Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A Brief Introduction to Vivariums

Devansh Parikh, a zoology graduate of North Carolina State University, is an office management professional at Rakesh Parikh, MD, PLLC, in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Away from his office work, Devansh Parikh enjoys reading and constructing various kinds of vivariums.

The term 'vivarium' refers to an enclosure used to house live animals in a semi-natural environment. Vivariums come in all shapes and sizes, from small, in-home enclosures, to larger structures used in commercial settings such as zoos. Two of the most commonly seen vivariums are aquariums and terrariums.

Aquariums are not only the most popular type of vivarium today, but also a perfect example of a typical vivarium design. Aquariums must recreate an animal’s natural environment to the extent that the animal can survive and thrive, such as filling a tank with salt water to facilitate the natural life cycle of saltwater fish and other animals. However, humans routinely decorate aquariums with toys and artificial plants that, of course, would not be found in lakes or oceans.

A terrarium, on the other hand, often resembles an aquarium without water. Common animals kept in terrariums include land crabs, reptiles, and spiders. Some individuals prefer to use terrariums to safely house plants that rely on specific temperatures and other external factors. 

Finally, a combination aquarium-terrarium is often referred to as an aqua-terrarium. This type of vivarium is used for animals that require access to both land and water, such as certain types of newts and frogs.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Importance of Insurance Authorizations

An experienced healthcare and research professional, Devansh Parikh is an office manager at a busy medical clinic in Fayetteville, North Carolina. In this role, Devansh Parikh's responsibilities include patient coordination, patient database management, and staff management. Additionally, Mr. Parikh works with insurance companies to obtain insurance payments and authorizations.

An insurance authorization, also called a preauthorization or a prior authorization, is a requirement of many health insurance policies. At its most basic, an authorization indicates the insurance company has determined that the proposed treatment is medically necessary. 

This determination makes it more likely the insurance company will cover the procedure under the terms of the policy. Typically, the doctor’s office or medical facility will work with the insurance company to obtain the authorization, but patients should also contact their insurance companies to determine if an authorization is needed.

If an authorization is required but not obtained, a health insurance company may deny the payment, leaving the patient on the hook for possibly thousands of dollars. However, an authorization does not necessarily mean the insurance company will cover the entire bill. The amount covered depends on the insurance policy and applicable co-payments and out-of-pocket limits designated in the policy.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Sponges' Evolution-Linked Ability to Survive in Low-Oxygen Environs

Based in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Devansh Parikh engages with Rakesh Parikh, MD, PLLC, in an office secretarial role and coordinates patient care with health care providers. With a background in zoology, Devansh Parikh has a strong interest in aspects of the life sciences such as evolutionary biology. 

A recent article in Science Daily brought focus to the efforts of researchers at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich in understanding sponges, which inhabit a sister group to the full range of other animal phyla. A particular difference between sponges and nearly all other animals is that sponges require much less oxygen to survive and thrive. 

Other modern animals require a higher level of oxygen for survival, with their molecular systems enabling them to exert physiological adjustments in cases where oxygen levels are insufficient. This is accomplished through the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), a protein that serves as an oxygen sensor and informs the HIF signaling pathway.

The sponges’ lack of such an HIF signaling pathway, despite living in marine environments with a significant lack of oxygen, suggests that they evolved within the extremely oxygen-poor environments that may have existed more than 650 million years ago.