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Catalogue

Polio Biology

IMPORTANT NOTES FOR FIRST-TIME READERS

Eddie Bollenbach - Photograph

Eddie Bollenbach has been a long time and valued contributor to several post-polio mailing lists. He is especially noted for his knowledge and skill at communicating the current scientific understanding of the biology and biochemistry of viruses and other scientific topics relating to polio and post-polio conditions. He also keeps a watching eye on developments in scientific research, in particular their potential for opening new lines of investigation that may in the long term increase our understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying polio and post-polio conditions. Eddie has kindly agreed to write an occasional column for the Lincolnshire Post-Polio Library for which we are most grateful bearing in mind his teaching commitments as Professor of Biology at Northwestern Connecticut Community-Technical College.

For a short background of Eddie's professsional history and credentials see Eddie Bollenbach - Biographical Details (includes links to other resources covering Eddie's work).

Catalogue Entry Index.

Select title in catalogue entry index to display summary details of article, select title in summary to display full text of article.

For articles with Eddie Bollenbach as co-author or contributor see the following catalogue entries:

F - Falconer, Marcia, Ph.D.
Article: Non-Paralytic Polio and PPS

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Title: Polio Biology I - An Introduction to the Virus
[ Full Text Here ] It may surprise you to know that we don't understand where viruses originally came from. Yet for every life form on the planet there is some virus somewhere that can penetrate and infect its cells. All viruses infect by following a similar process: they attach to a cell, penetrate it, reproduce, and propagate. The propagation step often involves bursting and killing the infected cell and the release of hundreds of new viruses. Polio does this to the cells it infects.

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Title: Polio Biology II - Post-Polio Syndrome's Elusive Etiology
[ Full Text Here ] In science, self-satisfaction is death. Personal self-satisfaction is the death of the scientist. Collective self-satisfaction is the death of the research. It is restlessness, anxiety, dissatisfaction, agony of mind that nourish science. Jacques Monod, 1910-1977, New Scientist, 1976.

Monod is someone to listen to. He and his colleagues gave us the first model explaining how a gene can turn on when it is needed and off when it is not. And so, although I don't need a lot of pushing in the direction of questioning ideas, I do think it is of value to be skeptical, especially when someone gives us an unequivocal answer as to the cause of a complex process like Post-Polio Syndrome.

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Title: Polio Biology III - What About If We Need The Virus Later?
[ Full Text Here ] Viruses are tricky creatures. We don't understand everything about them. Until recently we didn't even know how polio got inside the cells it infects. But we are learning new things all the time. Polio virus is one of the most cultured (grown) viruses for laboratory study. And yet, there are aspects of its life cycle which remain puzzling. For example, how are the virus's protein subunits assembled after they are produced, inside cells, during infection? Or, what is the effect of a mutation (change) in one of the protein subunits that assemble to produce the case inside which the genes of the virus reside?

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Title: Polio Biology IV - Polio And Limiting Variables
[ Full Text Here ] In the natural sciences the topic of "limiting reagents" presents a challenge to undergraduate college students. A typical problem involving "limiting reagents" goes something like this: suppose you want to produce the chemical silver iodide. You make the following two elements react: silver and iodine. If you mix 1 gram of silver and 1 gram of iodine together, and they react, which one will run out first? To find this answer calculations must be made by a student with some knowledge of introductory college chemistry. One of the two ingredients will be used up. This will stop the reaction. Some excess amount of the other will remain after the reaction has stopped. The reagent (silver or iodine) that is used up first limits the extent of the reaction because it is gone. Without it there can be no more silver iodide produced.

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Title: Polio Biology V - How To Avoid Limiting Variables While Exercising
[ Full Text Here ] It seems that we with PPS are in an awful fix. We have aches and pains and weakness which others can often counter with exercise. But we are told not to exercise. Rest is the prescription for us but often this, although necessary, results in disuse problems.

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Title: Polio Biology VI - The Polio War and Vaccine Strategy
[ Full Text Here ] The use of vaccines like the polio Salk vaccine to immunize an "individual" against a polio infection is only one of the considerations of an epidemiologist trying to eliminate the disease from a "population". The Salk vaccine produces humoral immunity so it protects the inoculated individual, but how well does it protect the "population"? How well and how fast can it diminish the prevalence of polio?

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Title: Polio Biology VII - Holistic Polio
[ Full Text Here ] On reflection, it is quite obvious that everything in the body works together. Put another way: nothing can happen inside the body without an effect on all parts of the system. After reading some recent articles on nerve and muscle function I started thinking about Post-Polio Syndrome and how closely a skeletal muscle fiber and attached nerve work together.

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Title: Polio Biology VIII - Post-Polio Pathogenesis
[ Full Text Here ] Ever since the writings of Copernicus we, in the Western Hemisphere, have used reductionism in our thinking to the extent that we think problems must always have a single cause. So we say this, not that. And we seek until we find a single simple explanation. Nothing but a single understandable cause, it seems, will relieve the nagging uncertainty about what is going on inside our bodies. I don't think things are this simple, especially inside the nervous system.

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Title: Polio Biology IX - Peering at Post-Polio Syndrome under the Microscope
[ Full Text Here ] The Microscope is an instrument that revolutionized the study of biology. Before it existed everyone believed the human body was only composed of amorphous flesh. After Galileo and Janssen, the simultaneous inventors of the earliest microscopes at the beginning of the 17th Century, we knew that we were composed of tiny structures called cells. The human body contains about 10 trillion cells, small circumscribed entities with an organized internal anatomy and a complicated biochemistry. These parts together are the essence of life.

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Title: Polio Biology X - In PPS Manual Muscle Testing Problems Arise From Judgement and Biology
[ Full Text Here ] When acute polio struck it was essential to measure the extent of paralysis quickly. One of the techniques used was manual muscle testing. There isn't too much to it really. The physician holds a hand against a patient's limb and coaches the patient to push as hard as possible. Depending on the judgement of the tester the patient's muscle strength is graded from 1, (Trace Strength), to 5, (Normal Strength). This assessment was very valuable because it provided a clinician with enough resolution in measurement to quickly evaluate the extent of neuromuscular paralysis from acute polio in one session.

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Title: Polio Biology XI - The Biology of Fatigue
[ Full Text Here ] Elite athletes know about fatigue to win medals, we must know about fatigue to improve our lives. Who knows more about the biology of fatigue, the elite athlete or the post-polio survivor? I hope this essay can help improve our general knowledge, from the biological perspective, and allow us to intelligently use this information to improve our lives.

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Title: Polio Biology XII - Genetics of the Post-Polio Syndrome
[ Full Text Here ] It has been a while since the last Polio Biology column and much has happened in the field of neurodegeneration since the last installment. It's too bad we don't have as much focused medical research that specifically targets the Post-Polio Syndrome, nevertheless we can learn much about ourselves from work occurring in the general field of neurodegeneration. Actually, in a very real sense, Post-Polio Syndrome is the result of neurodegeneration, or the loss of vitality, synaptic connections, and resilience of our motor neurons.

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NOTES

It is the intention of the Lincolnshire Post-Polio Network to make all the information we collect available regardless of our views as to it's content. The inclusion of a document in this library should not therefore be in any way interpreted as an endorsement.

People who had polio and are experiencing new symptoms need to be assessed by medical professionals who are experienced in Post-Polio to determine what is wrong and to give correct advice. We can only make these documents available to you. YOU must then take what you believe to be relevant to the medical professional you are seeing. We are collecting and collating everything we can to enable medical professionals to make informed decisions. Other medical conditions must be looked for first, Post-Polio Syndrome is by diagnosis of exclusion.

Whether you are a Polio Survivor, a friend or relation of a Polio Survivor, or a Medical Professional, we would advise you use this catalogue only to assist in determining your reading priorities. Every article in this library is likely to contain information of interest to both Polio Survivors and Medical Professionals.

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The Lincolnshire Post-Polio Network takes great care in the transcription of all information that appears at this site. However, we do not accept liability for any damage resulting directly or otherwise from any errors introduced in the transcription. Neither do we accept liability for any damage resulting directly or otherwise from the information available at this site. The opinions expressed in the documents available at this site are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily constitute endorsement or approval by the Lincolnshire Post-Polio Network.


Copyright The Lincolnshire Post-Polio Network 1998 - 2010.

Document preparation: Chris Salter, Original Think-tank, Cornwall, United Kingdom.
Last modification: 1st February 2010.
Last information content change: 26th January 2006.

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