Category Endocrinology

Thumbs Up for Teens.

We don’t yet know why but it seems younger mothers have shorter baby’s. A recent study in New Zealand assessed whether increasing maternal age would be associated with changes in height, body composition, as well as lipid and metabolic profiles in childhood. The age of women having their first child has increased considerably over the past decades. [...]

Full Length over Exon Deficient

The growth hormone receptor is embedded in the outer membrane of cells throughout the body and is most abundant in liver cells.It has three major parts. 1. An extracellular region that sticks out from the surface of the cell. 2. A transmembrane region that anchors the receptor to the cell membrane.  3. An intracellular region [...]

The Cell Cycle: Gap Zero

The Cell Cycle is a series of articles on the mechanisms and substances that regulate cell growth. The contemporary cell climate is one of constant biological and cultural high pressure to grow, to proliferate, to expand and conquer. The Incredible Shrinking Man wants to investigate how to relax and reverse this climate.
There is actually a [...]

The Turkish Seat

The Turkish Seat, also known as the Sella Turcica, forms a bony throne for one of the most important protagonists in our ambitious desire for a smaller human species: the pituitary gland. It is here within the deepest part of the cavity (called the hypophysial fossa) above the Turkish Seat that this small gland, the size of [...]

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 [...]

Pit-1

Human height is the result of how genetic height potential is turned into reality by circumstance. From the first whispers of life in the womb, the DNA in the nuclei of the embryo’s cells ‘monitors’ what situation to expect at birth, and develops the body accordingly. While genes provide us with the recipes for development, [...]

Growth Antagonists: The Estrogenic Gadfly

Estrogens are the primary female sex hormones. They play a pivotal role in growth, especially during puberty when estrogen modulates growth in coordinance with growth hormones and IGF-1. But estrogen plays an equally important role in ending the growth cycle. It stimulates the closure of the epiphyseal plates which stop the growth of the femurs. [...]

Growth Antagonists: Delta Cells

The growth of the human body is a highly complex process with many growth agonists and -antagonists taking centre stage at different times. In Growth Antagonists we each time zoom in on one of the key players as we’re trying to understand the puzzle of the endocrine system that regulates growth. Today we focus on [...]

Fish Representatives

In most genetics research, Homo sapiens is represented by small fish like Danio rerio (zebrafish)  and Oryzias latipes (Japanese rice fish). Both are important model organisms, representing man in developmental genetics, neurophysiology and biomedicine. When we tinker with genes what happens to the fish is most likely to happen to us as well. If the [...]

This Crowded Earth

This Crowded Earth by Robert Bloch is a 1958 novel set in a future where overpopulation has inspired science to create a small human race with the use of hormone therapy. The story starts in the late 1990’s when suicide, crime and accidents have increased steeply because of the ‘maddening proximity of the crowds’. As a [...]