Saturday
Jul282018

Alzheimers....where we are, simply stated.

     Public media is saturated with "fear shots" directed to the "Baby-Boomers Turned Seniors".  Alzheimers is, of course, at the top of the list. Yes, we are all terrified at the prospect, much arising from our, at best faint, understanding of what the disease entails.  We've pretty much digested how the heart and lung problems actualize, but the Alzheimer onset knowledge is still pretty sketchy.  Most of us have figured out that it has something to do with "plaque in the brain".  Beyond this non-useful marker, we know not.

     Recently the press has reported some great news regarding a research breakthrough holding promise for, if not a cure, at least a mitigating treatment.  It helps some to report that the discovery involves a synthetic antibody called BAN2401 that seems to clear the plaque.  I think we seniors might feel a little more confident if the story was laid out in a non-technical illustration like the Plavix maker offers on TV for arterial blockage.  Since I don't know where such a simplified account is available, I am making my own, as best I understand.

 1.  The brain is a soft balloon like membrane enclosing liquid in which neuron cells kinda float.  The neuron cells are connected by thin protein strips that allow neurons to communicate .  The energy for this 24/7 talk show is sugar.

  2.  Much like blood cells in the blood stream there are many other cell structures in the brain fluid.  A notable structure is the astrocyte cells which surround the neurons and feed and protect the neuron cells.

  3.  Again, kinda like the immune cells in the blood stream that attack and neutralize blood stream bugs, the Astrocytes clear unwanted stuff from the brain fluid.  Among the things they clear are the bits of proteins  residual to the brain cells consumption of sugar.  Perhaps somewhat like ashes to a fire. These bits are named aB, or protofibris.

  4.  Apparently under normal conditions these Astrocyte cells ingest and digest these sugar bits, but in the case of persons showing Alzheimer symptoms, it is conclusive that these Astrocyte cells don't digest the sugar bits.  They just hold the bits which accumulate until they leak out of the Astrocyte cells and cause their toxic content (plaque) to kill the neuron cells, therby reducing brain functioning.

  5.  In this latest reported discovery, the researchers have fashioned a protein that when introduced into the brain fluid attaches to the plaque released by the bloated Astrocytes and neutralizes the toxic plaque in such a way that it will no longer stick to the neuron cells.  What happens to the protein fragments produced by the plaque encounter with the antobody proteins, I couldn't decipher.

     It seems to me that the novel element in this process is that the researchers can map the AB protein and literally manufacture  an injected man made protein that renders the assailant inactive.  In my mind, I think of as being kinda like, encapsulating asbestos so it can't be inhales by humans. 

     Anyway, it is tenative good news.

Saturday
Jul282018

McCaskill BS

     If asked, do I want dumb and bloated Claire McCaskill to win the upcoming Senate race in Missouri, I would answer, Putin style, "Yes I do, yes I do, because it might help convict Trump, when, as, and if impeached by the House".  Other than for this prospective benefit, "no" and I don't even know the Republic challenger.  Does it therefore follow that I support "all possible tactics" in her re-election campaign?  Answer, probably "yes" given my No-Trump imperative, but......hyping the "poor me, I'm being attacked by the Russians" nonsense, is borderline. 

     We all know that actual detail is irrelevant in broad claims of abuse, be it economic, sexual, criminal or political.  Cable news wants, and only needs, just a headline to start a partisan speculation frenzy.  Such is the case related to McCaskill's identity as the newest Russian "campaign interference target".  As the quietly reported facts indicate, about 10 months ago Microsoft was able to isolate a fake password reset page traceable to a Russia origin delivered to a McCaskill staff computer.  That appeared to be credible evidence that someone was phishing for an email entry.  Microsoft blocked the clandestinly delivered page and that was that.  Ten months later a Microsoft rep mentioned the block and Politico, a news agency unraveled and publicized.  This allowed the McCaskill campaign to acknowledge and amplify.

     Given McCaskill's eroded support in a Trump enamored State, she can't campaign on "Dump Trump".  What's left....scare all the on the fence independents and the rural/gullible Republicans with with what half the people in Southern Missouri already fear is an imminent takeover by Putin.

     Pretty sleazy, but hope it works, although even if she wins, it is likely that she will not stand strong.  She voted for Trump Tax and Gorsuch. She's just a nice old rich lady not out to make enemies during her "sundowner" years.

Thursday
Jul262018

Hey "SoyBoy"....get some "TRT"

     Credible Science Research Labs around the world have recently been sounding an alarm regarding "male sperm".  Yes, apparently there is strong evidence that the western world male sperm count has dropped by as much as 59% in the last generation.  Talk about an existential threat.  Apparently this situation has not yet translated into infertility increases nor birth rate decreases, but is nevertheless a cause for alarm.  To the obvious question of "why", the speculations are all over the board.  The strongest "why" talking point seems to be the cultural shift deemphasizing male competition.  Other suspects include diet (soy products are suspect), sun exposure, internet porn, etc.  Two good thing arising from this reveal are that there is first, a whole bunch of .com startups selling test kits to anyone worried about their DNA future, and second that they're selling a helleva lot of "TRT", Testosterone Replacement Therapy"  Of course, we, who are much retired from the reproduction sub-culture, are having a hard time imagining why, in todays dystopian world, ""Sean, the SoyBoy" is so anxious to create "SoyBoy 2.0" 

Tuesday
Jul242018

A Quiet Tuesday Thought

When, as, and if, One seriously considers that he is but a chance expression of a gene pool acting out according to his arbitrary cultural constraints.....well then, it is hard to believe in "free will", or indeed anything.... except an imperative to discover the nature of his consciousness!

Saturday
Jul212018

Pinduoduo....disintermediating China!

     I don't know how, or if, the word translates to English.  I do know that it is the name of China's newest Cyber Shopping App.  The App has gone viral in 2018 and may restructure how "staple" products are distributed in China. Enabled by Social Media, the idea is simple.  Clusters of "friend groups" pool their individual buying appetites via Social Media and disintermediate retail/wholesale providers by placing aggregated orders directly with manufactures/farmers. 

     Further, complementing this aggregated order trend, it is apparent from watching Alibaba's declining "minimum quantity restrictions", that over the years, Chinese providers are every more efficient at fulfilling small orders. The combined effect is that it has opened a first path to a "no-middleman" economy.  Better make it, or grow it, or retire!

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