Ask urodacus!


#1081

and

Damn! I’d love either one of those right about now! :lick:


#1082

Having confirmed infection with an A-type influenza virus, what’re the chances that it’s H1N1?


#1083

1 in 50? varies, depending on the number and distribution of different type A flus around at the moment.

Type A are most common, Type B far less common, and Type C so seldom diagnosed that one can’t really tell: they’re generally non-symptomatic.


#1084

If someone has chosen to make me seem like I don’t like them (i.e. that we are opposed), how do I get by (retain influence, respect as an rational individual without a grudge) without a)kissing said persons ass in an attempt to look good, (b) it seeming like I am an enemy of said person. I don’t want to give said :whistle: the say in who my enemies are (especially when they do so to advance their own agenda - that of victim - if said person can convince others that I am somehow against him/her, my opinions will be reduced to slander/politics)


#1085

Will we ever be able to cure headaches (so we don’t get them) and the common cold?


#1086

probably not, as there are too many causes. But then again, tried heroin?

perhaps. like the 'flu, however, it is a rapidly mutating virus so a single vaccine is unlikely to have any effect (besides, there are always some people who don’t vaccinate. Perhaps the best chance of permanently ridding ourselves of the effects of the virus(es) is to remove all sources of infection and all copies of the virus (maybe by cauterising the nasal passages of all carriers?). Yum.


#1087

You could just quietly dispose of them in the office shredder one lunch break.

Maybe that question is best answered by Iris, or by Almas John.

and No, Housecat, I have not forgotten, it’s just that your questions deserve a longer and less trite answer than I have the motivation for right now.


#1088

Doc 'Dacus ("Curse you, webslinger!!!"®),

What’s your scariest Big Bug movie?
Not favourite for cheeziness or campiness, but a movie featuring a/some giant-sized insect/arachnid/arthropod(s) that just clean scared the crap out of you when you saw it?

Mine was the Black Widow in The Incredible Shrinking Man…

Shit, I just got major shivers up and down my spine from just looking at that pic…


#1089

Alien. Seriously, the alien bursting out of the guys chest over lunch is some scene!

Most homegrown critters just don’t scare me… I’ve worked with them for so long, and looked at so many of the bastards under microscopes that those close ups aren’t so scary any more.

Mind you, I still detest leeches (too many weird places i have retrieved them from, including eyeball, anus, and penis, though not mine, fortunately) and big centipedes (we’re talking the foot-long mofos from central Australia and the Amazon here. Mean fokkers indeed, and very strong, and very painful if you get bitten).


#1090

It’s okay. I’m a mommy. I have learned patience. They are really things I’d like to understand more about, though.


#1091

Dear urodacus,
In the blood clot seizure thread, you wrote something about turning your head quickly can cause minor strokes. I believe I get something like this very frequently (once every week or two), but I’m not sure if it’s the same thing.

Occasionally I get pain in the side of my neck followed by a warm sensation for a few seconds when I turn my head to either side too quickly. I try not to do this, of course, but sometimes it’s hard to avoid. Is this something that I should get checked out, or is it a normal thing that won’t hurt me too much? It kind of freaks me out when it happens, but I don’t appear to have any problems as a result.
Thanks for all of the great advice you give.


#1092

[quote=“housecat”]
Why does it seem harder to fall asleep when I’m dead tired? If I’m feeling okay, just going to be because it’s time for that, I can usually fall asleep okay. If I’m wondering why I haven’t died from lack of rest already, I can’t seem to fall asleep for anything, and if I do, it’s not usually good sleep at all.[/quote]

Weird, and I don’t know why and haven’t been able to find out. Maybe the stress of needing to sleep makes you unable to sleep. (sleep requires brain wave changes, where awakefulness is created by synchronized firing of a network of neurons distributed around the inner regions of the cortex at the rear of the brain called the Reticular Activation System. If strong stimuli appear when you’re asleep this is turned on. Maybe it can’t turn off if you’re too tired to allow the gradual relaxation of this system…

Autoimmune diseases are caused by the body’s normal immune process beginning to attack one’s own body. The main line of defence in the body is by the creation of antibodies, of which there are an almost infinite number because they are made by random assembly of a stack of short building blocks. No two people have the same set of antibodies. Antibodies made against, say, the flu virus, are different in one person than in another, because the immune system simply makes all possible antibodies all the time, and only ones that by chance successfully stick onto some piece of protein are amplified and remembered. Now, this would seem to raise the problem of why antibodies are not made against oneself. In fact, they are, but the body somehow recognizes the self-directed antibodies when we are still young and doesn’t make them any more (we actually do know much of this already but it’s very complicated and I won’t discuss it further).

In some cases this goes awry and we continue to make antibodies against some part of ourselves. The cause of this may be because a germ happens along that one of these inactivated or unused antibodiues can stick to, generating an immune response and the massive increae in numbers of that specific antibody. Some people think this is one cause of Type 1 diabetes, and perhaps rheumatoid arthritis. It may be that a new antibody shape is created that binds to an invader, but coincidentally also sticks to our own tissue and causes an immune response to be directed against otherwise normal tissue. This is the case with scarlet fever, an autoimmune disease directed agaisnt heart valave tissue that sometimes follows a Streptococcus infection. In yet another cause, the body might generate too much of some degradation product of a normal protein or tissue, which was not normally present at high enough levels to cause an immune response but does generate one at high levels. This is potentially the cause of osteoarthritis, where repeated damage to cartilage lining the joints releases degradation products of cartilage into the blood stream in large amounts and the body launches an immune defence against it, unfortunately also further damaging the remaining cartilage.

Women seem to get autoimmune diseases at 3-4 times the rate of men. This has often been put down to the effects of carrying children through pregnancy. Significant numbers of fetal cells escape into the mother’s bloodstream during pregnancy, and can prime the antibody and T-cell immune responses against molecules very similar or identical to the mother’s molecules. One of the key things that makes us respond to a new molecule is whether or not it is presented to antibody recognition cells in company with “self”-markers, the immunohistocompatibility markers or IHC molecules. Children have a different set of IHC molecules on the surface of their cells to the mother (because half the IHC genes come from the dad). If the IHC markers presented along with a particular molecule are the same as those on the antibody recognition cell, then the immune response to that molecule is turned off. If they are different, the immune signal is turned on, and amplified. Thus the immune system of a mother can become sensitised to her own molecules by bearing a child who also has those same molecules but different IHC markers. A generalised and widespread attack on epithelial cells, as in lupus, can be a result of this process.


#1093

[quote=“scomargo”]Dear urodacus,
In the blood clot seizure thread, you wrote something about turning your head quickly can cause minor strokes. I believe I get something like this very frequently (once every week or two), but I’m not sure if it’s the same thing.

Occasionally I get pain in the side of my neck followed by a warm sensation for a few seconds when I turn my head to either side too quickly. I try not to do this, of course, but sometimes it’s hard to avoid. Is this something that I should get checked out, or is it a normal thing that won’t hurt me too much? It kind of freaks me out when it happens, but I don’t appear to have any problems as a result.
Thanks for all of the great advice you give.[/quote]

there are a lot of things that may cause this.

there may be a slight bleed, or you may have some vascular or pressure problem in a sinus, or you may have an undiagnosed and generally non-symptomatic disc or bony overgrowth problem in the neck vertebrae whereby there is some pressure on the nerves feeding sensation from that area of the surface of the head. I won’t go so far as to make a diagnosis on the basis of your post, however! and it may be difficult for any neurologist to diagnose even with expensive (and generally unwarranted) investigations, such as a contrast angiogram, a functional MRI, or a CT scan.

relax! if your head is not too badly damaged, don;t go poking around in it. that’s the best advice I can give.

(Don’t sue me if you drop dead tomorrow, please)


#1094

Thanks, urodacus. I’m inclined to just let it be for now. I’ve had this annoyance for many years now, and I’m still alive and ticking. I’ll follow the general advice of, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Edit: this link describes pretty well what I experience. I guess it’s likely a pinched nerve.


#1095

[quote=“scomargo”]Thanks, urodacus. I’m inclined to just let it be for now. I’ve had this annoyance for many years now, and I’m still alive and ticking. I’ll follow the general advice of, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Edit: this link describes pretty well what I experience. I guess it’s likely a pinched nerve.[/quote]

Or the ghost of Alistair Crowley come back from beyond to torment you because of your avvie.

Could be either, really…


#1096

[quote=“urodacus”][quote=“housecat”]
Why does it seem harder to fall asleep when I’m dead tired? If I’m feeling okay, just going to be because it’s time for that, I can usually fall asleep okay. If I’m wondering why I haven’t died from lack of rest already, I can’t seem to fall asleep for anything, and if I do, it’s not usually good sleep at all.[/quote]

Weird, and I don’t know why and haven’t been able to find out. Maybe the stress of needing to sleep makes you unable to sleep. (sleep requires brain wave changes, where awakefulness is created by synchronized firing of a network of neurons distributed around the inner regions of the cortex at the rear of the brain called the Reticular Activation System. If strong stimuli appear when you’re asleep this is turned on. Maybe it can’t turn off if you’re too tired to allow the gradual relaxation of this system…

Autoimmune diseases are caused by the body’s normal immune process beginning to attack one’s own body. The main line of defence in the body is by the creation of antibodies, of which there are an almost infinite number because they are made by random assembly of a stack of short building blocks. No two people have the same set of antibodies. Antibodies made against, say, the flu virus, are different in one person than in another, because the immune system simply makes all possible antibodies all the time, and only ones that by chance successfully stick onto some piece of protein are amplified and remembered. Now, this would seem to raise the problem of why antibodies are not made against oneself. In fact, they are, but the body somehow recognizes the self-directed antibodies when we are still young and doesn’t make them any more (we actually do know much of this already but it’s very complicated and I won’t discuss it further).

In some cases this goes awry and we continue to make antibodies against some part of ourselves. The cause of this may be because a germ happens along that one of these inactivated or unused antibodiues can stick to, generating an immune response and the massive increae in numbers of that specific antibody. Some people think this is one cause of Type 1 diabetes, and perhaps rheumatoid arthritis. It may be that a new antibody shape is created that binds to an invader, but coincidentally also sticks to our own tissue and causes an immune response to be directed against otherwise normal tissue. This is the case with scarlet fever, an autoimmune disease directed agaisnt heart valave tissue that sometimes follows a Streptococcus infection. In yet another cause, the body might generate too much of some degradation product of a normal protein or tissue, which was not normally present at high enough levels to cause an immune response but does generate one at high levels. This is potentially the cause of osteoarthritis, where repeated damage to cartilage lining the joints releases degradation products of cartilage into the blood stream in large amounts and the body launches an immune defence against it, unfortunately also further damaging the remaining cartilage.

Women seem to get autoimmune diseases at 3-4 times the rate of men. This has often been put down to the effects of carrying children through pregnancy. Significant numbers of fetal cells escape into the mother’s bloodstream during pregnancy, and can prime the antibody and T-cell immune responses against molecules very similar or identical to the mother’s molecules. One of the key things that makes us respond to a new molecule is whether or not it is presented to antibody recognition cells in company with “self”-markers, the immunohistocompatibility markers or IHC molecules. Children have a different set of IHC molecules on the surface of their cells to the mother (because half the IHC genes come from the dad). If the IHC markers presented along with a particular molecule are the same as those on the antibody recognition cell, then the immune response to that molecule is turned off. If they are different, the immune signal is turned on, and amplified. Thus the immune system of a mother can become sensitised to her own molecules by bearing a child who also has those same molecules but different IHC markers. A generalised and widespread attack on epithelial cells, as in lupus, can be a result of this process.[/quote]

Thanks, Urodacus. This is great info.


#1097

Are Elves gay?

I was re-watching The Lord of the Rings yesterday, and it occurred to me that the elves were mincing. In the book there’s no indication of their sexual predilection, but the movie seems to hint subliminally that they are trans-gendered, or blatantly homosexual. Not one to confine myself to stereotypes, I studied the sub-text further, and came to the conclusion that Aragorn is a screaming queen.

Which brings me to my next question:

Are Dwarves gay, too?

Obviously, Orcs are, but what about troglodytes and cave trolls?

What about midgets?


#1098

I’m presuming you saw the Jack Black clip, but have you seen “DM of the Rings”?



Either way, you’re not the first to have such thoughts


#1099

How so? He has some action going on with a fine ass Elven princess…


#1100

How so? He has some action going on with a fine ass Elven princess…[/quote]
Whatever. Oscar Wilde was MARRIED.