Tuesday, July 07, 2009

It's that every now and again - not often, but occasionally - you get to be a part of justice being done.

Do you remember when AIDS was held out by fundamentalist types as proof of God's disapproval of homosexuality? How in the 80s all evidence that AIDS wasn't exclusively a gay disease was lost on those types?

I wonder how the Pat Robertsons of the world will react to the amazing news that AIDS may actually hold the cure for lung and other types of cancer.

So how does CTMP halt cancer progression? Using biochemical analysis to analyze the expression levels of certain proteins, scientist found that overexpression of CTMP shut down not only Akt signaling but also protein synthesis, proliferation, angiogenesis and cell cycle progression of lung cancer cells while normal cells were not affected. Not only was lung cancer progression halted in 9-week old mice but the authors of the study found that cancer cells died from apoptosis.

Unlike chemotherapy which preferentially affects cancer cells but still has deleterious consequences to normal tissue after prolonged treatment, lentiviral mediated gene therapy “surgically” targets tumor cells while sparing normal tissue.

"God's Wrath" just might end one of the most horrible diseases ever to plague man providing incalculable good to the world.

If there was a God it's almost as if he goes out of his way to make the Pat Robertsons of the world look bad. Hmmm.

Monday, July 06, 2009

You, you with the banjo, can you help me? I seem to have lost my sense of direction!

I hope y'all had a great holiday.

I had an absolutely wonderful 4th of July with my family. We had a little picnic out at my grandparent's place where my mom lives now, just like when we were kids. The day consisted of mass quantities of burgers, homemade blackberry wine and catching up with family.

At one point my mom's boyfriend got out his tractor and hooked up a flatbed trailer and gave tours of the makeshit golfcourse he'd cut in the lawn. Watching the uncles, aunts and cousins hang on for dear life while laughing their drunken asses off tickled me to no end.

But the absolute high point of the day was a musical surprise my 15-year old daughter sprung on the family.

To back up a bit- when we were kids my grandfather would break out either his ukelele or banjo and play old tunes while the whole family would sing along. Grandpa was in the navy in WW 2 and while he was in Hawaii he'd even formed a little band and recorded a couple of tunes on phonograph.

Just recently grandpa's banjo turned up and my daughter, who is very muscially inclined, decided to teach herself how to play it.

So she gets out this beautiful instrument with pearl inlay that was made almost 100 years ago and asks us what we want to hear. "Whatever you know how to play," we told her.

She starts strumming, the tune sounds familiar but tough to place until she begins singing:

It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark
Under the moonlight, you see a sight that almost stops your heart
You try to scream but terror takes the sound before you make it
You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes
You're paralyzed

'Cause this is thriller, thriller night
And no one's gonna save you from the beast about strike
You know it's thriller, thriller night
You're fighting for your life inside a killer, thriller tonight

Believe it or not this song works surprisingly well on the banjo. We almost bust a gut we were laughing so hard.