New research shows that when we eat we’re consuming more than just vitamins and protein. Our bodies are absorbing information, or microRNA.
Jan 9 2012,
Update 1/12: Thanks to science and biology bloggers, Christie Wilcox and Emily Willingham at the Scientific American blog network and The Biology Files, respectively, we’ve learned of the scientific errors made in Ari LeVaux’s most recent Flash in the Pan column, which is syndicated by a number of newspapers and magazine websites. This column has been expanded and updated, with LeVaux discussing specific changes in the comments. We regret the errors.
Chinese researchers have found small pieces of rice ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the blood and organs of humans who eat rice. The Nanjing University-based team showed that this genetic material will bind to receptors in human liver cells and influence the uptake of cholesterol from the blood.
The type of RNA in question is called microRNA (abbreviated to miRNA) due to its small size. MiRNAs have been studied extensively since their discovery ten years ago, and have been implicated as players in several human diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. They usually function by turning down or shutting down certain genes. The Chinese research provides the first in vivo example of ingested plant miRNA surviving digestion and influencing human cell function in this way.
Should the research survive scientific scrutiny — a serious hurdle — it could prove a game changer in many fields. It would mean that we’re eating not just vitamins, protein, and fuel, but gene regulators as well.
That knowledge could deepen our understanding of many fields, including cross-species communication, co-evolution, and predator-prey relationships. It could illuminate new mechanisms for some metabolic disorders and perhaps explain how some herbal and modern medicines function.
This study had nothing to do with genetically modified (GM) food, but it could have implications on that front. The work shows a pathway by which new food products, such as GM foods, could influence human health in previously unanticipated ways.
I personally don’t see the problem with sterilization being a mandatory part of sex reassignment surgery. I mean an orchiectomy or hysterectomy are after all part of the sex reassignment surgery process.
It kind of makes sense, after all women can’t sire children and men can’t bear them. If you don’t get SRS and are transgender it is a different story and I can respect that transgender people are different from transsexual people and having SRS is different from living the rest of one’s life as a member of the gender they identify as. Sex and gender are different things.
Where things get tricky is when “gender” an amorphous construct is substituted for sex which is more or less based on certain physical evidence.
None of this is made any easier by TS/TG people playing post-modern word games that come back to bit the rest of us on the ass.
From The Local: http://www.thelocal.se/38466/20120112/
Published: 12 Jan 12
A move to scrap Swedish laws requiring compulsory sterilization for people undergoing gender reassignment surgery has been put on ice following opposition from the Christian Democrats.
The Christian Democrats have convinced the other centre-right parties to set aside a new legislative proposal that would have scrapped the law, arguing that the issued is legally complex and needs to be examined further.
Opposition parties decried the move, claiming that a majority of members in the Riksdag support efforts to ditch the demand.
“It’s too bad that the government and prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt haven’t taken into account that there is wide support in the Riksdag to scrap the [sterilization] requirement,” Social Democrat MP Lena Hallengren, deputy chair of the Riksdag social committee, told the TT news agency.
According to legislation passed in 1972, to undergo a sex change operation a person must be over 18-years-old, a Swedish citizen, be sterilized and unmarried.
In the proposal for new legislation, to be be presented by the government this spring, the conditions that sex change candidates are unmarried and Swedish citizens will be dropped, according to TT. But not the sterilization condition.
In the autumn of 2011, both the Moderate Party and the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) expressed support for changing the law.
Continue reading at: http://www.thelocal.se/38466/20120112/
Before there was Rock and Roll there was Jazz and Blues. Prior to the mid-1950s records were often as segregated as the schools in the south.
There were records know as race record with musicians that later became know as rhythm and blues musicians. They play Black Music for Black Folks, sometimes really raunchy music.
And man some of those blues guitar pickers were enough to inspire some kids who managed to find these records to pick up guitars and seek out that particular crossroad that Robert Johnson went down to.
Thanks to the folks that collected and preserved these race records, those young kids who learned how to play this music, the sound folks who re-engineered the records and put them on CDs and thanks to You Tube it is possible for folks to hear music that was obscure even when it was recorded.
One of these days we are going to never again have the first, oldest, tallest etc. Transsexual or transgender woman to come out.
One of these days being TS or TG is going to be like being gay or lesbian. As in: “Did you hear so and so came out as transsexual?” Oh yes, she had talked about it for months, and we were wondering when it would happen.
I seriously thought it had stopped being a source of fame and fortune in about 1974.
I guess nice straight liberals are just slow on the uptake and are easily amused.
Still when I hear of a sister or brother screwing up their courage and coming out to live their lives as a reflection of who they are inside at least a little congratulations are in order.
Lindsey Walker used to be a 7ft tall basketball player called Greg.
Until she reached 21, Walker had muscles, dated a string of pretty girls and got a “manly” tattoo.
With his good looks, regular weight lifting sessions, and size 17 feet, no one would have guessed that Walker secretly longed to come out as the woman she felt she should be.
Walker, 26 from Ohio, USA, told Huffington Post UK of the moment she knew she’d finally had enough pretending to be a macho man, and how it feels to be one of the world’s tallest transsexuals.
“I just snapped,” she said. “I was playing basketball, it was my third season at college, I was really depressed and angry all the time and I ended up quitting the team halfway through the season.
“I didn’t call or talk to anyone and I didn’t come out right away. I went to talk to a therapist: I just didn’t know if I could be 7ft tall and transition into being a woman.
“That was probably the worst part of my life, I felt like I hit rock bottom. There were weeks when I was drunk every day for a while just to get through.”
However after Walker decided to come out, she contacted Guinness World Records to ask if she could be the tallest transsexual.
by Marianne Møllmann, Amnesty International
January 10, 2012
Last week, a UK government review of the French breast implants that have caused panic from Australia to Uruguay concluded that there is no evidence the implants should be removed. The Australian Medical Association thinks women should at least get their implants checked out. But neither the reviews nor the media coverage of the implant panic has dealt with the real question at stake: what makes women voluntarily cut open their bodies to permanently implant foreign objects to the potential detriment of their health?
The answer to this question is potentially uncomfortable. I have often asked the students in my health rights seminars to articulate the principles that make us distinguish between voluntary female genital mutilation in adult women and voluntary breast augmentation surgery. Apart from the fact that the former makes us queasy and the second doesn’t, there really is none.
To be sure, female genital mutilation (FGM) is often performed on girls who are unable to consent to—or, indeed, understand—the violence asserted on their bodies. And, because FGM is prevalent mostly in places where health infrastructure is weak or non-existent, the intervention is often unsanitary and ultimately can be deadly.
But even if FGM were carried out in the best of clinical conditions on a consenting adult woman, we call it a human rights violation. Why? Because it is an intervention which is carried out solely to satisfy stereotyped notions of what a women could or should be, and which has: