Epiploic appendices!

In the last group of the anatomy teaching this morning I was struggling to think of the right name for the little fatty bits of peritoneum hanging off the large bowel. The textbook calls them omental appendices, which I know is correct but doesn’t have the right feel. A quick search of the web turns up the other (older?) name: epiploic appendices. What an awesome sounding term. Say it out loud five times. I think the words link my memory back to my own anatomy learning by dissection.
Epiploic appendices. Nice.

Ironman flies!

Ironman flies!, originally uploaded by samwebster.

Jack built Ironman out of Lego! I told you we were excited about tomorrow’s DVD release.

Scary films on iTunes

2008-10-23--Halloween Films On Itunes Brilliant – iTunes have put up a collection of scary films on iTunes. I love the Halloween build up & I’ll be downloading a few of these for the dark evenings of the next week. The Fly (Vincent Price!),The Bride of Frankenstein (fantastic trailer), Leprechaun 3. OK, maybe not Leprechaun 3. The actual Halloween list is quite short, but when you start clicking through the linked movies you find plenty of great, old horror films.
The older and more B-movie the better. For some reason stuff like The Saw makes me laugh on the sofa. This is a little unfortunate as I think that scares other people in the room more than the film.
Now, what can I scare Jack with?

Week 106 – development of the gut

This week’s embryology lecture attempted to link the processes that form the gastrointestinal (GI) tract with the anatomy that you’re seeing in the lab. We started by recapping the end of the last lecture (gastrulation) and showing how the flat sheet of the early embryo can be rolled up to form a tube. We looked at the role of the yolk sac in this, and how the ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm roll up and contribute to the different parts of the embryo.
We divided the simple gut tube into foregut, midgut and hindgut regions based on the attachment of the gut tube to the yolk sac. These regions each have their own artery branching from the aorta (coeliac trunk, superior mesenteric artery and inferior mesenteric artery respectively). This simple tube will dilate, lengthen and twist to form what we recognise as the adult GI tract.
The foregut forms the oesophagus, stomach, part of the duodenum, liver, gallbladder and pancreas. We talked about how each of these forms, and how a 90 degree left to right rotation moves these structures from a midline starting position to their final locations on the left or right side. Most of the tube will become closed by epithelial proliferation during development, and then cleared. Importantly we also looked at the mesentery, which starts as a very simple sheet of connective tissue running in the midline from the dorsal to ventral walls of the embryo’s developing abdomen. With the twisting of the gut tube this simple sheet will form all the more complex connecting bits of peritoneum in the adult that tie these organs together, such as the lesser omentum, greater omentum, falciform ligament, gastrosplenic ligament, etc.
The midgut will form the rest of the small intestine and the large intestine as far as the transverse colon. It starts as a simple loop that becomes longer and rotates 270 degrees, again from left to right. As it lengthens it pushes out into the umbilical cord and then is pulled back into the abdomen. The simple mesentery initially holding the single loop of midgut in place has become much larger as the midgut lengthened, and now carries many branches of the superior mesenteric artery to all parts of the tube.
The hindgut will form the remainder of the GI tract and part of the urogenital system. The cloaca is an endoderm lined cavity at the anus end of the gut tube, and becomes split in two by the urogential sinus. The dorsal part will become the rectum and the superior parts of the anal canal, and the ventral part will help form the bladder and the urethra. The cloacal membrane that had closed off the tube up to this point ruptures, and two openings are formed (rectum and urethra). The last part of the anal canal is formed from the external ectoderm, explaining the two separate routes of blood supply to the anal canal in the adult (inferior mesenteric artery and internal pudendal artery).
With these normal developmental processes in mind, what could go wrong and what congenital defects would be observed?
Pyloric stenosis – kidshealth.org, emedicine.com
Gastroschisis & omphalocoele.
emedicine.com: imperforate anus

October sea swimming

2008-10-12--Caswell Surfers
Honestly, I took this photo today. This is a late October Sunday afternoon. Cool, eh? Well, except for the daft number of surfers. When the tide is this high there’s no width to the bay so everyone gets crammed into a small section. People are playing in the sea or are trying to swim, so surfers dragging their boards out today mostly just sat around looking at each other. It’s way too common around here and any beach with surf gets ridiculously busy.
I actually got Jack into the sea and we were bashing through the waves. I think my right ear is ringing from all his screaming.

Olympic cycling star tells car drivers how it is

In an interview with the Times, “Victoria Pendleton has a sharp warning for drivers who tear past cyclists at close quarters – watch out, you might kill a British Olympic medallist.”
“For starters, many motorists could at least stop being offensive as well as dangerous, says Pendleton. I have to train on the road daily. It’s crucial for endurance work. But the abuse I get from drivers … ‘Get off the effing road’, and ‘Buy an effing car’, are typical. I’m usually dressed in the Team GB kit, but drivers take no notice of that.”
“It does my head in that people have no regard for my safety. If someone cuts me up, I will sometimes catch up and have a go at them. It’s not like their journeys are so important. They’re usually off to the shops to waste some more money. Honestly, what’s a few seconds in their pointless life for the sake of not killing me?”
“Her fears are sadly justified. Her British teammate and fellow Manchester cyclist, Emma Davies-Jones, was left with a broken back after being knocked off her bike on the way to train at the city’s Velodrome in 2005.”
You’ll have read very similar comments on this blog. Everybody loved the Olympic cycling on the TV this summer but will it change anyone’s attitude to us cyclists? Or do I still have to look forward to the broken bones that I’m bound to receive from an ignorant motorist? Club mates have been smashed up after being clipped by cars, yet sometimeshttp://simbryo.stanford.edu the driver neither noticed or stopped. Or cared.
Read the full article on the Times online.