living donors

I’ll never understand why people don’t want to become an organ donor. You will not be using them anymore, so why do you refuse to give up something that you will not use for someone lying in a hospital bed, dying unless they receive a new organ.

I just don’t get it. Why not use your body for good? I DONT GET IT.

AH Vampire AU

  • Ryan does the most killing but it’s mercy killing for people who have already been attacked or are old and dying
  • Gavin is grossed out by the sight of blood and refuses to drink it unless it’s in an opaque bottle and he’s drinking it with a straw. The taste he doesn’t mind, but he prefers flavoring it with strawberry syrup
  • Geoff always gets his blood from willing donors. A surprising amount of people are okay with having their blood siphoned from their body.
  • Jack doesn’t get living people, he’ll go to the blood bank where he has a hookup to get type AB blood, O is more necessary for people according to him.
  • Jeremy is the “vegetarian” of the group. He believes that animal blood is healthier and less fatty than human blood and he doesn’t mind the thinner taste too much
  • Michael gets his blood wherever, he doesn’t have a preference. If Jack is going to the bank Michael will put in a request. If Geoff is getting a live donor Michael will ask if the donor doesn’t mind giving up two pints instead of one
  • They don’t need to feed constantly. The blood is a weekly occurrence and they’ll eat regular food even though it’s not necessary because it still tastes good. Jeremy is very happy about this because he can eat whatever he wants and not gain weight
  • They actually don’t kill very often, all of them a bit averse to the negative stereotype vampires have acquired. Ryan’s the only one who actively kills but it’s never out of vengeance or anything
  • They look like normal but a bit paler and when they go too long without blood their faces will start to become gaunt. When they smell blood their fangs will emerge. Gavin always accidentally bites his lips and remarks that he’s glad he doesn’t bleed anymore
  • Feel free to add more

Why it’s important for scientists to study obscure things

For years, the kidney donation system had a heartbreaking problem: Many people are willing to donate a kidney to a loved one, but are incompatible due to blood type and other factors.

At the time, less than 20 people received kidneys from living donors. (Receiving a kidney from a living donor leads to much better outcomes for the patient.)

The solution to this problem —like many inventions and modern innovations— was built on decades of odd and obscure research.

When economists Gale and Shapley began their work on matchmaking, their research was mainly theoretical and abstract. But their insights provided the foundation for breakthroughs that had a real impact on people’s lives.

Read about their journey of discovery


My cousin Matt Anderson is in end stage renal failure. He wants to stick around and raise his beautiful boy. His blood type is O. Please share this post in hopes we can find a living kidney donor. If interested, please contact Sean Cash, Living Donor Coordinator, KU Med Center. 913-588-0266. Thank you❤️

(Note: we only had one donor option, who was ruled out last night due to a medical anomaly. He doesn’t have time to be put on the list. We are devastated and desperate for help/resources. Please put yourself in my family’s shoes. If you knew Matt, you’d care this much too.)

Scientists Sequence a Full Mammoth Genome

Beth Shapiro, author of How to Clone a Mammoth, acknowledges that scientists will never clone a mammoth. But we might be able to bring them back other ways. But she also says we shouldn’t. 

There have been many attempts to decode the mammoth’s genes, but April 2015 saw the first successful complete mammoth genome sequencing. While this cannot lead to cloning in the strict sense of the word (somatic cell nuclear transfer requires a living cell from the donor species), it may be the next step in bringing the species back. 

With parts of the mammoth genome, we may be able to determine what genes separate the mammoth from an Asian elephant. Scientists may be able to edit the genes of an elephant to make it hairier, fatter, and with hemoglobins making its blood more suitable to cold environments. However, while this is a step in the direction of de-extinction, there are many more technical and ethical hurdles to overcome before there is a chance of reviving the mammoth.

One of the best letters I’ve ever received

Today I received the first communication from Maxine, the recipient of the kidney I donated last December.  Her 3 page letter filled my heart and reminded me of the difference we can make in the lives of others.  

I had always imagined the phone call from the Mayo clinic telling her that a live donor kidney was coming and her story was better than I hoped.  Her entire letter was joyful and I appreciate the details she shared.  Here’s my favorite quote,

“When I woke up it was the most AMAZING feeling.  Like, I wasn’t sick anymore.  The doctors were so amazed at how well my body took to the new kidney.  As soon as they attached it, it was working.

An altruistic kidney donation is a bit like sending a message in a bottle; because the whole process is anonymous you’re not sure if the kidney survived, if the other person is doing well, etc.  But now I know that Maxine and her family are doing great and I’m thrilled.  It was totally worth it.

Valhalla by Ari Bach Contains:

Action, Explosions, Spacecraft, Espionage, Directed Energy Weapons, Panzercopters, Arcologies, LGBT Representation, In-Jokes and Obscure References, Submariner Pirates, Cannibalism, A Giant Walrus, Cynical Social Commentary, Insectoid Knife-Robots Carved from Bone That Live In Their Donor’s Chests, Explosions, Martial Arts, Gleeful Dismemberment, Quantum Physics, Direct Brain Internet Links, High Tech Armor, Violently Unstable Protagonists, Norse Mythology, Mysterious Black Hooded Figures and Explosions.

Valhalla Does Not Contain:

Morality, Sparkly Vampires, Inaccurate BDSM Portrayals, Whiny Teen Boys Complaining About Girls Who Don’t Like Them or A Lack of Explosions.

Valhalla can also be used as a doorstop.

from the archives: aspergillus fumigatus

When I was studying microbiology in med school, I was struck by the beauty of many of the pathogens responsible for some of the most devastating illnesses. This is a microscopic image of the fungal species Aspergillus fumigatus, which can cause aspergillosis–an overwhelming, invasive infection–in people whose immune systems are suppressed (ie. people living with HIV, organ donor recipients or cancer patients receiving immunotherapy).  

Aspergillus fumigatus 
Watercolor on paper
3.5" x 5"