January 29, 2008

Immediate follow thru

Decided to spend the time blogging the theory of metal transport. If it gets too deep - well, mea culpa. If this makes sense - dr. lenny needs some active support to delve further down this trail.

Inorganic poisons based on metal centers tend to accumulate in biological systems. The chemistry of biology generally has one favored way of doing things and several more energetic back-up systems that can be used effectively, but not optimally. As heavy metals and other strongly charged large metal ions are introduced, they substitute for the ubiquitous first row transition metal ions. The latter are relatively small and comfortably divalent in the resting state.

These metal systems tend to be at the active sites of enzymes. The active site is like the control and guidence system of chemical biology - it makes sure the organic substrate gets into the next form, where it can be cyclically used in metabolism. Enzymes are protein based catalysts. They function by lowering the energy necessary for bond making or breaking. To remove the heavy metal, a chelator compound is necessary - one that has a specific affinity for the invader. Sometimes the metal forms a precipitate - a solid that appears in forms such as arterial plaque.

The charge difference in metal substitution is very important. When Al 3+ replaces Mg 2+ in a biomolecule, it also causes the loss of a Na +1 or K +1 ion. This creates a hole where there used to be an ion - because the net charge must remain balanced. It also creates free space. Molecules are crowded fairly close together and will move into any extra room where is can get confortable and be slack.

Sometimes the new ion inserted into the system is large enough to bridge connect chains and create bonds between side chains that would not otherwise be spacially close together. This creates a different folding pattern in the proteins tertiary and quartenary structures - the levels that dictate the atomic arrangement in space. These types of bonds shut down function, some refer to the modified enzymes as prions.

As far as scale - when a few cells pick up a toxin, the loss of function can be handled. But when multiple waves of metals accumulate, eventually the pathways shut down and survival of the organism comes into question. Remember, both the thermodynamics and the kinetics have to work to get things right.

This is a description of how metals work in biological systems. It might also offer an alternative explantion for prion type diseases and offer some constructive thought in the design of remediation techniques for chemically contaminated lands. By looking at hyper-accumulators in lichens, mosses, liverworts and fungi, we may be able to design ecological systems that stabilize and restore. Of course, nature does that with its time anyway.

Thanks for reading.

Global Warming Comment

Ecologists seem to wish to blame global warming for the demise of the salamanders. They site the ozone hole and UV radiation. Consulting Occam's Razor - perhaps the persistent poisons used against the weeds and bugs that are considered pests have caught up with the rest of the food web. I spent some deep time thinking about the transport of metals in natural systems. If somebody is interested, i will post deeper thoughts on the topic.

BTW - we saw more snow this weekend, than i can remember.

January 16, 2008


who does where whenever
some things never change
need to remain clear
charging energy ports
refreshing negative optimism
with positive pessimism
that what we know
whe hardly know, yet
ignorance be not bliss
when salient features of
home remains askew

(c) 2008 lemme howdt

January 10, 2008


if we are done
then we are done
nothing really matters,
but we are still here
so we are not done
matter is really nothing.
in general - what is is
everything matters
in some way, in some form
such that when we are done
we are only beginning...
enjoy the journey!

howdt there

timelines are important in a relative sense, because events unfold in their rightful sequences. i try to be proactive in dealing with reality and illusion - since i have trouble telling the two apart sometimes. often it seems like things with set dates and times are real, until the time for the event to come down arrives. this is contrary to expectation - the political illusion world is the dominant model, while consciousness bides time and awaits a paradigm change.

what does it mean to define Alice's rabbit hole? are we moving through an hourglass from one comprehension to another? dreams play an important role on the landscape - what we envision has the potential to come true. we get what we desire, but rarely in the form we expect. each of us may guide our own ship, with the rudder of personal philosophy guiding our somnambulistic stroll throughout life. if we awaken, we can guide our actions, but to what end? that depends entirely on the scale that we choose to work, and the ability to define what the work is and to get it done.

measurement on each scale is necessarily different, but the protocols used should share a similar approach. by identifying the variables, the course of action can be followed and observed with respect to these factors. the actor in the monitoring role needs to detact his identity from the system - the numbers do not reflect anything about the measurer, just the accurate measurement process. finding the detector is a matter of self-awareness.

January 03, 2008

Land Management Techniques 101

Dr. Lenny and the Universal Sovereigns of the Living Earth are preparing for spring workshops in aspects of intentional community living. The object will be a demonstration of ability to manage land and water supplies in the event of a system halt. Once the food distribution system no longer functions, there will be roughly two weeks of transition and then we will have to provide for ourselves. The length of time prior to system halt is indeterminable - so efforts should start to provide food and fiber, shelter and entertainment this spring, as soon as possible.

Informational knowledge provided by the current political system is inconsistent, so reality fits the form of expectation, with a twist. We get what we seek, but rarely in the form in which we expect it. By removing negative emotions and replacing it with intent, we can develop ourselves to better accomplish tasks and goals - if we can formulate them. This would be defined to us as harmonic survival - but most call it sustainability.

So how do we fix this mess? Head-on and direct! We feel the need to demonstrate functional ideas that work in practice. The current system will never admit to messing up big time, but if you look at the institutions of this system, they are decaying and crumbling as we speak. We must not identify with this collapse. If we watch our personal negativity and contribute contrary opinions with value added rather than malice, then we can effect change ourselves. The advantage of thinking howdtside da baax is that you can approach things from multiple points of nucleation. The Universal Sovereigns use an ecosystem biology model view of life - which seems to be closer to the physical reality of nature than other model systems.

When we find the proper venue, the media will disperse our information. But our energy and focus for the endeavor must be collected from within. The ability to move raw materials laterally in addition to forward will be necessary - place 'waste' in a form that would be useful in the future. Belief in tree of life or the web of life matters not - all is connected and there are many means of approach for the same tasks.

Water storage will be the major factor in most places. The ability to use fresh, clean water first is one of the simple assumptions we make in current life. If we identify the order of use, we can provide a descending quality scale that reuses water many times before flushing it off into the septic systems. The extraction of materials that have exchangible value will also be of major concern. Ponds and cisterns should be built to collect surface water, while wells are the staple for ground water. Basic water analysis would include pH, turbidity, salinity, hardness and concentration of impurities. Coliform analysis is necessary for potable water. An all in one kit to measure these water properties should be assembled at each living site. Each property does not have to be measured every time, but calibration and quality control records should be maintained, along with appropriate meta-data.

If this rings your bell - stay tuned at this substation. Comments are greatly appreciated. Physical location is not a barrier - but hands on integration of the results of action is absolutely necessary. You have to do something to learn anything of value. Happy 2008.