Category: Genetics

PARs in the Womb

May 28, 2013 By arne hendriks 0

The Incredible Shrinking Man is interested to know what consequences can be expected for human height if nutrition availability after birth doesn’t match predictions by the fetus on the basis of its prenatal environment. During pre-birth development fetuses prepare for the world outside by using the…

Ituri Zebras (Mbuti)

May 12, 2013 By arne hendriks 0

At an adult height of only 135-140 centimeters the Mbuti of Congo are about 25 to 30% shorter than an average person and among the shortest people alive today. Their average weight of only 40 kg constitutes a significantly more intelligent and efficient body design, needing…

Fish Representatives

February 16, 2013 By arne hendriks 1

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…

Pegvisomant

November 19, 2012 By arne hendriks 1

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…

Growth Deceleration

November 11, 2012 By arne hendriks 0

Adult size isn’t just determined by how fast we grow. It depends also, and perhaps foremost, on how and when this growth stops. Somatic growth results from both cell proliferation (hyperplasia) and cell enlargement (hypertrophy). In mammals, somatic growth is rapid in embryonic and early postnatal…

Gene Shortage

September 29, 2012 By arne hendriks 0

Research shows that missing copies of genes or other sections of DNA could be responsible for up to half of the genetic impact on our height. The genetic abnormalities – known as copy number variants (CNV) – are alterations within the chromosome  which means a…

180 Loci

September 26, 2012 By arne hendriks 1

Height is a classic polygenic trait which means it’s influenced by multiple genetic and environmental factors. Up to 90% of the variation in height is determined by inherited factors. Until now only a fraction of this 90% has been profiled succesfully. However, recent advances in…

Supercentenarians

September 16, 2012 By arne hendriks 1

There’s an undisputable relationship between longevity and height. Under similar circumstances short people live longer. Accordingly, most supercentenarians (people of 110 years and older) are relatively small, and not because they shrink with age. Here are some heights versus age at death of prominent supercentenarians.…

Micro Love

May 4, 2012 By arne hendriks 3

We must teach ourselves to desire the short. The greatest challenge to achieve the goal of smaller humans is our cultural and biological inclination to think bigger is better. Bigger as better is programmed so deeply into our subconsciousness that to think outside of its deeply embedded…

Immunity & Indirect Short Stature

April 29, 2012 By arne hendriks 0

Pygmies’ short stature evolved to equip them for life in the dense forest. But the exact driving force behind their diminuitive size is the subject of scientific debate. It could have given them an evolutionary edge because smaller bodies are better suited to move through…

D.I.Y. Shrink List.

April 7, 2012 By arne hendriks 0

If we are to believe this last report published by MIT Press, economic collapse is just around the corner. If that’s true it won’t hurt to prepare our children both mentally and physically for a world in which there will be a lot less of…

Parental Height Minus 10

March 14, 2012 By arne hendriks 0

In an exiting paper by S. Matthew Liao,  Anders Sandberg, and Rebecca Roache, it is argued that human engineering may well be a reasonable tool to achieve a sustainable relationship between the planet and its human population. One of their more intriging suggestions is the possibility…

Messengers of the Small Truth

March 4, 2012 By arne hendriks 0

Growth is a human default mode. Every individual, every reproduced cell and in fact every selfish copy of our DNA, intends to proliferate. From an evolutionary perspective such a default mode made perfect sense in the year 4.000 BC when the world population of Homo…

Complex Desire

February 19, 2012 By arne hendriks 0

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 growth goes against the system. Unlike the…

Somatostatin Zebrafish Farm

January 18, 2012 By arne hendriks 3

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…

The Larons

November 9, 2011 By arne hendriks 2

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…

Human Hypervariability

November 2, 2011 By arne hendriks 2

Humans are an extremely hypervariable species. There is a large intraspecial difference between its largest and smallest members. The smallest adult person, Chandra Bahadur Dangi, is less than 55 centimeters tall, while the tallest person that ever lived, Robert Wadlow, reached a height of 272 centimeters. That makes…

Tall Risk

August 3, 2011 By arne hendriks 2

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…

The ORC

June 26, 2011 By arne hendriks 0

Louise S. Bicknel of the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medecine and Ernie M.H.F. Bongers of the Institute for Genetic and Metabolic Disease discovered which 5 genes are responsible for Meier-Gorlin Syndrome, a form of primordial dwarfism. Unlike with Dwarfism of Sindh MSG does create…

Peter Gabriel on Humanoid Height

April 21, 2011 By arne hendriks 0

Human prejudice against being small is a complicated mix of biological and cultural reasons. In the 1972 dystopian song ‘Get them out by Friday’ by progressive rockband Genesis, small size is appropriated for the economic benefit of a greedy project developer. The 9 minute mini-opera envisions a…