November 14, 2010
Thanksgiving imminent, looming and inevitable weight gain is upon us. As such, the public consciousness goes into precisely how to get rid of the 'turkey weight', diets begin to spring out of the woodwork: the Atkins diet, the Caveman Diet, South Beach Diet, Mediterranean Diet, Liquid Diet, the Cookie Diet, Dye it diet and the Di tit diet (the last two are fake). This is even including the latest news article that touches on a very plain truth.
The news story going through the media lately has been that Mark Haub, professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University lost 27 pounds (around 12.25 kg) in ten weeks eating only Hostess and Little Debbie snacks once every three hours. Not only that but his LDL cholesterol and triglycerides went down, while protective HDL cholesterol (the good kind) went up.
So what's the take away here? Does this fly in the face of all of the conventional wisdom about diets? Do Twinkies have some hidden health benefits? Do I love asking rhetorical questions?
No, big no, and yes.
Very simply, take in less energy than you use. And since energy and mass are connected (see equation to the right) you will therefore lose mass, this is fundamental physics we're talking about here, regardless of the newest fad. Dr. Haub in total consumed about 1,800 calories as a day versus the 2,600 he consumed before. In taking in less energy (and that is what a calorie is, a unit of energy) he could no longer support the same amount of mass, thus losing weight (most likely fat AND muscle). About 3,500 kcal (kilocalories... which is frequently abbreviated to simply cal for most calculations) is required to lose one pound of body fat. Getting rid of 800 kcal a day for 70 days (10 weeks) represents a calorie deficit of 56,000 kcal. That would be enough to account for a loss of 16 pounds of body fat (56,000/3,500=16)
As for his cholesterol changes, this could just be a side effect of losing weight again, as losing fat overall will make one lose cholesterol in the blood stream, even with the rather fattening substances entering his body.
However as Haub himself is quick to point out, this is NOT a diet to follow. While it is possible to lose weight with Little Debbie and Hostess products, the long term affects are less than advantageous. I'm going to use the Twinkie as an example, for no other reason than it's gotten the most press out of this, and it's fun to say. As we can see from the nutrition facts, (found via the Hostess Website) the common Twinkie is not in fact, that bad for you in terms of pure caloric intake. However, the amount of fat and saturated fat is pretty high. Add that there is no fiber, no protein, and no appreciable amount of any vitamins, except iron, will very quickly lead a person to SEVERE malnutrition.
The stomach itself does not recognize 'calories taken in', it is rather based solely on volume that it determines whether one is full or not. This is the basis behind surgeries like stomach stapling, limiting the amount of food one eats before becoming full. This is why low calorie things like vegetables, whole grain, lean meats and fruit are important, you will lose weight, get all the necessary amount of vitamins and minerals (which will help weight loss) and will make you feel full.... Something I imagine one Twinkie every three hours would be unable to do.
That and exercise. As said, if you use more energy than you consume, you lose mass.... Works even better when you increase the energy you use while decreasing the energy you consume. Of course sometimes you get hungry BECAUSE you exercise but that gets into a fun recursive loop
So there you have it. It's not especially sexy, nor is it particularly complicated. It is, however hard work...Perhaps that's why we don't get the straight truth about it...
Though I have heard about this new one called the News Diet... You watch the news and feel nauseous, so you don't WANT to eat. I have high hopes for it.
Thanks for reading as always,
November 8, 2010
A warning, this is one of my...less family friendly posts.
Viewer discretion advised
So this isn't about the so called 'War on Men'. This is, simply put, about how our current methods of business (and life really) aren't particularly friendly to the little swimmers. Chemicals of all sorts (whether intentionally taken in or not) and environment are detrimental to the little fellas. As with most phenomena that occur in life, multiple reasons lie behind it.
Firstly, even at the best of circumstances, a man's sperm has only 50-70% viability due to the process...that is why males have literally millions at any one time, sort of a quantity over quality production process. For an explanation of 'environment' the thing I am referring to in this case are laptops. Sperm exist best about 2 degrees Celsius below body temperature (so 35 degrees, or 94.8 F, about 4 degrees below body temperature in Fahrenheit). The body itself is fairly good at maintaining this temperature, and has many means in place to keep it at this temperature. Anything above or below this temp results in a decrease in sperm production or killing the sperm period, which is a problem because it takes 72 days to produce a single sperm. Now, why bring this up? The increased use of laptops. A study done at Cornell in 2007 showed that the average laptop user's lap can reach 105 degrees Fahrenheit, well above what is ideal. As a result, males who use laptops in the study were shown to have a smaller sperm count than the norm.
So, just put a laptop on a table right? Problem solved. Wrong. This is merely one of the many things that's killing off the little guys. So let's hit the next thing I discussed: Diet
The average male American takes in about 250 mg of caffeine a day. And most Americans (and most of the world) have a solid caffeine addiction. Caffeine has several known side effects (dehydration, possible impairment of memory and heart problems) but a study in Copenhagen has found another: decreasing sperm count. The study finds that, with Cola specifically, it can decrease your sperm count up to 30% if you drink up to a liter of soda. Now a liter sounds like a lot all at once, however statistics have shown that the average American drinks about 216 liters over the course of a year, so every day the average American drinks approximately .6 liters of soda a day, enough to skill affect the little guys.
It should come as little surprise that alcohol and tobacco, especially in conjunction, have been know to limit sperm count. Unlike alcohol and tobacco, however, there is little evidence that a heightened BMI decreases sperm count, in spite of my rants about the subject. At the other end of the scale, a 'healthy' food can also cause of lowered sperm counts as well.What I'm speaking of is soy products. While a reasonably healthy alternate method to get protein, soy products contain isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens, as the name implies, act much like estrogen in the body.As a result the male body responds to it in kind, down-regulating the production of male hormones needed to produce sperm, specifically if consumed during childhood when such chemical interference can interfere in the later years.
Now for the REALLY fun one.
The bottles have chemicals that leech into the water. These chemicals are called xenoestrogens and are found in most plastic bottles. Much like phytoestrogens as above, when they enter the body they act very much like estrogen, down-regulating male processes (and causing girls to develop more at a younger age).
One specific chemical is called Bisphenol-A (or BPA). BPA is used widely to make plastic harder and watertight tin cans. It is found in most food and drink cans ( including tins of infant formula milk), plastic food containers, and the casings of mobile phones and other electronic goods. It's often referred to as a 'gender bending chemical' and has been linked to increased male infertility. And is toxic in its own right.
Of course pollution and malnutrition also are common factors towards a decreased sperm count as well.
So what do we come to with all these factors? Is infertility on the rise? Recent studies are saying the answer is... yes some places. In the US, signs seem to point to no, though the topic has become far more prominent, causing a perceived increase in infertility due to a larger public awareness. At least that's the answer so far, without taking into account the many new chemicals flooding the market
Abroad though, for example in China and Britain, there seems to be a greater indication that infertility is beginning to become a greater problem. For both of these locations there has been a great deal of pollution, as well as an increase in the use of other substances described above
|Death by SNOO SNOO!|
What's more likely is that industrialized nations will continue to have smaller populations while 'third world' nations will continue to balloon up in population. This is exacerbated by industrialized nations having fewer children per couple by choice anyhow. That and the phrase 'third world nation' is becoming an ever increasing misnomer these days anyhow (TED talks are awesome)
The really fun bit is I know some guys who will take these stats as advice to get their sperm count lower...
Can't WAIT to see the ads that pop up with this one
A few other things, we broke over 100 views this month! Woo
And also, as you can see I did some editing of the overall layout. Look good?
Thanks for reading,
November 6, 2010
|Possibly the best picture I've ever found|
I knew the truth, I had to tell it to the world. But I knew THEY would try to stop me. THEY, the old wives tales and embedded ideas of the past that led people astray. I needed to show the truth, to uncover....The Lies of Thanksgiving!
Cue title drop
Yeah, I'm getting weirder... Anyway.
So we hear the same thing every year: its Tryptophan in turkey that makes one sleepy during this gluttonous holiday.
This is, of course, Grade A bull. The truth isn't that simple, and doesn't fit into a single line like "Tryptophan in Turkey causes sleep". There is another reason for sleep, that is directly correlated to this holiday.
Before I get into the details of why, let's first talk about Tryptophan and what it is
|What we're talking about: pretty isn't it?|
Firstly, tryptophan is not the most common amino acid within protein. There simply just isn't that much there. I've attached a brief graph below
|And I made it myself too!|
As you can see, while Tryptophan IS present in turkey, it is no more so than, say beef, chicken or pork, all of which are of comparable content. So then, why do we not associate eating meat (or eggs, or seeds) with being drowsy?
|Serotonin and melatonin pathway from Tryptophan|
There is some truth behind the myth, Tryptophan is used to produce serotonin. Serotonin is a well known contributor for 'well being' and being 'calm', and in fact an abundance of the stuff WILL make you fall asleep, so there is some credence to this myth. Eating turkey on turkey day WILL make you content and happier. Which is good because the opposing force of your family will try to bring you down.
In fact, serotonin is a very important little chemical, as its deficiency has been linked with sudden infant death syndrome, as well as depression. As a result, it is used as an anti-depressant and will make you fall asleep in high enough dosages... but not the dosage we're talking about when it comes to turkey.
Sleep itself is a complex mechanism, associated with many different chemical neurotransmitters. This includes Melatonin, which also is synthesized from Tryptophan. Melatonin itself does not actually 'cause' sleep. It has far too many other uses in the body as an antioxidant and for the immune system. Another of the key chemicals (and one many people know about) committed to sleep is dopamine, which isn't made from Tryptophan at all but instead from another amino acid called Tyrosine (which turkey, again, has about an average level of).
No, in fact the turkey itself has little to do with why we find ourselves in a veritable coma while watching football (bonus points for Detroit Lions game "watchers"). The cause is actually the sheer amount of food that we eat. Thanksgiving is, after all, perhaps the most gluttonous holiday of the year
This occurrence is called Postprandial somnolence or, as it's more commonly called, a food coma. This is caused by two things: a lowered state of energy, and general sleepiness caused by neurochemical and hormonal changes in the body, related to the rate glucose (what we get energy from) enters the body.
So let's break this down.
When you eat a lot of food and it hits your stomach and small intestine, it causes a shift in your body's priorities. The activity in your sympathetic nervous system (which controls eyes, heart lungs etc) is down regulated while the activity in your parasympathetic nervous system (which controls the glands and organ for digestion) is up regulated. This shift results in the body being at lower energy and having a desire to rest. The bigger the meal, the more this affects the subject.
In addition, when eating foods with a high glycemic index (so something high in carbs), glucose is absorbed rapidly in the digestive tract and then sent into the blood stream. For people without diabetes, this then sends a massive burst of insulin out to try and keep the blood glucose levels maintained. The sudden burst of insulin induces many other non-charged amino acids to be taken into the muscles...except for tryptophan. This lowers the ratio of these other amino acids in the bloodstream to tryptophan, making tryptophan more preferable to cross the blood brain barrier. Once inside the brain, tryptophan indeed becomes serotonin and melatonin. The increase of both of these substances in the brain directly correlates with sleepiness and can be measured. But correlation does not equate to causation. The serotonin and melatonin levels result from overeating, not the the quantities of tryptophan in the turkey
So, there we have it. The Tryptophan in the turkey is not the trigger that makes people tired. It is the amount of carbohydrates and sheer amount of food consumed that does it.
Thanks for reading,
Have a good, restful, Turkey Day
November 1, 2010
Cognitive dissonance, for those who don't know, is the ability to hold two conflicting ideas at the same time. An old example of this idea (and how the expression "sour grapes" came to be) is in the fable The Fox and the Grapes (ca. 620–564 BCE). In the story, the fox sees some high-up grapes and wishes to eat them. When the fox is unable to think of a way to reach them, he surmises that the grapes are probably not worth eating, as they must not be ripe or that they are sour. This example follows a set pattern: one desires something, finds it unattainable, and reduces one's dissonance by criticizing it. This of course is just one example. Overall, cognitive dissonance is holding an idea in spite of evidence to the contrary, and then trying to make peace with it, such as dismissing one idea (for instance, saying 'the grapes are probably bad anyway' or 'that second bits clearly not true')
As an example
I am a true Viking. Vikings died out more or less in the 11th century. It is now the 21st century
Clearly Vikings are still alive, and I am the last!
The study specifically was targeting the 'Ground Zero mosque' controversy in the news. Everyone remember that? Was all there was on the news back in September? Anyway, they found that only one third of the people who had previous ly heard (and believed) the rumors regarding it changed their minds after overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
The false rumor used to this study was that Feisal Abdul Rauf the Imam that's backing the Islamic cultural center who is a terrorist sympathizer who's refused to condemn Islamic attacks on civilians this in spite of the fact that he DOES like here, go to 5:36). The problem with this little tidbit is the fact that there's NO EVIDENCE to support it.
The two professors Kelly Garret and Erik Nisbet found 750 people via online survey and exposed all of them to various rebuttals against the rumor, including different pictures next to the question. For some, no picture was including while in others, a picture of Rauf surrounded by people in western style business attire. Leading to 1 in 4 people changing their minds that the rumor was in fact false. But what actually is interesting about the study is how little it took to discredit the rest of the information. For instance, when the picture had the Imam surrounded by people in traditional Arab clothing, the rebuttal was ineffective.
In addition, having other texts in the rebuttal could also change opinion, such as Rauf's statement that America was partially to blame for harm it's policies have caused the Middle East, though still emphasizing that terrorism is not an answer to the problem.
This leads to a disturbing thought that tradition journalism (which tries to get 'both sides of a story') will actually hinder persuading people to the truth
Garrett and Nisbet did emphasize that, while the 750 people surveyed represented a broad range of adults, it was not a representative sample size adequate for all Americans . This means that the actual numbers may be taken as trends rather than as precise measurements...though this does little to help me sleep at night
So where's this leave us? The data SUPPORTS giving a one sided opinion, because any evidence to the contrary will have people keep their previous view. This leads to some difficult moral dilemmas as well, since most of the time the 'facts' are not truly established until later, and in the nation we support the 'all opinions are valid' stance.
Well, I could go into a heartfelt and deeply philosophical discussion about the nature of right and wrong and what should be done about this
Or, just end on a comic
I think I'll end on a Dilbert comic (credit to Scott Adams)
Everything is fine....
Thanks for reading
October 19, 2010
I've thus far avoided mentioning my college, The Ohio State University, some of that is not to sound overtly favoring them, another part is not always reading their science updates. It is required that you say 'The' by the way, need those definite articles. Otherwise we get confused with Oklahoma State...or something
However, I have now found something interesting, special thanks to people who send me articles by the way
OSU has learned a way to get electricity from a single electron, which will change not only energy efficiency but data processing. Before I get to the nitty-gritty of precisely HOW they do this, I think a physics lesson (or reminder) is in order.
Electrons! The things that orbit the nucleus. Have a negative charge. The flow of them causes electricity (static and otherwise). Electrons have a negative electric charge and, as a result, repel each other. The fact that they repel each other is why we feel things and what makes thing's 'solid'. Atoms are after all 99% empty space, and it's only electron's repulsion of each other that gives atom's substance and connects them with others.
Electrons also have a thing called 'spin' which is precisely what it sounds like, a type of angular momentum found in circular bodies who are affected by forces in an otherwise empty space (much like how the Earth rotates)
So yeah, they're important little subatomic particles.
Now that I've set the stage, researchers at The Ohio State University have showed that there is a way to harness an electron's spin in order to generate a small amount of electricity by making one side of a semi conductor (a material with electrical activity due to electron flow, somewhere between a conductor and an insulator) warmer than another
Why is this important, apart from scientific curiosity? A technology in development uses the spin of an electron to store computer data, the binary ones and zeros, as "spin up" or "spin down." These spin-based electronic, called spintronic, devices generate little heat, which will allow computers to process at faster speeds. Computer data is stored as the presence or absence of an electron charge. The problem is that heat generated in the process limits how fast a computer can process data according to Joseph Heremans, THE Ohio Eminent Scholar in Nanotechnology, and Roberto Myers, THE assistant professor of materials science and electrical engineering at THE Ohio State University (definite articles are fun).
In the experiment, they heated one side of the sample, and then measured the orientations of spins on the hot side and the cool side. On the hot side, the electrons were oriented in the spin-up direction, and on the cool side, they were spin-down. The researchers also discovered, to their own surprise, that two pieces of the material do not need to be physically connected for the effect to propagate from one to the other.
They scraped away a portion of the sample with a file, to create two pieces of material separated by a tiny gap. If the spin effect were caused by electrical conduction (electrons flowing from one part of the material to the other)then the gap would block the effect from spreading. Again, they applied heat to one side. The effect persisted.
They figured that each piece would have its own distribution of spin-up and spin-down electrons. However, one side of the first piece was spin up, and the far side of the second piece was spin down. The effect somehow crossed the gap.
September 19, 2010
So today I'm going to go over Vampirism.
No, not that guy. Too classy
No not him. Far too many redeeming characteristics
Oh hell no.
No no what I'm talking about today are the real blood suckers of the world, creatures that practice hematophagy. I am of course speaking of the typical annoying pests that come to mind, mosquitoes, lice, fleas, ticks, Edward Cullen, lawyers, leeches all of them share the same urge to drink blood. Now why is that?
Well first lets go over what blood (human blood for simplicity's sake) is made of. What we call 'blood' are in fact red and white blood cells suspended in plasma. The plasma itself is approximately 91% water, providing the necessary water for any given organism, and contains dissolved proteins, glucose, carbon dioxide, mineral elements, hormones, platelets and the blood cells themselves. The most abundant cell in blood is of course the red blood cell which carries oxygen using a heme group.
Now looking over this list, it becomes pretty apparent that blood is pretty nutritious and would satisfy many creatures in their search for water, protein, minerals etc... In fact the Maasai of Tanzania actually drink blood straight from their cattle, offering further proof of its inherently nutritious, if slightly off-putting, nature.
So we've established why these little bloodsuckers...well suck blood. For creatures adapted to get it it is a constantly renewed resource (in fact a reason for feces to be brown is its coloration by red blood cells, so every day blood cells are vacated and replaced). They are however, almost universally considered to be pests at best. More often, however they are considered dangerous as (mosquitoes and fleas specifically) have been known to carry many different kinds of deadly diseases such as Lime disease, West Nile virus, among others.
Now, back to the whole Halloween theme here.
Commonly held mythology states that garlic repels vampires. I always thought that was odd. Crosses I understood, assuming Vampires were strictly demonic, but garlic always puzzled me. It seems though that our mythology is teaching us a lesson. Garlic does in fact prevent mosquitoes as well as other bloodsucking creatures. The reasons for this are many. Firstly, mosquitoes don't really have an olfactory sense like you or I have, they only smell a very narrow range of scents, most specifically a sweet scent. As a result of garlic's rather pungent smell (caused by a relatively high concentration of diallyl disulfide) covers the scent to mosquitoes and allows the person to get by unbitten. Thanks to convergent evolution, many other creatures share the same kind of ability to find their next meal. In addition garlic possesses the chemical allicin, which is garlic's natural defense mechanism against pests anyhow. So in effect having garlic or eating garlic makes you have poison in your veins to the parasites, and makes you smell bad to them (and your significant other)
Keep this in mind folks, as bed bugs and fleas are running rampant this time of the year. A good cheap way to deal with them is to make them not want to bite you
Thanks for reading
August 17, 2010
Recent studies show that the most common bat in America, M. lucifugus, better known as the little brown bat, is getting closer and closer to total extinction, being struck by White-Nose Syndrome, which was discovered in 2006. WNS is quickly decimating the bat's and at this time scientists barely understand how it works, let alone the cause of the ailment.Some researchers believe in it caused by a foreign mold that has entered the caves, but that doesn't fully explain the disease present. What is known however is that bats are dying in the millions, and quickly. Researchers have even been quoted saying that this is possibly the worst threat to bats within the span of human existence.
August 11, 2010
August 10, 2010
An Example of Entropy
DNA, made famous for it's double helix formation, has even greater structure, going into tertiary and even quarternary structural units. The same is true of RNA and perhaps more importantly, proteins. Why is a protein important over DNA and RNA for it's form? DNA and RNA are, ultimately, blueprints for the body. Their structure is a result of what is easiest and lowest energy formation (caused because of negative charges, hydrophobicity etc...).
Proteins however can derive their function solely based on their shape, forming enzymes or otherwise. If a protein has an incorrect structure it will not react properly, and other biologic functions would not work, making the processes essential to life nealy impossible. As such outside of indentifying the constituent parts of the protein, another important aspect is determining it's structure. This is typically done using a Rosetta program via computer to determine the best possible arrangement of amino acids. The Rosetta program does well, except it does get stuck, as in getting to a lower energy state, sometimes you must cross through a higher energy one, causing the program to stop
So why am I going over protein structure and entropy? Much like the jellyfish article, I found another that was weird enough to catch my attention.
Protein folding is now a MMO game.
The use of the sorting algorthm is still invaluable, as the proteins can be several thousand amino acids long. However reaching the ending point of the program, researchers decided to make a game out of it, giving the virtual proteins to an online community to solve, getting points for making the protein have a lower and lower energy required. While algorthms and computer programs are extremely useful in science, human beings are definitely still needed... so screw you H.A.L.
The same tactic has begun to be used by astonomers and in other fields
I'm hoping in the future a biochem degree will boil down to a giant video game.
August 3, 2010
In general cell generation is limited. Cells take time to divide, and cannot be reprogrammed to form other biological machinery. The skin cells cannot regrow bone, kidney cells cannot regrow a lung, and so on. The ability to regrow a limb in the multicelluar animal kingdom is limited to certain types of lizards, (and only their tale) as well as worms. Once a cell is programmed to preform a certain function (which is decided fairly early on in life) it thus far can't be reprogrammed to form new tissue.
That's starting to change....
The first instance I'll talk about is about joint replacement. Today's titanium joints work fairly well, but need to be replaced after about 10 years. Replacing them, however, is a challenge for both the patient and the surgeon and often involves weeks of rehabilitation. A team from Columbia University has proposed a way to deal with this problem: inserting a chemical-infused scaffold generates new tissue by attracting stem cells. The scaffolding, meant to resemble a joint, was infused with growth horomone to encourage cell generation in several rabbits. Thanks to the added growth factor protein, the rabbit's own stem cells naturally migrated into the scaffold and regenerated both the cartilage and the bone beneath it. The surgery to replace the joint is similar to now, except there would be no need to go back into the patient, as the joint would be natural. This is a good proof of concept in order for future regeneration of boneloss. However young rabbits are already well known for their ability to heal, and what rabbits that received the scaffold without the chemical only healed somewhat. Growth horomone while natural can lead to complications in older patients, so it would need to be monitored...
Regardless however, it is a solid proof of concept that this indeed can work and that a patient's own body can heal itself, given the right tools. This would be a marked improvement over prostetics and synthetic limb growth both of which hold the possibility of the patient's body rejecting the new limb.
Every adult creature still has stem cells, but they grow in limited numbers and are typically found in the bone marrow and therefore later in the blood, younger creatures tend to have more of them, as their bodies are still growing. Unlike other cells they may differentiate and change their function (lung cell, heart cell etc...). Stem cell research has had some bad press due to it's use of fetal stem cells, but there is a greater use of adult stem cells, which poses less ethical quandries. Stem cell research opens up alot of possibilities for future medical advances.
Meanwhile over at Yale great strides are being made in the field of organ growth. In a way similar to the one above, a scaffolding of a lung was used and then was implanted with stem cells, which then regrew the lung. It was not perfect however, as the newly formed lung did seem prone to blood clots. The organ was not reconstructed from the mouse's own tissue as well so it was prone to being rejected as a foreign substance by the body as well. It was reported that great stem cell research would be necessary before this would be applicable for use on a human.
There's alot of promising technology in the offing... it still needs work however
My love of science fiction is quickly being overshadowed by the fact that the world is BECOMING science fiction.
July 23, 2010
July 21, 2010
But most amazingly. We've managed to edit the genetic code, and are able to make biological proteins not seen before. Recently scientists in Cambridge, specifically a one Jason Chin has managed to creature a codon that can code using four nucleotide bases.
Across the pond that very instance has taken place. By engineering a strain of DNA they were able to insert it into a bacterium, which then proceeded to replicate, forming an entirely new strain of bacteria, which successfully went through cell replication. Forming the first entirely engineered form of life that has never been seen on this planet before.
But as with all discoveries, it also opens up the door for ethical and moral quandaries. And I'm pleased to say that the U.S. court's at least are taking this seriously. There was an idea that specific genes created by companies could be patented, but the issue becomes what happens when someone possesses the gene? Who's property is it? Worse yet, if a single company owns the patent on a cancer gene, that bottle necks the companies able to study and cure said cancer... Luckily such a ruling is meeting legal action
In addition to this there is the fear that a synthetic organism, if released into the wild would then run amok with the native ecosystem. Being that it a completely nonnative being it is possible that the immune systems of living creatures would not be able to handle it, causing an epidemic almost overnight. Then of course there's the fear that someone would do this on purpose as an act of biological terrorism. AS before, there are growing watchdog agencies who are beginning to try and monitor just that sort of thing.
I didn't forget unicorns.... As it turns out in Italy there was found a single horned deer, which a lot of people seem to believe may have been the beginning of the original unicorn myth.
Personally I want to genetically engineer a unicorn... but, you know, gotta wait for progress and all that
Thanks for reading,