Thursday, August 29, 2019

Are Amazon River Pink Dolphins Endangered Species?

Pink dolphin jumping out the water
(credit to Ecuador & Galapagos Insiders 2019)

I just knew there are pink dolphins when I watched the news about burning of Amazon rain forest recently.

Yes, pink dolphins are categorized as endangered species which live in the main rivers of Amazon.

Forest fires will have scary effect on many animal population there, both land and river creatures.

The rivers cover several following countries:
- Brazil
- Peru
- Bolivia
- Venezuela
- Guyana
- Colombia
- Ecuador

An Amazon river pink dolphin (credit to Pinterest)

The population of pink dolphins in the world were estimated 9,000 only, and killed around by 3,000 per year.

Population is mainly in the Amazon rivers. Hence, Amazon rain forest fires may reduce population even further.

Previously, the death of pink dolphins due to:
- poacher
- pollution
- river traffics that caused accidental dead.

Moreover, we may ask a question: why do Amazon dolphins have a pink color? The simple answer that their thin skin made blood vessels easily seen as a pink color.

Interesting facts about pink dolphins:
- while young, their color is gray
- they get their pink color as they grow older
- males are pinker than females

They mainly eat fresh water fish which abundance in the rivers, they also eat:
- turtles
- crabs
- shrimps

Have you seen pink dolphins in nature or in the zoo?

Monday, August 26, 2019

Why does Gum Disease cause Alzheimer's Disease?- Alzheimer's 08

Porphyromonas gingivalis, bacteria cause the gum disease.

Tau or neurofibrillary tangles protein is one of landmarks of the Alzheimer's disease. It is abnormal accumulation of protein in the brain cells.

The abnormal conditions of Tau spread from one neuron to another neuron. Their patterns are exactly the same with the spreading of infections.

The researchers, Stephen Dominy and his colleagues, reported that toxic enzymes from the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis were found about 99 and 96 percent of 54 human Alzheimer’s brain samples, that correlated with tau and ubiquitin pathology.

Porphyromonas gingivalis is Gram-negative anaerobic bacterium that produces virulence factor that we called gingipains, which is a protein-degrading enzyme. 

Gum infections (Credit: Shutterstock)

There is a wide range of bacteria in our mouth. Porphymonas gingivalis causes the gum disease. The big group of bacteria grow and forming a plaque, and the worse one they release toxins and cause inflammation.

Once the oral cavity is infected by P. gingivalis, they may access the brain through some pathway including cranial nerves, monocytes, endothelial cell in the blood brain barriers.

When P. gingivalis enter the brain, they spread slowly for years and also damage neuron to neuron.
Gum disease or gingivitis is common and preventable. Symptoms include swollen, red, and tender gums. Regular dentist visits are important for gum disease prevention and treatments.

Treatment includes professionally cleaning around teeth to prevent bone damage. Prevention can begin at home by brushing and flossing twice a day. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Why Persian Cats Have Long Silky Fur?

The Persian cat

Persian cat is popular and even most popular cat in the America in recent years. It got attention by households as a pet in America since 1970’s.

People have many reasons to love this breed, they are including:
- friendly to owners and even to everybody
- beautiful looking breed
- kitten like activity in some conditions
- attract attention by rolling and running around inside a room.
- like to play with and chase something.
- very responsive

We might curious to have a question: Why Persian Cats Have Long (Silky) Fur compared to other breeds?

The simple answer that It is because through evolution process that cats have thick and long fur to cover its body from freezing temperature in the areas of its origin habitats. 

A cute Persian breed kitten, colorful fur

Historically, Persian cats lived in the Iranian mountains or high plateau where temperature is at freezing points.

As you might know that Persia is ancient name for Iran. Cats were brought to Europe by Italian around 17th century.

A white Persian breed kitten

Persian cats to be status symbol for owners in Italy hundred years ago. Queen Victoria heeded the cats, made the breeds more popular both in England and in Europe.

Cats was shipped into USA around 19th century, then spread all over the world as one of most popular cats.

Do you know and ever adopt a Persian cat? What breed do you adopt?

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Have You Tried the Bubble Tea During the Hot Weather?

Cute bubble faces of ViVi bubble tea decorate the front of shop.

In the mid day, the average of the temperature range in this month is about 930 to 970 F, but it feels like 970 to 1020 F. Beautiful sunny day, but the heat make me exhausted.

I always need something cool and re-freshen to drink.

Last weekend, I went to Asian Market to buy some Chinese cabbage, tofu, and Enoki mushroom.

When I was walking from the parking lot to the Asian Market, I saw a bubble tea shop in the separate building in the right of the market, ViVi bubble tea. A small shop among other shops.

This small shop is decorated with cute ViVi's faces at front, furniture, and decorated pillows. The shop is clean with nice atmosphere.

Here, the cutest one greets every guest who just opened the shop's door with her cute smile.

Su-Wei greets me with her cute smile.

I heard the origin of bubble tea was from Taiwan, So, the cutest one must be a Taiwanese “girl” cat, let me call her Su-Wei :)

A girl was standing behind Su-Wei also smile. She came the counter and took my order. I had medium size of Japanese matcha tea with bubble.

Japanese matcha tea with bubble.

Besides milk tea and the flavored tea, there are many varieties of drinks, such as Yakult drink series, Lactaid Milk series, Slush series, Cream float series, and Fresh fruit series.

The shop also serves drinks with different sweetness levels and toppings. The sweetness, with no sugar, or 30, 50, 70 percent of sugar. Choices for topping are, boba, jelly, pudding, aloe, red bean, or chia seed.

One of the signature drinks is the blue galaxy drink. It's a slush drink that is mixed sweetness and tartness.

A tip jar, small bills to say xie xie (= thank you)

Before I left, I filled the tip jar with small bills to say xie xie (= thank you), and because their services and drinks make me happy

Do you like bubbles in your drink?

Having this kind of bubble in the drink seems like “drinking and chewing”.

I will share with you about the bubble and bubble tea in the next post :)

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Special Restaurant with the Best Taco in Louisiana

Tinga taco is one of my favorites

Taco Bell is well known franchise to sell taco across America and some parts of the world. But, we have the special restaurant which sell special menus of tacos.

Yes, here in Louisiana, we have restaurant, the best restaurant, named as “The Rum House”

The restaurant sell plenty kinds of tacos, and in addition to taco that the Rum House provides many different type of menus.

In respect to taco, I love these four types:
- Tinga taco
- Veggie taco
- Baja fish taco
- Barbacoa taco

Chicken is one of my favorites, then match with sauces (tomatoes, chili), onion sliced, tostadas and beans. This menu called as tinga taco. 

Veggie taco

Veggie taco contains certain favorite stuff such as:
- cabbages
- spicy or hot stuff (peppers, chili, jalapenos)
- onions
- zucchini
- tomatoes
- cheese
- cilantro
- black bean

Some time, veggie taco also includes with meat. Yes, thus, not really 100% veggie.

Baja fish taco

Fish taco is style of taco from Baja, Mexico. This kind of taco is famous in California as well as in Louisiana. Since our state is hub of seafood industries.

The taco is blended of:
- fried fish, usually grouper, sea bass and other marine fish
- cabbages
- creamy sauces.

Barbacoa taco

The fourth type of taco which I love is Barbacoa taco. My favorite is goat or lam instead of beef.

Like other taco, it can be combined with different kind of vegetables. The goat or lam is seasoned with spicy stuffs.

What type of tacos do you like? Do your city, state or country have specific or own taco taste?

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Is It Safe to Consume Foods after Expiration Date?

Sardine in the cans

Surprisingly that no federal regulation to impose “product dating.” However, foods for infant are required to include “expire dating.”

The institution called as “Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)” requests voluntarily to label of dating some products, including:
- meat
- poultry
- eggs

We may find the following phrases in the market:
- use by
- sell by
- best if used before

Food preserved in the bottle

Use by” phrase means “the last date recommended for the use of the product.” Thus, not a safety date.

Phrase of “sell by” is used by a store management to display the products for sale to consumers. It is not relate to quality or safety of products.

Traditional preserved tempeh

Best if use before,” this is not indicating to safety date. It is just the date of the best flavor.

So, if the “phrases” not refer to food safety, then, we may have a question: Is It Safe to Consume Foods after Expiration Date?

The answer is depend on several factors, generally:
- If flavor, odor and color changed, then, we should throw away the foods.
- if foods are preserved in bottles and cans, we may eat after six months of expired date.

We may consume little bit longer than expired date, if we keep our purchased foods (eggs, meat, chicken, milk, apple, strawberry and other fresh or preserved products) in the refrigerator and or freezer.

Did you ever consume expired date foods?

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

What are Factors Causing the Late Onset Alzheimer's Diseases?- Alzheimer’s 07

The cartoon above is an illustration about a relationship of Brain and Heart that I pulled from the awkwardyetidotcom.

In previous posts, several signs of the early onset Alzheimer's dementia had been covered. Now, it is about the late onset, the symptoms appear when a person in the mid 60s and later of age.

The exactly causes of late onset are remaining unknown. The scientists believe the cause could be a combination of three factors:
- life style
- environment
- genetic.

Genetic markers related to the late onset form of Alzheimer's disease is associated with chromosome 19.

The mutation genes that cause increase Apoliprotein E (APOE). A person who inherit one copy of the APOE e4 has a big chance for developing this disease.

APOE primarily produced by liver and macrophages, and APOE4 is associated with hyperlipidaemia and hypercholesterolemia.

Generally, the APOE is associated with various conditions of disease progression, not only Alzheimer's Disease, but also:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson's Disease
- Vascular Dementia
- Type 2 Diabetes Melitus
- Ischemia Stroke
- Type III Hyperlipoproteinemia. 

Astrocyte (Neuroscience, Purves et al).
In our brain, APOE is mainly produced by astrocyte

In the late onset Alzheimer's disease, there are three type APOEs:
- APOE2 is associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer's
- APOE3 the most common variant and is considered neutral
- APOE4 is associated with a greater risk.

The function of APOE is to regulate lipid transport from one cell type or tissue to another.

In our brain, APOE is mainly produced by astrocyte and its function is to transport cholesterol to our nerve cell (neuron) in the brain.

Whenever an imbalance between the production and clearance of beta-amyloid peptide in our brain, thus, the accumulation and aggregation of beta-amyloid will be occurred. This become a toxic in our brain.

This toxicity also depend on the paired helical filaments of the microtubuli-associated protein tau.

So, in the late onset Alzheimer's disease, the toxic in the brain destroy the nice balancing of healthy brain, prominently the two proteins which are called beta-amyloid and tau.

Friday, August 2, 2019

What is the Oldest French City in Louisiana?

One of oldest building in the town

You might know New Orleans as French city in Louisiana. It was established in 1718. But, the first settlement was Natchitoches city in 1714.

French has huge territory, then sold to the USA in 1803 with price of US$ 15 million. Considered cheap on that time.

Purchased regions include 15 new states, they are:
- Arkansas
- Missiouri
- Iowa
- Oklahoma
- Kansas
- Colorado
- Louisiana
- Minnesota
- Montana
- Nebraska
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- Texas
- Wyoming.

Cane river

As the oldest French settlement, many buildings are well maintain. We may find several old building such as:
- townhouses
- basillica
- general mercantile store

The oldest shopping mall

The city is small with population of 18 thousand people only. What I like are:
- old market
- national park in front Cane river
- foods

Meat pie

We may go shopping just by walking to small and old stores in the oldest shopping complex of the city. As people told me, we should visit at least two stores:
- the oldest mercantile store
- the oldest meat pie restaurant

National park in front of Cane river is calm and beautiful place to enjoy. We may watch attractions in the river if we lucky enough.

Have you visit the oldest French settlements outside Europe? 

Why do Birds Sing in my Backyard in the Morning?

Fig 01- A bird, photo taken from my neighborhood. I just wonder birds sing loudly in my backyard every morning. They keep singing their son...