I had another theory ambush me earlier today, having pondered some very different questions. Though, you should be aware that my theories are all based upon exerpts of scientific articles, so I may at times falter. Considering that I am the only visitor and reader of this blog, I can not see the harm in that, at least not to this day.

It is often so that one finds inspiration to ponder questions far different from those one has been assigned to contemplate. At least, this is the case when I am involved. I am the possessor of a care-free spirit. I will never be at ease with one single occupation in life, which is part of why I am going through such a difficult period in my life for the time being.

In the Scientific American article I mentioned in an earlier post (the one regarding alien cells in native tissue) it was also, by the author, mentioned that alien cells can be introduced to a child’s body through their mother’s breast milk.

This, I figured, in other word means that alien cells can be introduced to a body through consumption.

I have also read, though I do not recall where exactly, that prions have been declared innocent of causing Creutzfeld-Jacob’s-disease. (I would love to find out more about this.)

If we assume that the statement is true, at least for the moment, I can carry on with the theory.

I theorize that consumption of any cellular material, which is similar enough to our own, results in our body not immediately attacking said cells. Instead, they are alien cells which can be found throughout our bodies. These cells can, for example, be disguised using chemical markers, making them impossible for the body to recognize as harmful. As the chemical markers then wear off, the alien cells’ disgise is recognized. As they by that time have become part of the bodys own tissues, an auto-immune reaction has been initiated, leading to degaradation of brain and nervous tissue. It may also be so that cells from other species are similar enough to be introduced into native tissue, but different enough to start auto-immune reactions.

This theory can also be explored further, and I think that through enough extensive study, most auto-immune conditions (such as MS and rheumatoid arthritis among others) will turn out to be cased by alien cells which have been introduced to the body either through consumption of cellular material or during our time in the womb and the time during which we were nursed.

Most of the time our immune system discovers these aliens before they do any harm, or their actions are held in place. At times, our immune system may however falter, something which leads to the body developing auto-immune conditions.

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Microchimerism And Theories

January 29, 2008

The February issue of Scientific American was awaiting me as I arrived home today. Its major theme was the next generation of physics, which I found to be interesting. Even more intriguing, however, I found the article concerning microchimerism Your Cells Are My Cells to be.

What originally caught my interest was the term microchimerism as I had encountered the similar term “chimera” before. Admittedly, it was in an episode of CSI (4:23), but I found the concept of merged fraternal twins to be highly fascinating (and equally question-rendering). I, for one, could not truly get my head around the term, for of all the knowledge I possess, the possibility of two different sets of cells coexisting, was lacking. I yet to this day have to find an explaination of the phenomenom which comforts my wondering mind.

Regarding the Scientific American article, written by a J. Lee Nelson, it rendered some of my confusion obsolete, but in turn, it awoke new questions. The article presented the subject of microchimerism and that most (if not all) people are microchimeric. The reson for this being so has not yet fully been explained, but of what is known this far, mother and child exchanges cellular material during pregnancy. This astonishing fact was unearthed due to the discovery of cells containing Y-chromosomes in women who have been pregnant with sons, the time elapsed since being unsignificant.

The microchimerism may be both harmful and protective to the tissues. Foreign immune cells may harm the host tissue and create reumatism-like symtoms. The host’s immune cells may also, in turn, attack transferred cells in tissue. The effects of microchimerism are however not all harmful, in fact, the transferred cells may become an incorporated part of the host tissue and quite possibly aid the tissue in its regeneration process.

That the transferred cells may help the host tissue to regenerate, coupled with the fact that women with arthritis often experience improvements of their condition while pregnant, makes my mind wander off among possible theories.

Of course, me lacking further education in all concerned areas of study, may be negative in the context, that I construct theories regarding things I know nothing about. Of course, there are a selected few out in the world who have come up with excellent theories regarding things, all because they did not know a lot about all the problems associated with their new theories. In the end, however, these uninformed theories have proven vital to the evolution of future hypothesises.

I think that microchimerism has evolved because of its positive qualities. That it at times is harmful may be an effect that evolution this far has been unable to correct. A mutation that leads to a deformed haemoglobin molecule has proven to render its carrier immune to malaria. Two versions of this mutation does however affect the individual in a harmful way, they develop sickle-cell anemia. I believe that something similar to this perk of life, is true for microchimerism.

Because people are individuals with individual sets of DNA, they are as a result better adapted to face different challenges. Even mothers and their children are different, all because of the random mutations which happen every once in a while and the re-sequencing of the DNA base-pairs. A mother may because of this be immune toward a certain illness or condition, while her child is not. That they during her pregnancy exchange cells, may impede the effect of their individual differences to some degree. So, by exchanging cells with her child, a mother may protect her offspring. In the same way, she may be protected by new mutations which may have arisen in her child’s genetic material. In my opinion, microchimerism exists because of its possible beneficial qualities, that two generations may benefit from benign mutations that have arisen in one generation.

The article further argues, that a child may pass some of its cells along to its mother and that the mother in turn may pass some of those cells along to her next child, means that a beneficial mutation may come to assist a new generation as a whole. This may also have sped up the rate of evolution, which generally is a slow process. By enabling a mutation that has originated in one individual to be transferred to several others, though in a lesser quantity, decreases the chances of a beneficial mutation being lost. Evolution is painstakenly slow – a mutation may happen only once in a million years and in one individual. If this individual later would perish because of external forces, without passing its mutation on to the next generation, the million years that rendered the mutation would have been for nothing. If the mutation however had been assigned a safe haven in the genetic material of a sibling (or mother) it can survive and benefit the further evolution of a species.

Let me illustrate this through an example. Say that a mouse population is affected by a disease which degrades tissue, leading to death before reproduction. One of the mice is pregnant and one of its fetuses has developed a mutation that will render it immune toward the disease. The mutated fetus and its mother exchanges cells, as do the other fetuses, making the mutation spread to the mother and siblings. After birth, the mouse with the mutation is caught by a cat and killed, meaning that it never will reproduce. Its mother and siblings do however carry some of its cells. A later pregnancy of the mother’s may incorporate the mutation into the new litter, as will the siblings as they reproduce. The siblings will be able to reproduce because some of their cells are those of their deceased sibling. If they become infected, the mutated cells may protect the tisssues around them, because of their immunity, enabling the mice carrying the mutated cells to reproduce to a further extent when compared to the mice which do not carry similar mutated cells. All it takes is for one of the descendants of the cell-carrying mice to have fused with one of the mutated cells at a very early stage in its fetal development, creating a true chimera. This chimeric mouse is immune to the disease, as well as possibly being able to pass the mutated cells along as one of its own. Its offspring will thrive and not be affected by the diesease, eventually rendering the disease extinct. This concludes that the mutation and the microchimerism assist each other in helping a species evolve.

As above mentioned, pregnant women experience a dampening of arthritis symtoms when compared to those experienced before and after the pregnancy. As it is during pregnancy that cells are exchanged between the mother and child, the child’s cells seem to have traits that ease the mother’s symtoms. This is however just a side-effect, I theorize. The cell’s main trait must be that they excrete a substance which will enable them to fuse with the mother’s tissue. The substance excreted is what affects the mother’s auto-immune condition. As foreign cells usually are attacked by the body’s immune system, it must be “tamed” beforehand. This is what the substance does.

The author of the Scientific American-article has explored this topic already, even if the results are not yet crystal-clear. I do however believe that further study of the subject will provide new possibilities for mankind. The extraction of the immune system-taming substance, for example, will provide new hope for those in need of tissue or organ transplants, as well as those suffering from auto-immune conditions.

The season of autumn has come. The leaves have all turned red, orange and yellow. It is in contrast to the crisp cold of the soon arriving winter. Nature seems to be on fire. The colors bring warmth to my days and my only sorrow is that that the warmth of the burning leaves is only in my mind. When cold winds blow, I wish that the warm colors could erase the chill and make me experience the summer’s gentle breeze one last time. One never appreciates the last breeze of the year – all because one does not expect it to be the last. We reason as it being so that tomorrow the breeze will once again gentlytouch our skin … or maybe the next day, if not the day after tomorrow. But I have longed for that soft touch too long now that I have come to understand that my desire is based on no facts.

The leaves of the trees are burning, but no fire lasts forever. It burns for a while before going out. A last breath similar to the last breeze of summer. What once was green has gone up in flames – glowing for a short period of time before being turned into the every day grey ash we all are bored with seeing. The chilly winds that characterize autumn greedily collect the burning leaves. Their cold claws make the leaves abandon their trees and silently fall to the ground. The wet ground makes the blazing fires go out. The dark pavement’s hard surface and the constant tap-tapping of shoes turns the redness of the fallen leaves to a grey, unidentifiable mass. It looks like wet newspaper with a tint of brown – the ultimate proof of that nothing lasts forever.

The sun has not been shining for weeks. Ocassionally it has peeked out, teasingly, from behind the clouds. Of course, that is when one is inside, sighing, wondering why life is never fair. Why is it so that life is a contstant battle for survival. We are no longer the prey of wild animals, something one would call a success. We are however the prey of our own kind, the people who are more greedy than the chilly winds of autumn. The kind of winds that turn the blazing redness of the abandoned leaves to the wet mass that cover wet pavement.

I do not like the word “fall.” There are so many things which are falling in the modern age of man, especially man itself. He seems to be at the mercy of the elements, and his misery is only accentuated by the season of fall. “Autumn” expresses some emotion, a glimmer of hope in an otherwise mundane world. The world is mundane, there is no doubt. At least not at the first glance. The members of mankind who roam the streets are gloomy, their faces pale. Their non-existant summer sunburns are since long gone. Pale and grey their faces appear to be, the grey clouds impede the sunlight from ever reaching their homes. Their smiles have been washed off their faces by the occasional rainfall. No season better symbolizes the fall of mankind better than fall itself.

As the leaves fall, so does the spirits of the common masses. Some try to smile and to be happy, but the sun is long gone. The November issue of Scientific American found its way to my mailbox, in the middle of all misery. I have never before read the whole issue in one day – that was how much time I had on my hands – rare hours I spent on a magazine. One of the most intriguing articles featured in it was the one titled: Cell Defences and the Sunshine Vitamin” by Luz E. Tavera-Mendoza and John H. White. The authors argued that deprivation of sunlight does not do man any good. The fairness of Northern European skin has enabled the people of the north to produce vitamin D through ancient times. The modern age has however brought a new style of life, one which deprives the people of their vitamins. This deficency has affected their health. They suffer from cancer and weakened immune systems. And no food can not make up for the lack of sunlight, all we can rely upon are dietary suppplements which tell stories of future dystopias. The article further states that during the summer the whole body exposure of sunlight makes up for part of the loss of vitamin D.
Me, loving to be kissed by the sun, often walk around in light clothes. I felt that maybe I had a chnace of at least being healthy in summer. I thought so reading the whole article until I came to the last page where a map was presented. It showed my home as lying in an area where the sunlight exposure is “insufficent most of the year.” In my own mind I theorized that the lack of sunlight I have been growing used to partly is to blame for my current state of mind.

I keep telling myself that one day I will not have to take the mundane colors of grey, I will not have to rest my eyes upon the pale people on the streets who have given up on life. One day, I will be kissed by the sun every day. But those days are too distant for now for me to draw strength from. Right now, I am yet another pale face for others to see, for others to feel sorry for. The majority of people never accomplished their goals, they never pursued their dreams. Eventually, they gave up on life, accepting that the mundane was their destiny. They will never be happy and they will never feel content. Perhaps the atmosphere which surrounds these people with no hope affects me more than I wish to realize. For, I am very sensitive to the feelings of others. The paleness of my fellow men’s skin coupled with the northern hemisphere’s deprivation of sunlight makes a doubtful I. Are the choices I am about to make the right ones for me?

Stockholm From Above One Day In The Middle Of Summer

Head turned to the ground, my face facing the wet pavement, I watch as my black shoes plow through the fallen fires piled up on the ground. Above me, some fires are still burning, the heat being imaginary in my head. Everything in nature seems to have reached a point of sudden death – the absence of the sun has made everything suicidal. The trees abandon their leaves, leaving them at the mercy of the greedy and chilly winds which blow over the world of grey. My tap-tapping shoes on the ground are part of the reason for why the leaves’ fallen fires are slowly turned to grey ashes. As the rain started to fall from the heavy skies and I longed for a day which still is far, far away, I asked my rational self the eternal question:

Would it not be wonderful if leaves were not fallen dreams?