Category Medicine

The Curious Case of Adam Rainer

When he was 18 years old, Adam Rainer was just a little over 138 cm’s tall, which classified him as a dwarf. Around that time however he developed a benign tumour in his pituitary gland which stimulated the excessive production of growth hormone. As a consequence he started to increase his height in the exact moment [...]

Pegvisomant

Pegvisomant (tradename Somavert) is a genetically engineered analogue of the human growth hormone (GH) that stops unnaturally vigorous growth in patients with acromegaly. It works as a GH receptor antagonist and blocks or dampens agonist-mediated responses by binding to growth hormone receptors on cell surfaces. Pegvisomant is used if the tumor of the pituitary gland causing the acromegaly cannot [...]

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is a neurological condition affecting human visual perception, in which objects within an affected section of the visual field appear larger (macropsia) or smaller (micropsia) than normal, causing the subject to feel smaller (or larger) than they actually are. In Lewis Carroll’s famous 19th century novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland the title [...]

Somatostatin Zebrafish Farm

One of the most promising consequences of downsizing the human species is the change in space and time it’ll take to grow food. In several research installations at Food Forward (a look into the future of food) The Incredible Shrinking Man investigates new possibilities. Like the potential for a specific type of fish to feed us [...]

Medicalizing Short Stature

The US market for growth hormone is estimated at 22 billion dollars. But it wasn’t always such an enormous market. Two growth hormone producers, Eli Lilly and Genentech, have worked hard to medicalize short stature and convince children and their parents that being short is a disease rather than a natural variation in human height. At first the administration [...]

The Larons

People living in remote villages in Ecuador have a genetic mutation that may just hold the key to shrinking mankind. The villagers have a rare condition known as Laron syndrome. They are generally less than three and a half feet tall, they are proportional, and interestingly, they are also almost free of cancer and diabetes.
The Laron People (we prefer [...]

Auxology Update

Auxology is the highly multi-disciplinary science that studies all aspects of human physical growth. It includes such diverse fields as economics, medicine, nutrition, and anthropology. Auxologists could, and perhaps should, play a key role in inspiring the cultural shift needed in order to accomplish a smaller mankind. However, most auxologists seem rather attached to the old [...]

Tall Risk

A study of 1,3 million women published in The Lancet Oncology finds that tall women are more likely to develop cancer. The researchers looked at the incidence of 17 cancer types, from breast cancer to leukemia, in a long-term health study across socio-economic levels. Cancer risk rose 16% with every added 10 centimeters (4 inches) [...]

Of Snell Mice and Men

Mice and men display striking genetic similarities in hormone dependent growth disturbances. If a mouse responds in a certain way to a genetic mutation, chances are that a human will respond in similar fashion. The first dwarf mouse was discovered by Nobel Prize winner George Snell in 1929. Later during the sixties research on the Snell mouse [...]

GHRHR

It seems as if nature itself is already investigating ways to counter hypergrowth, overpopulation and overconsumption. It’s creating perfectly proportioned, but small, human beings. Pituitary dwarfism, also known as Dwarfism of Sindh, is a form of growth absense where all parts of the body grow equally slow. At the core of this proportionate shrinking is a role for GHRHR, Growth [...]