Archive for November, 2010
Okay, I’ve come to terms with the fact that Christmas is coming soon. It seems to have snuck up fast (although I’m beginning to think that it does that every year.) Once November started, Santa set up shop taking pictures in the middle of the mall. This is the time of giving gifts and receiving gifts. It’s the time of rushing to the store, and trying to beat closing time to get the last minute gifts (after finally figuring out what to buy to begin with). It’s the time of wonderfully smelling houses with more food cooking than what could More >
The word “factor” is often seen used in manuscripts of molecular biology and biochemistry as a fancy way of saying unknown. Before the inner workings of complex genetic of molecular pathways are understood, there are often clues that suggest the presence and operation of certain unknown and unnamed components which might be labeled factor for lack of a better term (e.g. transcription factor, or translation initiation factor). Later these factors may become well described; sometimes the term factor is dropped or in some cases, especially where it was applied to a single instance of what is a large family of More >
There are bitter taste receptors lining the smooth muscle that surrounds airway passages that lead to the lungs. These are the same receptors found on the tongue. It is well known that the ability to taste bitter has evolutionary benefits. For example, bitter tasting toxins can be detected in foods, and thereby avoided or at least regulated; meaning you won’t eat too much of something that tastes really bad!
Interestingly enough, inhalable toxins can be detected in airways, just like they would be on the tongue. The airway response to detection is what’s most interesting. One school of thought is that More >
Calling Autism a disorder is a bit misleading. The term “Autism” is really a category for a spectrum of disorders including Autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative disorder, Rett syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental disorder. Those afflicted with these disorders often share difficulties in communication and social interactions. Some cannot speak or maintain eye contact. Some have repetitive routines and an obsessive attention to certain details. In the United States, an estimated 1 in 110 children has an autism spectrum disorder and for the past several years, it’s been on the minds of many researchers around the world.
For the past several More >