn't worry too much about your finger being in a dirty/clean state. Unless, of course, you've just washed with that antibacterial soap...



    Your equipment may be unsterile, but you can also implement other sterile technique - doing it around a bunsen flame, not opening the lid of the plate wider than needed, not breathing on the plate...

  6. Argh. Yes. Junk DNA is a pretty outdated term (non-coding is better I suppose). While much of DNA is not contained within expressed genes, it still has an important function! As CharonY touched on, it has regulatory and spacing functions amongst other things.

  7. My father built an element collection thanks to his father who worked as a chemist in the steel industry, and by getting on well with his chemistry teacher (that sort of thing wouldn't be allowed these days!). He extracted/purified much of them himself and has samples of most of the naturally occurring elements.


    It's kind of a shame that these days it's so easy to obtain various chemicals online.

  8. Shouldn't your lab have detailed health and safety procedures regarding the bacteria it works with?


    The first time I ever did French pressing it exploded and I swallowed some of my bacteria. Fortunately it's completely benign (a mutant strain of Rhodobacter sphaeroides that I created, strangely enough it tasted like soap).

  9. use the burner to sterilize tools


    I hope you mean in conjunction with ethanol! It's the ethanol that does most of the sterilising.


    Also, sounds obvious but make sure everything like pipette tips have been autoclaved/come from sterile packaging and are taken out in a sterile way. Any liquids that can't be sterilised by autoclaving can be made with as pure water as possible then filter sterilised.

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