The Letter Z

Deb, over at Nope, Not Pam, has this weekly challenge called A Letter a Week, where she gives us a place, an emotion, an adjective, a verb, and an animal all starting with the same letter. Then she asks us to write a post using those items and the letter she has given us, which this week is the letter Z.

Here are Deb’s Z-words:

Place – Zanzibar
Emotion – zest
Adjective – zazzy
Verb – zoned
Animal – zebra

If you’re the type of person who has a zest for a truly unique and exciting experience, I urge you to visit the Zebra Park in Zanzibar. The place has been zoned as a sanctuary for those handsome animals and you will no doubt find some very zazzy zebras there.

10 thoughts on “The Letter Z

  1. Sadje September 25, 2022 / 8:25 am

    Nice story Fandango. I’m tempted to go to Zanzibar

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nope, Not Pam September 26, 2022 / 4:04 am

    Love it, zebras are the bomb 😊.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marleen September 27, 2022 / 5:44 pm

    It’s in there…

    https://www.science.org/content/article/potential-fabrication-research-images-threatens-key-theory-alzheimers-disease

    A neuroscience image sleuth finds signs of fabrication in scores of Alzheimer’s articles, threatening a reigning theory of the disease

    ~

    Early this year, Schrag raised his doubts with NIH and journals … concern about papers by Lesné. Schrag’s work, done independently of Vanderbilt and its medical center, implies millions of federal dollars may have been misspent on the research—and much more on related efforts. Some Alzheimer’s experts now suspect Lesné’s studies have misdirected Alzheimer’s research for 16 years.

    “The immediate, obvious damage is wasted NIH funding and wasted thinking in the field because people are using these results as a starting point for their own experiments,” says Stanford University neuroscientist Thomas Südhof, a Nobel laureate and expert on Alzheimer’s and related conditions.

    Lesné did not respond to requests for comment. A UMN spokesperson says the university is reviewing complaints about his work.

    To Schrag, the two disputed threads of Aβ research raise far-reaching questions about scientific integrity in the struggle to understand and cure Alzheimer’s. Some adherents of the amyloid hypothesis are too uncritical of work that seems to support it, he says. “Even if misconduct is rare, false ideas inserted into key nodes in our body of scientific knowledge can warp our understanding.”

    IN HIS MODEST OFFICE, steps away from a buzzing refrigerator, Schrag displays an antique microscope—an homage to predecessors who applied painstaking bench science to medicine’s endless enigmas. A small sign on his desk reads, “Everything is figureoutable.”

    …. His father hails from a family of Mennonites, known for their philosophy of peacemaking—but joined the military. The family moved from Arizona to Germany to England before settling in Davenport, a tiny cow town in eastern Washington. After leaving the Air Force, Schrag’s dad became a nurse and worked in a nursing home. As a young teen, Schrag volunteered to visit dementia patients there. “I remembered being mystified by a lot of the strange behaviors,” he says. It was a formative experience “to see people struggling with such unfair symptoms.”

    Home-schooled by his mom, Schrag entered community college at 16, like many of the town’s studious kids—including his teenage sweetheart and future wife, Sarah. They now live on a small ranch outside Nashville with their two young children and three aging horses that Sarah grew up with.

    While prepping for medical school at the University of North Dakota, Schrag spent long hours in a neuropharmacology lab absorbing the patient rhythms of science. He repeated experiments over and over, refining his skills. These included a protein identification method known as the Western blot. It uses electricity to drive protein-rich tissue samples through a gel that acts like a sieve to separate the molecules by size. Distinct proteins, tagged and illuminated by fluorescent antibodies, appear as stacked bands.

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    Hundreds of clinical trials of amyloid-targeted therapies have yielded few glimmers of promise, however; only the underwhelming Aduhelm has gained FDA approval. Yet Aβ still dominates research and drug development. NIH spent about $1.6 billion on projects that mention amyloids in this fiscal year, about half its overall Alzheimer’s funding. Scientists who advance other potential Alzheimer’s causes, such as immune dysfunction or inflammation, complain they have been sidelined by the “amyloid mafia.” Forsayeth says the amyloid hypothesis became “the scientific equivalent of the Ptolemaic model of the Solar System,” in which the Sun and planets rotate around Earth.

    ~

    “They’re not subjecting images to sophisticated analysis, even though those tools are very widely available. It’s not some magic skill. It’s their job to do the gatekeeping.”

    ~

    “You can’t cheat to cure a disease. Biology doesn’t care.”
    MATTHEW SCHRAG | VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY

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    ~

    Liked by 1 person

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