Chicken McNuggets

Okay, this may not have to do with biotech, but since there was mention of mutations, mutagens and tumorigenic additives, I figured it “could fit”. In any case, I loved McD’s Chicken McNuggets (notice the past tense there…) until I read this article, that got its founding from the book called The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan.

Apparently McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets are composed of 38 ingredients, and are 56% corn! The book goes into each in detail, but I want to concentrate on the genetics aspect of this. Here is a list of chemical additives that are harmful to your DNA:

dimethylpolysiloxene: suspected carcinogen, established mutagen, tumorigen, and reproductive effector. It is also flammable.

tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ): antioxidant derived from petroleum. TBHQ is a form of butane (lighter fluid). FDA limits addition of TBHQ to less than 0.02% percent of the oil per nugget [Suggestion: choose hotdogs over chicken mcnuggets in a spur of the moment eating contest.]

So, what are you eating next time you go out to McDonald’s?

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Stealth Gonorrhoea

If you’re a Canadian or an American, you’re in luck … mostly. In many countries internationally, namely Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland and Denmark, many sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests came up with false negatives! Why? Because at some point, one strain of the bacteria underwent a series of mutations that has changed its expression profile for the enzyme prolyliminopeptidase (PIP) … which was the protein tested for by doctors to determine if you had an infection. If you have, or thought you got rid of your case of gonorrhoea, you might want to go back to the clinic and ask for 2 tests that check for different proteins/enzymes to ensure you got rid of your infection. For the full article see: ‘Stealth’ gonorrhoea on the rise.

To get some more information about STIs, there are many books out there that can help get you informed whether you are an average Joe, or a scientist. For the average Joe, please check out Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Colour Guide and for the scientist in you, order Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

“And remember … don’t be a fool, wrap your tool.” – Van Wilder