Thursday, December 22, 2011


In a moment of extreme happiness I'd like to say that I now have TWO (not, ONE, not THREE, but what's between) Android running devices!

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer (Aka Neblet)
Neblet's been with me for a while. Proven to be a wonderful friend during lectures.
  • Light 
  • Easy to carry
  • Functions as tablet
  • Functions as netbook
  • Easy to take notes on (though I need to type a bit harder than a normal computer but I type hard anyways)
  • Android runs beautifully 
  • Touch screen is sensitive 
  • I CAN DRAW ON IT (wonderful for those lectures when I have to draw)
  • Angry birds. Free. 

The LG Optimus 2X (Aka <Currently Unnamed>)
I am now going to put my phone sim card into this device... it's not working very well since I'm having difficulty opening the darned thing... After much struggle I have managed to open the backing. I see a place for a microSD card! My gosh I really have to get myself one of those... Battery now in... according to the Fido guy this battery actually has no juice and I'll have to charge it up before being able to explore... oh well. Now to take the sim card out of my current Sony Ericsson. Done. That was easy. Oh no! I see potential problems putting sim card into LG... Oh my gosh I think I damaged the plastic on the top of the sim card... No matter. On-wards to the charging!

So as I'm charging the phone I'm also snooping around the box. IT COMES WITH EARPHONES THAT HAVE MICS! This is somewhat a punch to my inner guts because I actually went earphone shopping a while back (a few days ago) and was looking for earphones with mics but couldn't find one so I made do with a normal earphone. Then I proceeded to open the packaging madly, tearing apart the cardboard with no thought of what I would do if I ever wanted to return the thing. So... now I have extra earphones. 

CHARGED... ish... Why sim card not being read? Worried... sim card working in old phone... Oh I put it in backwards that's why... FAIL!

So I finally got it all in perfect working order. I've synced everything together. It's quite a nice feeling. Now I'm out of things to type about. So here's an unnecessary photo of my desk from a long time ago.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Why your diet won't work

My mind has just been dazzled by this video. It's one and a half hours of time but truly worth the effort and may possibly save your life.


  • Today High Fructose Corn Syrup is used in basically every processed food as a substitute for regular sugar since fructose is much sweeter
  • Sucrose (made up of 1 glucose and 1 fructose) is also found everywhere since it is also sweeter and cheaper than glucose
  • Fructose is evil
  • Fructose is metabolized ONLY in the liver through a pathway similar to alcohol
  • 30% of Fructose turns into fat whereas less than 1% of glucose turns into fat
  • Fructose turns off brain sensitivity to hormones involved in feelings of satiety after meals so you never feel full
  • Fructose can desensitize cells to insulin to cause Type II diabetes 
  • One pop drink or fruit juice is basically one serving of food; but you still don't feel full
The real issue here, I think, is the fact that we're quite addicted to sugar. I mean a day without cake for me is hardly a day worth living (I exaggerate only slightly). And after checking most of the foods in my apartment at the time I have discovered that BREAD has glucose-fructose! IT'S EVERYWHERE!!!

Though really I guess I shouldn't panic so much, it's not like I binge eat sugar.. oh wait maybe I do.

Luckily my regular diet (when parents are cooking) is relatively sugar free, and this video did explain why I've suddenly gained 5 pounds since entering university. No it's not freshmen-15, it's because ever since university came I've been eating while studying. And since I study a lot I eat a lot. And I eat candy and chocolate and other high-sugar (high-fructose) snacks.

But to cut sugar completely out of my diet is not going to work... will reducing be enough? It seems fruit juice is my major contributor to this sugar at home, so I suppose I'll just have tea instead now. Simple enough. The real issue lies in the fact that as I'm writing this blog I'm also eating Ferrero Rocher that my roommate gave me as a Christmas gift. I'm almost half way done. This can't be good for me.

But sadly my self-control is not good enough. I'll just run madly around my house and speed up my metabolism with hopes that the citrate will all get used up before it can leak out of the mitochondria to start the VLDL formation.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Idea that will not work

Studying biochemistry: Sudden idea came to mind. What if we could take all the enzymes involved in glycolysis, make it a pill, and eat that with every meal? Then the sugars will get broken down inside our stomach and we won't get insulin release and therefore it'll be like we never ate!

But then I realized problems...

  • Those enzymes probably aren't designed to work in the acidic environment of the stomach
  • Even if they worked there'd be no NAD+ in the stomach 
  • And if we added NAD+ as part of the pill, I'm pretty sure I read an article saying that NADH can be absorbed through the intestines along with other small particles (like acetyl CoA)
  • So basically cells will still have access to the energy; they just don't have to do it themselves
  • Speaking of which there's probably no ATP in the stomach either, so that's something else that needs to be in the pill
  • Oh, and the enzymes will get degraded by proteases found in the stomach... because you know... digestion involves the degradation of proteins...
So then I thought, if a pill doesn't work, what if we made it an injection of sorts? So instead of an insulin injection, it'll be one full of everything you need for glycolysis! This will reduce blood glucose levels immediately and so insulin will not get released from the liver!

But more issues:
  • NADH in the blood... is that normal? Pretty sure it'll mess with pH levels
  • Speaking of pH levels, the blood has a different pH from cell cytosols so the enzymes won't be fully active
  • Also acetyl CoA can probably get transported through cells... Not 100% sure about that but it seems like something that's plausible 
So after talking with fellow science students about it the new idea that came up was an injection of a vesicle that had:
  • GLUT4 transporter: more glucose outside vesicle than inside; glucose flows in
  • Hexokinase: adds phosphate to glucose to trap it in vesicle while encouraging more glucose in due to concentration gradient
Then my friend told me that it didn't have to be so complicated and that we could just find something to bind to glucose in the blood and ensure it doesn't get into cells. But then the issue is how to get rid of this glucose-binded molecule since it'll likely be too big for filtration at the kidneys.

We went on brainstorming and I was quite pleased that from our simple undergraduate level of biochemistry understanding we were actually able to come up with so many ideas. It really did feel like what science was all about. Sure it may seem like we're just memorizing random useless information at times, but it's the application of all the information into potentially applicable ideas that really is the end result. 

I remember my summer research prof telling me, "No one likes doing the repetitive work, but we really have to take some time once in a while to remember why we're doing the work and to think of possibilities and come up with ideas. And you can't do that unless you do the work and get the results first."