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Good old peas (and bees). May 17, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in critters, gardening, wit and wisdom.
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Our friend Ben was reading yet another article on the contradictions in modern medicine—this one showcasing a new study about the worthlessness of high levels of “good” cholesterol in preventing heart attacks—when I came upon this: “The paper used a method known as mendelian randomisation to compare heart-attack risk…”

Good old Gregor Mendel. It’s heartwarming for those of us who, like the gardening monk, enjoy the pleasures of the garden¬†to know that he’s alive and well, at least in the realm of theoretical medicine.

For those whose high-school biology has gone the way of that whatchamacallit you know is somewhere in the garage, a little refresher, courtesy of Wikipedia: “Gregor Johann Mendel (July 20, 1822-January 6, 1884) was an Austrian scientist and Augustinian friar who gained posthumous fame as the founder of the new science of genetics. Mendel demonstrated that the inheritance of certain traits in pea plants follows particular patterns, now referred to as the laws of Mendelian inheritance.” Like one of our friend Ben’s heroes, Sherlock Holmes, Mendel was also a beekeeping enthusiast.

Our friend Ben encourages all you gardeners out there to work “mendelian randomisation” into as many conversations today as possible. It’s so satisfying to be annoying in a good cause. And if you want to celebrate by serving up peas and honey (not together, though, please) at today’s meals, I’m sure Abbot Gregor would be proud.

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