The weird egg laying mammal with a duck’s bill on its face may hold the key to the problem of our antibiotics not working well against resistant bacteria and germs. Via Sky News:
A breakthrough by Australian scientists has found that the platypus – which is already a unique creature – is also in possession of fairly unique biochemistry.
Researchers from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Deakin University have discovered a special protein contained in platypus milk.
CSIRO scientist and lead author Dr Janet Newman said: “Platypus are such weird animals that it would make sense for them to have weird biochemistry.
“The platypus belongs to the monotreme family, a small group of mammals that lay eggs and produce milk to feed their young.
“By taking a closer look at their milk, we’ve characterised a new protein that has unique antibacterial properties with the potential to save lives.”
The study, published in Structural Biology Communications, finds that the way platypus mothers feed their young – which unusually for mammals hatch from eggs – has led to the antibacterial properties developing.
Platypus do not have teats, but instead express milk on to their belly where the young suckle it – meaning the milk becomes exposed to an environment where it could be contaminated by local bacteria.
Evolutionary processes have meant that the milk contains a special protein which protects the platypus babies against this bacteria.
Dr Julie Sharp of Deakin University said: “We were interested to examine the protein’s structure and characteristics to find out exactly what part of the protein was doing what.”
They found that the protein contained a unique 3D fold which had never been seen before in the structure of the molecule.
Platypus, funny face, savior of the human race? (Apologies to The Doors)
Which will come first, the Zombie Apocalypse, or the Cure from mammals who lay eggs?
MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals.
In 2 months, Lord willing, our fourth child will be born. He won’t be like the previous three. He has a rare heart configuration that essentially has his aorta and pulmonary artery switched up. There’s also a hole in the wall that separates the ventricles of his heart. His is a situation for which many parents would choose abortion.
They wouldn’t necessarily be perceived by society as cruel for doing so. It’s not like they would be doing it for the frivolous reasons that so many potential parents invoke in modern America. They would be doing it to prevent the child as well as their current families from having to suffer through expensive health conditions, multiple operations, and a life restrained by circumstance. There’s something noble about sparing someone from living a hard life, right?
No. There’s nothing noble nor humane about taking a human life at any stage of development. If given the choice in retrospect, would you rather go through the new challenges of a deformed heart that hampered you, the operations that constantly put you at risk, and the burden that comes to you and your family? Or, would you rather have never been born at all?
You or I can make this hypothetical choice because we’ve already been given the opportunity to live, to learn, and to grow in this world. I would challenge any God-fearing American’s honesty if they would have chosen a life cut short over a life of hardship.
Unfortunately, many couples or individuals in our situation would believe they were doing the humane thing by preventing those challenges from encompassing another’s life. They would likely be made to feel justified by their doctors who all-too-often condone or even encourage abortions when faced with the prospects presented to us.
Our doctor is different. She’s extremely caring and hopeful. She has never pushed us in the direction of abortion though she’s acknowledged that the option was on the table. Once we made it clear that the option wasn’t on our table, she never brought it up again. Today, I’ll be going in with my wife for our monthly checkup before the next phase of ongoing testing and monitoring begins. We’ll soon know some of our options on procedures to repair the heart or redirect blood flow. These are decisions that we’ve never had to make, but by the Grace of God we’re not discouraged. This is His child. We are here to bring him forth and to help him grow.
When abortions are done for frivolous reason, the lines are clearly drawn with very little doubt on either side of the aisle. When they’re done for reasons such as rape or incest, the line can be blurred a bit for some in the pro-life movement. In situations like ours, the lines are barely visible. Pro-life parents may feel justified to abort for the sake of their families and to prevent the pain and struggle that their child is certain to experience. To those of you in similar situations, please understand that everyone regardless of situation or condition has the right to live their lives. This isn’t a question of politics. It’s a cultural battle to define the God-given right of life itself even when that life is going to be hard.
Being blessed with great health and energy for almost all of my life, I found it disconcerting when I began to get tired at strange times in the day—like 1PM. The cure? Vitamin C and lots of it. An orange, a half of a grapefruit, the juice of a small lemon and a kiwi a day seem to have fixed the problem.
It seems so simple, doesn’t it? We all grow up being told to eat citrus fruit and to drink a lot of fruit juices. Well, I don’t drink juices—or soda—because they have too much sugar in them. I don’t even buy bread that has more than one gram of sugar in it. (The only area in which I break this rule: coffee.) Keeping sugar out of my diet has kept me from getting too humongous–a battle which members of my family fight, especially the women. So, I had been inconsistent in eating the good sugars. No more and those grapefruit(s) are tasty!
Another natural remedy I’ve used for a couple of years: apple cider vinegar. Members of both sides of my family also suffer from high blood pressure, beginning in the late 40s and I was no different. My pressure had been very low before that, but I noticed the up-creep; I was always right on the borderline of hypertension. I did not want to take prescription medication, so I searched online for natural remedies and consistently found a daily recommendation of 2 tablespoons of ACV with 8 ounces of water. Now, every time I go to the doctor and my vitals are check, my systolic is in the 120 range and my diastolic is in the 60-70 range. (I drink it with a straw so that it doesn’t damage the enamel of my teeth.)
I don’t recommend doing any of these things without doing your own home work first and checking with your doctor. I mention them merely because it seems to me that God has provided many of the cures for nagging issues and signs of aging (I’m 54). We only have to be looking for them. And in the age of Obamacare, it’s always a good idea to be looking for ways to avoid the healthcare system.
I also wonder whether much of the craziness we see around us stems from vitamin, mineral and other dietary deficiencies. Well, excuse me now; I think I need a burger. Beef.
There’s been some hints on twitter in terms of what’s been going on with me physically lately but I’ve not explicitly talked about it so as I’ve unexpected found myself with a day off, and home at 3 am on a sunday morning instead of at work let me explain.
What started a few weeks ago as a constant noise in the ear developed into fierce pain, dizziness, swelling in the ear, trouble keeping balance, and nausea to the point where I did something I hadn’t done in decades, went to the doctor. He was so shocked to see me show up in the office (no appointment) complaining of sickness on my own he actually found time to see me without much of a wait.
He initially diagnosed an ear infection which seemed to make sense, prescribed a course of antibiotics & told me to rest a few days saying if you’re not much better in under 48 hours to come back. As I wasn’t & DaWife wouldn’t let me wait a 3rd day she took me down and they hit me with IV antibiotics in the hopes of getting ahead of things.
We left the Doctor’s office & hit a local restaurant because I hadn’t eaten in two days when I noticed the straw felt wrong in my mouth, one side of my face had spontaneously collapsed, I looked with Popeye without the pipe, my wife fearing an allergic reaction (I have no history of allergies to anything short of liberalism) rushed me back where I became a sight of popular attraction curiosity among the staff and medical students who immediately arranged for me to be admitted to St. Vincent’s hospital in Worcester at once.
I hadn’t been admitted to a hospital in over 30 years and the only room they had was in the ICU. After a giving me a set of physical tests and examining me it turns out I have something that my own Leominster based Doctor had read about but never seen, Ramsey Hunt Syndrome.
It’s a form of shingles, based on the Chicken Pox virus (although the Russian based doctor at St. V’s made a cultural faux pas when explaining, saying I had herpes. That’s technically correct as the Chicken Pox virus is of that family but it provided a comic moment when I answered loudly “I have WHAT?!“. The wife and sons still regret that they were behind me & did not have camera phones at the ready).
My Doc missed it because until the Bell’s Palsy in the face is the classic sign of it. It’s viral so antibiotics are totally ineffective so I was put on some new anti-viral drugs (side effect of dizziness which added to my already unsteady footing) and a steroid anti-inflammatory for the ear inflammation (which apparently when your on it has interesting psychological effects so my own doc ordered a follow up to wean me from it before hey made me more wired than I already am). To a guy who doesn’t take aspirin it was weird to be on lots of meds
So I spent a week out of work in bed contagious and when I went back I was careful my boss & my co-workers kept a close eye & was given the OK to leave if wasn’t up to it. All my free time has been spent resting or online. I didn’t realize how bad I actually looked till Friday when I went out to a breakfast haunt I normally frequent and everyone was staring, they thought I had a stroke because of my walk and face.
The Doc checked on me Friday I’ve been slowly regaining control of the facial muscles on the right side of my face, I can whistle again, my balance is much improved and as of this writing I can with great effort close my right eye while leaving my left eye open (when I can blink alternatively at normal speed I’ll know I have it all back). If you haven’t seen me in some time you’ll instantly notice is wrong by my eye but the improvement seems steady.
On the down side I’m still getting the occasional stabbing pain in my right ear, but it only lasts a few seconds, the ringing in the ear has continued unabated (it’s particularly loud in settings like Eucharistic Adoration where there is no other background noise) and as I said I don’t have complete facial control. Doc said he expects these to go away but it could be six days, six weeks, six months or never, but there is nothing here that I can’t deal with after all it could have been much worse.
On the financial side our post Obamacare insurance is really bad so I’m worried about what the very short admission at St. V’s will cost & I’m out a week’s pay & hadn’t accused much if any sick time.
The most frustrating thing about it all is timing during the golden time of the most interesting primary season there has ever been I’ve been effectively grounded. It’s one thing to take a 15 minute drive to work late at night when there is no traffic, it’s another to drive to NH to cover primary events in my condition. Fortunately online other than my always horrible grammar none of the symptoms are apparently and my mind is no more diminished than my liberal friends always thought it was.
However if you’re wondering why I haven’t been on the ground lately up North as you might have expected, now you know.
Households are by no means locked into the same quintile over time. Young educated households with professional skills and aspirations will typically move into the higher earning brackets during their financial life cycles. Households dependent on income from unskilled labor and service employment will not see the same financial progress over the years.
They have several key charts, here is the one that caught my eye. (All emphasis mine)
And that average include people in much more dangerous jobs than playing & training to play football for 16 weeks a year that pay a lot less than football.
Consider what that means, based on 2013 numbers. If he doesn’t make another dollar till he’s 35 he will STILL have made more than the median household income than the avg american of his age will earn over that period of time. Additionally he will not have any student loans to pay back.
I have no problem with Mr. Borland’s decision. He has obviously used his free college education well and I’m sure even when the media interest fades he will be able to make a good living. Additionally he is new enough to football that he hasn’t gotten used to a lifestyle that demands an annual income of 500K or more. It’s a perfectly rational and sensible decision and I have no problem with it.
However a decision to continue to play football and earn another half million at a time in his life when he is likely a his peak physically is no less rational as would have been a decision to play a long career, make tens of millions and live the life and lifestyle of a such a person and be able to provide a comfortable living for generation of children & grandchildren.
Either of these choices to play or not to pay are rational, neither of these choices are “heroic”.
In an age when everybody is turning to surgery, pills & fad diets Ms. hudson has a method of maintaining a competitive physical shape that openly reinforces uncomfortable truth.
“You [have to] work your ass off, that’s the only way. [And] you have to eat right,”
Furthermore it’s a question of consistency:
“I wouldn’t say [I work out] a lot, just consistently…People think for some reason you have to work out for two and a half hours…but, it can be little. It can be 20 minutes, it could be 40 minutes, but you have to [get it in],” she said. “You can’t do like two weeks and go like do two days and then take a week off and then do three days and then go, ‘Why aren’t I [seeing results?] I don’t get it.’ You know, you just got to do it — sad, like anything else in life!”
Obviously as a person who doesn’t work out & eats wrong (but better than I once did) my opinion on health is not worth much so why am I bringing this up?
Because this applies to almost every single endeavor in life, from writing, to any kind of business to politics. People keep looking for a quick score or an angle it reminds me of what Max Hastings wrote about 3rd world armies who simply can’t get it through their heads the reality of relentless training as the secret to the success of British & American forces from his book The Battle for the Falklands
They all secretly believe that there is some pill you can take if you will tell them what it is.
But like those third world armies such as the arabs who routinely lost wars to Israel and to the mill if you are looking to get into Kate Hudson shape there is a simple answer
Hudson told Us. “Everybody wants some sort of secret and there just isn’t, it’s just you have to work out.”
It’s like the 10 commandments, easy rules are always the hardest to follow.
This is an important life lesson that’s worth learning
Malone:Everybody knows where the booze is. The problem isn’t finding it. The problem is who wants to cross Capone. Let’s go.
The Untouchables 1987
Henry Hill:They called him Jimmy the Gent…Drivers loved him. They used to tip him off about the really good loads, of course, everybody got a piece….And when the cops assigned a whole army to stop Jimmy, what did he do? He made them partners.
The most memorable moment from the time that I was going door to door trying to find advertisers for my now ex radio show was when I visited a doctor’s office in Fitchburg.
I pitched my show but he declined noting that there was a demographic difference between my audience and his patients were almost completely hispanic people on Mass Health (the pre-obamacare system).
Remembering the nature of my own immigrant grandparents and noting our shared nationality I commented that it must be a lean business as you had to drag my parents and grandparents to the Doctor and it took three hours of argument to convince my aunt to go to the Hospital for the treatment that saved her life.`
On the contrary, he said, since it was free the slightest twinge real or imagined and the families poured in to be seen (with his encouragement of course) and with the state paying all his billable hours payment was assured and steady. He wore a wide grin as he and spoke like gangster who had discovered the sweetest racket there had ever been.
To understand where he was coming from remember Fitchburg is a depressed city with a large segment of the population on assistance and a fair amount of the work available involve support for said people. To give you an illustration when the EBT system crashed a while back and Market Basket could not process cards the number of people in the Supermarket shopping was only slightly higher than during the Market Basket Strike.
As I was leaving he spoke a phrase about my city that has stuck with me ever since:
“Anyone in this city who doesn’t gear his business toward people on assistance is a idiot.”
Mind you everything he was doing was perfectly legal, he was playing the system and making a good living off of it.
Here in Liberia, everyone is excited about the millions of US dollars being poured in to “fight Ebola,” and everyone wants a piece of the pie. A certain NGO out in rural Liberia quarantined a village, claiming they’d tested and found three cases. They applied for and received US$ 250,000 to fight Ebola in this village. They brought in a few sacks of rice and some chlorine. The villagers mobbed the trucks and carried off the plunder. And, miracle of miracles, not a single person died in the village.
Great effort at treating and controlling Ebola? Or pretending there’s Ebola in order to pocket some easy cash? I’ve never heard of a 0% fatality rate for Ebola, but you make the call.
But these guys are pikers compared to the NGO’s
NGO’s spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to level earth with heavy equipment over a month in order to build tent cities capable of isolating and treating Ebola, but then not even giving them IV fluids or food, so that the Ebola patients sneak out of the tents and cross the street looking for food.
Dozens if not hundreds of US$70,000 Land Cruisers are taking foreigners around town to hotels, bars, clubs, and fancy guest houses so they can feel comfortable while they fight Ebola, and yet they can’t even collect the dead bodies that could expose so many more!
And there are low tech low cost solutions available after listing a few the author Dr. James Appelcloses:
All this could be done for a fraction of the current funds being used, and would be more effective, because the patients would all get the individual care that only a family member can give, including adequate food. It would also be more effective because you’d be using local methods and using the money to invest in the local economy instead of paying the high costs of plane tickets, salaries, living expenses, transportation costs, etc., of foreign aid workers.
I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be foreigners involved. I’m just saying that the foreigners should be workingalongside the Liberians, helping them to find a solution to the Ebola problem, not trying to impose Western ideas that obviously aren’t working. Foreigners should not be bringing in a lot of money that is spent on things that will just make the Liberians envious and want to share in the spoils of aid money.
Stacy’s piece starts with “SHOCKING” in all caps, I’m surprised at him, there is nothing shocking about this at all, we’ve seen it played out in this country for decades as favored organizations get govenment grants to solve inner city problems that somehow never go away or grants go to universities and companies that push the right agenda, all for our own good of course.
When you have a post Christian society and combine it with groups that make their living off of getting a piece of the tax pie why would they not see Ebola money as just another pie to get a piece of. In fact it’s even better than the normal rackets. After all the lack of success in inner cites gets noticed after a while and the lack of actual Global warming produces doubters over time but Ebola in Africa, that’s gold. It’s far enough away and in theory dangerous enough that those interested in seeing the truth are can’t do so easily. Sure the guest houses, hotels bars and clubs aren’t as swanky as a Global Warming conference in Europe & Japan but you’re still living good, getting paid and being treated like a hero for doing so.
With the western world in panic and the media INSISTING something be done and pols anxious to be seen as doing something and people can feel good about themselves for kicking in this vein has the potential to pay for a very long time before it mined out.
And as long as enough people in the government are getting their cut whose going to call you on it? Reporters afraid of getting infected? Christian missionaries whose very presence produces attack pieces in Slate or some a piece in a Seventh Day adventist journal nobody reads? Fuggedaboutit!
This is the reality of post Christian liberalism on a national and international scale, it has been the reality from the days of the great society to billions the Obama administration has spent to create jobs and it will remain so as long as those Federal checks keep clearing.
For those of you counting calories, here is something to smile about. This 105-year-old woman from Texas claims that eating bacon each day has helped her live a long life. From Today.com:
Cantrell does not need a cane or a walker and was still driving her own car at 104 years old until a bout of sickness in September of 2012.
“She had gone dancing just last October,’’ her daughter said. “This year she danced on her birthday. It’s unbelievable. And she still wants bacon for breakfast every day, so we take turns where I cook it for her at my house or she cooks it at her house.”
Cantrell gave birth to eight children, one of whom died at 9 months old, and five of the seven children she raised are still alive. When she wasn’t snacking on bacon at home, she would often get it at her favorite restaurant, the Little Yellow Duck in Richland Springs. She still eats two slices every morning for breakfast and sometimes also has two slices for lunch.