Friday, January 21, 2011

Fun-a-day 21: Antibodies

Gosh, have I had a busy day!  I made up a few more kindle covers that I still hope to get in my Etsy store tonight, or tomorrow, and I almost finished making up the rest of my fun-a-day quilt blocks.  They're like little canvases, but each still needs to be prepared.  The method I'm using is called "quilt as you go", because that's what you do!  So I have now made up 30 little quilt sandwiches, and 21 are now finished!  All I'll need to do at the end is to connect them all together!  That said, I decided to keep my quilting ridiculously simple tonight!

The symbol stitched on the quilt is that of an antibody.  Antibodies are not only important in our bodies, but in the lab as well.  We can't really see them on a microscope, or at least a light microscope.  They're a protein chain, and are very tiny.  The very ends of an antibody each recognize a very specific "antigen", or foreign protein.  Our bodies make (and remember) an antibody to each virus or bacteria, or perceived "bad guy" that comes along.  An antibody to Hepatitis B is different than an antibody to Influenza.  As with influenza, and colds, and many other things, there is often many different types or strains.

Short story long, scientists have learned how to test for these antibodies.  Not only that, but they've learned how to make these antibodies to use in testing, and indeed many of the tests we do in "special chemistry" in the lab use these in different methods.  I couldn't even begin to list all of the tests where antibodies, are involved.  That's why I decided to use it as a quilt block.  If you've ever had blood drawn to be tested for Hepatitis or HIV, Rubella, or Lyme Disease, we're actually measuring and looking for the antibodies in your blood that shows if you've been exposed to these.  Many tests, such as blood typing, TSH, and sex hormone levels (estrogen, testosterone levels) use manufactured antibodies as a way to test for these levels.  The sophistication of some of these tests, and the instruments that run them are really quite incredible!

I also got nominated by my friend Beth, of Notes ... blog for a Liebster Award,  bestowed upon blogs that could use a boost in followers… (should have less than 300 followers).  If you haven't visited my friend Beth's blog, you really should!  She's a quilter who moved to South Africa about a year ago.  She's also an amazing photographer.  She has some great subject matter to take pictures of!!  She also has helped my via email both with my quilting skills and blogging and message board know-how.  Thanks!

In return, I'm asked to nominate 3-5 other bloggers who could use a boost.  I wish I could nominate all of you, because I really do enjoy everyone's blogs, and know just how much free labor they involve ;-).

Monika of My Sweet Prairie, Kit Lang, of Diva Quilts, and Caroline of Trillium are 3 of many blog that I go to get some inspiration!!

With that, I'm off to bed to read a bit while the wind howls outside.

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