Friday, January 14, 2005

My New Idol: the Crucian Carp

In college we had these workouts called pH days where you would do like 10 1 minutes sprints with 10 minutes of rest. I know it sounds totally pussy but trust me it kicks your ass like nothing else. This type of workout trains the anaerobic (no oxygen) system which creates lactic acid as a by product. Not only do these workouts hurt but the extra acid in your system makes you ornery for the next 24 hours.

Then I take a biology class and find out that when bacteria work in an anaerobic environment they create ethanol alcohol rather than lactic acid. This is how fermentation of wine and beer works. So while humans get this painful lactic acid the bacteria get drunk. Suddenly I had new respect for the bacteria.

Now I read about this goldfish, the crucian carp, that can live on almost no oxygen for at least 5 days with a perfectly beating heart. I read about this in Scientific American, but they seem to think that knowledge is meant to be sold not shared I can't link to them, so check it out in Science for Kids (personally I don't think drunk fish is a topic for children, but maybe I am old fashioned).

The crucian carp stays active in its low-oxygen environment in winter. Scientists do know that the fish gets around the waste problem by converting the lactic acid to ethanol, which is much less harmful.

That is utterly fantastic. The fish has found a way to take lactic acid and turn it into alcohol. Ohh, if only I were a Crucian Carp. Go hit the weights for an hour and come back with a nice buzz. Talk about an incentive to workout.

Science needs to sequence the DNA and figure out what genes and proteins are responsible for this gift of nature. Then they need to figure out how to replicate it in humans hopefully with a pill or an injection.
Stecyk explained that heart attacks and strokes can cause humans to die because their hearts and brains don’t get enough oxygen. To him, that makes it especially remarkable that crucian carp’s heart can pump with hardly any oxygen. He hopes that his research might someday give other scientists ideas about how to help people who are having heart attacks or strokes.

Yeah right, we need to do this research so we can save people from heart attacks and strokes, wink wink. Hey whatever excuse you need to do to get the funding to sequence the DNA go for it. And be careful of the alcohol industry. If they get a wift of this and figure out that people get get drunk by working out rather than drinking their products they will deep 6 you faster than, well, the cigarette industry made marijuana illegal.

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Gus said...
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