Leeuwenhoek had stolen and peeped into the fantastic sub-visible world of little things, creatures that had lived, had bred, had battled, had died, completely hidden from and unknown to all men from the beginning of time. Beasts these were of a kind that ravaged and annihilated whole races of men ten million times larger than they were themselves. Beings these were, more terrible than fire-spitting dragons or hydra-headed monsters. They were silent assassins that murdered babies in warm cradles and kings in sheltered places. It was this invisible, insignificant, but implacable-and sometimes friendly- world Leeuwenhoek had looked into for the first time of all men of all countries. ~Microbe Hunters

Wednesday, 10 April 2013


Before I start with "I", I wanted to say that I am really enjoying this A-Z Challenge. I like to go on the A-Z sign up page and click on, like, 100 random links every day until I find some that I am interested in, and perhaps even follow for more. I am enjoying the different themes that I am encountering and everything that I am learning about from around the world. I have been trying to comment on at least 5 posts for every letter (some of them may be on the day after, but nonetheless), however, I have finals starting in LESS THAN A WEEK so I have to get crackin' and I will not be able to read/ focus long enough to comment on many for a while. I have written (most) of my posts, but I'm sorry if I start slacking!

The final section of the small intestine before your partially digested food, called chyme, travels to your large intestine, or bowel, is the ileum. Food travels through your digestive system by the action of rhythmic, smooth muscle contractions. The inner part of the lumen where the food passes, is composed of a mucosa layer consisting of simple columnar cells with goblet cells and microvilli, which aid in the absorption of some nutrients, especially those needed for blood cell production (i.e. B12). The Auerbach Plexus is a nerve area between 2 layers of smooth muscle (muscularis mucosa) controlled by the autonomic nervous system (ANS) which allows for the coordination of the muscle contractions...  SNORE. The things we must know in Med Lab..

The only things of interest about the ileum is that it is 2-4 meters long and it works independently of your brain (hence, the ANS). You don’t have to tell your digestive system, “Okay, sandwich I just ate, I must now digest you”. Oh, another interesting tidbit is that once your food has been fully digested and about to be excreted as waste, it is actually mostly composed of bacteria from your gut. The majority of your poop is rotten food and bacteria that colonized that food. Mmm, eh? And have you ever wondered why your feces are brown? I bet you haven't but I digress. When your blood cells go to your liver (or spleen or lymph nodes) to die, a breakdown product of the hemoglobin is formed and secreted into the large intestine. The formed product is called urobilinogen and it has 2 interesting pathways. It can be reabsorbed into your bloodstream by your mucosal cells in the intestine and then filtered out of your blood by your kidneys and cause the yellow pigmentation of your urine. It can also be reduced to stercobilin in the intestines which causes the brown colour of your feces. Wanna blow some minds? Try bringing that up at the dinner table...

Darn good and sure of it,



  1. LOL! I think I'd blow more than a few minds bringing that up at the dinner table. :-D
    Good luck with your finals!

  2. Sweet! So I'll totally be back to gather all kinds of crazy medical quips. I love the detail. --And here's wishing you the best in the coming week. Oh, and here's some cheese. To, you know, help brain function. *shifty eyes* =D

    1. Thanks so much! And thanks for the cheese..