Thursday, June 12, 2008

I'll Take My Chances With The "T"

I'm sure that the good folks across the pond there at Mail Online are just trying to keep the public informed and to help them out with the plethora of information that they provide. I'm sure that they didn't intend to have their serious article simply amuse me. I'm sure their intentions were in right place. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And irony, apparently.

According to Mail Online, there is a gene that is linked to intelligence that, if you have the "good version" of the gene, can help you live to be 100, but if you have the "rogue version" of the gene, you'll be lucky to see the ripe old age of 85. Without getting overly technical (because that is SO not the point of this post) there are two forms of the gene, the "T" and the "C" version. The gene regulates an enzyme called "something unpronounceable, but acronym-ized to read SSADH." SSADH detoxifies the brain by getting rid of any excess acid, and by protecting cells from damage so that they don't age as quickly. The "T" works 20% less than the "C" and those with the "T" don't do as well on IQ tests. So, you can remember which version is which if you think of the "T" as standing for "Toast", which is what you'll be because you won't live as long as those with the "C", which you can remember by thinking of "Century" because you have a pretty good shot at living that long. (Really, if you just remember "toast", you'll figure out that the other one is the good one.)

OK, so the Mail Online guys apparently needed a photo to go with this article o' information. They needed a photo of someone who could epitomize what they were explaining about the "T" and the "C" versions of this gene and how one can cause you to be more intelligent and to help you live longer. They needed something to show the amazing results and by-products of having the "C" version of this gene. Then someone must have remembered Patrick Moore. He's an astronomer! They're smart! He's eighty-five! He's old! He's smart and he's old, therefore he must have the "C" version of this gene and we should use a picture of him to illustrate how great this will be for all of mankind (who actually get the "C" version, that is. The rest of mankind is screwed.). Behold! The benefits of the "C" version:

Are you kidding me?! THAT is supposed to be encouraging? Or hopeful?! Apparently one of the unmentioned side effects of having the "C" version is the partial loss of torso and the need for a Mr. Peanut-like monocle. (Is his tie really that short?) Look, intelligence is great and longevity is pretty darn good too. But if I have to give up half of my torso and binocular vision, I'll take my chances with the "T".

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