Things I Like Thursday

It’s a Thursday, so I greeted today with a delightful swim. I (obviously) love to run, but I really appreciate the physical (and mental) benefits I get from swimming. I feel like swimming makes me a more balanced athlete (it helps me keep my ankles loose and my upper body strong) as well as a more balanced individual (I get some GREAT thinking done in the pool). Unfortunately, swimming does NOT make me a person who is likely to win any awards for hair-style management:

Yikes.  Homemade aloe vera juice might help a little bit, but that is a mane that refuses to be tamed. 

OK. I like swimming. Here’s a few other things I like right now.

1) Kacey Musgraves. 

I love hearing a country song that prizes individuality and letting your freak-flag fly. It’s got a great hook and classic country sound, but the lyrics are so cheeky. This is my soundtrack for today.

2) CRISPR-based genome editing.

Ok this one is nerdy. CRISPR stands for Clustered Interspersed Short Palindromic Repeats. CRISPR is called the bacterial innate immune system. It is a way for bacteria to target and protect themselves from phages (viruses that attack bacteria) based on specific DNA sequences in the phages’ genomes. I did my off-topic exam on CRISPRs a year ago, and I still follow the field, because it’s super cool. 

Yes- I’m putting a figure I made for my topics exam on my blog. 

Anyway. CRISPR works by chopping up DNA based on it’s sequence, and a group in China has modified some of the proteins in the system to do targeted genome editing. At the end of January they used this technique to engineer the first transgenic monkeys EVER with targeted mutations in specific genes. We live in the future. 

3) Pu-erh Tea.

I bought some Cardamom Pu-Erh tea from Numi the other day. The stuff is highly delicious and also highly caffeinated. It has a really nice earthy flavor. After enjoying a few mugs full (and realizing that I was WIRED) I did some googling and found out that the reason this tea is so tasty is that the tea leaves are actually fermented by a mix of Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Yeast during processing. Apparently the natural fermentation leads to all sorts of magical health benefits. I’m not sure I believe those studies, but I do believe my tastebuds. Yet another example of better living through bacteria!

Alrighty, that’s enough rambling. Over and OUT. Hopefully my commonest are working now, because I want to hear what YOU like lately. 

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