Thursday, May 26, 2005

Remarkable trivia

FLAP and DG-031

Having a genetic change in your FLAP gene causes the chance to get a cardiac arrest (cardiac infarct) to double. Cholesterol just increases the same chance by 1.6. Iceland scientists have found this [Journal of the American Medical Association, 2005-05-11]. FLAP (or 5-lipoxygenase-activating protein) increases production of leukotrieen B, a substance that causes veins to inflammate. 30% of a large group of heart patients in the USA also suffered from high levels of leukotrieen; it is suspected to cause heart diseases in other regions than Iceland as well.
DG-031 was found to be effective: 26% reduction, causes 20% less heart tissue to deteriorate over three years.

The Fastest Flower on Earth

The Canadian cornus (cornus canadensis) has the fastest flower [Nature, 2005-05-12] on earth: it opens in less than 1 millisecond, to release pollen. Acceleration is 2400G to 3.1 m/s, the flower leaves turn aside with a speed of 6.7 m/s. Pollen reaches a height of about 2.5 cm, or ten times the height of the flower itself.
This movement is faster than the opening of Impatiens pallida (2.8-5.2 ms), the shutting of the Venus flycathing flower (Dionaea muscipula - 100ms), even faster than animals: a jumping cicade (Philaenus spumarius: 0.5-1 ms), or the catching preying mantis (Odontodactylus scyllarus: 2.7 ms)

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