Entry, Creative Corner
Brittany Murphy, Georgia
O to the farm we go
To run over the fields high and lo.
But wait! Bark, bark, growl
Around this strange, leggy creature I prowl.
My human just laughs and soon I see,
Horses are fun and their poop is TASTY!
Grain, hay, molasses….oh what delicious glories
Alas, later, my tummy didn’t agree with me….
Jana Mazor-Thomas, Tufts
Last June, I was lucky enough to go on what is pretty much my dream externship: working with Dr. John Bryan of the National Park Service, on the California Condor recovery project at Pinnacles National Monument.
For those who are not obsessed with birds, the appeal of this is probably a little hard to imagine. Condors are huge, stinky, sometimes angry birds. They live primarily on carrion and the bacteria in their mouths are the ones that are nasty enough to out-compete all the bacteria that grow on dead animals. They're also unbelievably beautiful, critically endangered, the largest bird in North America - and a fantastic story about how medical care and the dedication of hundreds of people kept this apex species from extinction and now on the road to recovery. So for a bird nerd? Yes, the elective of a lifetime.
The biggest source of mortality for the condors is still lead poisoning from bullets left in carcasses by hunters. Medically, most of the work done revolves around treatment for lead poisoning. At least twice a year, the condor crew try to trap every condor in their management area and check their lead levels, then chelate them if need be. Sadly, their lower cutoff for birds that need chelation has to be well above what we consider acceptable in other raptors, because otherwise, nearly every condor would still be in captivity for treatment, and the goal of this project is to return these birds to a life in the wild that does not require human intervention.
Capturing and restraining an easily-stressed bird with a ten-foot wing span is not a job for the faint of heart!
Over the next several weeks, I'll be posting short bios of your SAVMA Executive Board. The officers are a group of students that are former SAVMA Delegates, and were elected by their fellow Delegates to oversee the House. They were all sworn in to their current positions at the 2013 SAVMA Symposium at LSU. They work hard to represent you, their fellow vet students, but many of you will never meet them face to face! This series of posts will put a face with a name, and let you know a little bit about what SAVMA is working on on a national level. The officers also would love to hear ideas or questions from you, so feel free to email them!
Kyle Donnelly, editor
Jeremy Maurer, Penn
Hegde S, Shea S, Pan L, Karmakar P, Barbot J, Kirchberg K, Vadakkumpadan F, Maurer J, Cook J, Trayanova N, Solaiyappan M, Johnston P, Kraitchman D. Transmyocardial Therapuetic-Delivery Using Real-Time MRI Guidance. SCMR 16th Annual Scientific Sessions, San Francisco, CA, January 31 - February 3, 2013. Poster.
Background: Catheter-based transmyocardial injection offers a minimally invasive method to deliver therapeutics to the heart. It is typically performed under X-ray fluoroscopic guidance, which suffers from poor demarcation of myocardial boundaries and an inability to assess myocardial viability. MRI-guided intramyocardial delivery of therapeutics at 3T offers the potential for more precise targeting of these therapies with superior tissue contrast.
Our group has been actively involved with microencapsulated stem cell therapy to improve cell retention and prevent stem cell rejection. However, most microencapsulated stem cell products are too large to be administered transmyocardially. We demonstrate here intramyocardial injection of a prototype single stem cell therapeutic into the myocardium of a normal swine using real-time MR guidance and a custom active injection catheter.