Rare Genetic Mutation May Explain Some Forms of Multiple Sclerosis

Canadian scientists have uncovered a single genetic mutation that significantly heightens a person’s chance of developing a progressive and severe form of multiple sclerosis. While no single factor is responsible for causing the neurological disease, the discovery points to possible treatment options.

Source: Rare Genetic Mutation May Explain Some Forms of Multiple Sclerosis

That’s a very small sample size…

There’s No Such Thing As ‘Good Cholesterol’ Says Pivotal New Study

A surprising new genetic study shows that some people with naturally high levels of HDL cholesterol—the supposedly good kind of cholesterol—are at increased risk of a heart attack. Doctors are now further questioning the use of drugs to boost HDL levels while looking to new therapies to reduce heart risk.

Source: There’s No Such Thing As ‘Good Cholesterol’ Says Pivotal New Study

Sorry for the scare.

For the people with this genetic defect, HDL (“good”) cholesterol is not good because the defect destroys their liver’s ability to absorb fat brought to it by HDL.  In normal people, HDL still correlates with lower risk of heart disease.

Farmers Stumbled on Genetics That Stop Chickens Loving Their Offspring

Birds have a quality known as broodiness. It means that, after they lay their eggs, they stick around and take care of those eggs. Most commercial chickens don’t have that quality. And it looks like their complete disregard for their offspring results from one genetic mutation.

Source: Farmers Stumbled on Genetics That Stop Chickens Loving Their Offspring

Having raised chickens, both for meat and eggs, I never thought about this.  I’ve certainly seen broodiness in other fowl, like geese and ducks.  You only have to get bitten by a goose once…  Not me, I just watched 😀

Halifax Zoologist: Rainbow Lobster Catches Exaggerated by Social Media

Lobster catches across the Maritimes this season have, despite the odds, proven to be very colourful.

Four blue lobsters, a yellow and an albino lobster have all been caught in the last two weeks.

While chances of catching a yellow lobster are ten times less frequent than blue ones, the odds of catching an albino lobster are one in 100 million.

Source: Rainbow lobster catches exaggerated by social media, says Halifax zoologist

Lobster used to be cheap – here’s why that changed.  Whatever the colour, you can make lobster butter with the shell afterwards.

Attractive (Symmetrical) faces and Good Health may not be Related

The “good genes hypothesis” provides an appealing explanation of this finding. It argues that deviation from facial symmetry is due to difficulties arising during development caused by malnutrition, infection or genetic mutation. The degree of facial symmetry may therefore be a marker of health and resilience, indicating how well people cope with environmental or genetic challenges. So we may find facial symmetry desirable in a mate because these qualities prove beneficial to potential offspring.

Source: ArsTechnica

The heart wants what the heart wants…

I’m not getting stronger – just better muscle definition as my body fat percentage decreases.  But we correlate muscle visibility with gym/exercise…  We’re also seeing people who have low body fat/BMI, but bad cholesterol, blood pressure, etc because they aren’t triggered to review their health because they aren’t getting fat.