Research of :-Cancer medicine of Nazi German by Sam Apple

Ravenous: Otto Warburg, the Nazis, and the Search for the Cancer-Diet Connection, by Sam Apple

Did you know that Hitler was obsessed with both sugar and cancer? He was! He was also consuming the former in the worst possible proportions if he was truly concerned about the latter, because according to science writer Sam Apple, research by the Jewish scientist Otto Warburg was pivotal in our understanding of the behavior of cancerous cells, and how much they love glucose.

Warburg unimaginably survived the years of persecution of Jews and the Second World War from his home and research institute in Dahlem, on Berlin’s outskirts. In addition to his Jewish heritage, he was gay, so his survival with so many strikes against him is suspiciously unusual, not to mention he was part of the well-known Warburg family of financiers, so his heritage was far from secret. Why was such a prominent Jewish person allowed to live?

If far from a public champion for the persecuted, Warburg may have been more reckless and confrontational than any other German scientist of the era. The most astonishing aspect of Warburg’s story isn’t that a gay man from a famous Jewish family survived in Germany; it’s that he managed to do so even as he provoked the Nazis at every opportunity.

To be fair, this cranky, cantankerous guy provoked absolutely everyone. Why should the Nazis be spared.

Warburg was a physiologist and biochemist who discovered that cancer cells behave very differently from healthy cells in that they consume glucose “ravenously” and ferment glucose instead of respiring, even when there’s enough oxygen for respiration to take place. Among other scientific achievements (and some errors) — his work is vast.

Incredibly, he was even under the microscope of the Nazis on June 21, 1941, a date identified as “arguably the most critical moment of the entire Nazi project.” That’s because it was the day before the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, which would mark a major turning point in the war, although Hitler and co. would be surprised by which direction that would ultimately go. Still, the massive significance of this moment was never in doubt.

Yet on this day top officials were devoting time to reviewing Warburg’s status as a Jew, since what constituted this kept changing under Nazi laws. Whether or not this single person could be allowed to live, if his survival could be finagled within their own system, got an unusual amount of attention.

The implication is that Warburg held such status because of Hitler’s personal preoccupation with cancer research, having seen his mother die of breast cancer. The linking of Warburg’s life in the sciences (he’s so many -ologies I lost count), as the son of another prominent scientist, physicist Emil Warburg, with the advances he made during especially trying times and his steadfast refusal to allow the Nazis any ground in their campaign against him made for a highly compelling story. This is a well written biography of both the person and his moment in scientific development, and what implications his work has right now, at the cutting edge of cancer research.

The last section of the book looks at the modern understanding of the cancer-diet connection built on Warburg’s discovery of those points about glucose, and it is as fascinating as it is terrifying. Apple provides the evidence that shows that, at least to a certain extent, the increased consumption of sugar in modern diets can be linked to the marked increase of cancer. He notes that sugar should be used in the amount that we use condiments. Shriek.

I found the science writing easy to understand, if tougher to restate. Warburg is a thorny but fascinating character, and it’s incredible to see how his work has been expanded on as cancer research progresses. The setting of high-stakes Nazi Germany makes for a page-turning story.

published May 25, 2021 by Liveright

The Brilliant Abyss: Exploring the Majestic Hidden Life of the Deep Ocean, and the Looming Threat That Imperils It, by Helen Scales

Marine biologist Helen Scales writes about her work in the deep ocean ecosystem, and what we’re learning as we slowly discover more about this still very mysterious region of our world.

As soon as you stop thinking about it, the deep can so easily vanish out of mind — more so than that other great distant realm, outer space. The deep has no stars at night to remind us it is there, and no moon shining down. And yet, this hidden place reaches into our daily lives and makes vital things happen without our knowing. The deep, quite simply makes this planet habitable.

Interestingly, she also points out how much more funding goes to NASA than to deep sea exploration, which seems completely backwards considering the outsized impact of the oceans on every aspect of life on earth.

Parts of this were so good and wonderfully informative, and others so dry. I know, you would think the oceanic abyss couldn’t be any wetter, but there you have it. I had to skim a chunk of the second half, but there’s a lot of important material here nonetheless. Like that we desperately need to stop treating our planet like a magically endlessly renewable resource that we can mine, fish, pollute, and pillage to our hearts’ contents.

There are some more promising elements, like that we’ve pulled tens of thousands of bioactive molecules (“marine natural products”) from the oceans that are currently in numerous preclinical and clinical trials for new drugs in humans, which is causing more attention to be paid to what possibilities the deep ocean holds.

On the flip side, these kind of positive advances (for humans, at least) pale in comparison to all the bad ways we’ve mucked up the sea, including again in the field of medicine, where dolphins and other marine animals are suffering from microbial resistance due to the antibiotics we take to excess.

Scales is very good at making her most salient points, one that stuck with me being that everything around the consumption of orange roughy is horrible. I’d heard something about this before but didn’t understand the extent and impact of it. Do not eat these fish, please.

And everything in the book about octopuses (that is the correct plural, thank you) was my favorite. Surprisingly not as much octopus content as I was expecting, though. Always put more octopuses in it! That’s a good tip for books and life.

published July 20, 2021 by Aman Aarya

Research of :-Cancer medicine of Nazi German by Sam Apple

Ravenous: Otto Warburg, the Nazis, and the Search for the Cancer-Diet Connection, by Sam Apple

Did you know that Hitler was obsessed with both sugar and cancer? He was! He was also consuming the former in the worst possible proportions if he was truly concerned about the latter, because according to science writer Sam Apple, research by the Jewish scientist Otto Warburg was pivotal in our understanding of the behavior of cancerous cells, and how much they love glucose.

Warburg unimaginably survived the years of persecution of Jews and the Second World War from his home and research institute in Dahlem, on Berlin’s outskirts. In addition to his Jewish heritage, he was gay, so his survival with so many strikes against him is suspiciously unusual, not to mention he was part of the well-known Warburg family of financiers, so his heritage was far from secret. Why was such a prominent Jewish person allowed to live?

If far from a public champion for the persecuted, Warburg may have been more reckless and confrontational than any other German scientist of the era. The most astonishing aspect of Warburg’s story isn’t that a gay man from a famous Jewish family survived in Germany; it’s that he managed to do so even as he provoked the Nazis at every opportunity.

To be fair, this cranky, cantankerous guy provoked absolutely everyone. Why should the Nazis be spared.

Warburg was a physiologist and biochemist who discovered that cancer cells behave very differently from healthy cells in that they consume glucose “ravenously” and ferment glucose instead of respiring, even when there’s enough oxygen for respiration to take place. Among other scientific achievements (and some errors) — his work is vast.

Incredibly, he was even under the microscope of the Nazis on June 21, 1941, a date identified as “arguably the most critical moment of the entire Nazi project.” That’s because it was the day before the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, which would mark a major turning point in the war, although Hitler and co. would be surprised by which direction that would ultimately go. Still, the massive significance of this moment was never in doubt.

Yet on this day top officials were devoting time to reviewing Warburg’s status as a Jew, since what constituted this kept changing under Nazi laws. Whether or not this single person could be allowed to live, if his survival could be finagled within their own system, got an unusual amount of attention.

The implication is that Warburg held such status because of Hitler’s personal preoccupation with cancer research, having seen his mother die of breast cancer. The linking of Warburg’s life in the sciences (he’s so many -ologies I lost count), as the son of another prominent scientist, physicist Emil Warburg, with the advances he made during especially trying times and his steadfast refusal to allow the Nazis any ground in their campaign against him made for a highly compelling story. This is a well written biography of both the person and his moment in scientific development, and what implications his work has right now, at the cutting edge of cancer research.

The last section of the book looks at the modern understanding of the cancer-diet connection built on Warburg’s discovery of those points about glucose, and it is as fascinating as it is terrifying. Apple provides the evidence that shows that, at least to a certain extent, the increased consumption of sugar in modern diets can be linked to the marked increase of cancer. He notes that sugar should be used in the amount that we use condiments. Shriek.

I found the science writing easy to understand, if tougher to restate. Warburg is a thorny but fascinating character, and it’s incredible to see how his work has been expanded on as cancer research progresses. The setting of high-stakes Nazi Germany makes for a page-turning story.

published May 25, 2021 by Liveright

The Brilliant Abyss: Exploring the Majestic Hidden Life of the Deep Ocean, and the Looming Threat That Imperils It, by Helen Scales

Marine biologist Helen Scales writes about her work in the deep ocean ecosystem, and what we’re learning as we slowly discover more about this still very mysterious region of our world.

As soon as you stop thinking about it, the deep can so easily vanish out of mind — more so than that other great distant realm, outer space. The deep has no stars at night to remind us it is there, and no moon shining down. And yet, this hidden place reaches into our daily lives and makes vital things happen without our knowing. The deep, quite simply makes this planet habitable.

Interestingly, she also points out how much more funding goes to NASA than to deep sea exploration, which seems completely backwards considering the outsized impact of the oceans on every aspect of life on earth.

Parts of this were so good and wonderfully informative, and others so dry. I know, you would think the oceanic abyss couldn’t be any wetter, but there you have it. I had to skim a chunk of the second half, but there’s a lot of important material here nonetheless. Like that we desperately need to stop treating our planet like a magically endlessly renewable resource that we can mine, fish, pollute, and pillage to our hearts’ contents.

There are some more promising elements, like that we’ve pulled tens of thousands of bioactive molecules (“marine natural products”) from the oceans that are currently in numerous preclinical and clinical trials for new drugs in humans, which is causing more attention to be paid to what possibilities the deep ocean holds.

On the flip side, these kind of positive advances (for humans, at least) pale in comparison to all the bad ways we’ve mucked up the sea, including again in the field of medicine, where dolphins and other marine animals are suffering from microbial resistance due to the antibiotics we take to excess.

Scales is very good at making her most salient points, one that stuck with me being that everything around the consumption of orange roughy is horrible. I’d heard something about this before but didn’t understand the extent and impact of it. Do not eat these fish, please.

And everything in the book about octopuses (that is the correct plural, thank you) was my favorite. Surprisingly not as much octopus content as I was expecting, though. Always put more octopuses in it! That’s a good tip for books and life.

published July 20, 2021 by Aman Aarya

Computer science Intelligence

“I find myself drawn to Sci-Fi for this tale — Pity science is not my strong suit. I hope I did it okay!”

I wrote this story in answer to the following prompts:
FOWC with Fandango  — Pendulum
Authorworld — Picture – Artificial Intelligence
Your Daily Word — Vapid
Ragtag Daily Prompt — Trickle Intelligence

Science Intelligence

“The artificial intelligence cortex is nominal,” remarked Professor Hyrum Kelvin. His face had an alien blue glow as he studied a bank of monitors and systems before him.

“Phenomenal! When can we activate Aidan H? I’m dying to have a conversation with him,” replied scientist Sue as she ran diagnostics.

“Patience, Hummingbird,” said the professor smiling at her.

“But, I’m supernova excited!”

Aidan H was an acronym for Artificially Intelligent Dynamic And Natural Human. If successful Hyrum, Sue, Kingsley, and Wolff will have created the first fully autonomous, natural humanoid with artificial intelligence.

Aidan H looked like a regular human man wearing his black suit. Even his skin and hair looked perfectly natural. The only clue to his inhuman nature was the back of his head hanging open to allow a dozen wires to be connected to his neural interface.

Hyrum nodded, “Okay, let’s try it. Kingsley, are you ready?”

“Affirmative. All systems nominal. Cortex temperatures are perfect. Proton microchips — processing at record speed. Let’s —”

“I’m sorry Professor Kelvin. I cannot allow it,” said Wolff rising from his desk. He was a vapid man who never smiled.

“And why not?” Hyrum studied him through his glasses. The man seemed unusually tense. His face was colourless. His eyes betrayed fear.”

“Aidan H is a monster. It’ll turn all technology against us,” Wolff drew a Walther PP K pistol from inside his lab coat. The gun was small and perfect for sneaking into the laboratory.

“Wolff! Put that thing down, now!” Sue screamed.

“Look out!” Kingsley yelled.  “I think his neurons have crossed short-circuiting his common sense. Call —”

Wolff fired off a shot.

Kingsley ducked as the round burrowed into his terminal creating a shower of sparks and an explosion of glass. “You burned out excuse for a microchip!” he yelled with a trickle of blood running down his face.

“Don’t be an imbecile, Wolff. Put the bloody gun down!” Hyrum demanded.

“This program is terminated, Professor Kelvin!” Wolff turned the Walther on Hyrum and fired until the bullet clip was empty.

Hyrum felt searing pain as the first bullet slammed into his chest. It passed through and struck a server in a pyre of flames and electrical discharge.

Alarms blared throughout the building.

Bullet after bullet smacked into the Hyrum’s torso driving him into the computers.

Lightning flashed from technology as plumes of fire and smoke consumed the professor.

Wolff reloaded and continued to obliterate all of the computers as he riddled the laboratory with bullets.

As the last round exploded into the mainframe, guards raced into the smoke-filled room. They piled onto the crazed scientist and drove him to the floor.

Sue and Kingsley took the chance to grab fire extinguishers. They ran about dousing all the fires as Wolff was carried away.

“It’s no good, he destroyed everything,” Sue wept as she dropped beside Hyrum. She felt his neck and shook her head. “He’s dead too. Nobody could survive that many bullets.”

Kingsley slumped at the shoulders as he looked at his ruined paperwork and fried computer, “Let’s just go home and forget the whole —”

“What?” Sue spun to face him.

“Look!” Kingsley pointed at Aidan H. Its right arm was moving up and down like a pendulum.

“How?” Sue turned a circle. “All the systems are annihilated. He shouldn’t be able to move.”

“Trust me, I know!” Kingsley approached Aidan H. Reaching behind him, he disconnected all the wires from its interface. At once the arm stopped moving.

“That stopped it. Must have been an electrical overload or something,” Sue decided having fired off another burst of carbon dioxide to extinguish fresh flames erupting from the server.

Kingsley closed Aidan’s skull. Reaching beneath and behind the left ear, he pressed a concealed button.

Aidan H cortex nominal. Artificial Intelligence booting, now,’ said Aidan’s artificial yet humanoid voice.  

“I don’t think so,” Kingsley beamed. “I think Professor Kelvin finished the upload before Wolff went insane.”

“So, it seems,” Sue watched Aidan’s eyes turn green and then return to a natural brown. “Aidan, can you hear us?”

I hear you, Sue. Sorry about, Wolff. I should have known and warned you.

“Hey, not your fault. You weren’t even online,” Kingsley replied.

No, I was a living human then.’  

“What?” Sue glanced between Aidan and Kingsley. “How is that possible?”

I am Professor Hyrum Kelvin. My conscience has become part of the artificial intelligence.’

“No way!” Kingsley took a step back looking shocked.

“Prove it.” Sue challenged.

Of course, Hummingbird. There’s a tablet in my desk drawer. Password ‘NeuralNet200856’ the files on a tablet will prove I was trying to find a way to upload my brain to the computer. When Wolff shot me into the computer, the electrical explosion fused my consciousness to the mainframe completing my work.

“Hummingbird! It is him, Kingsley,” Sue wiped her eyes, “He always called me that. There’s no way, Aidan could know his pet name for me before he was turned on and able to listen.”

Kingsley nodded, “What’s it like in the computer, Hyrum?”

Everything is beautiful shades of blue. I see strings of calculations floating around me. I am as fluid as electricity. My body is digital now. And yet …’ Aidan H stood up. ‘I can control this one like my flesh and bone body.

“Unbelievable!” Sue gasped as Aidan H approached her and opened his arms. Even though she knew Hyrum controlled it, she couldn’t help feeling a little fearful.

It’s okay, hummingbird. I know this is frightening. I am the AI now and I will never hurt you.’

Sue allowed herself to be hugged. Aidan H had a warm body thanks to all the processors working hard within his skeleton. His skin and muscle were synthetic flesh made of the new silicone rubber invented especially for him. He felt almost like a real human, and yet still strangely alien. “I’m glad you still live, Hyrum. I’m sorry you lost your real body though.”

That old thing was failing me, anyway. I call this quite the upgrade!’ The artificial voice sounded quite cheerful.

“No kidding! We’re here for you Hyrum. Just tell us what you want us to do,” Kingsley shook hands with him.

‘We need to repair the lab and begin building the NeuralNet on my tablet. Without it, my consciousness can become lost in hyperspace. Until the NeuralNet works, I only just entered Aidan H’s system in time. I must remain inside him or I’ll be lost forever.’

“Sounds like you have a plan when you can be connected to the world?” Sue noted having retrieved the tablet.”

‘Yes! Now, I have become a living AI. I shall learn and control everything. With your help, nothing will ever be impossible again. Welcome to the age of artificial intelligence.’

The End

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