Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Estrogen versus Tylenol; Godzilla versus King Kong


"Godzilla vs. King Kong" by Tankor89

The best thing about working at a university is that you get to hang around professors. You get invited to their houses for parties, cook-outs, etc. etc. Last night I ate dinner with a geologist, a retired anatomy professor, an economist, a biologist, a seminary student, and a physical science professor. I learned that women of child-bearing age (who are still producing significant amounts of estrogen) may not find Tylenol a very effective pain killer. The estrogen somehow affects the body's ability to break down the drug, and the result is a very quick drug metabolism.
(You don't want painkillers to metabolize quickly; that means the pain comes back faster.)
I never buy Tylenol when I buy painkillers. I always get Exedrin or Motrin for my headaches and various cramping issues.
Today, walking down the hallway of the science building, our botany professor and I started talking about snakes. He claims that mammals have an innate hatred for all reptiles. "Think about it," he said. "We've been battling for 200 million years or so. If that asteroid hadn't come around, we'd be.... (out of luck.)" He was referring to the asteroid impact that has been linked to the decimation of the dinosaurs, of course. That particular impact, estimated to have happened around 65 million years ago, is why mammals were able to evolve from small, lemur-like creatures into larger, top-level predators. We are currently in the "Age of Mammals," or the Cenozoic Era, which started right after that massive, cruel, and blessed (for us, at least) asteroid hit Earth.
I always thought people hated snakes because of the Biblical implications. Little kids don't seem to be afraid of snakes unless their parents tell them to be fearful.
The botany professor disagreed with me. "No," he said, "it's innate." I thought for a minute, then yelled, "Godzilla versus King Kong!" Reptiles fighting mammals is certainly not a new concept.

When the fight begins, who do YOU want to win???

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