Thursday, December 07, 2006

the wonders of bilirubin...

good morning friends...

currently in a boring biochemistry class learning about bilirubin. specifically, learning about neonatal jaundice, which i believe one of my little friends was born with, but overcame! it occurs mostly in preemies, and it has something to do with the liver just not wanting to work right. or also the trauma of being birthed scared the liver into being bad. bad liver! but only for a little bit! and usually it's not a big deal, and you treat it with phototherapy to make the bilirubin (which is the molecule that makes you turn yellow-ish) more water soluble so you can pee it out. (technically speaking, i suppose, is that the baby has insufficient levels of UDP-glucuronyl transferase, a really long and weird to pronounce name for an enzyme. that enzyme makes the bilirubin water soluble so the baby [or adults, for that matter] can get rid of the bilirubin.) hence, the bilirubin blanket, which emits UV light for the changing of the bilirubin. the bilirubin is zapped by the light through the skin, which makes it pee-able. isn't that crazy? probably one of the only times UV light is a good thing...

in other news, i just have to say that I LOVE GENETICS! maybe i should do my residency in some combined pediatrics/medical genetics so i can have the normal life of a pediatrician, but the drama and intrigue of genetic disorders. i'm just kind of excited, after the disappointment with gross anatomy, i need a class to make me feel alive again. after talking with the professor (who, by the way, is my FAVORITE professor here), he said that i could follow (or shadow, as they say) him in clinic to see how it is. i'm just so happy and excited about the prospect.

gah, i can't wait till lunch. but i will say i had a delicious cup of coffee this morning. yum!

1 comment:

Evy said...

I dont think you knew him when, but connor got to experience the wonders of biliblanket for a whole week. there was trauma to his head upon attempted exit and the extra red blood cells caused him to have even more bilirubin than regular babies (you probably understand this better than I do). He looked like a little glow-worm.