THE HUMAN GENOME PROJECT: DNA Declassified

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The Human Genome Project is an international research effort to characterize the genomes of human and selected model organisms through complete mapping and sequencing  of their deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA. A relatively new field of research, bioinformatics  began in the 1960s with the efforts of Margaret O. Dayhoff and other noted researchers. A google report classifies it as a nebulous term that encompasses molecular evolution, biological modeling, biophysics, and systems biology. has been developed in part to address the computing challenges raised by this project.

The Human Genome Project was basically a race between three organizations to map and sequence DNA ( deoxyribonucleic acid). The three groups were a private lab called Celera Genomics, a public company in London and the U.S. HGP (Human Genome Project), funded by the DOE (Department of Energy) and the NIH (National Institute of Health). The fifteen year project started in 1990.

a genome

The genome is the genetic blueprint of a human being. It is the complete collection of an organism’s genetic material. The human genome is made up of approximately 31,000 genes located on 23 pairs of chromosomes in a human cell. A single human chromosome may have more than 250 million DNA base pairs. It is estimated that the entire human genome consists of about 3.1 billion base pairs.

a gene

Genes carry information for making protein required organisms. These proteins determine an organisms appearance , metabolism, immunity, behavior and more.

This study’s goal was the understanding of genetic disease and human evolution. It was a major undertaking to identify all 30,000 DNA genes, determine the sequence of the 3 billion chemical base pairs that make up the human DNA, storing this information in databases, improving tools for data analysis, transferring related technology to the private sector and addressing the legal, ethical and social issues that arose.

The database has opened the door to the possibility of tailor-made treatments based on an individual’s  unique genetic makeup. Research has lead to more effective “Gene Therapy. The ultimate goal of this research was the cure and elimination of devastating inherited disorders.

All of the genetic information for a human being is packed into 23 pairs of chromosomes. The most important component of a chromosome is the single continuous molecule of DNA. The double-stranded molecule is shaped like a twisted ladder. It is made of nucleotides, which are linked chemical compounds.  Each nucleotide has three parts: deoxyribose which is a sugar, a phosphate compound and any of four bases- adenine, guanine, thymine or cytosine. The genetic code is specified by the order of these four bases referred to as the DNA ladder.

There are two main categories of gene mapping techniques. The first is linkage, or genetic mapping developed by American geneticist Thomas Hunt, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology in 1933 for this procedure. The other category is physical mapping. It is a more precise method that places genes at specific databases from one another. Physical mapping uses a combination of robotics, lasers and computers.

This project successfully identified the genes responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington’s disease and genetic breast cancer.

 

Works Cited:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Genome_Project

INFLAMMATION

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“Inflammation drives the aging process faster than any  other biomarker”says  Tasneem Bhatia in “The 21 Day Belly Fix” Causes of dangerous inflammation stem from many sources including physical and microbial attacks, arthritis, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, gum disease, tendinitis and beyond.

Chronic inflammation results when the body believes it is under constant attack igniting the immune system into a continuous mode of defense. Chronic inflammation leads to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and other equally frightening and deadly diseases.

When inflammation strikes the different areas of the body there are ways to relieve it.

Arthritis is relieved by avoiding the protein found in wheat and wheat products. Wheat protein can also cause inflammation in individual joints, bowels and lungs. Wheat protein allergy may produce asthma.

Asthma is a lung issue causing inflammation and is worsened by alcohol and even wine consumption caused by the sulfate content.

Body inflammation is eased by consuming anti-inflammation foods such as tomato,olive oil, green leafy vegetables, broccoli,  nuts, fatty fish; salmon, tuna, snapper, halibut, cod and bass, oranges, berries, pineapple, ginger, turmeric and garlic. Beneficial vitamins are Vitamins C & K.

Bowels & Bloating  to relieve inflammation cut emulsifiers which are mainly found in processed foods. Emulsifiers include: lecithin, mono and diglycerides, polysorbates and “esters”. Avoid red meat limiting its consumption. Consuming good oils such as olive, canola, sunflower and safflower helps decrease inflammation. Kombucha tea made from a SCOBY is greatly beneficial.           https://draxe.com/7-reasons-drink-kombucha-everyday/

Brain inflammation is relieved by ingesting healthy fats of which olive oil is a great choice containing oleic acid and omega 9 fatty acid. Fat soluble vitamins A, C, E and K are good for fighting inflammation. Five servings of nuts per week is helpful. A serving is 18-28 kernels. Good nut choices are almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts. Sunflower seeds are another good choice. Nuts & seeds provide Omega 3. Avocado is a good inflammation controller. Avocados contribute 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including 6% of the recommended Daily Value (DV) for vitamin E, 4% vitamin C, 10%folate, 11% fiber, 2% iron, 6% potassium and 136 micrograms of lutein per 50g serving.

EYES are adversely affected by caffeine to green tea containing polyphenols or natural plant compounds like catechins, theaflavins, tannins, and flavonoids.

Heart inflammation is reduced by consuming nuts (5 servings per week) and good oils.

Joint inflammation and individual cell damage caused by excessive inflammation  is reduced by omega 3 fatty acid and by watching what is eaten good foods for this include: fatty fish and turkey containing B6, good oils, nuts, fruits especially berries, cherries and pineapple, ginger, garlic, basil, thyme,oregano, cumin, turmeric, chili powder 70% or more dark chocolate and green tea.

Lungs  are relieved from inflammation by beta carotene found in papayas, pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato and more.  Nuts especially almonds, cod liver oil capsules, vitamin A, D, E and the mineral magnesium are beneficial.

Nasal  inflammation-  try using a humidifier or vaporizer, take long showers or breathe in steam from a pot of warm (but not too hot) water, drink lots of fluids, use a nasal saline spray, try a neti pot, nasal irrigator, or bulb syringe, sit a warm, wet towel on your face, prop yourself up.

Periodontal Disease is relieved by using an aloe vera rinse or gel which attacks unhealthy bacterias.

Psoriasis responds to omega 3 fatty acids found in good oils especially canola, wild rice, eggs, soy beans, walnuts & enriched dairy products.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)  inflammation is increased by strenuous exercise like golf (extensive walking), tennis, softball, baseball, weight lifting, martial arts, basketball, cycling, hiking, etc. RA victims need stretching and  low impact exercise.

Tendonitis and Achilles Heel is relieved by stretching and extending.

Works Cited:

Perring, Stephen, The Anti-Inflammation Checklist, AARP Magazine Dec. 2017 pgs 26-27

https://www.healthline.com/health/rheumatoid-arthritis/foods-that-reduce-inflammation

10 Top Foods That Prevent Inflammation in Your Body

https://www.webmd.com/allergies/sinus-congestion#1

Wild Cherry Jelly or Jamb?

If I had a nickle for every time even as an adult I’ve stuck a twig of 1 kind or another into my mouth just to have something to chew on; folks I could take you all out for steak and lobster and still have change in my purse.

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When I was in my 20’s and 30’s I harvested wild cherries and made homemade jelly. Oh! Wild cherry jelly is a marvelous treat. Those cherries are so bitter raw, they are inedible. It takes cups of sugar to tone them down. The finished product causes the partaker to mutter an AHHH with cheeks and tongue puckering and eyes getting big as moon flowers. It is an acquired taste. Once hooked it is a delicacy forever craved by the remembering pallette.

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So where’s the jamb in this? Well! For all those twigs I chawed on during my jelly making days I guess I never tackled a cherry branch. In fact it’s evident that I did not. You see the foliage and twigs of wild and even domestic cherries release cyanide when broken down. So much so that there are reports that some folks have made poison darts from the bark of the cherry and also elderberry tree. Just as it is important to guard what comes forth from our mouths, it is vital to know what’s going in.

Safe Wild Cherry Jelly- Cherokee Grandmother’s Recipe

Start with 7 to 8 lbs of ripe wild cherries

You will need (2) 1.75 Oz boxes of pectin & 9 cups sugar, a potato masher, a sturdy fine mesh sieve or strainer, a ladel & canning tongs, a 2 gallon or 8 quart heavy sauce pan, a 1 gallon/4 quart heavy sauce pan, a large at least 5-6 quart bowl & 3-4 sheets of cheesecloth. Wash cherries, remove stems but pitting is not necessary. Place in large sauce pot, add enough water just to almost cover as cherries will provide some juice, 4 cups water maximum & simmer for 20 full minutes. Do not boil.  Do not cover. After 10 minutes mash with potato masher every 5 or 6 minutes until time is up.  Place strainer/sieve over bowl and add 3-4 cups of cherries at a time using a large spoon to press through discarding peels & pits as you go. For very clear jelly you will clean strainer & put it over smaller pan lining it with cheesecloth 3 or 4 pieces deep. Pour juice through do not press or squeeze cheesecloth as this defeats the purpose. This should make 7-8 half pints or 4 pints. I like pints so I prepare 4 pints & 2 half pints just to be safe in case there isn’t enough to finish the 4th. Amount varies depending on the fruit. Prepare your jars & lids. Add pectin to juice bring to a full boil which cannot be stirred down, add sugar all at once mixing and stirring for 1 full minute remove from heat. Skim foam off with a spoon. Ladle into jars, leave about 1/4 inch head space, wipe jar rims well, add rings & waterbath 5 minutes. Set individually out on towels & don’t move until sealed & cooled. Use any jar that perhaps does not seal at once. My 1st try many years ago did not set properly. I used it as syrup. Beginners do not be discouraged. From then on it always set well. The 1st batch can be tricky but the more often you make jelly & jam the better it turns out.

 

 

 

Easing Senior Arthritic Pain

Arthritic joint and muscle pain is often caused by a substance called fibrin. Fibrin is defined in the Biochemistry dictionary as an insoluble protein formed from fibrinogen during the clotting of blood. It forms a fibrous mesh that impedes the flow of blood. Fibrin creates long tough strands of insoluble protein that bind to platelets. These strands bind around joints and are found on and surrounding the joints of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.

The normal human body produces proteolytic enzymes which destroy fibrin. As the body ages the ability to produce these enzymes lessens. It becomes noticeable in the mid 20’s and worsens from there on. The exact age varies from person to person, however by 50’s – 70’s it takes ingestion of proteolytic enzymes to maintain an ample supply to destroy fibrin and eliminate its ability to create pain.

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Certain foods destroy proteolytic enzymes and should be seriously considered in the diet of an arthritis pain sufferer. One of these problem causers is gluten. Gluten is a protein source found in wheat, barely and rye.   All forms of wheat contain gluten. Some other everyday foods contain gluten examples are pasta and beer.

Another culprit that should be limited and or avoided is processed food. Processed foods contain added salt, sugars and unhealthy fats. A 2016 research study showed that processed foods contribute almost 60% of calories and 90% of excess sugar in the American diet. Pizza, french fries, peanut butter and many cereals are examples of processed foods.

Blackened foods are another killer of proteolytic enzymes. The summer grill provides wonderful flavor however, if the pain outweighs the taste consume in moderation.

Alcohol is a major destroyer of this vital enzyme. Many people consume 7 or more alcoholic beverages daily. 1 or 2 is enough to add to arthritic pain.alcohol

White sugar and its imitators create great damage. Hard to avoid? Maybe, but definitely worth the effort if pain is severe.

To add new proteolytic enzymes to your body eat raw fruits & vegetables as often as possible. Salads are wonderful choices. In the summer months consume fresh fruits and vegetables while the supplies last. Bromelain found in pineapple  and pa-pain found in papaya are full of proteolytic enzymes. 

a fruit 

Year round sources of proteolytic enzymes include asparagus, unpeeled apples, figs and both black and green tea. All are wise choices containing rutin. Rutin is a prime replenisher of necessary enzymes to reduce pain. Citric bioflavonoids are also high in Proteolytic enzymes and found in all citrus fruits.

Turmeric containing curcumin is an especially important source of proteolytic enzymes. Learn to use it like it was salt. Put it in vegetables, soups, salad dressings, Mexican dishes. Adding it to chicken broth and egg yolks (deviled eggs) creates a deep rich yellow color.

                    a spice

Ginger is a great choice. Ginger root tea hot or cold is a good refresher and supplier of proteolytic enzymes. Recipe: Boil 4 cups of water add ginger root ( cut a 2 inch piece, peel & grate), slice 1 lemon peel and all. Add grated ginger and lemon to water. Steep 5 minutes. Strain and add honey to taste. Serve hot or chill. Ginger is also a good taste enhancer in many food creations including oriental and many sauces, glazes and marinades

With just a little effort you can reduce the pain caused by inflammation and bone reduction brought on by fibrinogen right in your own kitchen.

Works Cited:

https://securessl.naturalhealthreports.net/products/136/5-worst-foods-for-arthritis-and-joint-pain?utm_type=paid&utm_source=Google&utm

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/processed-

 

Bionics AKA Cybernetics

 

 

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Biological neural network  “Bionics” is the science which combines biological organs to technological interfaces. This direct interface technique uses a BNN (biological neural network. Some aspects of this technology are not new. The first heart pacemaker was implanted in 1960.  The older technology used electrodes to stimulate and manipulate existing biological organs. The pacemaker uses electrodes giving the heart muscle a mild electrical shock to stimulate a more consistent heart rhythm. The latest advancements use the direct neurological interface.  Technology has reached a level of sophistication allowing electrodes to be directly interfaced to human nerve tissue.  This direct interface uses what is known as biological neural networking. BNN has the ability to respond to thought. This process is known as open loop. It has the ability to stimulate feedback, known as closed loop. An individual who has a BNN closed loop artificial limb will have feeling in the limb. Imagine an artificial leg allowing the user to feel when he steps on a pebble.The Bnn is interfaced in the different methods of: interface to biology, biology to interface and biology to interface to biology.

 

Input-open loop BNN is a process called interface to biology and is the use of an electronic device to stimulate existing nerves. This is the first component of a BNN  interface and the simplest form of bionics. This is the oldest and most tested of bionic applications. The first example of of this procedure is the pacemaker. Devices have been implanted to stimulate hearing, sight, bladder control and breathing.

 

The second example of interface biology allows people without sight to see. Many blinding disorders are due to photoreceptor or outer retinal degeneration or destruction.  Lab experiments and clinical trials have been done in blind patients.  Results show that in an otherwise totally blind eye, controlled electrical stimulation in patterns can produce vision compatible with limited mobility and can generate shapes in the forms of large letters. These patients also often describe seeing color and direct movement.

 

A third example is for use in urogenital control. This is extremely useful for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). The function of this type of prosthesis is to aid in bladder control.

 

The last example is the breathing pacemaker. These are designed to improve the life of people with ailments such as: SCI or disease, including quadriplegia,  central alveolar hypoventilation, decreased day or night ventilator drive (i.e. sleep apnea, Ondine’s Curse, brain stem injury or disease, including co-morbidity of hiccups, diaphragm myoclonus and diaphragmatic/phrenic nerve stimulator that provides support for patients with chronic ventilator insufficiency whose diaphragm, lungs and phrenic nerves have residual function.

 

Output-open loop is the process of biology to interface allowing the subject to interact directly with the device. The emergence of this technology involves allowing the patient to interact directly with a computer or electronic device. This is the second component of a BNN interface and is connected primarily with human output.  The major output that researchers are working to integrate is communication.The main purpose of this process is to provide speech where it would otherwise be impossible.

 

Input and out-closed loop is the process of biology to interface biology. This process is used in artificial limbs. These devices incorporate the other two types of interfaces into one technological miracle.  This system receives signals from the neurological system and processes those signals into movement, then sends a sensory signal back to the biological neural system that movement was successful. These actions stimulate actual feeling in some cases subjects with severed spinal columns have been able to move both legs. Much once thought impossible grows more possible by the moment.

Works Cited:

https://www.livescience.com/12954-bionic-humans-artificial-limbs-technologies.html

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/the-insane-and-exciting-future-of-the-bionic-body-918868/

 

Biometrics: Unique Physical Body Demographics

 

 

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Biometric technology is used in the security industry. It in integrated  with other authentication applications and technologies such as: domain access, single sign-on, smart cards, encryption, remote access and digital signatures. Biometrics authenticates a person based on physical body demographics and or behavioral characteristics. You are your own password. Passwords and pin numbers can be easily compromised Biometrics gives  stronger alternative security.

 

The biometric solution can be based on physical or characteristic attribute recognition. Examples of physical attributes include ear, face, finger geometry, fingerprint, hand geometry, iris and retina. Characteristic attributes include gait, odor, signature, typing pattern and voice. These are the most common biometric solutions available.

 

Fingerprinting is the most common biometric technology. It is the common ink-and-roll procedure used in booking suspects or conducting criminal investigations. Forensic scientists use fingerprint applications in large scale (million plus)  database searches. Today’s most popular fingerprint scanning techniques include optical, silicon and ultrasound. Optical scanning is the oldest and most commonly used. The user typically places their finger on a clear scanning platform. A device converts the image using dark ridges and light valleys into a digital signal using an automatic contrast adjuster.

 

Silicon technology began in the late 1990’s. It has gained acceptance since its inception. It relies on direct-current capacitance. A silicon sensor acts as one plate of a capacitor with a finger being another. Software converts capacitance between plate and finger into a digital image. Generally silicon produces a better quality image than an optical approach. The newest and most accurate technology is the ultrasound. It can penetrate dirt and residue. Optical’s inability to master this is its main drawback. Ultrasound scans are more expensive but more precise.

 

Integrity with biometric scanning systems is crucial. An example is assuming that input was presented by the legitimate owner and that the system matched the input pattern with genuinely enrolled patten samples. There are two serious criticisms of biometric technologies. First that an assailant or hacker could gain access to or replicate the  individual identifier. The second criticism is that once an identifier has been compromised the recourse method of revocation and replacing is then  rightfully questioned.

There are three main social-cultural concerns associated with biometrics. They are informational privacy, physical privacy and religious objections. The most serious informational issues concern the threat of function creep and tracking capabilities. Function creep or mission creep expands the original purpose of obtaining biometric information to include additional purposes.  Information obtained using this method can be done without the originator’s knowledge. Definite ethical issues arise when this occurs.

 

Tracking is thought of by some as a specific type of functional creeping. Tracking is the ability to monitor in real time or to search databases containing information about a specific individual. In some ways biometrics provides better security,  as the biometric identifier is much more difficult to steal or counterfeit.  Physical privacy concerns include the stigma associated with some biometrics such as fingerprints,  the possibility of actual harm to individual participants and the concern that devices used to obtain or read the biometric may be unhygienic. People may not feel comfortable putting their faces against a reader to have a retina scan after knowing that others have done so or touching a hand scanner during the flu season in the U.S.

 

One example of religious objections might be based on a Christian group interpreting the use of biometrics as, “The mark of the beast” based on verses from the book of Revelations in the Christian bible. Revelation 13:16-18 “The beast causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond to receive  a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save that he had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name…and his number is six hundred, threescore, and six. ”

Most U. S. states driver’s licenses use biometrics having legislature requiring the collection of fingerprints. Those states include California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Oklahoma and Texas. The FBI, U. S. Department of Defense and other government controlled agencies use the collection of biometric information.

One of the most promising aspects concerning biometrics  is the conquering of identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission identifies identity theft as  far outweighing all other fraud complaints.

 

Works cited

https://www.dhs.gov/biometrics

https://www.wired.com/2016/03/biometrics-coming-along-serious-security-concerns/

 

 

 

 

Oh! Berries Are They Safe To Eat?

 

 

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Ahhh! Berries present themselves as tempting and appealing, but before you pop them in your mouth you should know certain berries are toxic. Yes some berries if eaten cause death. The berries on certain ornamental plants are dangerous. It only takes a few daphne berries to kill a child. Jessamine berries and red sage berries prove fatal if ingested. The berries and foliage of the Yew are fatal bringing death suddenly without warning. The berries of the mistletoe are medically recorded killers of both children and adults. All parts of the Nightshade are fatal, but it is their beautiful berries which deliver the most toxin. Growing up in rural Oklahoma is a challenge to the exploring pallette. Looking back at my childhood and remembering drinking the honeysuckle’s nectar I fully understand that it was God guiding those little hands.

Caution! Careful When Putting Bulbs To Bed

 

 

a bulbDid you know some common flower bulbs are toxic? As a child I remember my grandmother digging up her garden bulbs, drying them and storing them in cardboard flats out on the screened in back porch to freeze all winter and readying for spring planting. I’m certainly thankful that curiosity never created in me the desire to taste daffodil, narcissus or hyacinth bulbs. We had all 3 and they are all 3 toxic.

Must Be Rhubarb/ Leave the leaves Alone

 

 

a rhubarb pieOne of my Grandmother’s favorite desserts was rhubarb straight out of the garden sweetened with sugar and thickened with tapioca. Depending upon the season she might make a strawberry-rhubarb or a blackberry rhubarb pie. During my childhood when there was grief in our community, Estella, Oklahoma all of us came together to help. Box dinner and pie auctions were my favorite fund raising events. My dad Bob Cox was an auctioneer and he was often called on to motivate friends and neighbors into giving beyond their comfort zone.

Kitchens filled with wafting aromas of chicken frying and coconut cream pies coming fresh out of the oven. All those goodies were then placed in boxes, sacks and baskets and decorated with frilly ribbons and bows. If he knew that a box came from a celebrated chef he would disclose that driving the price sky high Grandma’s boxes always brought a pretty penny because folks knew there would be a rhubarb creation or a 7 layer orange cake or something of equal mouth watering goodness inside.

Many kids and even some adults have never heard of rhubarb let alone seen it growing in the garden. Today there is little talk about the safety of or the toxic reaction brought on by certain plants. I knew what oxalic acid was by the time I was allowed to go to the garden alone to cut the rhubarb. I knew not to put the leaf blade surrounding the stalk into my mouth as it contained that acid and if enough of it was ingested could bring on convulsions, kidney stones, coma and even sudden death.

Today we teach about traffic, strangers, big dogs and more but I doubt that many children have ever been told don’t eat the rhubarb leaf. What a difference 50 years has made

Ayers Rock, Australia

 

 

 

a cooberRobert Earl Howells On the Way to Oz Nat Geographic Adventure:

There is 1 person per every 2 square miles in Australia’s 1925 mile wide outback. From December to March it’s too hot to travel through the “red rock gorge” If you’re gonna live in Coober Pedy you’re gonna live underground ( underground hotel featured in photo). The “Desert Cave Hotel” offers rooms 150 feet beneath the surface of the earth. Ayers Rock glows brilliant red giving the aborigines cause to believe it is holy. There are 15 foot long “Sweet Water” crocks running the rivers in Kakadu National Park making friends with huge monitor lizards and komodo dragons. How’d ya’ll like to live there? Don’t ask. I’m not going!!!!!!

How Did We Get Here?/ A Rhyme

 

 

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When I was young my biggest query was where did I come from? It left me leery!

Who made the earth? Who hung the moon? I never bought “Big Bang Kaboom!”

From a slimy amoeba, a hairy ape? These theories offered slight escape!

Thinking of a dragonfly or waterfall, it seemed that back behind it all,

I’d find artistic mastery of majestic capacity!

Watching a great green caterpillar crawl I glimpsed the mystery of it all.

There was a source for rustling leaves, the busy buzzing of the bees.

Behind the thunder and the rain. Who created everything?

It left no inkling of a doubt. God is what its all about!