The Arts of Xenobiology and Xenoecology
In the absence of actual xenoorganisms to study, these can hardly be sciences....
First, some websites which have more professional efforts than mine:
I am maintaining this page to impose some discipline on my background for Iskandria.
The Molybdenum Limit: Nucleic Acid metabolism and extraterrestial colonies
Off to Med School!!
University of Kansas Medical Center
Martindale's Virtual Medical Center
PubMed: National Library of Medicine article search engine
OMIM: National Center for Biotechnology Information's Online Inheritance in Man.
I am not called to be a doctor, or any sort of medical specialist. I do not give out medical
advice because I do not want the responsibility. [It's also illegal under U.S. law....]
I have repeatedly found that sources of medical knowledge, other than medical school
and other doctor-professional resources [including government agencies], are often dangerously
inaccurate. I provide medical links because "information wants to be free!" ;) The easiest
action I can take to stop medical misinformation from killing people is to provide references
to plausibly accurate medical information.
Self-diagnosis, in many circumstances, is dangerous because a given superficial syndrome can
result from many different causes. Don't.
I have found the perspective of trusted, competent medical professionals of great assistance
in understanding the practical applications of medical knowledge -- and highly recommend that
you locate such professionals.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing -- but my life has been endangered by my lack
of systematic medical knowledge before.
Key points here:
The last point could pose problems for extraterrestrial and interstellar colonies. An alien
ecology that fails to use molybdenum poses subtle dietary hazards.
- Nucleic acid synthesis should be strongly conserved.
- Humans do not use dietary nucleic acids [except to break them down]. Dietary
nucleic acids do not end up in human DNA or RNA. This suggests that nucleic acid
supplements are indeed a complete waste of money.
- Purine metabolism ends up with uric acid as the ultimate byproduct. Most documented
forms of gout cause physical problems because of excessive uric acid. [Low-tech control
measure: eggs, milk??]
- Xanthine oxidase, the enzyme that immediately yields uric acid, uses molybdenum [Mo] as a cofactor.
Molybdenum has no known RDA...but total inability to synthesize xanthine oxidase does enable an otherwise non-existent kind of rare kidney stone.
For environmentalists, another concern is the possibility of molybdenum being toxic to alien
carnivores or fungi. ["The wild __ ate him -- and then died in agony."]
OMIM is a trademark of the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Opinions, comments, criticism, etc.? Let me know about it.
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