Amsterdam

Amsterdam Canal 1

Hues of colors playing far away
defying darkness

as they fiercely proclaim
the approaching dawn…

Curious and vibrant

bouncing through fields
with fierce authority

as natures bows
and stain glasses

come alive.

Awaken from their slumber
stories of heroic virtues…

as if suddenly recalling
memories of a fading faith.

Peaceful and innocent

ready to remind the world
the beauty of life.

Lest you not forget!

When the spring blooms
traveled through your

handcrafted canals
out to paint the world!

Caleb
GTG

Evolution and Cancer

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In order for a cell to become cancerous, it must overcome a great number of biological safeguards. One of the hallmarks of cancer cells is unrestricted cell growth. Cell growth is highly regulated through different growth control checkpoints. These checkpoints serve as gatekeepers that only allow healthy cells to grow. Early in cancer development cancer cells become unresponsive to these checkpoints facilitating unrestrictive cell growth. In addition to avoidance of cell control checkpoints, cancer cell must also acquire the ability to sustain their own growth, avoid cell death signals, overcome environmental challenges such as nutrient deprivation, lack of oxygen and evade the immune response. Driving this multi-step processes is evolution through natural selection.

Evolution through natural selection requires at least two components: first is the generation of “genetic diversity” and the second is the selection of those genetic variants that may confer an evolutionary advantage.

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In cancer cells, genetic diversity arises through the accumulation of mutations. Mutations are changes in the genetic code that may or may not alter the function of a protein. Most mutations are either deleterious or neutral. However, in some rare cases a mutation may give cells an advantage over other cells, allowing the mutation to overtake the population. This process is generally referred to as selection. Selection of a particular mutation is contingent upon the environmental context in which the mutation is present. Some mutations can be advantageous in a particular environment, whereas in other environments they can be disadvantageous.

It is thought that early in cancer development cells acquire what is called a “mutator phenotype”. This means that cancer cells develop the capacity to increase the number of mutations they acquired per generation. This directly increases the pool of new traits that can be selected enabling cancer formation, progression and metastasis. Intrinsically cancer is an evolutionary problem. Cancer treatments have to constantly be ahead of cancer’s ability to develop resistance to chemotherapeutic through natural evolutionary processes. This accentuates the necessity for better understanding of these processes and the concomitant development of therapies that avoid such evolutionary traps.

For Information about cancer:

http://www.cancer.org

The World

lake reflection copy

The world was growing old
but we were growing young.

Holding hands with grew up together
while the world lost its patience

with our ways.

On forts built on the fields of our minds
we stood alone together

as the world went mad.

We took our swords and declared
with valiant bravado

our war.

For it was worth the fight!

Truth was drowning in a faceless crowd
chatting the end of right and wrong.

Beauty was confused for cynicism and honor
had lost its meaning.

We made our stand on the shadows
of giants.

For we were not alone.

All the saints from St. Pious V to
to Joan of Arc awaited at the gates

to make new what the world made old.

Caleb
GTG


The line in GK Chesterton poem in The Man Who Was Thursday that reads:

The world was old and ended: but you and I were gay;” 

The juxtaposition between the rambunctious energy of the youth and the tired and old false promises of the world hunted me ever since I first read this poem. It is a war that has been ranging since the fall of man, between the Good, the true and the beautiful and sin.

The other night this line pop again in my mind. Soon after I found myself writing the verses that made up these poor prose and my 100 post.

The Man Who Was Thursday by GK Chesterton

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GK Chesterton is one of the few authors that can bewilder my imagination to such an extend that after he describes a furious and passionate sunset and says that the sky seem so small to contain it…I would nod and agree with him…

If that didn’t tease you enough here is the opening poem to  his detective novel, The Man Who Was Thursday.

Cheers,

Caleb

The Man Who Was Thursday,  A Nightmare by GK Chesterton

To Edmund Clerihew Bentley

A cloud was on the mind of men, and wailing went the weather, 
Yea, a sick cloud upon the soul when we were boys together. 
Science announced nonentity and art admired decay; 
The world was old and ended: but you and I were gay; 
Round us in antic order their crippled vices came — 
Lust that had lost its laughter, fear that had lost its shame. 
Like the white lock of Whistler, that lit our aimless gloom, 
Men showed their own white feather as proudly as a plume. 
Life was a fly that faded, and death a drone that stung; 
The world was very old indeed when you and I were young. 
They twisted even decent sin to shapes not to be named: 
Men were ashamed of honour; but we were not ashamed. 
Weak if we were and foolish, not thus we failed, not thus; 
When that black Baal blocked the heavens he had no hymns from us 
Children we were — our forts of sand were even as weak as eve, 
High as they went we piled them up to break that bitter sea. 
Fools as we were in motley, all jangling and absurd, 
When all church bells were silent our cap and beds were heard.

Not all unhelped we held the fort, our tiny flags unfurled; 
Some giants laboured in that cloud to lift it from the world. 
I find again the book we found, I feel the hour that flings 
Far out of fish-shaped Paumanok some cry of cleaner things; 
And the Green Carnation withered, as in forest fires that pass, 
Roared in the wind of all the world ten million leaves of grass; 
Or sane and sweet and sudden as a bird sings in the rain — 
Truth out of Tusitala spoke and pleasure out of pain. 
Yea, cool and clear and sudden as a bird sings in the grey, 
Dunedin to Samoa spoke, and darkness unto day. 
But we were young; we lived to see God break their bitter charms. 
God and the good Republic come riding back in arms: 
We have seen the City of Mansoul, even as it rocked, relieved — 
Blessed are they who did not see, but being blind, believed. 

This is a tale of those old fears, even of those emptied hells, 
And none but you shall understand the true thing that it tells — 
Of what colossal gods of shame could cow men and yet crash, 
Of what huge devils hid the stars, yet fell at a pistol flash. 
The doubts that were so plain to chase, so dreadful to withstand — 
Oh, who shall understand but you; yea, who shall understand? 
The doubts that drove us through the night as we two talked amain, 
And day had broken on the streets e’er it broke upon the brain. 
Between us, by the peace of God, such truth can now be told; 
Yea, there is strength in striking root and good in growing old. 
We have found common things at last and marriage and a creed, 
And I may safely write it now, and you may safely read. 

G. K. C.