14 May 2007

No enzymes here unless you want enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays

Can anyone tell me what the hell an akatsuki enzyme is and why it keeps popping up in my keyword search1? Is this predicting the day that I discover a new enzyme and egotistically name it after myself? Or is it some crappy New Age bullshit treatment2? You will be sorely disappointed if you're here for that. If anything, I should be joining Ben Goldacre in rubbishing these pseudo-science pieces of crap that purport to make people's lives better when all they do is make them poorer.

1 Statwhore admission: once in a while, I look to see if anyone from an interesting country has stumbled onto my insignificant spot on the www. And I was slightly surprised to find a Kiribati ISP in the collection this week. Hello. I hope I wasn't overly offensive with that silly off-the-cuff remark about coconut oil. And how are the Atollettes?

2 For the record, I enjoy the occasional reflexology massage. I don't buy into any of the claims of direct linkage of my big toe to my brain, ok? It's just a damn foot massage. It feels nice when you've spent the whole day standing while doing experiments to go home and massage your foot. Or hire someone to do it for you. There are no other significant health benefits.


David said...

Mauri from Kiribati (that's pronounced Ki-ri-bas, not Kikibas as per your previous post). I was going to comment on your earlier post, but didn't, then your mention of my visit to your blog prompted me to write after all. There is a lot of work going on in the Pacific looking into the viability of using coconut oil as a substitute for diesel. There are presently a handful of vehicles running on coconut oil alone here in Tarawa (the main island). A friend of mine in the Cook Islands operates a hydraulic press to obtain virgin oil, with the press being powered by a coconut oil fuelled generator. However it is more attractive at present to sell virgin coconut oil overseas than to keep oil here as a diesel substitute. There are still a few kinks to work out.
Unfortunately the Atollettes didn't really work out - there were too many conceptual and cultural issues surrounding the handling and use of what was formerly human waste.

bramble said...

Hi, David-in-Kiribati. Thanks for stopping in again.

Apologies for the pronunciation error; typo on my part (soon to be corrected).

It's interesting, what you mention about the viability studies on coconut oil use. Apart from that recent story on Bouganville, this research into coconut as an alternative hadn't hit my radar (but it's a very small and select one). All the talk of ethanol in the US and chip fat in the UK gets so much more coverage even though they may never be taken up by more than a few die-hard eco warriors. On the other hand, if coconut oil is really all that available in the Pacific islands, you guys are so much closer to sustainable bioenergy than the big talkers in the industrialised nations.

I'm curious as to why sale of the virgin oil is more viable; is infrastructure lacking to refine the oil or modify the vehicles? You mention the coconut-powered press. Could energy needs be met with local coconut oil? My knowledge on diesel prices is non-existent, and as such I have the naive opinion that local production should, in the long run, be more cost-effective than import of refined oil.

And that's too bad about the Atollettes. I can understand the concerns about using the waste; I would balk at it too (but I'm somewhat prone to over-cleanliness, or prissiness). Is burial of the waste an option, or will it eventually infect the water lens?

Anonymous said...

well, akatsuki is japanese and in naruto, they are a group of guys and one girl who killz ppl for stuff.

akatsukira said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thanks for dropping by.

I am au fait with the Naruto manga and anime series (although my moniker has its roots elsewhere), but it does not explain the specific search for "akatsuki enzyme", which I suspect is a nonsense, fake pharma-product.