Showing posts from February, 2011

short and healthy

Twenty two years ago a group of researchers started studying a small village in South America. You might be asking yourself what's so interesting about this Ecuadorian village.

Well, it so happens that there's an unusually large percentage of people with Laron syndrome. A disease which involves mutations to the GHR (growth hormone receptor) gene. These mutations lead to severe GHR and IGF-1 (insulin like growth factor-1) deficiencies. Since insufficient growth hormone results in a failure to grow properly, this is a very height challenged group.

This study commenced in 1988, two years before the human genome project got underway. Back then we didn't have DNA microarrays to pinpoint which genes are being up and down regulated. Why am I mentioning this? Hell if I know.

In any case, the researchers commenced the project in an attempt to help the people with GHRD. But an interesting thing happened on the way to the forum.

These short people don't die of cancer or diabetes. Go…

Happy New Year

According to the Chinese, today is the first day of the year.

And since about a quarter of the Earth's population is living in China (1.3 billion strong!) their opinion has to count for something. Maybe a lot. And it means more each and every year.

In any case this is the year of the rabbit. The branch is 卯 Mǎo. Whatever the hell that means. According to Wiki there's no apt English translation. At least I know what a rabbit is. :-)

I work with several Chinese people and I received two New Year presents which are pictured here. I've had some types of mochi before and it's okay---the hot shredded radish worries me though. I'll try it---but I suspect it'll not like me.

恭喜发财 : Often mistakenly assumed to be synonymous with "Happy New Year", the usage of this phrase dates back several centuries. The first two words of this phrase have a long historical significance.

Legend has it that the congratulatory messages were traded for surviving the ravaging beast o…

Ground Hog?

No, not groundhog. I did mean ground hog. Or maybe ground dog.

This critter loves to play in the dirt and mud. She truly was meant to be a warthog, pig or some similar wallowing animal.

It's a testament to the cupidity of the gods that she was born with white fur. And that certainly helps sell lots of pet shampoo to a certain household. :-(

On the subject of Groundhog Day, it's warm here but overcast and windy---not much chance any groundhogs here would see their shadow. Now I just hope the warm weather arrives here to stay on schedule.

Groundhogs don't lie, do they?