"When I was young I set out to change the world.
When I grew older I perceived that this was too ambitious,
so I set out to change my state.
This too, I realized as I grew older, was too ambitious,
so I set out to change my town.
When I realized that I could not do even this, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man I know that I should have started by changing myself.
If I had started with myself, maybe then I would have succeeded
in changing my family, the town, or even the state-
and who knows, maybe the world."

18 September 2016

Look down on things

Okinawa, Japan
On top of the world?
Looking down on things through a window of an airplane. I was flying from Okinawa. So that is the things we see.

When we are looking at things from top, the things (so far) are not clearly identifiable. We know, down there must have buildings, mountains, ocean, rivers, roads, vehicles, people, and many other things. The higher we go the harder to clearly see those things from the sky. It's a different view from top.

Meanwhile, one thing comes closer and we can see perhaps clearer. I mean the clouds. But they look no different thing, compared to that when we looked up to the sky (and admired?). It's a lovely view when you are flying high.

Just arrived one day and departed the next day. I tried to breathe in fresh air and see the things on the land as much as possible. My travel also completed. See if I get a chance to come again.
Continue Reading »

09 September 2016

Useless or used-less?

Clearing useless things helps to make rooms for the new and to keep things organized. But for a reason, I rarely describe a thing as "useless". I used to do so, but turns out other people found the thing useful. This happens quite often. We actually didn't know how to use the "useless" thing.

The things that seem to be "useless" are used less. Interestingly, people use those things for new purposes. For example, leftover food kept for feeding pet dogs; empty plastic bottles used for making various household things; a broken light bulb modified into something for decoration; and an empty shoes box added with a magnifier glass for making a video/image projector for smartphone. Lots of other DIY ideas (in this webpage). Besides that, there are also other things.

Rather than a "useless" thing, it is just a "used-less" thing. And our "used-less" thing may become others' unexpectedly useful thing. So, how to make use of it then.
Continue Reading »

30 August 2016

Things in another world

The world of things not easily seen, e.g. viruses and bacteria. Not all bad.

Hepatitis B virus (HBV). A thing that infects people's liver. Chronic one is particularly complicated to deal with. When symptoms found, it will be quite late if not too late. This thing is related to people close to me and another reason. Then I came across this #NOhep thing. So try learn what's new to deal with HBV.

This is what happen when it gets inside the body. Basically, HBV virus takes over its host (living cells), the virus puts in its DNA with instructions for getting its host to work. The viral DNA can ask to build several things that constitute the HBV virus. Then the virus spread. Ideally, we can stop it if say there is a way to modify the viral DNA.

Look, bacteria has a way to do that easily when defending themselves. They produce a thing to target a certain part of the viral DNA, and another thing that recognizes it and makes a DNA break. Then, genetic modifications (or mutations) occurs. The thing changed. So the viral activities in bacteria can be stopped. That defence system is known as CRISPR/Cas.

Imagine we introduce the genetic codes that can setup CRISPR/Cas things in animal cells. And that system can be designed to target and modify a certain DNA part essential for HBV activities. As reported (this paper), this worked pretty well in animal liver cells (in a plastic dish) and mice infected by HBV. The viral DNA were modified and the essential thing produced by HBV-infected cells was reduced. But wait. Will this work inside human body safely?? How to get it done then. Maybe hopeful to eliminate HBV infection.
Continue Reading »

22 August 2016

Win the thing

A lot of things resemble some sorts of sports games. When we compete with each other, in some ways, to win a thing. Maybe some aim only to win over themselves. Basically we fight to win the thing. Didn't make it and try do it again. That spirit.

So, what is the thing to win?? Defining the thing can mean what we might actually win. Say in the Olympic games, one might fight to win some matches, another might fight to win a medal, and the next one might fight to win the gold medal. The efforts one needs to win the three different things vary relatively. So does the pressure one will endure along the way. Assuming that many other factors can be overcome, then it depends on each of us to set what is the thing to win. (not everything). What's worth fighting.

Last few days the Olympic badminton games were exciting. Great spirit. Well, Malaysia missed the first gold medal (Ahhh!! So close...) and still won several silver medals. Already fought hard/smart. Already very inspiring.
Continue Reading »