09 December 2009

Willy Wonka in Space?

Basic sugar molecules were recently found in space; near a ripe star birthing location in space that could host life due to the fact that Glycolaldehyde is a componant of RNA (Ribonucleic Acid consists of a nitrogeneous base, a ribose sugar and a phosphate)

Click title to read article source.

KAS

18 November 2009

Mars Electromagnetic Field


Interesting article on MSN News (title linked) about a theory explaining the demise of Mars electromagnetic field (i.e. an electromagnetic field, as is charged by the core of an active planet, protects the surface from harmful solar wind particles~ without the protection, organic life is near impossible.) The theory says that a bombardment of massive asteroids was so destructive (by the act of pushing so much energy through the planet) that it affected the planet's core in such a manner that it was never able to recover its electromagnetic field.
KAS

28 June 2009

15 June 2009

Unexplained Tremors off Oregon Coast

Ah… how little we know... The ocean is the majority of our earth and life's origin as we know it, who wouldn't want to know more? I do love to learn of new and exciting changes of our earths tectonic plates; one of the most fascinating occurrences on our planet (or is it that I find it all fascinating?) Check out this article about unexplained tremors off the Oregon Coast. Of planets in general (what we know anyway); the differences between the terrestrial solidity and the gas accumulations that create these great masses, thrills me beyond belief!

I was reading some wonderful articles and watching You Tube video's this weekend (I forget to write, as I become too far engrossed in the reading and watching) about magnetic fields and magnetar planets comprised of condensed mass and their eventual contribution to the formation of black holes Check out this video about it. Black holes always lose me in the space/time bending analogy portion of it's complex physics - but, that's for another post. I believe I heard black holes as the result of the ultra-condensed mass that is a magnetar; described as; 'gravity finally winning over mass'. Wow!



04 May 2009

Water, Life*








Droplets cling to the pane of the window I peer from
Its remnants apparent in the weight of the air
Birds sing its praise, as insects scuttle in its life granting wake
Joy and excitement dominate fear

I notice, in times of distress and wonderment
We think of the past… or, the past thinks of us
And yells its lessons learned; it pests
It cautions and taunts and alludes to solutions- thinking best

Flapping wings disperse fragments of dew
Branches dangle and vibrate and move
Ground cover waits its turn at the treat
Oh wonderful water of nutrition and deceit

Walking and talking and peering at time
Humans toil and concern and analyze
…For what, to deny the real
To obscure the thought, the reality- life’s zeal

KAS

27 April 2009

The romantic Schistosoma mansoni ~ partners for life. (title linked)

Today was a most excellent day. I was fortunate enough to enjoy a lunch with with David; the same whom brought me through his lab a few weeks back. Well, this lunch was not any lunch as David has his dissertation defense this coming Friday and is doing some fascinating research on the Schistosoma mansoni parasite. Since this is his research, i'll not elaborate to much. But, I learned so much with him this afternoon, including how you make specimens 'glow' as I was utterly confused as to how this took place. I also learned that the biological affliction due to this parasite is not due to the matured individuals (or couples) it's due to the result of thier breeding. The 'eggs' congest the main artery that feeds broken down nutrients (from the intestine) to the liver. The congestion is what causes side effects and detriment to the human body. And lastly, that the romantic parasite, once matured, spoons it's mate for life (as is depicted in the picture to the left.)

This, I found to be the most interesting. Due to the fact that life, no matter how small, has individuality.

All in all, a fascinating day. What result might come from tomorrow, I wonder?

KAS

Vulnerable










Like turbulent tides of exertive organic emotion, I claim it.
Walking behind its shadow in flat tones, blue currents
It wraps me

You wonder, I hear.
The thoughts hang heavy in air
The oppression of robes of red and fear

The trees have leaves now, green and fertile in youth
New beginnings, new passages, new life
Cells and processes spring forth from this implied, seasonal death

I inhale its sweet nectar, its fragrance of freedom
Like palatable realism and truth
I expose myself through words

I'm committed

KAS

25 April 2009

Paths.


Paths encompass my consciousness as of late, with words and thoughts and quandaries blurring my vision... In it's wake, I file restlessly through it's maze. Numbers and colors and counting come back, it's beautifully distracting... The cold and warmth and leaves shine at me through my window this Saturday. As I think, then distract, then think some more

~KAS

18 April 2009

Words on life...

Life. We walk through it with heavy disposition. Wanting, desiring and trying to shape the next moments continuously. We live in the wake of what was, the stability of what is and the hopeful assurance of what will come. But, we fool ourselves... The actions on our part being only one small portion of how we are able to influence the future. We fret and stress and plan for all possible outcomes only to be surprised by impromptu circumstances shaped by others.

Why do we do all this? To bring sanity and clarity to the unknown, though the unknown is never actually clear. We do it because humans plan, we organize our lives, our moments, for such purpose.

But what of the contributors that affect us in ways we are unprepared to handle. What of the factors that bring us turmoil in our paths. Guiding us with a light of options, of choices we hadn't realized existed. Consequences abound.

There is nothing to do, but to continue planning. Continue trying to carve out the future though we hold little actual control. We can do nothing further, and nothing less, than to try and prepare ourselves for what may or may not come.

KAS

02 April 2009

Poetry Month ~ Please forgive the excursion...

Early Spring

Like rocks retaining heat, it's warmth sucked cold by earth, I walk in Boston
The trees are swaying restlessly in these rainy new england days
Wandering minds and hands and feet, rustling bags and dirty streets
Eyes focused, astray and wandering... the subway grinding, we walk

I find it peculiar.
The thoughtless focus, loud noises of thought, emotion and energy merging
Smells of air, moistness, perfumes.. wisps of cold subway wind and sprinkling mists
Cars and people and time. Moving and passing in and out of attraction

My thoughts are richer in town, en route, in mindlessness
To think and ponder and scrutinize. To review this days bad news.
Tomorrow, it rains. I plan to relish in newenglandism, by going out anyway.
I can think of nothing better to shush the chaos, than Boston
on a warm, rainy night.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It's not sage that lingers, but lies
Everywhere seems dim
Today is a sense of causeless distress

Like looming branches
It's oppression holsters the dice
It adores you and I

29 March 2009

Earth Hour ~ Awareness 101


The world listens to the taunts of Environmental Health with the successful application of Earth Hour. I ask and I wonder what the energy savings actually accumulate to be for such a darkening. But, it is not the reduction in the Earths carbon footprint during that hour that is the purpose, it is the awareness of energy use and its implications on the world we live on.

This week, due to the wonderful generosity of a professor at Harvard, I've come to possess of physiology textbook. Somewhat ironically starting my quest learning about cells as that happens to be the third chapter. As cells has come into my awareness via interests not exactly scholastic, but more by intrigue with individuals, I am finding the learning particularly stimulating.

One thing that compounds that interest is the capacity of cells to manage, produce and utilize energy to go about their own function and activities that ultimately ensure my survival as a biological being. The entire body is alive, via energy, without which, we would not exist.

Energy is the reason we live, the reason anything can perceive. Energy is the reason we are. It's the use of non renewable energy of our earths sources that is not so natural. We do not have renewable sources of fuel on earth and must embark on external renewable sources if we are to keep this planet fertile and life supporting.

What will happen in the years to come. What will change. Will Russia and the US partake in the desecration of Antarctica's newly accessible sources of fuel. Will wars continue over the scarcity of these fuels. And, how much more human population will there be due to the compounding reproduction of our locust like species. What life will succeed through this transition, what life will not.

These are all questions about our near future. Humanities success as well as implications are the primary attributer to an outcome.. a result. We can hope, blind our eye, or oppress our awareness. But, that will not negate the reality of what will come, unless we do something drastic to change it.

This mission is not one a country can bring, nor a movement or common awareness. It is something that will have to be ingrained as a organic beings obligation to perform and decide based on the desire to survive.

KAS
Australia goes dark

China goes dark

22 March 2009

The Human Genome

Wednesday night, in Boston, the weather was just beautiful. Fortunately, I had a useful reason to enjoy it as I was attending a seminar in the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School.







~ Panelists ~
Professor of Genetics and of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
and Massachusetts General Hospital;
Co-founder, the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT


George Church, Ph.D.
Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School;
Member of the Affiliated Faculty, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences
and Technology

Jeffrey M. Drazen, M.D.
Parker B. Francis Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Editor-in-Chief, New England Journal of Medicine

Chao-Ting Wu, M.D.
Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School;
Director, Personal Genetics Education Project

With Moderator;
Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D.
Paul C. Cabot Professor of Genetics,
Harvard Medical School
Professor of Medicine,
Brigham and Women's Hospital;

Member, Partners Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine

The goal of the Human Genome Project was to map the entire human genome and began in 1990 on the work that consisted of having to map six million pairs of DNA. George Church was the founder of the Genome Project and was one of the first to develop the technologies that allow for sequencing. He is currently the founder of the Personal Genome Project as well; a quest to publicly display the mapped genome's of 100,000 individuals for the purpose of making data available for the analysis of the entire human community. This ambitious project is worth following. Mapping of your own genome could cost as little as $5K as early as this coming year..

Throughout your own body, some DNA varies. there may be chromosomes or parts missing. The double helix; or, structure of DNA comes from the conjunction of the mothers and the fathers DNA. Very unjustly described as two strands of pearls, tightly twisted around each other. Well, usually these genes work together and whatever the combination agrees on becomes your own custom program. Well, apparently as has resulted in testing on mice, the genes sometimes 'battle' as headstrong bullies that convince the other gene to go completely silent. This was said by Dr. Wu along with the fact that this hasn't been shown in human genes as of yet. And, most amazingly, I learned about Repeat Induced Point Mutation which is essentially the random rewriting of a gene in order to change itself to something less compatible to the gene it is matched up with; assisting in the assurance of a unique genetic program. An innate activity inducing change, variation- selection. So interesting.

Also discussed were the implications of mapped DNA and it's effect on privacy or obligation. A law recently passed, GINA Act, making prejudice by insurance companies based on looking at an individuals genome, illegal. But, it's still very legal to lift an individuals DNA for analysis from any public (or private with a warrant) location as you freely discard cells all day long...

But, the drama comes into play with the fact that knowledge is not necessarily power in cases in which no treatment or dire diagnosis exist. Furthermore, some centers that are offering sequencing for things like breast cancer by looking at the genes BRCA1 & BRCA2; but are disturbingly able to 'brand' the testing for one of these two respectable breast cancer predictors... So, other places offer 'breast cancer' screening while not being able to actually scan for both BRCA1 & BRCA 2 and largely at the ignorance of their customers. Lastly, the implications of knowing you have a genetically inherited disease and that it's likely you parents and siblings could also get the disease - do you tell everyone? What if your family is very religious and disagree with genetic testing on religious grounds? Would you have children, would you test those children prior to deciding whether to bring them to term? These questions arise and with them critics.

For reflection; all DNA is written with the same language - all life is alike.

Further Reading
Harvard Medical School Genetics Page
National Human Genome Research Institute
The Experimental Man Project
The Genetic Alliance

~KAS

13 March 2009

Friday the 13th ~ not like another day, not unlike all others

While reading about atoms... hydrogen atoms and Bohr & Heisenberg, mixed along with time and space and wonderment and confusion. I find, that the world is not all it seems. Our perception blinding our ideals and our ideals blinding our reason. It is in knowledge I am comforted; it's words that ground me.

This week- from the Cytoskeleton aspect of cell composition, to cancer cells & mercury and it's illusive elemental potential; bisphenol A and the dangers of plastics we use every day and their proposed detrimental effects on human health and connection to the obesity epidemic; molecular structure and intrigue; and just this evening -Sylvia Plath- I've been a busy girl.

Great news on the stem cell front ~ finally. How absurd to discuss the 'ethical' applications of any cell in the body. Ethics have nothing to do with biology. What a waste to restrict the progression, even temporarily, for such a ridiculous (human generated, non fact based and essentially made up) reason. How far can one go to argue destined life- and why in the world are human stem cells more worthy of life than other cells? Why is it immoral to alter a stem cell to become other cells (as it's most easily modified) that will lead to the resolution of countless human afflictions? Are more humans REALLY needed on Earth?

Life. News on Mars recently as well. Methane gas is spilling out of cracks on the surface and though this can happen through chemical reaction it also is a byproduct of organisms that could be deep within the surface.

Also newsworthy is the new stimulus package funding for Science ~ yay Obama. As I work within this field and am unsure as to what is public vs institution knowledge, I won't delve to deep. But, funding is focused on research (and all supporting components) that will employ people and will be utilized in the near future. For those whose budgets are strapped due to the waining economy, this additional artery is particularly valuable.

Lastly, I cannot resist but to say (as I thought of it today) I celebrated my 21st birthday on a French compound in Kabul, Afghanistan (the French don't have general rule 1a, and stock full bars at war) upon such a reflection, I am reminded of all the other young minds taken by such expenditures as war. It saddens me.

Life is so short, so valuable and so fickle.

I could use a nice bout of chess right now- to settle my philosophical affliction and ground me in reason, where it's all much easier to assess...

KAS

25 February 2009

Another diversion... cells ~ updated 4.2

So... recently. I asked someone about their research & they answered "cell"

I have also recently asked a fellow staff member why one might be reluctant to discuss their research; and it was explained to me that the field is so competitive that researchers prefer to keep information under wraps for fear of being out-published. In a world where work published and discovered is the foundation for reference to ones credit. One is either remembered or revered as an "Einstein" or not. Not that my layman ears would put anyone at such risk. I think it's likely that such people do not feel the need to 'explain' and that it can be frusterating continiously doing so for the curiously ignorant. Like myself.

Nonetheless, I found this distressing. How can progression flow unburdened, if the burden is the progression?

Not coincidently, I also recently inquired with a professor into their work. The reply was an exuberant explanation of the particular health study; being sensitive to the above advice regarding researchers concerns with losing credit- I have the sense to not explain further. ;) But, loved it and refuse to stop asking due to this encouragement.

**Update 4.2.09

So, today, I received an email from a co-worker whom I am social with. The email was subject lined "Swooped" and was about a researcher whose work was recently "swooped" by another scientist that got access or awareness of the work and published with his own data. Quicker. Ouch!

**Back

But, on to the subject at hand. The original discourse of someone telling me 'cell' when asked for the "cliff notes" of their research.



22 February 2009

Atoms Poetry

In ninety four combinations, they lie
Intrinsic partners of opposites, attracted
Keeping order, Energy's fury wizzing by

Life, the remnant of stars passing
Death, the birth of new
The same amount, reused

To attract and never touch
The delicacy's of balance
The energy- always enough

It pains me to think
That in terms such as this
Our lives are but combinations- of unrest

09 January 2009

Mini hiatus, Except this one. Where have you lived?


visited 6 states (2.66%)
Create your own visited map of The World or try another Douwe Osinga project


visited 11 states (22%)
Create your own visited map of The United States or try another Douwe Osinga project

Where have you lived?

Click Title.

Found on scienceblog.com/highlyallochthonous

KAS


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I've Thought...

03.09 ~ I am but human, in my thoughts and desires- in my inconsistencies. It makes my opposing decisions no less real, no less quantitative... confusion is but the eye of truth, beckoning reason. ~ 03.12 ~ Time. It's existence is action progression, regression, reflection and projection. What in time is solidified and carried to another time is my choice. In one choice you lose all others; as an atom appreciates when the observer decides. It's a blue ocean of intrigue and a wave of contentment- that I am lost in, whilst, carried by. ~ 03.23 ~ That we are all part of one pulsing energy of life.. ~ 3.28 ~ There is no greater power, than the power of words. In speech we pass each other in halls, ride in elevators and embark in the great adventure that are words - with all of their beauty and intrigue. There are no wrong words spoken, only wrong interpretations and implications. Honest words are organic, true and expressions of what we are; existing autonomously and innocently, regardless of what others may think of them. 3.30 ~ That, the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. It certainly doesn't help being in the company of those who have succeeded in accumulating far more knowledge than I. Is the differentiation between intelligence and knowledge simply the accumulation verses the ability to learn/understand? Or, are the two interchangeable. I feel as though time is passing faster than my ability to accumulate... do other people share this conundrum, I wonder... 4.02 ~ That, "It is what it is" isn't exactly accurate. "It is what I make it" is more so... 4.08 ~ That, "it's not time that matters... it's that mattering is what makes time." 4.12 ~ I watch and wonder... think and ponder... about it. Should I find that I have analyzed to much, to little; or that the quandary was all for not, I'll not know till the applicable time has passed.I hereby instill time as my guide, innocently and fully without disposition and without angst. (4.17) ~ Though random, we should not ignore paths crossed. Just as, we should not entirely exclude emotion from our conclusions. (4.26) ~ That I dispise my lack of control over my own intentions and wonder why I am so weak in this regard. (4.27) ~ That I have opened doors, I wished to open, while simultaniously putting other doors at risk of closing. It's not with resistance I contemplate, it's with anxiety. (4.28) That, I should take a break. Time to simply be, for a bit. (5.01) Its hunger drives decent of rational, a battle of wit and need. Like rain pouring down, wisped by winds, settled by gravity, I’m drawn to it ~ KAS

Easy Chess

Carpe Diem