Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Thoughts on what may ail us.

I was with John Robison today as we had lunch at Panera and discussed topics related to what may be ailing us as a global population. John wrote the soon to be relaeased international bestseller book Look Me In The Eye. His blog is located at He was discussing how in writing th book about his life growing up with Aspberger's, a mild form of high functioning autism, he has learned that more and more families are having children with any multitude of illnesses. Autism, Allergys, asthma, CF....The list goes on.

We had the added good fortune of pulling into our discussion a rather good looking (I'm shallow, sue me) mother of triplets. She was studying microbiology and couldn't resist involving into our conversation. (rumour has it that I speak somewhat loudly)My thoughts are 3 fold as I expressed them to John. 1) data recording: Manyt things didn't have a name never mind being recorded and added to a data base over time. Look at Asperger's which just got recognized in the '90's. Many people may have had illneses that are are now diagnosable but it was never recorded. 2) Medical life extension: To use John's thought on Peanut allergy which I have spent many nights thinking about. (My son is anaphalaxis for peanuts) What would have happened to a child with a peanut allergy to peanuts in say the 1820's? They would have had a taste at some point and died. Allergens? Histamine response? They knew nothing of this then. Certainly no benedryl or epi pins available. Death. In this scenario, the gene expression for this maalady does not get passed on. In modern times thes illnesses are able to be passed on based on medicine better understanding of how the body works and availabale drugs. I am very happy about this where my son is concerned but it still shows that now, "weaker gene sets" are now growing into the gene pool. As the woman that conversed with us said, we can only hope that at some point medicine WILL be able to program viruses to resequence DNA and wipe out many diseases and conditions. It IS on the horizon. I can only hope. 3) Environment. By this I mean both the biosphere thast our planet population is poisoning as well as the horrid food supply that we consume. Day after day of consuming McDonalds, Hostess Twinkies, and processed foods WILL kill you in the end. Maybe not quickly as our bodies are amazingly adaptable organisms...but it will weaken over time making you susceptable to conditions. What about the correlation of under arm deoderant and breast cancer in woman. How men are also expieriencing more breast cancer as they shave their underarms?... Thanks for the tip on that one Polly. How about the correlation to midwest coal fired electric generation lants affecting asthma in the north east. and the devestation to the Great North Woods of New England from acid rain. When we destroy our planet we destroy ourselves.

John , great thoughts! AND it also proves my point that people more in tune with their appearance and well being, search out good food. AKA...the great looking mother of triplets that was studying microbiology for being a nurse. Defense rests!! ;) see John's blog for the story.


Kanani said...

First of all, let me say how upset I am that you went to Panera and didn't even invite me. Yes, I know. I live on the west coast. But hey, you coulda asked!


Okay, so here's another little ditty.

There is a higher rate of breast cancer where there are high mice populations. or:

The house mouse "Mus domesticus" is native from Western Europe to Iran, and introduced into North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. Inbred laboratory mice have mostly Mus domesticus genes.

The incidence of human breast cancer varies worldwide, a fact that has been known for decades. And it is higher in the above listed areas, where the Mus domesticus house mouse can be found, and lower in Eastern Europe, Japan and China, where this particular mouse is absent.

Here's the link

Bottom line: my damned cat better GET TO WORK.

John Elder Robison said...

If you keep posting these sorts of stories you won't be able to hide behind a laptop and survey the Panerian patrons during lunch.

They will be lining up to speak with you.

I went there today, and the corner where you lurk was empty. Panerians sat at nearby tables, gazing occasionally at your empty spot.

I thought of speaking to them; saying something reassuring. But one brandised a fork. "Where is he? What did you do to him?" I backed away slowly.

Kanani said...

Wow. So let me see. Matty is a Panerian, John's an Aspergian.
Which means when lunch commences, it's a Panerian-Aspergian banquet.

Kim Stagliano said...

Aspergian, Panerian - Kanani, I want a name too! Stagliarian??? :)

Holly Kennedy said...

Whew! Remind me not to lunch at this Panera place -- I imagine slinking in, skirting around potted ferns and hiding behind my menu as I slouch deep into a chair -- all so I can remain under Matty's radar and pass myself off as an invisible Canadian :)
Kim, you'd make a wonderful Stagliarian!