We had three hours of eye/optics/color boot camp this morning. It was basically a crash course on the terminology and the basic mechanisms that allow us to function the way that we do. I took notes on everything- from peoples names to what we ate (FREE FOOD) to the indices of refraction of different materials. No matter where I go- whether it's at school or work- I always take notes because I feel paranoid that some random person somewhere will spring a pop quiz on me at any time...or its just a personality quirk. I love writing things down, even if most of it is meaningless or insignificant.
Anyway, to be honest, most of boot camp was a drag. The things the students and professors were talking about were fascinating (really!), but even though it was only 3 hours, it felt like it took forever! I asked two questions during the presentations...here's how that went:
Me: "I'm a bit surprised at the terminology that is applied to the suspensory ligaments. Are they really ligaments in the sense of the word, applied biologically?"
One of the professors then divulged into a pretty lengthly explanation about how the ligaments help to change the shape of the eye lens (or crystalline lens as one of the other professors insisted on calling it). I guess I didn't phrase my question very well...what I actually meant was that I understood the word ligaments to mean the connective tissue between two bones, whereas the suspensory ligaments connect a muscle to the lens. I just looked it up, and I can't find the answer yet. I'm sure it's out there somewhere, but here's what wikipedia says about ligaments:
- Articular ligaments: Fibrous tissue that connects bones to other bones. They are sometimes called "articular larua", "fibrous ligaments", or "true ligaments".
- Peritoneal ligaments: A fold of peritoneum or other membranes.
- Fetal remnant ligaments: The remnants of a tubular structure from the fetal period of life.
I'm probably just focusing too much on technicalities, but I'm still a bit curious...I'll have to look it up later.
The second question was...interesting.
Me: "Is it the physical convex quality of the crystalline lens or the composition of it that allows light to focus on the retina?"
This launched us into a 30 minute tangent on optics- don't get me wrong- I was thrilled. I'm actually kind of into optics after studying it pretty in depth in AP Physics B this year. I actually had answers for once! They were pretty straightforward questions (q: what is the index of refraction? a: it's the ratio of c to v) (q: what is c? a: it's the speed of light in a vacuum...3x10^8 m/s), but it still made me feel better to actually know what we were talking about!
We also started working with the fundus cameras today. I took pictures of retinas (on our patient, Mr. Jones) (he's our fake plastic eye) (he's also incredibly cooperative and doesn't even mind when crank up the illuminator all the way up) on four different digital fundus cameras. It was interesting...more on that tomorrow, since we're going to be taking more photographs using film cameras.
I really did expect to write maybe two sentences for this post, but I guess that didn't happen. It was a pretty eventful day...tomorrow is another day of bootcamp and cameras, but I'm ok with that ;)
Facts of the day:
1) Diabetes destroys the retina because (in a nutshell) the inability to process glucose contributes to the atrophy of capillaries, which is especially important to the processes of the eye. Once the capillaries are burst, the retina, in a desperate attempt to survive, sends out an emergency signal to the rest of the body to create more. The body creates more...but they are not the right type. There's a word for the type of artery thats only in the eye and the brain...but I can't remember it right now and Google isn't helping! I'll post it later, but the type of artery in the eyes and brain are different than that of the rest of the body. Whereas normal arteries allow material and nutrients to diffuse freely along the entire artery, the ones in the eyes and brain are only open on the two ends. So the body, in response to the distress signal, creates the wrong type of capillaries and the person ends up blind. :(
2) IDL is pretty annoying.
3) The heat is even more annoying.
4) The fact that my building is practically halfway across the campus is really really annoying. Oh, and we have to walk back and forth all day because we don't have a computer lab in the building so we have to go back to building 76 to use theirs.
5) At least I have a great group! Shoutout to Joel, Audrey, and Madeleine :)