Saturday, January 21, 2017

Path of the day: Hep C cirrhosis

I'm alive! Just really busy.

Here's a portal triad (artery, vein, and bile duct) with significant fibrosis and chronic interface inflammation, the hallmark of chronic Hep C infection. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Tumor of the day: squamous cell carcinoma

Keratin pearl
Skin is made up stratified, keratinizing squamous epithelium. Normally, basal cells are basaloid, with nuclei and other organelles.  These nuclei and organelles, specially the nuclei, are bluish (basophilic). Their job is to create keratin that will act as a protective layer over the topmost layer of skin. As the epithelium matures, the cells migrate into higher levels and begin to lose their organelles and nuclei, becoming pinker and pinker (more eosinophilic) all the while.

So finding well-differentiated squamous cells carcinoma is a matter of finding a loss of that specific organization. The way I think of it is "look for pink where it's not supposed to be". Dysplastic cells start making keratin and maturing way faster than they should, or they refuse to mature as they rise into higher epithelial levels. Or both. Or maybe I just don't know enough about the process yet. 

Regardless, the most obvious examples of well-differentiated have islands of keratin coated with immature, dysplastic cells. They look very pretty, and old pathologists probably would agree with me because they're called "keratin pearls".

Saturday, November 26, 2016

World of Final Fantasy: awesome, or are my standards too low by now?

Buy here.
Against my better judgment, I purchased a full-price copy of World of Final Fantasy shortly after it came out. Most Square Enix games I've played in the last few years have been crushing disappointments, but I guess old habits die hard. For better or for worse, my hindbrain associates Square with games I enjoy. I briefly considered buying Deus Ex: Manking Divided even though I know it's not the kind of game I like to play. It was published by Square Enix, apparently.

The only logical, if unflattering, explanation is that I'm not as immune to bitter brand loyalty as I like to pretend I am. For now, I'll console myself with the fact that, at least in the case of World of Final Fantasy, brand loyalty didn't lead me astray. I've not had this much fun playing a videogame since Fire Emblem: Awakening. And considering Awakening is one of my favorite games ever (Chris, I'm still gonna harass you into buying a 3DS and playing this game), that's saying something.

Much like Persona Q, World of Final Fantasy is a blatant play for long-time fans' wallets. And much like Persona Q, I was floored by how much the developers seem to have cared about making a fun game even though name alone was going to move copies.

You play as a pair of twins that. . . honestly, who cares? They travel from dungeon to dungeon, meet heroes from previous Final Fantasies, while catching classic Final Fantasy monsters like they're Pokemon. I can't even pretend to be able to judge this game with any objectivity because did you read that description? 

That being said, I'm going to try.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Tumor of the day: GIST

My job makes me wish I was a better artist because things like these are worthy of watercolors, no matter how tragic they may be:

The detail never looks quite right outside a microscope
You can see a bit of gastric epithelium in the bottom part, at the center. This is a low-power view of a GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumor), spindle pattern. It's a sarcoma of the gastrointestinal tract, originating from the interstitial cells of Cajal, which are the pacemakers of the gastrointestinal tract. At high power, they look this:
GIST, spindle cell pattern
These cells stain with DOG1 (discovered on GIST) and CD117, and other stuff I'm not remembering off the top of my head.

The Sociopath Next Door: A psychologist's thoughts on the nature of evil

Buy on Amazon.
I don't remember if I ever mentioned it, but I have a psychology baccalaureate. At the time I chose my major, I thought it would be useful for a doctor to know as much as possible. And I also found the subject inherently interesting, though even back in the dark ages of 2007, people were warning my that a psychology baccalaureate would only prepare me to work as a cashier at Rite Aid.

I don't much use my psychology degree these days, unless you count the times I tell myself to be patient at work because we're all under a lot of stress. Mostly, I like to tell myself that I use what I learned about psychology in my writing hobby to help me with characterization. It's how I justified buying The Sociopath Next Door instead of putting an extra $12 towards my student loans payment, anyway.

Someday, if I become the next JK Rowling, I will have this book to thank for helping me write the most compelling sociopath imaginable. After all, Dr. Stout herself states that:
Conventional wisdom has it that dangerous people are attractive, and when we are drawn to sociopaths, we tend to prove out this cliché.
That being said, I very much doubt that any realistic fictional sociopath would be all that popular, at least not if they're realistic in the way this book describes. Not just because the chances of me becoming the next JK Rowling are astronomically low, but because Dr. Martha Stout writes about real people with Antisocial Personality Disorder, not the idealized Hannibal Lecters of the fictional world.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Devil May Cry and $8.00 USD cranberry juice

It's been a busy month for me, to put it mildly. Cancer hasn't let up, although I've been pretty lucky autopsy-wise. Only two this month, and one was neuro-only. But I've had at least one presentation a week and, during the first half of the month, had to deal with at least one colon cancer a week. I've gone out with friends only once all month, and though I had fun, I'm still bitter that I an NYC bar charged me eight dollars for cranberry juice. And not even good cranberry juice. At one point, I had a whole post ranting about it, but that was at least a week ago.

Anyway, I think I wrote a post about getting a PS4 and Final Fantasy Type-0. . . wait. Looks like I did. Mild update: Type-0's story is an abomination that hinders a promising battle system and an open map that at least tries to be engaging, unlike some other Final Fantasy games I could name. I gave up after two chapters, too many days ago to remember all the complaints I had for a blog post dedicated to the whole mess. Suffice it to say that my cautious optimism for Final Fantasy XV is more cautious than ever. 

Moving on to better news, I'm really loving this game so far:
Apparently fans complained about it when it came out?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Back to Final Fantasy because I guess I don't love myself

Not when it comes to this franchise. These last two weeks, I've been ruining my recent decimation of my credit card debt by setting up what I'm calling a home entertainment system. By which I mean, I bought myself a Roku TV and a PS4:

Yes, they're both on a couch
By the way, that couch is part of this number I got at IKEA. It's supposed to be attached to the couch where I sit all the time, but my mother (who claims to be a weak old women) ripped it off its hinges. It's now the world's crappiest stand. Anyway, I already pre-ordered the premium edition of Persona 5 at Amazon. They're promising an artbook, and probably a soundtrack, but I mostly want that book bag. Since Atlus' shameless lunge for my money, Persona Q, turned out to be awesome, my expectations for Persona 5 are off the charts.

Square Enix, on the other hand. . .