Friday, April 3, 2015

What baby leaves behind

From distractify: a series of disgusting baby shower cakes making the rounds on Facebook

Nearby town of Secinaro that I would run mainly uphill to. Frequently saw packs of boar on the way and one time, a wolf.
View from my window. These bells went off every 15 minutes 24 hours a day. Gagliano used to make church bells. We couldn't shut the windows as the room would become oppressively hot. No screens either. The flies would come in as soon as the sun was up so out I would go for a run in the quiet mountains

High in our town of Gagliano Aterno was the castle. Pictured here at ground level was the town's water fountain where we'd go to fill up our water bottles. Very tasty water.

View from the castle
I am now listening to Radio Lab in the middle of the night. Instead of dealing with mainly social issues as This American Life, this program's mission is to teach science to the masses. I am learning some new things. For instance, when a woman is pregnant, fetal cells end up in her blood stream and may persist for years after birth. They have been found in women as old as myself (and I would have a quadruple dose as very early fetuses shed them). These cells are pluripotent stem cells meaning they can form any kind of tissue as needed. They have not differentiated yet.

Why does the body let this happen? Perhaps to teach the immune system that the baby is not an invader to be destroyed. What effect do these cells have beyond birth? This is being investigated.
The bad effects: setting off autoimmune disorders such as MS, lupus and a variety of thyroid disorders that occur much more frequently in women and especially in women who have been pregnant at one time. The good effects? These cells rush to  sites of heart and brain injury and convert to cells useful in repairing the injury thus less heart disease and stroke damage to these same women. They call those cells microchimeric as the repaired tissue has elements of  at least 2 separate beings. The gift that keeps on giving. There are some effects, both positive and negative, towards the progression of cancer that is still being sorted out. I am fairly well read but some how, this was the
first I heard of this.

The peepers are out in full song. With all the rain, some of the ponds are stretching into my running path. A peeper was with a few feet of me judging by its loudness. I looked and looked but could not see it. Irises and croci continue to pop out. It is fun seeing what is growing on our new land.

Today we got a visit from Josh and his father-in-law. They had gone to the old house to pick up Josh's old bed, which will be Allie's bed.

And later, a good friend and I will go out for a belated birthday dinner.

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

That baby shower cake just doesn't appeal to me. At all.
Fascinating to learn that foetal blood cells can remain - and even more fascinating to learn that they can convert to form needed tissue.
We have learnt so much - and have so much that is still a mystery.


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