Janice Boekhoff
 

Fun Science Fact

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Fun Facts about Red Heads

  • Red is the rarest of all hair colors because the trait is recessive (which mean both parents must have the trait for it to be expressed in the offspring).
  • Red hair with blue eyes is the rarest combination because both traits are recessive.
  • The United States has the highest population of red heads—6-18 million, or 2-6% of the population. The range in data comes from the difference in categorizing red heads. For instance, did the researchers count strawberry blondes or reddish-brown haired individuals?
  • Men are twice as likely to have red hair as women.
  • In ancient Egypt, red heads were buried alive as a sacrifice to the god Osiris.
  • Red heads are twice as likely to get Parkinsons and also require 20% more anesthesia during surgery (the reason for these two associations has not been determined).
  • Natural red hair is harder to dye because it holds its pigment more than the other colors.
  • The actual cause of red hair is due to a mutation on the MC1R gene located on chromosome 16.
  • Barring a worldwide catastrophe, the red headed trait will never completely die out. The number of red heads may decrease, but because the trait is recessive, it can skip generations, which means red heads will always be with us.

I’m not a red head, but I have several friends who are. I applaud them as a unique creation designed by God. He loves diversity and He is diverse in his love.

References: http://www.eupedia.com/genetics/origins_of_red_hair.shtml, http://facts.randomhistory.com/redhead-facts.html, Hairdresser Nora Fortune with Salon Aria

Photo Credit: © Deni Barbay | Dreamstime Stock Photos

The Splendid Spleen

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Do you know what your spleen is? Do you know where your spleen is?

I’ll confess that, prior to reading an article about it, I had heard of the spleen—meaning I knew it was in my body somewhere—but I had no idea where or why it was there.

Turns out the spleen is a pretty amazing organ. It has several functions having to do with the blood. About 4% of our blood is passing through the spleen at any given moment. It stores blood platelets, approximately one-third of the body’s platelets to be exact (those things that help your blood coagulate so you don’t bleed to death from a paper cut). It filters our blood for microorganisms and other foreign particles. And it also removes damaged and worn-out red blood cells.

Red blood cells circulate through our bodies for about 120 days before they wear out. The walls of the spleen are specially designed to detect and remove these worn-out cells, along with any defective ones. For this reason, getting into the spleen is easier than getting out. Red blood cells wanting to leave the spleen must squeeze through the walls of special blood vessels, called sinusoids. These blood vessels have elongated walls with small openings. To pass through, the red blood cell has to squeeze so tightly that both sides of the cell membrane touch. If any red blood cell shows a lack of flexibility or an abnormality during this process, it is destroyed by nearby cells. The iron is then recycled to make new red blood cells. God invented recycling before we did!

While you can live without a spleen (your liver can take up much of its functions), medical science makes it clear that God designed this organ for several specific purposes to help with our blood. He even made sure it was well protected—on the left side of our body, under the rib cage and tucked behind our stomach—because an injury to this organ would cause massive bleeding. Thank you Lord for Your creative genius displayed inside of us.

Reference: Menton, David. “The Mysterious Spleen.” Answers Magazine. Oct.-Dec. 2011, vol. 6 (4) p. 68-71

Photo Credit: ID 30057931 © Decade3d | Dreamstime.com

Devotion

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.

I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Praise be to you, O Lord; teach me your decrees.

Psalm 119:9-16

 

I stand at attention in Tae Kwon Do class. I’m fighting a cold. The master tells us to kick, reverse side kick, roundhouse kick, jumping front kicks. He says to kick again, and again, and again. Somewhere around the fortieth kick, I cough into my sleeve and wobble a little. Why am I here? Because I want to promote beyond an orange belt next Saturday and I need one more class to be eligible. Better question. Why must we do so many kicks?

If I were to ask the master, I know what he would tell me (although I won’t actually ask because he would probably make me do pushups just for asking). He would tell me I am training my body so when trouble comes I won’t have to think, I will just defend myself. Such a simple answer, but to put it in practice requires so much work.

Same reason God says we need to study and hide His word in our hearts. His word is our defense in times of trouble. We need to train ourselves to be able to call up His word instantly. Does this mean you have to memorize the whole bible? No, I’m certainly not there, but we need to study enough to know the truth from a lie and to recognize His voice when He speaks.

Dear Lord, thank you for making us to need discipline because it keeps us close to You. Give us joy in studying Your word and recognizing You in the world around us. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Fun Science Fact

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Did you know krypton is an actual element? Not kryptonite, but krypton.

Number 36 on the periodic table, discovered in 1898, krypton is a gas that is found in our atmosphere at 0.0001% (compared to about 20% oxygen in our atmosphere). Once thought inert, scientists now know it can bond with a few elements, like fluoride to make krypton difluoride.

Ionized krypton gas appears brilliant white. Krypton is used commercially in neon-type signs and as a filler gas in many types of bulbs from fluorescent to incandescent.

Krypton-fluoride lasers have enormous power, about 500 times the power of the U.S. electrical grid, but they only last four billionths of a second.

 

Photo Credit: ID 7136990 © Fabrizio Zanier | Dreamstime.com

Reference: http://www.chemicool.com/elements/krypton.html

 

 

 

 

 

Programmed Death by Design

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ID 31467242 © Zinco79 | Dreamstime.com

Did you know certain cells are programmed to do a job and then die? Maybe you thought every cell would be programmed to fight for its life, but that’s just not true. Some cells sacrifice themselves to allow other structures to form for the greater good of the organism. Many of these cells die during the process of human growth in the womb.

Some provide scaffolding for organs to grow and others must die to complete the function of the organ. A great example is the formation of the eye. In a developing fetus, the lens and the cornea grow together in one unit. For the eye to become functional, the lens must separate itself from the cornea so it can freely change shape and focus on objects. Cell death is programmed into the tethering cells, which die, allowing the lens to detach from the cornea. The destiny of these cells is to die. Without their sacrifice, the purpose of the eye would go unfulfilled.

But programmed cell death doesn’t just occur in the womb. Every day, cells die to create our skin. The covering on the outside of our bodies consists of cells that are killed by an infusion of the protein keratin, which chokes off the cell. These cells have to die so that the rest of our cells can be protected.

I think cell death, programmed by God, is a stirring example of sacrifice. And just like those cells, our purpose will go unfulfilled if we don’t give our lives over to God’s plans.

What do you think? Is cell death evidence of design? How would programmed cell death evolve?

Reference: https://answersingenesis.org/evidence-for-creation/design-in-nature/death-by-design/

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