February 27, 2008
Came across this cute little article today on abc.com.
Owning a pet cat may help your heart
If you’re not allergic to them, having a cat might be great for your heart.
According to researchers at the University of Minnesota, people who don’t own a cat have about a 40 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease.
Scientists don’t know why, but say their best guess is that having a pet relieves stress and anxiety.
Sorry dog owners — researchers found no protective relationship between man and his so called “best friend.” However, that could be due to the limitations of the study, and not a conclusion about dogs specifically.
February 22, 2008
As many of you know, I got the Planet Earth series for Valentine’s Day because it is awesome. This video is making the rounds on the internet right now. It is an immature, profanity laced spoof of scenes from the breath taking documentary. I warn you not to click unless you are feeling distinctly like a 12 year old boy. I thought it was cute/funny, but that could just be because I feel a little punchy after a long day.
December 7, 2007
Encouraging new research published in Science indicates that stem cells can be used to cure sickle cell anemia. The study used iPS cells and was done in mice. The sickle cell mice were treated with iPS therapy, and cured of the sickle cell without complication. The expected complications of using iPS in treatment are rejection and tumor growth. Rejection was controlled in this experiment, because the cells were identical (because they came from the mice) and it has been 4 months and still no tumor development. There is a lot of support for using the iPS cells they come from skin, not from embroynic cells.
“Induced pluripotent stem, or iPS, cells, are virtually identical to embryonic stem cells. They can morph into all of the more than 200 cell types in the body but are derived from skin, not from embryos. Mouse iPS cells were first derived earlier this year, and scientists reported last month to great fanfare that they had created similar cells from human skin.”
Although it will be many years before this technique could start appearing in humans clinically, it is still promising. The sickle cell diseases are just one group of genetics disorders, thousands of other genetic disorders could potentially be helped with similar technology. Although these “alternative” stem cells are showing great promise, most prominent geneticists want to clear up any confusion about the cells. They are inferior to using embryonic stem cells. Hopefully the world will just appreciate this discovery for the medical miracle it is and not attempt to use it for propaganda. The iPS stem cells have been touted by President Bush and some religious conservatives as the perfect and equal alternative to stem cells. But in reality, embryonic stems would make the research far simpler and expedite the discovery process.
Scientists Cure Mice Of Sickle Cell Using Stem Cell Technique
Read the full Article By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 7, 2007
November 8, 2007
I encourage you to all look for videos of cats “making biscuits”. It is the cutest process ever. Apparently when cats are tired they like to move their hands like they are making biscuits on something. Nutmeg ( my cat) does a version but it is no where near as cute. There are clearer videos on youtube of the process, but this is cat is too cute, he looks so tired.
October 22, 2007
You are probably not going to believe this story, so here is the link. A senior government official in India was attacked by a gang of monkeys and died yesterday. The story goes, New Delhi Deputy Mayor S.S. Bajwa was attacked by a group of wild monkeys and as a result fell from a balcony at his home. He died of his head injuries. Apparently the monkeys hang out at all of the big homes, temples, and official buildings and are a major problem.
“New Delhi Deputy Mayor S.S. Bajwa was rushed to a hospital after the attack by a gang of Rhesus macaques, but succumbed to head injuries sustained in his fall, the Press Trust of India news agency and The Times of India reported.”