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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2011-01-04 05:39
Subject: [personal] Learning experiences at the Science Pub, dreaming my night away
Security: Public
Tags:books, cancer, cool, dreams, healthcare, science, sunspin
Last night on an invitation from a friend, I went to OMSI's Science Pub at McMenamin's Bagdad Theater and Pub. The topic was "How to Repair a Damaged Brain: From Lumps of Sugar to Spheres of Stem Cells" by Larry Sherman, Ph.D.

The lecture was fascinating. I learned some things directly applicable to Sunspin, specifically the physiology of my quasi-immortal Befores. I also learned some things about my own chemo process, as Dr. Sherman discussed the relationship between 5-Fluorouracil (one of my chemo drugs from last year) and hyaluronic acid with respect to cognitive and memory dysfunction.

Perhaps the most fun though was the people I met there. I hung out with the OMSI volunteers, an eclectic and very engaging crowd of people who made me quite welcome. Not to mention a few folks were familiar with my work, which is always a fun thing to encounter in the wild, as it were.

I'm sorry I'll be missing the upcoming lecture on the Missoula Floods (one of my favorite scientific topics) later this month due to being off in scenic Nebraska that week. I'm looking forward to catching more Science Pub sessions in the future, and more of the great bunch that hang out there.

In other news, from the department of somnilogues, last night's dream involved a visit to a library. At first I wandered through rooms of older books, well-handled, splay-backed and dog-eared. Then I found a room where aloha shirts could be checked out. Had a brief, interesting chat with the shirt librarian. After that I passed through the paper recycling plant, which involved an impressive 50-ton stamp press. (Yes, I'm pretty sure that real life paper recycling does not include stamp presses.) Then the insect room, about which less said, the better.

Honestly, I'm not certain I wasn't receiving a tour of my own subconscious.

What did you dream last night?

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User: joycemocha
Date: 2011-01-04 13:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Damn! I wish I'd known about it as this does touch on my current field of study, and I'm up for just about anything like this that I can get to. Where did you find out about it?

(and what's the connection with hyaluronic acid? I'm curious because that's a component of Mocha's hock injections. I've asked about it for my own joint issues, and been told It Isn't Done For Humans. Just horses)
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-01-04 14:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Found out from a friend. How I'd missed it all these years is beyond me.

As for hyaluronic acid, apparently when there's brain damage at the cellular level -- degradation to the myelin sheathing, for example; or, as in my case, a chemo-induced significant drop in cell replacement rates -- one of the trauma responses is a sharp spike in HA. HA then has metabolic effects on the self-repair mechanism, which appears to be optimized for repairs to minor or point-source damage at the expense of repairs to major or system damage.

Also, Dr. Sherman mentioned that HA does have human applications in management of joint damage. You might want to research what your doctor told you about not using it in humans.
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Msconduct
User: msconduct
Date: 2011-01-04 15:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I wondered why hyaluronic acid sounded familiar, googled it, and realised it's what's used in cosmetic filler for facial lines (as Juvederm, for example). So clearly it's used in humans for *some* applications:).
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Elizabeth Coleman
User: criada
Date: 2011-01-04 14:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Last night, I dreamed I flew to India (by way of Mexico) with my dad and Catherine Zeta-Jones to see a Rainbow Brite movie. I'm thinking that this is what is going to happen to while I'm living back in my old childhood home.
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oaksylph
User: oaksylph
Date: 2011-01-04 22:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
[My internal snotty linguist suggests "oneirologues."]

For obvious reasons, most of my dreams are in The Library. I generally find that it's not the rooms themselves that signify my unconscious states - it's my reaction to them within the dream. The rooms are made of all the stuff I notice, consciously or unconsciously; whether I stop and talk to someone in it, turn around and run out of it, get attracted to something in it, or feel that I should do something in it, that's what says something meaningful about myself to myself. Dunno if this is true of you or anyone else, but it would be interesting to know, say, whether you felt anything else within the dream about the stamp press besides that it was impressive.

Last night I was trying to convince a bunch of other people to help me protect The Library, which was, at the time, hidden inside and beneath an ancient stone ruin in a jungle. It was terribly, terribly important to me to get their help, because I knew two bands of guerillas were about to clash over this area and that they might accidentally (or, heaven forfend, deliberately) burn The Library. But then I went out to find the missing daughter of one of the people I was trying to persuade, and I discovered suspicious bundles of tarp hidden between tree roots and in clusters of stones, and I realized that the whole area was basically mined with white phosphorus. All of a sudden, nothing in the world, not even The Library, mattered more than getting the people out of the valley and up beyond the treeline.

Which tells me that, somewhere along the line, books stopped being my raison d'etre, and people who love books took their place. Also that phosphorus and other things that just go bang when you put water on them scare the crap out of me, but that might have been because I was studying how jellyfish kill last night (never, EVER rinse a jellyfish sting with fresh water).
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zxhrue: please do not put the bones
User: zxhrue
Date: 2011-01-05 07:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:please do not put the bones

:is more than mildly jealous:

having looked at the OMSI site, I am wishing they did these up as pod casts.

oddly enough last nights dream did feature a library too.
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