Category Endocrinology

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 [...]

Estrogen Therapy

Estrogen stuns growth by accelerating the closure of the epiphyseal plates located at the end of the long bones in the legs. When the plates close, growth ends. One reason why women are an average 8% smaller than man is because they produce more estrogen, and they produce it at an earlier age.
In the [...]

Closing the Bone

Much of our height is determined by the length of our legs, which in turn is determined by the activity of the epiphyseal plates. These plates, located at the end of the thigh bone, function as the center for cartilage and bonecell production during childhood and adolesence. As long as the plate is open growth [...]

Immunity & Indirect Short Stature

Pygmies’ short stature evolved to equip them for life in the jungle. But the exact driving force is the subject of scientific debate. It could have given them an evolutionary edge because smaller bodies are better suited to move through dense forest or because they are more able to dissipate heat. They also have significantly [...]

Tiny House Movement

Fish kept in small tanks remain small because they produce pheromones that suppress growth. If the same rule applies to people, the small house movement may proof to be a powerful tool to curb our physical growth.
The small house movement is an intriguing architectural and social movement that advocates living in very small homes. While in most developed countries [...]

Complex Desire

Since growth is a function of the fundamental desire of DNA to replicate itself, it is very difficult to obstruct. Any genetic mutation that surpresses this fundamental desire can be considered a revolutionary force. The refusal for increased grow goes against the system. Unlike the superior endocrinological intelligence of pygmies, who are able to neutralize [...]

High on Cheese

In the mid 19th century the Dutch were among the shortest people in Europe. 150 years later they are the tallest in the world. Perhaps not coincidentally this is precisely the period in which the Dutch consumption of cheese started its significant growth. Cheese contains large quantities of casein, a substance making up 80% of the proteins [...]

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 [...]

Outgrowing Life (Robert Wadlow)

Robert Wadlow was the tallest person that ever lived. He suffered from a rare condition known as Acromegaly where the anterior hypophysis produces excess growth hormone after the epiphyseal plates close. At the time of his death at only 22 years of age Wadlow measured 272 cm. His early death is no exception: contrary to the [...]

GH Resistance

Stature is a highly heritable trait controlled by genetic and environmental factors. Pygmies display a remarkable and inspiring resistance to growth hormone (GH). African Pygmies represent a paradigmatic example of non-disease-related idiopathic short stature. Even if large quantities of GH are administered to them, they simply ignore it and retain their normal size of less than [...]