We find ourselves in the “information age” with immediate access to limitless information but almost no reliable filter to distill quality from the contaminated volume. We are compelled to probe the limits of our existence often engaging in activities that threaten our health and survival. Central to the theme of this chapter an overview of health boundaries and the phenomenal biological adaptability rooted in the core of molecular biology. Genes are not digital switches in either zero or one position but are dynamic structures capable of responding to the smallest molecules in the environment. This instant genetic adaptability leads to cell physiology that is an ordered chaos leading to multiple possible outcomes following exposure to both subtle and extreme environments. Individuals are unintelligent, thoughtless creatures entrenched in a daily random walk but are capable of genius when taken together as populations. We are the collective result of interacting gene expression events, each of which adapts to a complex matrix of chemical signals, both endogenous and from the environs. Life is often threatened but is not that fragile.
KeywordsSmoking Radiation Overpopulation Olympics Telomeres Telomerase Progeria
- Blotkin DB. Myth 4: the balance of nature exists and dominates all life and all environments. In: 25 Myths that are destroying the environment. Guilford: Taylor Trade Publishing; 2017. p. 35–48.Google Scholar
- Borger J. Feed the world? We are fighting a losing battle, UN admits. London: The Guardian; 2008, Feb 26.Google Scholar
- Buchanan E. Assessing the global food crisis. BBC News. 2008, April 22.Google Scholar
- Chen LS, Hung RJ, Baker T, et al. CHRNA5 risk variant predicts delayed smoking cessation and earlier lung cancer diagnosis- a meta-analysis. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015;107(5) https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djv100.
- Chiappori AA, Kolevska T, Spigel DR, Hager S, Rager S, Rarick M, Gadgeel S, Blais N, Von Pawel J, Hart L, Reck M, Bassett E, Burington E, Burington B, Schiller JH. A randomized phase II study of the telomerase inhibitor imetelstat as maintenance therapy for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. Ann Oncol. 2015;26(2):354–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Christian Science Monitor. The global grain bubble. 2008, January 18. clinicaltrials.gov NCT00594126.
- Clop A, Marcq F, Takeda H, Pirottin D, Tordoir X, Bibe B, Bouix J, Caiment F, Elsen JM, Eychenne F, Larzul C, Aville E, Meish F, Milenkovic D, Tobin J, Charlier C, Georges M. A mutation creating a potential illegitimate micro RNA target site in the myostatin gene affects muscularity in sheep. Nat Genet. 2006;38(7):813–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- CNN Money. Oil stock could push world food prices higher. 2011, March 3.Google Scholar
- Damm K, Hemmann U, Garin-Chesa P, Hauel N, Kauffmann I, Priepke H, Niestroj C, Daiber C, Lauritsch I, Muller E, Pascolo E, Sauter G, Pantic M, Martens UM, Wenz C, Lingner J, Kraut N, Rettig WJ, Schnapp A. A highly selective telomerase inhibitor limiting human cancer cell proliferation. EMBO J. 2001;20:6958–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gilford H, Shepherd RC. Ateleiosis and progeria continuous youth and premature old age. Br Med J. 1904;2(5157):914–8.Google Scholar
- Global prevalence of vitamin A deficiency in populations at risk 1995–2005. WHO global database on vitamin A deficiency. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2009.Google Scholar
- Hall EJ, Giaccia AJ. Radiobiology for the radiologist. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilins; 2012. p. 120–1.Google Scholar
- Hayflick L, Moorehead PS. The limited in vitro lifetime of human diploid cell strains. Exp Aging Res. 1961;25:585–621.Google Scholar
- Huether S, McCance K. “20” Understanding pathophysiology. 3rd ed. Mosby; 2004. p 543.Google Scholar
- Hutchinson J. Case of congenital absence of hair, with atrophic condition of the skin and its appendages, in a boy whose mother had been almost wholly bald from alopecia from the age of six. Lancet. 1986;1(3272):923.Google Scholar
- Iversen PR. The Centennial of a great idea. Kalispell: Scott Company Publishing; 2016.Google Scholar
- Jackson AC, Johannsen EC. Harrison’s infectious disease (Kasper DL, Fauci AS(eds)) Ch 98. 2010. pp. 959–965.Google Scholar
- Kota J, Handy CR, Haidet AM, Montgomery CL, Eagle A, Radino-Klapac LR, Tucker D, Schilling CJ, Therlfall WR, Walker CM, Weisbrode SE, Janssen PM, Clark KR, Sahenk Z, Mendell JP, Kaspar BK. Follistatin gen delivery enhances muscle growth and strength in nonhuman primates. Sci Transl Med. 2009;1(6):6ra15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lwande et al. Infec Ecol Epidemiol. 2015; 5:29853.Google Scholar
- Mahaffey J. The military almost never lost a nuclear weapon. New York: Atomic Accidents Pegasus Books; 2014. p. 286–324.Google Scholar
- Muller H. The remaking of chromosomes. The collecting net. Woods Hole. 1938;13:181–98.Google Scholar
- Reitsma MB, Fullman N, Ng M, Salama JS, Abajobir A. Smoking prevalence and attributable disease burden in 195 countries and territories, 1990-2015: a systemic analysis from the global burden of disease study 2015. Lancet. 2017, April;389:1885–906. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30819-X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rudan I, et al. Reducing mortality from childhood pneumonia: The leading priority is also the greatest opportunity. J Glob Health. 2013;3(1): 010101Google Scholar
- The world litters 4.5 trillion cigarette butts a year. Can we stop this? The Houston Chronicle 2014.Google Scholar
- Thompson PA, Drissi R, Muscal JA, Panditharatna E, Fouladi M, Ingle AM, Ahern CH, Reid JM, Lin T, Weigel BJ, Blaney SM. A phase I trial of Imetelstat in children with refractory or recurrent solid tumors: a children’s oncology group phase I consortium study (ADVL1112). Clin Cancer Res. 2013;19(23):6578–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- UNSCEAR. Sources and effects of ionizing radiation. Report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the effects of atomic radiation. New York: United Nations; 2000.Google Scholar
- Vitamin A deficiency. UNICEF. 2015.Google Scholar
- Will G. We don’t need government to remind us that smoking kills. Editorial in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinal. 2017, December 28.Google Scholar
- Witkowske DH, et al. Lassa Virus in multimammate rats, Cote d’Ivoire. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015;21(8):1481–1483.Google Scholar
- Wolf G. Discovery of vitamin A. Enc Life Sci. 2001; https://doi.org/10.1038/npg.els.0003419.