NOTES FOR FIRST-TIME READERS
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
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).
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:
Polio Biology I -
An Introduction to the Virus
- 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.
Polio Biology II -
Post-Polio Syndrome's Elusive Etiology
- 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.
Polio Biology III -
What About If We Need The Virus Later?
- 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?
Polio Biology IV -
Polio And Limiting Variables
- 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.
Polio Biology V -
How To Avoid Limiting Variables While Exercising
- 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
Polio Biology VI -
The Polio War and Vaccine Strategy
- 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
Polio Biology VII -
- 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.
Polio Biology VIII
- Post-Polio Pathogenesis
- 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
Polio Biology IX -
Peering at Post-Polio Syndrome under the Microscope
- 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.
Polio Biology X -
In PPS Manual Muscle Testing Problems Arise From Judgement and Biology
- 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.
Polio Biology XI -
The Biology of Fatigue
- 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.
Polio Biology XII
- Genetics of the Post-Polio Syndrome
- 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.
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
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.
The Lincolnshire Post-Polio Network
Registered Charity No. 1064177
An Information Service for Polio Survivors and Medical Professionals
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
Think-tank, Cornwall, United Kingdom.
Last modification: 1st February 2010.
Last information content change: 26th January 2006.