Archives for: February 2009
The New York Times had an extensive discussion of epigenetics in their February 24 issue:
The ideal of regenerative medicine is to convert a patient’s normal body cells first back into the embryonic state, and then into the specific cells lost to disease. But to prepare such cells safely and effectively, researchers will probably need to learn how to control and manipulate the chromatin of the epigenome as well as the transcription factors that shape cell identity.
Had a rather relaxing week in Jamaica. Beautiful weather and friendly people. It was nice to just sit around a pool and read something besides computer or medical textbooks. I confined my reading to mostly ancient history.
Since being back I've be messing around with Facebook, the social networking website that everybody seems to be on nowadays. I think it is much better than MySpace, since it does not allow you to alter the appearance of your pages all that much. I always found MySpace rather unsettling, what with all the blaring colors, poor quality videos and music on people's sites: most of which I prefer not to see nor hear.
When Facebook does allow you alter stuff, it is mostly in the form of applications ('Facebook Aps') which run inside of Facebook. Programming these applications can be perplexing, since Facebook uses may proprietary pseudo-languages and interfaces -and the documentation can be spare at times.
If anyone has been to my Facebook page recently, they'll already know this, but for those who have not, my first application called 'Is it right for your blood type?' is now up and running.
Of course, you'll have to be on Facebook to use it, but they make it very easy to join and it is a rather safe place overall.
The app is based on the TypeBase Program on this website, but also allowing you to search by foods (soy, celery, beef, etc.). You can add the app to your profile sidebar which then allows others to join and use it as well.
Like golf, learning new computer languages is occasioned by a rather irksome awkward stage, but I think I'm finally heading out of it. if you do use the app and find a bug please drop me a line and let me know.
In addition to the Facebook work this morning was spent doing a half-hour interview for Singapore radio with a charming young host. While on the radio I opened some recent mail and was pleased to receive three spanking new copies of the 'Allergies' book, which has just been translated into Arabic. It is wonderful to marvel at just how global this eating philosophy has become.
I think yesterday’s Grand Rounds at The University of Bridgeport went well. As seems to be the case more and more these days, I had a surfeit of material; much more than I could contain within the two hours allotted --even though I had limited the lecture to only the first part of standard presentation (‘Adjusting People to Genes’).
Dr. Natalie Colicci, my associate over at the D’Adamo Clinic and an alumnus of the Naturopathic Program at UB, thought it was a success and the students (third and fourth year) paid seemingly rapt attention.
It was nice to also see a few of my associates from bygone days including Dr. Eugene Zampieron, Dr. Leigh White and Dr. Ginger Nash-Wolfe.
UB/ND’s Dean, Dr. Guru Sandesh Singh Khalsa and Associate Deans Dr. Elizabeth Pimentel and Dr. Christina Arbogast Woolard have done a wonderful job getting this program up and running. After the lecture Dr. Arbogast gave us a tour of the teaching facility and the University Clinic, which was most impressive. I enjoyed meeting many of the students, administrators and faculty and was pleased to see that a generally positive, professional and pleasant tone permeated the facility. The UB Clinic sees a lot of economically disadvantaged families from the Greater Bridgeport area --many of whom would not normally be able to afford naturopathic health services on any sort of limited budget.
Dr. Arbogast and I talked about my doing some type of special shift in the Clinic, where students who were interested in my research could receive some in-depth training. I’m sure we’ll revisit this sometime in the future, but the idea of teaching in a clinical environment did seem very attractive to me, if indeed a new obligation would appear to be the last thing I need in my life right now.
They asked me to come back in April to finish up the lecture and perhaps delve into some of the epigenetics material as well. I was surprised to hear from the students just how many were already registered for the IFHI 2009 Conference.
How refreshing was this reception as compared to overall apathy and lack of acceptance I’ve received at Bastyr University, my own alma mater. One of undergraduates recently wrote to tell me that during one of the nutrition classes he attended, the instructor proceeded to describe my work with blood groups as ‘unscientific’ and followed that assertion with a description of the ABH Secretor System which my friend described as ‘not having one single correct fact .’
How different is this Bastyr University from the school I knew and loved.
Gerhard Uhlenbruck, everybody’s favorite lectinologist, recently wrote to let me know that he had penned the forward to a new book ‘Micronutrients’ by Uwe Grober (MedPharm) and kindly included a copy. Very nice book which I anticipate will get some thumbing-through over at the D'Adamo Clinic.
A recent review article on ‘Dietary Lectins as Disease Causing Toxicants’ written by Rabia Hamid and Akbar Mascod (Pakistani Journal of Nutrition 8 (3) 293-303, 2009) referenced three of my works in its citation list.
The second sentence in its abstract just about says it all:
It is now well established that many lectins are toxic, inflammatory, resistant to cooking and digestive enzymes and present in much of our food.
Maybe I’ll send a copy over to Andrew Weil.
As is typical of this time of year, it’s been a very active time for your humble physician-author-blogger.
January started off with a whirlwind visit out to Arizona for a daylong presentation to the Arizona Naturopathic Medical Association. This was followed by a two week intensive period of website redesign, overhauling the website of The D’Adamo Clinic in addition to the navigation system for North American Pharmacal. The Clinic website is a simple white design that I like very much and it conveys what being inside the Clinic feels like to me. I’m not normally a fan of all-white walls, but in the Clinic it works.
One problem you come across again and again when you program for the Internet is cross-browser support. I’ve learned the hard way that a web page that works and looks good in Firefox for the Mac may not necessarily look or work the same way in Internet Explorer for Windows. Many, many times it’s been a last minute check on an outdated browser running Windows 95 that kiboshed a terrific idea.
Putting the final touches on the SWAMI software. I’ve decided to port it to two platforms. One will be the traditional SWAMI GenoType for professionals, the other will be a SWAMI Xpress that will be available online. Introduction of the SWAMIGenoType will be linked to the IfHI 2009 Conference, where Tom Greenfield, Natalie Colicci and I will have the time to take the attendees through the interface, filters and matrices. If you are a physician or IFHI certified educator planning to use SWAMI GenoType in your practice, you’ll need to attend IfHI 2009 to get the full training.
SWAMI Xpress will contain all the base programs of his more muscular brother, but is being designed for general-purpose use. SWAMI GenoType has advanced filters and controls that allow a physician to exert complete control over the client diet and is geared to practitioners who want to have a more micrometric control over things. Introduction of SWAMI Xpress will be as part of NAP’s “Do It For A Month” program.
On the lecture horizon, I’ve got a webinar with the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy on March 31 and an upcoming Grand Rounds presentation at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine on February 11. After that things calm down until the IfHI 2009 Conference June 5. IfHI should be challenging. I’ve scheduled myself for something like 9 hours of lecture time, and if you could believe it I’m stressing out about not having enough time to do justice to the material. Figured out how to control my slide show from an iPhone, which is very cool. I should be able to pace around the room and use the iPhone to cue the next slide.
After completing a few movies/animations I’ll be pretty much done preparing material for the conference, leaving plenty of time to perfect the software and get the 1971 VW Camper ready.
Got lucky yesterday. Found a site that had the entire LP of the 1974 classic The Portsmouth Sinfonia Plays The Popular Classics available as a download. I certainly don’t support intellectual property theft but this album has never made it to CD and I think the original record label is now extinct. The Portsmouth Sinfonia is the ultimate ode to amateurism: Take a bunch of English art school students --who either cannot play a musical instrument or are willing to play one they are unfamiliar with-- and put them into an orchestra. The only rules being that you had to come to rehearsal and you could not purposely play the wrong notes.
What resulted were renditions of the popular classics (Peer Gynt Suite, The Blue Danube Waltz, The William Tell Overture, etc) in which the inexperience and lack of talent produces a series of acoustic near-misses that collect into this cloud-like approximation of what the proper pitch and notes should sound like. Popular classics were selected on purpose since everyone in the orchestra would know the music and could at least aspire to what the piece should resemble--or at the very minimum whether they should be sounding higher or lower pitched notes.
Here is their rendition of Blue Danube Waltz, Op. 314 (Johann Strauss)
Beethoven was supposedly fond of listening to amateur productions of his work, and I’ve often thought that this would be among the most perfect of medical education paradigms.