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Showing posts from September, 2016

DON'T WORRY BE HAPPY

The premise that genes control life is known as biology's Central Dogma. But what is coming into clearer light is that in order for genes to be activated something in the environment must act as a trigger. Epigenetics is the study of the molecular mechanisms by which environment controls gene activity, and today it is one of the most prolific areas of scientific inquiry. The answer is not some quick fix prescription drug. Remember, every time a drug enters the body to correct one function, it invariably throws off several other necessary functions. A phenomenon all too familiar to anyone who has experienced side effects from a drug. For example, anti-histamines used to treat allergies also act on the brain to produce drowsiness, a side-effect that is either celebrated or deplored depending on the occasion. There is a time to doze, AND IT IS NOT WHILE READING THIS POST! That we are more than just our DNA is evidenced by the fact that our chromosomes or set of inheritable traits are…

OUR APPETITE FOR FLESH

On January 20, 2016, NASA reported that 2015 was the warmest year ever recorded on earth by the largest margin on record. This makes the fourth year in the 21st century that a new global record has been set. Should we be concerned? If you believe climatologists, 97 percent of whom agree that there is a global warming trend and that human beings are the main cause - then yes.

The question is, what can we do? I mean at an individual level. We can wait until we are blue in the face for legislation to make profound changes in the way we live, or some life-saving technology to come around, but this may never occur, and if it does, what if it is too late, or we are no longer around?

Alexander Imich is the world's oldest validated male supercentenarian, having turned 111 on Feb. 4, 2014. Born in Poland in 1903, he lived in New York until his death later that year. When the supercentenarian was asked his secrets of longevity, Imich credited not drinking alcohol, quitting smoking, playing mu…

JIHAD

JIHAD [jəˈhäd] n. 1. A war or struggle against unbelievers.
2. The spiritual struggle within oneself against sin.
     -The Oxford English Dictionary


Funny thing how I learned about ISIS. I was channel surfing one night when I came across this Saturday Night Live skit parodying a Toyota commercial. A father drops his daughter off for what looks like her first day of college, only he's leaving her with a jihadist training group. "Take care of her," dad tells the bearded man wielding a machine gun. "Death to America," the man sternly replies before speeding off amidst screeching tires and gunshots. Of course the skit sparked outrage and inflamed online protests against the tastelessness of the current comedic landscape. I thought it was rather funny. The daughter, played by Dakota Johnson of Fifty Shades of Grey fame, is white, just as I am white. Call me naive, but I always thought that, just like you needed to be black in order to be a member of the Crips or the …