Sunday, June 14, 2015


A very interesting study in Nature caught my attention the other day. A misfolded protein causing Kuru or CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) and both can be stopped by a single point mutation at Codon 127 (a substitution of glycine for valine). That Codon 127 is the filter that could have prevented the decimation of the 2% population of Papua, New Guinea from “Prion disease.” Imagine that! Eating the brain tissue of the dead relatives is not the ideal scenario as it lends itself to propagation of the prions into animals (mad cow disease) doing the same and the vicious cycle comes back home to haunt humans in the end. Alas this codon mutation is an acquired benefit through the learning agility of the human genome.
Normal Healthy Brain

What about Codon 127?

Assuming you are crafting this thought in your mind, Codon 127 therefore acts like a filter, doesn’t it? Pass through and the brain is inundated with mis-folded proteins that cause signal disruption, chaos and confusion. Filter the pass through and voila no madness!
(Mis-Folded Protein on the right below)

And there it dawned upon me about Big Data and its chaotic perturbations upon our society.

Everything is “Big this or that” even the data and there is a daily bombardment of information boring into our skulls. Some are surreptitious; subtle programmed music to entice you to buy in a department store and others not so subtle advertising in the form of “studies” purporting eating or drinking this or that can lead to good health. We are being, in such gentle and unknowing terms, programmed into thinking thoughts that do not necessarily belong to us, but are the dictates of those that can pull our strings. Even in medicine, actually especially in medicine, this concept is in full force. A hodgepodge of studies with large biased assumptions are being bandied about to convince doctors that, “That is not the way it should be!” But, “This is the way it should be!” Beneath the surface, if one looks deeper, the author is in his birthday suit!

So what is happening is the failure in learning from our experiences to switch our Codon 127. The filter to see through what is real and what is false and by virtue of that insight, eliminate confusion. This filter then defines the nature of reality and removes the extraneous large datasets of useless information and allows us to process reality as it really is. The brain’s fuzzy logic (as in removing the blind spot from our vision) added to the subtle programming nuanced by “others” can scuttle our ends to someone else’s means as surely as the daily barrage of untruths can change the truth (Nazi propaganda) in the minds of the knowledgeable too. Critical thinking is the only means to keep our own wits’ ends.

“How does one do that?” is the logical question.

 1.  Compiling your own database of right and wrong.
2. Using Common Sense as a filter.
3.  Seeing through the lens of limited bias.
4. Remembering if something is too good to be true, it, of necessity usually is.
5.  Understand the motive behind the action.
6. Follow the money- the trail will usually surprise you.
7. Never assume.
8. Verify and validate the hypothesis.
9.  No one or entity is inclined to pursue benefits for you. They are in it for themselves.
10. True Charity is unconditional as is true love.

You can, I am sure add to this list and please do. It makes us all resilient in the end.

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