As rare as it is, Kuru is one disease that is fatal. However, it is so rare that the disease is confined to an area in New Guinea, more specifically the Fore tribe that lives in the highlands. The disease came about as a result of cannibalism, which is a ritualistic practice in which the tissues of others, especially the brain, were cooked and consumed. Those affected with the disease usually become unable to eat or stand, and then about 6-12 months later die in a comatose state. It is said that about 1,100 people died from Kuru during the 1950s and 60s. Because of government intervention and a wide-spread effort to end cannibalism, Kuru has now mostly disappeared.
…I know i’m weird because of this, but I totally *squee*d when I saw a post about kuru on my dashboard. I absolutely love this disease (not because it exists, of course; it’s a terrible disease) and what it revealed to us, and how that knowledge was used in determining the source and cause of the outbreak of variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (vCJD) in Great Britain in the 1990s. Prion diseases are fascinating and terrifying.
Other prion diseases include Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI), which I posted yesterday, scrapie in sheep, mad cow disease, and chronic wasting disease in deer and elk (which I spent several VERY cold nights testing thousands of hunted deer for).
It’s taboo to admit that you’re lonely. You can make jokes about it, of course. You can tell people that you spend most of your time with Netflix or that you haven’t left the house today and you might not even go outside tomorrow. Ha ha, funny. But rarely do you ever tell people about the true depths of your loneliness, about how you feel more and more alienated from your friends each passing day and you’re not sure how to fix it. It seems like everyone is just better at living than you are.
A part of you knew this was going to happen. Growing up, you just had this feeling that you wouldn’t transition well to adult life, that you’d fall right through the cracks. And look at you now. La di da, it’s happening.
Your mother, your father, your grandparents: they all look at you like you’re some prized jewel and they tell you over and over again just how lucky you are to be young and have your whole life ahead of you. “Getting old ain’t for sissies,” your father tells you wearily.
You wish they’d stop saying these things to you because all it does is fill you with guilt and panic. All it does is remind you of how much you’re not taking advantage of your youth.
You want to kiss all kinds of different people, you want to wake up in a stranger’s bed maybe once or twice just to see if it feels good to feel nothing, you want to have a group of friends that feels like a tribe, a bonafide family. You want to go from one place to the next constantly and have your weekends feel like one long epic day. You want to dance to stupid music in your stupid room and have a nice job that doesn’t get in the way of living your life too much. You want to be less scared, less anxious, and more willing. Because if you’re closed off now, you can only imagine what you’ll be like later.
Every day you vow to change some aspect of your life and every day you fail. At this point, you’re starting to question your own power as a human being. As of right now, your fears have you beat. They’re the ones that are holding your twenties hostage.
Stop thinking that everyone is having more sex than you, that everyone has more friends than you, that everyone out is having more fun than you. Not because it’s not true (it might be!) but because that kind of thinking leaves you frozen. You’ve already spent enough time feeling like you’re stuck, like you’re watching your life fall through you like a fast dissolve and you’re unable to hold on to anything.
I don’t know if you ever get better. I don’t know if a person can just wake up one day and decide to be an active participant in their life. I’d like to think so. I’d like to think that people get better each and every day but that’s not really true. People get worse and it’s their stories that end up getting forgotten because we can’t stand an unhappy ending. The sick have to get better. Our normalcy depends upon it.
You have to value yourself. You have to want great things for your life. This sort of shit doesn’t happen overnight but it can and will happen if you want it.
Do you want it bad enough? Does the fear of being filled with regret in your thirties trump your fear of living today?
We shall see."
i’m really sick of the phrase “find yourself”
you don’t find yourself
you make yourself
you’re a blank canvas
don’t waste your time looking for blank canvases
when you’ve had a paint brush in your hand the whole time
you can be anything you want to be
you don’t need to find yourself
you already have yourself
Cellular Generation and Intracellular Diversion
Abstracted cell biology by Regina Valluzzi
At first glance, these watercolors may appear to unconsciously mimic our cellular structures: Nucleus, organelles, transport vesicles and membranes. But dig deeper, and decipher the detailed pen and ink additions. You’ll see the lipid bilayers, like playful stick figures set foot-to-foot. You’ll see molecular chains packaged and floating about. And the single points of ink peppered throughout … any of countless ions and salts whose balance provides our cells with the ingredients for chemical life.
These fantastic prints can be purchased here (or even the painted originals). Support great science artists!
man, school still has me so bummed. i don’t want to be the type to blame it for all my problems, and my lack of motivation is partly my own fault, but it’s like…i bust my ass 8 months out of the year and basically want to die, spend most of my time studying, stressing, or doing stupid things because that’s all i have the energy for. i want to work on all these projects i’ve had lined up, and i have so many ideas, but after not creating/doing for so long its so hard to think you CAN do it, and so now it’s like theres a whole combo of low self esteem plus the usual laziness. i just want to be as ambitious and energized as I was in high school. university has just made me feel so hollow and like any effort is pointless. when i do something i’m proud of it’s INSANE how good I feel after. but then an hour goes by and i feel empty again. ugh this is so hard.
gliding - mixed media moleskine entry
depression comix #122