The ABC’s Of Health
By Dr. Jo Gjelsten
Strange, But True!
It's been a long hot, rainy summer, and this month we mark the anniversary of the tragedy of Sept. 11th. The economy is a mess, and there’s nothing but bad news, so I decided to give you the latest "interesting but strange", (to me at least), Science News so you can laugh instead of cry into your beer.So here you are: Under, “Do You Believe That?” I give you:“South Korean Scientists Create Glowing Dog” "A research team from Seoul National University (SNU) said the genetically modified female beagle, named Tegon (Korean for, “What The Hell?”) and born in 2009, has been found to glow fluorescent green under ultraviolet light if given a doxycycline antibiotic, the report said. The researchers, who completed a two-year test, said the ability to glow can be turned on or off by adding a drug to the dog's food.The scientist said that because there are 268 illnesses that humans and dogs have in common, (give that dog a hanky!), creating dogs that artificially show such symptoms could aid treatment methods for diseases that afflict humans. (?) The latest discovery published in 'Genesis', an international journal, took four years of research with roughly 3.2 billion won ($3 million) spent to make the dog (make the dog?) and conduct the necessary verification tests,” (whatever they are, tests to, uh see if we have a dog or a neon sign here).(Three billion “ won”, pronounced, “won”,is a lotta “won” for a dog, but her glow-nesscomes in handy when she does herbusiness at night in the backyard.Maybe we should put this stuff in the food of our enemies).And, under “Freaky!“ Why Diets Don't Work: Starved Brain Cells Eat Themselves, Study Finds"A report in the August issue of the Cell Press journalCell Metabolismmight help to explain why it's so frustratingly difficult to stick to a diet. When we don't eat, hunger-inducing neurons in the brain start eating bits of them-selves. (gag) That act of self-cannibalism turns up a hunger signal to prompt eating.”(Ok, now that I know this I promise never to go hungry again, ever, never, ever). Nex up: Bear Bile Chemical CouldHelp Keep Hearts in Rhythm(When I think heart rhythm, I think bear bile, always.) “A synthesized compound which is also found in bear bile could help prevent disturbances in the heart's normal rhythm, according to research published in the journal Hepatology by a team from Imperial College London. (Yes, and now that I know this I’ll never be hungry again. Never, ever, never). And where did they find a bear in London? Ok, put down your sandwich for this one: The Bellybutton Bacteria Culture "Nina Rountree from North Carolina State University and colleagues set out to dispel the myth that all bacteria on the skin are disease-causing germs."Thanks Nina. "The researchers cultured the bacterial communities living within bellybuttons of 391 individuals from across the U.S. and published photos of the cultures anonymously in the online Bellybutton Bacteria Culture database”. (I can't stand it.) “The Bellybutton Bacteria Culture database received 55,000 visitors in only three months.”(People have too much time on their hands I’m thinking, anda warped sense of what is entertainment, just look at TV for 5 minutes).Making Sperm from Stem Cells in a Dish (Ok, not the mashed potato dish you use for Thanksgiving, please). “Researchers have found a way to turn mouse embryonic stem cells into sperm. (Oh great). This finding, reported in the journalCell in a special online release on August 4th, opens up new avenues for infertility research and treatment”.(Who’s Your Daddy? Ok, don’t panic, it was mouse sperm. Ok, panic.) And finally:New Rules Urged on Hybrid Animal-Human Experiments. New rules? There were Old Rules? “Chinese scientists have already introduced human stem cells into goat fetuses and U.S. researchers have studied the idea of creating a mouse with human brain cells -- though they have not actually done so.” (And now that I know this, I’ll never eat goat cheese again, never, ever, never). “In addition to helping fight debilitating diseases, humanized animals have played a pivotal role in developing new treatments for infertility.” (Now they’ve gone too far).“(other) important animal research models included a Down's syndrome mouse (And where did they find a Down’s Syndrome Mouse???) with some 300 human genes, and one with 95 percent of its liver derived from human cells”. (The mouse has reportedly joined AA since it realized that a 10 step program is the only way to un-pickle its liver of human cells). But wait, there’s more:“A public opinion poll carried out for the report found general support for research into animals containing human material, (OMG!) if it was conducted to improve human health.” (Now the new definition of human may include the partly human mice, so they really should have an up or down vote in this). ”But there were serious concerns voiced about experiments involving the brain, (hahahaha, I can’t stand it… really?) the potential fertilization of human eggs or sperm in an animal, and giving animals human characteristics such as facial features or speech.” (Yeah, that’s what it said. .) "If you come home and your parrot says 'Who's a pretty boy?' that's one thing. But if your monkey says it that's something else," …. Then we’ll have to look for good preschools, set up college funds; get diversity training, and find new friends for them. No problem. Copyright August 12, 2011
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