Since I just passed the OAT (my optometry / medical school entrance exam akin to the MCAT) allow me to explain what The Collective is as if I were a scientist, as I am well versed in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics at the moment and feel like making some use of it in the form of #deep exposition.
The essence of the Collective, the active code that infects a host body, can really be visualized by a bacteriophage; a virus that infects and replicates within a bacterium. However, instead of being nanoscopic… imagine that this virus is metaphysical, existing in a hyperreality higher than our own. Just like a real virus, this one is not a living organism as we would traditionally classify. It is not made of cells, does not grow or develop, does not have any sense of heredity, and lacks the need for complex chains of chemical processes to maintain survival. But, unlike real viruses, there are some life classifications that do fit. There is a response to stimuli, but it is not in a temporally linear sense. It has also been argued by other series that there is a possible evolutionary vector that can be seen. My main point here is that, like a fundamental unit of life, it possesses a form of genetic material. This is less like DNA, composed of sugars, phosphates, and nucleotides, and more like computer code - but existing in the framework of reality at the quantum level. Now, unlike real viruses, it is evidenced (at least by my series) that it has some semblance of homeostasis: the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements. Instead of having a common viroid’s drive to reproduce, this reality-virus sets out to maintain an equilibrium that has been disrupted. Because it does not have its own metabolism, it requires a host cell to do the heavy lifting.
This is where I turn the tables on you.
The virus I’ve been describing is not a Collective member… the virus I’ve been describing is The Administrator. The genome injected into the bacterium that lysogenically integrates itself with the host’s DNA, the prophage, is the true essence of what The Collective is. In cell biology, this process can be referred to as horizontal gene transfer: the movement of genetic material between organisms other than by the “vertical” transmission of DNA from parent to offspring. It appears latent at first, but then after an induction stimulus, this foreign code activates and commandeers the cell’s machinery. But, instead of forcing replication of the virus and then lysing the cell to spread an infection as a normal virus would, this special prophage protects the cell and presents total control over metabolism of the cell to the virus, allowing it to vicariously to do whatever it wants through it.
And just as prophages are important agents of horizontal gene transfer,
horizontal gene transfer is the primary mechanism for the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Firebrand is the result of a similar
process gone awry due to external factors, like mutagens, resulting in an exclusive immunity. The resulting bacterium that is Firebrand has a unique code sequence,
to not only deactivate the gene on the spliced prophage that codes for the virus’s external control, but to also alter the cell membrane’s composition in a way that makes it completely impermeable to any viral influence. This is due to the presence of a rare enzyme complex characteristic of the virus’s capsid protein coat that the bacterium ingested, contributing to the genetic code’s stability and expressing latent properties in the prophage. The bacteriophage lacks this
and requires it to achieve a state of optimal stability, so it hijacks cells where it detects the protein’s
involvement in order to attempt to obtain it.
When somebody says "the man determines the sex of the baby. you can't be trans because it doesn't exist. it's simple science you can't go against biology." this is what I tell them.
“You’re right, and you’re wrong. It’s actually not simple at all. On
average, fertilization occurs about two weeks after your last menstrual
period. When the sperm penetrates the egg, changes occur in the protein
coating around it to prevent other sperm from entering. At the moment of
fertilization, your baby’s genetic make-up is complete, including its
If a Y sperm fertilizes the egg, your baby will be a boy; if an X
sperm fertilizes the egg, your baby will be a girl. In that sense you
are technically right, but gender is determined by so much more than
that. We all know that a man’s brain is different to that of his female
counterpart, right?” By which point the person who I’m talking to
agrees. then I go on to say.
“In month 3 of Pregnancy
the baby has grown from embryo to fetus. by now the baby’s arms,
hands, fingers, feet, and toes are fully formed. the baby can open and
close its fists and mouth. Fingernails and toenails are beginning to
develop and the external ears are formed. The beginnings of teeth are
forming, and the baby’s reproductive organs are also developing, but the
baby’s gender is difficult to distinguish on ultrasound, because the
genitalia start out the same. Differentiation of the male and female
reproductive systems does not occur until this crucial fetal period of
It is believed by scientists that during the intrauterine period the
fetal brain develops in the male direction through a direct action of
testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction
through the absence of this hormone surge. According to this concept,
our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female
gender) and sexual orientation should be programmed into our brain
structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual
differentiation of the genitals takes place in the beginning of the
third trimester, (The third month of pregnancy) and sexual
differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy,
these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in
trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at
birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the
degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no proof that social
environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual
orientation. Data on genetic and hormone independent influence on gender
identity are presently divergent and do not provide convincing
information about the underlying etiology. To what extent fetal
programming may determine sexual orientation is also a matter of
discussion. A number of studies show patterns of sex atypical cerebral
dimorphism in homosexual subjects. Although the crucial question, namely
how such complex functions as sexual orientation and identity are
processed in the brain remains unanswered, emerging data point at a key
role of specific neuronal circuits involving the hypothalamus. So yes
you are right, it is biology I’m not fighting anything other than
You have a better chance of running into a shiny than running into a wild pokémon with pokérus. Still, this pokémon virus has huge benefits and is sought after in the competitive and casual communities alike. In the game, an infected pokémon will gain double the stats every time it levels up. But what does this mean in a more physical sense?
To start, let’s talk about viruses. We know Pokérus is a virus, which to be honest doesn’t tell us a whole lot. Viruses are as diverse and as crazy as anything, infecting you with everything from colds and flus to rabies and ebola. Their appearances vary as much as their symptoms, and many of them look very alien.
So what exactly is a virus? Cells in your body, along with bacteria, are stand-alone living entities able to eat, grow, and reproduce. Viruses are something different altogether. Viruses are little envelopes full of genetics: a protective protein coating surrounding single or double strands of DNA or RNA. By themselves, viruses are not able to function. This is why they need to infect a host cell: to live and reproduce.
They do this through the lytic cycle. Basically, a virus will invade a host cell, and take over the cell’s machinery. The virus will trick the cell into working for them: they turn the host cell into little virus-factories, building more and more viruses with the cell’s machinery which then can go and infect new cells.
This is why viruses are contagious. If someone sneezes on you, or you breathe in a virus, it can start entering your cells and start reproducing right away. This is how pokérus is spread. However, it should be noted that a lot of viruses are species-specific; humans cannot be infected with pokérus.
However, pokérus is unique due to its positive effects. Viruses are generally not something you want. For example, a runny nose: cold viruses will infect and kill cells in your nose, and with less cells lining your sinuses, fluid flows freely. Fevers are your bodies response, trying to kill the virus by literally turning up the heat.
So somehow, instead of destroying and taking over host cells, Pokérus viruses benefit them. Pokérus doesn’t infect and kill a pokémon’s cells; it strengthens them. Exactly how is widely up to interpretation. What does a stat boost in-game equate to in real life?
Maybe the pokémon is buffed up as if on steroids. This would mean that pokérus increases protein production and ATP levels. Or maybe, Pokérus just helps a pokémon grow strong, by enabling them to more easily break down and use vitamins like calicium. It all has to do with whatever the virus’ DNA/RNA strand tells the cell to do. Most viruses just tell the cell to build more viruses, but the pokérus DNA must be like a motivational speech for a cell. And then it replicates and spreads, of course.
Pokérus is a virus, which will take over a pokémon’s cell and cause beneficial side affects, as it reproduces and spreads through a pokémon’s body and eventually into other pokémon.
Bacteriophages: Antibiotic Alternative or Just a Phase?
It is now clear that we are rapidly approaching a post-antibiotic
era, and the need for an alternative is more vital than ever. The CDC estimates
that approximately 2 million people are infected with antibiotic resistant
bacteria each year, and of that 23 000 of them die as a result of the infection
. Our antibiotic pipeline is drying
up and the development of new antibiotics is both slow and expensive, making
antibiotics unappealing investments for pharmaceutical companies. Although
alternatives to antibiotics are far from the market, the field is slowly expanding.
Amongst the alternatives, bacteriophages (phages) are a potential candidate for
both diagnostic and therapeutic medicine.
Quite simply, phages are viruses that infect bacteria. These
are the most abundant biological entity on the planet and are thought to
outnumber bacteria 10:1. Their sheer abundance has led to a vast diversity that
has yet to be exploited by modern medicine. This is in part due to a number of
problems with phages that haven’t made them ideal candidates for therapy. This
article seeks to look at some of the problems with phages, and what steps are
being taken to improve them for application in humans.
Rapid clearance from the host:
Delivery systems for phages have not been thoroughly assessed for systemic phage application. In other words we are still lacking a way of delivering a bacteriophage drug intravenously to ensure that phages have the maximal effect on the patient. Annoyingly, our immune systems are great at rapidly inactivating and removing them from our bodies , with animal studies showing that phage can be completely cleared within 24 hours . Early work carried out in germ-free mice in the 70s showed that phages are passively collected in the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS), where they remain viable until inactivated by immune cells .
There have been two solutions developed so far to amend this problem . The first was developed in the late 90s by the National Institute of Health in the US, which involved the serial passage of phage through a living organism. It was hypothesised that some phage would have mutations in their coat proteins that would give them increased protection from the natural filtration systems in the body over wild type phage  and by selecting for these phage, you could gradually produce a population of long-circulating phage. When applied, these phage would have longer circulation times, and therefore a greater chance of colliding with their target bacteria. Animal studies have shown far better recovery of animals given long-circulating strains of virus over wild type, when presenting symptoms of otherwise fatal bacteraemia .
Figure 1. Diagram showing a few of the possible receptors for Salmonella sp. phage 
Additionally, to prevent degradation or inactivation of phages, polymers can be added to the coatings of phages . The polymer polyethylene glycol (PEG) has been shown to increase systematic circulation and decrease T-helper cell activation in response to phage. It is likely that a combination of these two methods may improve delivery strategies in the future of phage therapeutics.
Altering host range and preventing resistance:
Unlike antibiotics, phages have incredibly refined, narrow host-ranges. This property is in reality a double edged sword: in many cases, phages are only able to target a few strains of a single species, whereas antibiotics relentlessly target multiple branches of the bacterial phylogenetic tree. Antibiotic treatment can lead to disruption of the host’s own microbiota which can permit the colonisation of nastier and less cooperative microorganisms.
In contrast, phages can target their host whilst leaving the surrounding organisms in relative peace. When a patient presents symptoms of infection, the particular species or strain causing the infection would be unknown. Identifying the culprit before selecting the right phage would take time a patient may not have.
Receptors on the bacterial cell surface are what determine which phage are able to bind to the cell. A wide variety of receptors are used by phage, but many still remain a mystery. To curtail these issues and ensure that as many receptors can be targeted for a particular bacterium, phage cocktails are used . These are mixtures containing a number of different phage strains. In theory, the cocktail should be designed so that the phages together should be able to target all the known clinically relevant strains of a particular species of bacteria.
Creating phage cocktails from natural sources can be laborious , however viral DNA provides a platform for genetically engineering phages with desired properties. Improving phage cocktails with modified phages expressing structures that could target a wide variety of receptors on a bacterial cell could ensure that a cocktail could target the maximum number of strains, whilst reducing the selection pressure on a sole receptor. Resistance to the phage cocktail would then also be avoided.
Much of this work looks at genetically engineering phage tail fibres [7, 8]. These ‘spider-leg’ like components regulate the initial binding step between a phage and a target cell. It has been shown by Mahichi et al, 2009 and Ando et al, 2015 that switching tail fibres between phages with different host ranges can confer host-range specificity from one phage to another. Hopefully, modular engineering of phages will push phage technology forwards, offering new strategies for developing phages for therapeutic purposes.
Figure 2. Diagram showing how the modular shuffling of tail fibres between viral strains can confer host range of parental strain .
Preventing the release of cellular toxins
A major health risk of phage, is that like β-lactam antibiotics, they interfere with the bacterial cell wall integrity and ultimately lead to cell lysis. Lysing cells prevents further replication, but also releases all the cell’s content. This may include but not be limited to superantigens and lipopolysaccharides (LPS) . These toxins will trigger the inflammatory response, and in extreme cases cause organ failure and death.
Phages have a simple dual-lysis system consisting of a holin and endolysin. The holin is a pore-forming membrane protein that creates an exit from the cytoplasm for the endolysin. The endolysin is then able to attack the peptidoglycan of the bacterial cell wall, resulting in its rupture. To generate phage incapable of lysing a cell, the dual lysis system simply needs to be inactivated.
To restore killing power to the phage in the absense of the dual lysis system, a bacterial toxin needs to be incorporated into the phage genome. Hagens et al, 2004 has shown that by engineering the filamentous phage M13 to encode a non-native restriction enzyme, antimicrobial activity can be restored through the generation of double stranded breaks in chromosomal DNA. Upon infecting Psuedomonas aeruginosa with this phage, there was a 99% drop in viable cell counts over the time course . Other research has looked into other uses for the non-lytic killing of bacteria, including proteins that interfere with regulatory systems and other bacterial toxins.
Phage therapy has shown promise in recent years as being a good candidate for either working in synergy with or replacing antibiotics. The appalling lack of human based clinical trials haven’t helped to expose their potential for human use. Although this is the case, a significant amount of work has been done on improving phage therapy in preparation for further studies with human application. The past 15 years have seen an improved outcome for this technology as obstacles with phages are gradually manoeuvred by intelligent reengineering. With hindsight we have now acquired through our experiences with antibiotics, hopefully we will not make the same mistakes with phages as we have done with antibiotics.
1. CDC (2013) Antibiotic resistance threats. US Dep Heal Hum Serv 22–50
2. Lu TK, Koeris MS (2011) The next generation of bacteriophage therapy. Curr Opin Microbiol 14:524–531
3. Carlton RM (1999) Phage therapy: past history and future prospects. Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz) 47:267–274
4. Merril CR, Biswas B, Carlton R, Jensen NC, Creed GJ, Zullo S, Adhya S (1996) Long-circulating bacteriophage as antibacterial agents. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 93:3188–3192
5. Chaturongakul S, Ounjai P (2014) Phage host interplay: examples from tailed phages and Gram-negative bacterial pathogens. Front Microbiol 5:1–8
6. Moradpour Z, Ghasemian A (2011) Modified phages: Novel antimicrobial agents to combat infectious diseases. Biotechnol Adv 29:732–738
7. Ando H, Lemire S, Pires DP, Lu TK (2015) Engineering Modular Viral Scaffolds for Targeted Bacterial Population Editing. Cell Syst 1:187–196
8. Mahichi F, Synnott AJ, Yamamichi K, Osada T, Tanji Y (2009) Site-specific recombination of T2 phage using IP008 long tail fiber genes provides a targeted method for expanding host range while retaining lytic activity. FEMS Microbiol Lett 295:211–217
9. Hagens S, Habel A, Ahsen U Von, Gabain A Von (2004) Therapy of Experimental Pseudomonas Infections with a Nonreplicating Genetically Modified Phage Therapy of Experimental Pseudomonas Infections with a Nonreplicating Genetically Modified Phage. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 46:3817–3822
made some tofu breakfast sandwiches for myself and my sick partner this morning 😅🍳
it’s just sliced extra-firm high-protein tofu coated in turmeric, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, and salt & pepper - fried on a cast iron griddle pan, topped with shredded cashew cheese and sandwiched between some pita bread. 😊✌️🌤🥖🧀✍🏼💻🌲🍂
What happens if you leave out a vital ingredient from your cake? In this image you can see a time-lapse of four cakes, but only one of them has all of the necessary ingredients. No margarine means that there is no fat to coat the protein within the egg, meaning more gluten & a thicker cake. No egg means that there is not protein structure to contain expanding gases. No baking powder means there is no excess carbon dioxide to help your cake to rise. Find out more about the science of baking cakes & see what these different batches look like on the inside in this source video: http://youtu.be/MBouLt-hXDU
Ross Exton and the atbristol team are back in the kitchen again: this time with cake!
Ok so I was casually engulfed in SP feels and clicking around the menu when I decided that deciphering whatever’s at the back of the extras menu will be fun. And boy, don’t you know how much fun I had! Starting from the right top corner:
(of a cell or nucleus) containing two complete sets of chromosomes, one from each parent.
a diploid cell, organism, or species.
a group of symptoms that consistently occur together or a condition characterized by a set of associated symptoms.
a substance produced by a living organism that acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction.
Carrier (genetic carrier)
a person or other organism that has inherited a recessive allele for a genetic trait or mutation but does not display that trait or show symptoms of the disease.
the condition of having a diploid chromosome complement in which one (usually the X) chromosome lacks its homologous partner.
cross (a hybrid) with one of its parents or an organism with the same genetic characteristics as one of the parents.
an instance or result of backcrossing.
a type of cell division that results in four daughter cells each with half the number of chromosomes of the parent cell, as in the production of gametes and plant spores.
a valid deduction that two or more genomic regions are derived from a single ancestral genomic region.
a compound that is one of the four constituent bases of nucleic acids. A pyrimidine derivative, it is paired with adenine in double-stranded DNA.
a type of cell division that results in two daughter cells each having the same number and kind of chromosomes as the parent nucleus, typical of ordinary tissue growth.
a compound found in living tissue as a constituent base of RNA. In DNA its place is taken by thymine.
a sequence of three nucleotides that together form a unit of genetic code in a DNA or RNA molecule.
a segment of a DNA or RNA molecule containing information coding for a protein or peptide sequence.
a small protein structural motif that is characterized by the coordination of one or more zinc ions in order to stabilize the fold.
the use of either naturally occurring or deliberately introduced microorganisms or other forms of life to consume and break down environmental pollutants, in order to clean up a polluted site.
a tissue graft or organ transplant from a donor of a different species from the recipient.
Substitution (nonsynonymous substitution)
a nucleotide mutation that alters the amino acid sequence of a protein.
a polynucleotide whose molecules contain a relatively small number of nucleotides.
a unit made up of linked genes that is thought to regulate other genes responsible for protein synthesis.
the action or process of mutating.
the changing of the structure of a gene, resulting in a variant form that may be transmitted to subsequent generations, caused by the alteration of single base units in DNA, or the deletion, insertion, or rearrangement of larger sections of genes or chromosomes.
the one-dimensional ordering of monomers, covalently linked within a biopolymer; it is also referred to as the primary structure of the biological macromolecule.
any of a class of closely similar sequences that occur in various genes and are involved in regulating embryonic development in a wide range of species.
a segment of a DNA or RNA molecule that does not code for proteins and interrupts the sequence of genes.
the death of cells that occurs as a normal and controlled part of an organism’s growth or development.
are those that are expressed or seen when a heterozygous genotype is present.
a sugar of the pentose class that occurs widely in nature as a constituent of nucleosides and several vitamins and enzymes.
an infective agent that typically consists of a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat, is too small to be seen by light microscopy, and is able to multiply only within the living cells of a host.
a compound that occurs in guano and fish scales, and is one of the four constituent bases of nucleic acids. A purine derivative, it is paired with cytosine in double-stranded DNA.
a colorless crystalline compound with basic properties, forming uric acid on oxidation.
a substituted derivative of this, especially the bases adenine and guanine present in DNA and RNA.
a compound found in living tissue as a constituent base of nucleic acids. It is paired with guanine in double-stranded DNA.
a gene that in certain circumstances can transform a cell into a tumor cell.
Anddddd that’s it! Definitions are taken from Google. As you can see, most of the terms here relate to genetics. And tbh SP is all about the creepy parasite meat monsters that marks a person as an osu or mesu… idk I just feel things like this mean a lot to me. It’s self-satisfaction ok! I admit it.
Paring: reader x Baekhyun
Description: You are a scientist for the government and you’ve been asked to test a dangerous experiment .
It was the year 2045 and the world has taken a turn for the worst. You were a scientist working for the government and your base was located one the outskirts of California in the middle of the humid dessert. You always loved your job, you loved doing experiments and taking risks. However, there was one experiment you were scared of and that was experiment number 4.
Experiment number 4 was a man who first started out as a known serial killer when police had evidence that he’s been murdering women all over Asia. His body count was over 50 and people wondered how he wasn’t caught sooner, police thought he must’ve left a trace but they never found one. He was only caught when an old women saw him eating a dead body and took video of it.
At his trail the judge proved him guilty on reasons of insanity. While he was at the the asylum patients and doctors have reported him doing strange activity when he had incredible strength, speed, and vision like no other. Rumor has it that he has the power to control light.
Few days prior you had a meeting with your boss which resulted in your boss demanding you conduct an experiment on number 4. You cried and begged but your boss wouldn’t budge. All your Co workers were scared of him and you were the best in the whole base.
Today was the day you start the experiment, the only thing that your boss gave you was a sheet of information for experiment number 4. The only thing on the sheet was his name and all the crimes he did.
You walked in the room and saw him looking out the window, you grabbed a chair and sat it in front of him.
“Hi baekhyun I’m Dr. (Y/l/N), I will be doing an experiment on you”.
Baekhyun just looked at you and smirked and turned back to the window. You instantly felt scared and pulled on your tight dress and lab coat trying to release the anxiety within .
You stood up from your chair and walked to a table which had all the supplies needed.
“Um okay baekhyun I need to test your blood Mass first so if
You would be so kind as t-”
You were cut off when baekhyun backed you up against the wall. He put both hands of the side of your head and dipped his head down to your neck. You felt his breath on your neck and felt his lips gently kissed the skin.
“You smell very lovely Dr (Y/L/N)”
“It’s just (Y/N) call me (y/N)
He said your name back slowly his voice getting deeper with lust. His eyes changed to a light purple and you felt scared. You tried to cover yourself as much as possible and avoided all eye contact.
"Your scared of me aren’t you”
You didn’t respond
“I can smell the fear off you baby girl, you’ve must have the rumors”
“ your a monster ” you said confidently
“Why did you kill all those women?”
He chuckled darkly and and cupped your face
“Oh jagi , I never killed anyone. Where are you getting these silly rumors from?”
You again didn’t respond and looked down biting your lip
“You know when I first came to this base, I was kinda scared of what they would do to me, every scientist that came in here were scared and never bother to look at me. And that’s when I saw you. Your so beautiful and precious, it made me wonder what your in here for. And then I saw you wearing a lab coat and I vowed to stay away thinking you were like them. But seeing those tight dresses on you, the way they capture your curves, it made me want you more”
“You like me?”
He chuckled darkly once more and nodded his head smirking.
“ tomorrow I’m planning on busting out of here. But I’m not leaving until I get what I want. ”
“I’m so hungry jagi, feed me please”
You didn’t know what he meant and your innocence got the best of you when you pulled out a protein bar from your coat pocket and handed it to him. His eyes turned a dark purple and he slapped the bar from your hand
“That’s not what I’m hungry for”
He roughly put his lips on yours and took your lab coat off, all in motion. You wanted to pull away but you couldn’t , hell you didn’t want to. Your body was on fire and every touch made your shiver in pleasure. He put both hands on your ass making you wrap your legs around his waist. He carried you and put you on the end of the experiment table. He lifted your dress up ripped your panties off. He kissed and suckered the inside of your thighs. You tried to hold back a moan but he bit your thigh.
“Jagi these rooms are sound proof, don’t hold back”
You nodded and moan. He kissed the center of you slit and your body shivered as your grabbed his hair. He licked every inch of your slit leaving nothing untouched. You then felt his thick lips around your clit as he was sucking hard,without mercy. Your back arched
“Uhhhhh baekhyun ”
He sucked harder and put a finger in your entrance, fingering your pussy viciously. You gasped and and groaned
He took his fingers out and replaced them with his tongue. You felt his tongue go deep inside your entrance and swirled around making shapes. You began panting hard and you both laced fingers. He tongue fuck you a couple of times before he began fingering you again. You couldn’t hold it in anymore. You arched your back and moaned. You squirted all over the place as your eyes watered with pleasure.
At the sight of you squirting baekhyun bit his lips and climbed on top if you. As he was biting your neck you flipped him over and began quickly bouncing on his member. He digged his finger nails into your hips which caused you to move faster and swirl your hips around. He growled and thrusted up inside you, meeting your Thrust which caused you to moan louder than you did before. You both came hard. And fell on top of his chest from exhaustion.
“Don’t Leave….. please ”
“After what we just did, I Don’t think I want to jagi”
Hey, why shouldn't you have your cats near your lizards???
Two primary reasons! First, cats are covered in gram-negative bacteria. It’s in their mouths and when they groom themselves, it gets under their claws and colonizes. This means that even a little scratch runs a huge risk of infection. Gram-negative bacteria has an additional protein coat that makes it difficult for a reptile’s immune system to kill; in addition, gram-negative bacteria are more resistant to antibiotics. The second main reason is that cats are reptile predators! A study done by attaching small cameras to free-roaming housecats shows that reptiles are actually their preferred prey. The cats in the study killed more reptiles than birds or small mammals, and what’s more is that they didn’t always consume the prey- they didn’t just hunt when they were hungry. Given how quick cats are, it’s just not safe to put a reptile near even the laziest, sweetest cat- one wrong move, one unsupervised moment, and your reptile’s life could be over in a blink. Adding to that is the stress that comes from putting a prey species so close to a predator- it’s not nice to do that to any animal.
Don’t settle for that fake instant taste. Pump up your ramen the Pompadourable way.
This entire recipe is actually mostly up for interpretation. You can make it to suit your tastes. I basically just used what I had on hand. I also suck with measurements, so everything is estimated.
3 oz protein of your choice (Pork, Chicken, Beef, Shrimps, Firm Tofu, Textured Vegetable Protein, whatever you like)
6 to 8 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated, soaking liquid reserved
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 handfuls of vegetables of your choice (All I had was spinach, and it was delicious. Other recommended veggies include cabbage, fresh mushrooms, bean sprouts, carrots, diakon, etc)
1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as sriracha
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon miso paste
1 package of ramen noodles, plus the flavor packet
Vegetable oil (or canola oil or peanut oil. Don’t use olive oil. Use less if you use sesame.)
Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in a cup of hot water for about an hour. Once the mushrooms have rehydrated, strain the liquid into another container. You’re going to use the mushroom soaking liquid as part of the broth. Rinse any sand out of the mushrooms, squeeze out the excess water, and slice them in half.
Prep your protein. I used a pork chop and cut it into strips. Slice pork, chicken or beef into strips or bite sized cubes. If you’re using shrimp, remove the shells and sand veins. If you’re using tofu, drain it by wrapping it in a paper towel and placing it between two plates, with something heavy (like canned tomatoes) on top of the plate. Let the water squeeze out of it for about 15 minutes, and then cut the tofu into bite sized cubes. If you’re using TVP, rehydrate it according to package instructions.
You don’t have to, but you can marinate your protein ahead of time. I used Bull-Dog Tonkatsu Sauce to briefly marinate the pork for about half an hour. You can use soy sauce, teriyaki, whatever you like. I think it adds to the flavor.
Prep your vegetables. Shred cabbage and carrots. Slice fresh mushrooms. Whatever you’re using, get it cleaned and ready to cook.
Have a small pot of plain water simmering on a back burner.
Heat about a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a medium sized pot over medium heat. Add your protein and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spatula. Before your protein begins to brown, add the rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, and sauté for another minute. Add the chopped garlic, and sauté until aromatic.
Turn off the burner. This will prevent the sauces from burning. Add the hot sauce, oyster sauce and miso to the pot. Stir to coat the protein and mushrooms, and then return the burner back to medium heat. Add your vegetables and sauté until vegetables are mostly cooked through.
Add the 1 cup of mushroom soaking liquid, and 2 cups of water to the pot, and stir, making sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot. Then add whatever flavor packets came with your ramen, stir to dissolve, and then bring the broth to a boil.
Bring the smaller pot of plain water to a boil, and add the noodles. Cook for as long as instructed by the package directions. Drain the noodles, and place in a soup bowl.
Pour some of the broth over the noodles to loosen then up, and then spoon the soup over the ramen. Add your favorite toppings, such as sliced green onions, sesame seeds, narutomaki, soft boiled egg, or shredded nori.
If you’re feeling especially emotional, cry into your soup. Those tears make for a tasty broth, Baby.
There are some powerful, brand new chemicals that might soon be taking medicine by storm. Researchers working on two different projects were recently excited by preliminary results that showed green tea and sugar might be the next weapon to fight cancer.
Sure, most everyone with an Internet connection has already heard about the powerful health benefits of green tea. It’s loaded with antioxidants that appear to fight cell damage, improve blood flow in the heart and brain and a list of other good things. But how is sugar, the villain in the 10-gallon hat for most nutrition discussions, useful in countering cancer?
It turns out that the two research groups weren’t looking at green tea and sugar for what they do inside the body nutritionally after being gulped down. Instead, they were seeing what the two things do when exposed to the powerful magnetic fields inside MRI machines.
New Non-Invasive Technique Controls the Size of Molecules Penetrating the Blood-Brain Barrier
A new technique developed by Elisa Konofagou, professor of biomedical engineering and radiology at Columbia Engineering, has demonstrated for the first time that the size of molecules penetrating the blood-brain barrier (BBB) can be controlled using acoustic pressure—the pressure of an ultrasound beam—to let specific molecules through. The study was published in the July issue of the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism.
“This is an important breakthrough in getting drugs delivered to specific parts of the brain precisely, non-invasively, and safely, and may help in the treatment of central nervous system diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s,” says Konofagou, whose National Institutes of Health Research Project Grant (R01) funding was just renewed for another four years for an additional $2.22 million. The award is for research to determine the role of the microbubble in controlling both the efficacy and safety of drug safety through the BBB with a specific application for treating Parkinson’s disease.
Most small—and all large—molecule drugs do not currently penetrate the blood-brain barrier that sits between the vascular bed and the brain tissue. “As a result,” Konofagou explains, “all central nervous system diseases remain undertreated at best. For example, we know that Parkinson’s disease would benefit by delivery of therapeutic molecules to the neurons so as to impede their slow death. But because of the virtually impermeable barrier, these drugs can only reach the brain through direct injection and that requires anesthesia and drilling the skull while also increasing the risk of infection and limiting the number of sites of injection. And transcranial injections rarely work—only about one in ten is successful.”
Focused ultrasound in conjunction with microbubbles—gas-filled bubbles coated by protein or lipid shells—continues to be the only technique that can permeate the BBB safely and non-invasively. When microbubbles are hit by an ultrasound beam, they start oscillating and, depending on the magnitude of the pressure, continue oscillating or collapse. While researchers have found that focused ultrasound in combination with microbubble cavitation can be successfully used in the delivery of therapeutic drugs across the BBB, almost all earlier studies have been limited to one specific-sized agent that is commercially available and widely used clinically as ultrasound contrast agents. Konofagou and her team were convinced there was a way to induce a size-controllable BBB opening, enabling a more effective method to improve localized brain drug delivery.
Konofagou targeted the hippocampus, the memory center of the brain, and administered different-sized sugar molecules (Dextran). She found that higher acoustic pressures led to larger molecules accumulating into the hippocampus as confirmed by fluorescence imaging. This demonstrated that the pressure of the ultrasound beam can be adjusted depending on the size of the drug that needs to be delivered to the brain: all molecules of variant sizes were able to penetrate the opened barrier but at distinct pressures, i.e., small molecules at lower pressures and larger molecules at higher pressures.
“Through this study, we’ve been able to show, for the first time, that we can control the BBB opening size through the use of acoustic pressure,” says Konofagou. “We’ve also learned much more about the physical mechanisms associated with the trans-BBB delivery of different-sized agents, and understanding the BBB mechanisms will help us to develop agent size-specific focused ultrasound treatment protocols.”
Konofagou and her Ultrasound Elasticity Imaging Laboratory team plan to continue to work on the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in a range of models, and hope to test their technique in clinical trials within the next five years.
“It is frightening to think that in the 21st century we still have no idea how to treat most brain diseases,” Konofagou adds. “But we’re really excited because we now have a tool that could potentially change the current dire predictions that come with a neurological disorder diagnosis.”
2/3 cup lightly packed all-natural, sweetened vanilla whey protein powder
Miniature semisweet chocolate chips or cacao nibs
Unsweetened, natural cocoa powder
Unsweetened flake or shredded coconut, plain or toasted
Finely chopped toasted or raw nuts
Toasted or raw seeds, sesame, chia, pepitas, hemp hearts, sunflower
Finely chopped dried fruit
Quick-cooking rolled oats
1. Mix the nut or seed butter, honey, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the protein powder, stirring until completely combined (mixture will be firm like an olympic booteh).
2. Protein powders vary in dryness so if the mixtures too wet, add a bit more protein powder, or some ground oats or flaxseed meal, till the mixture magics into dough. If the mixture seems too dry, add some milk of choice or water.
3. Scoop about 1 ½ tablespoons of the mixture into hands and shape into 1-inch amaze-balls.
4. have a party and roll them amazeballs in the toppings you choose, press and adhere them on well and store in an airtight container
will last 1 week FREEZER: 3 months in airtight container; thaw 15 minutes
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER PROTEIN BALLS:Peanut butter for the nut butter and chocolate protein powder instead of vanilla. Add 1 ½ tablespoons unsweetened, natural cocoa powder and 1 ½ tablespoons water along with the sweetner.
MOCHA JAVA BALLS:Chocolate protein powder in place of the vanilla . Add 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder, dissolved in 2 teaspoons warm water, along with sweetner.
GINGERBREAD PROTEIN BALLS:3 tablespoons dark molasses for the sweetener and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves along with the protein powder.
SNICKERDOODLE PROTEIN BALLS:Add ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg with the protein powder + 3 tablespoons chopped raisins to the dough before rolling into balls. Roll the balls in finely chopped toasted pecans or walnuts.
Nutrients per ball: 109 calories, 5.8 g fat, 1.2 g saturated fat, 11 mg cholesterol, 52 g sodium, 7.2 g carbohydrate, 0.7 g fiber, 5.6 g sugar, 7.9 g protein
I’m not sure if anyone has submitted a similar recipe before, but I don’t remember one, so I’m going to submit! This is very versatile, because you can use just about any protein or vegetables you want, and it tends to impress people if you serve it to them.
If you have an Asian grocery in your neighborhood, I recommend buying curry paste there, as you will probably find a larger selection of kinds at a better price. Check the labels carefully if you don’t eat meat though—lots of curry pastes contain either fish sauce or shrimp!
about 3 ts curry paste (use whatever kind you like best, and adjust the measurement based on how spicy you like it. I really like red curry paste, but it’s NOT vegetarian!)
protein of your choice—I usually use tofu or fish, but when my dad would make this, he always added chicken. Other meats or meat substitute work great as well.
vegetables—you can use basically whatever you have. Mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, broccoli, peppers, yams, peas and even pineapple are all great. Cut them into bite-sized pieces or buy them pre-chopped.
chopped scallions or cilantro for garnish (optional)
Heat the cooking oil in a pan and add your protein. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the protein is starting to brown. If you’re in a rush and using tofu, you can skip this step, but I really recommend it, because it gives the tofu a delicious crunchy shell.
Add the curry paste and stir to coat the protein (wow, referring to “the protein” over and over sounds really silly). When it is fragrant, add the coconut milk and vegetables. If your coconut milk is very thick, you might want to add a bit of water to thin it and cover the vegetables.
Bring the curry to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the veggies are tender and the coconut milk has reduced to a thick curry sauce—about 15 minutes, but it will vary a bit depending on what kind of vegetables you’re using and how small you chopped them. Mushrooms and snow peas will cook faster than potatoes and carrots, so if you’re using a mix, you might want to add the fast-cooking ones a bit later. Sprinkle with scallions or cilantro, if you’re using them, and serve with rice or noodles.