Goodnight, blueberry

We announced it to our families over Thanksgiving weekend, via a shirt on our two-year old son: I am being promoted to big brother. Little did we know, through the congratulations, celebrations, and inevitable pondering about what the sex might be, that the baby was already dead.Technically, it was an embryo, but therein lies the dichotomy that I wrestled with throughout my miscarriage and beyond. Two versions of me responded to the same event. If…

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NIGHT OWLS, MORNING LARKS, AND BARBELLS

Some local night owls pumping iron.  Are you an early riser, or a night owl? Given the timing of swim events at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, which frequently start at 10pm and don't wrap up until after midnight, the answer to this question may very well be on the minds of some athletes. It turns out the sleeping habits of these athletes might make all the difference in their performance. Like animals, plants, fungi, and even…

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Raw Appeal

Nearly two million years ago, an early hominid cooked the first steak, marking a turning point in our evolutionary history. Not only is cooked meat more easily digested and nutritious, but it is also sterilized of harmful pathogens. Nevertheless, there’s just something appealing about a rare steak, or fresh sushi. And when you’re shopping in climate-controlled grocery stores, it’s easy to forget that there are flesh-dwelling pathogens.  But sometimes, we are rudely reminded of their…

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One year old human male

A one year old male.I research inflammatory bowel disease. A few days ago I started a new experiment, using human cells from a cell line called THP-1. Not being very familiar with these cells, I was interested in where they came from. The results of a Wikipedia search left me speechless. They are derived from the peripheral blood of a one year old human male with acute monocytic leukemia. One year old.My son had his first birthday…

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Real Estate

Hymenolepis diminuta, the rat tapeworm You don’t want to let this one pass you by! Cozy and warm, with over 2700 square feet of living space. Comes fully furnished. Great place to raise a family, with on demand meal delivery services. Must be willing to contend with digestive juices, and bowel movements. It’s no surprise that the gut is such an attractive piece of real estate for parasites. It’s a passive mode of entry.  There’s no…

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