Sunday, August 27, 2006

Lipid Taxonomy 405

At 4:05 this morning, I woke up in quite a stir, repeating one word over and over, and I have no idea why, because it’s a word that I don’t recall ever hearing before. Laying there in the dark, I couldn’t shake it… glucoflavonoids… glucoflavonoids… glucoflavonoids…

I suppose this might be explained away as ‘unconsciously bringing one’s work home’ if I were a biochemist, but one semester of undergraduate biochemistry in 1973 hardly qualifies me for inclusion in any of their professional organizations. So, I did what any rational person would do at that point— I got out of bed and fired up my trusty PC. Once my homepage was booted and all the pop-up ads were deleted, I consulted Google, typing in glucoflavonoids. Wonder upon wonder, I even spelled it correctly.

There were only five entries for the topic, one of which was in Spanish and, therefore, of very little use to a gringo such as myself; along with my many shortcomings in such disciplines as biochemistry you could also quite correctly include bilingual fluency. Be that as it may, I pushed on, determined to find out what the hell the damned things were and why they’d invaded my sleep!

It turns out (after slogging through 59 pages of a technical paper written in 2002 by S.R. Jensen and J. Schripsema, Chemotaxonomy and pharmacology of Gentianaceae) that glucoflavonoids are actually very closely related to several other families of compounds in family Gentianaceae, the iridoids, xanthones, mangiferin, swertiamarin and, of course, the under-appreciated gentiopicriside.


Imagine my disappointment when I read that the iridoid glucoflavonoids of Gentianaceae are usually secoiridoids or, at their very least, the obligatory biosynthetic precursors of the secoiridoids.

However, I must admit, I’m relieved that it's not cancer or VD...

Good night.


kay lee said...

OK , now we need to find
you a hobbby.
you have way to much
time on your hands.
How about hang gliding?
Snake charming?
Rat ranching?

Scotsfan said...

Such a fine literary brain should be bequeathed to the nation... soon.
Meanwhile, keep 'em coming Bubba.

Bubba said...

You are too kind, Scotsfan (trust me, I know what I'm talking about on this issue)... but, I do appreciate the support.

While the point is arguable whether or not any such bequest will be made, of one thing we can be fairly certain: When the time comes, I intend to leave my brain to science fiction.

(Yea, it's an old joke, but most of my newer material is ugly, venomous and would likely result in a visit from the Secret Service.)

Silver Fox said...

Oh! you mean that *wasn't* my apendix they took out yesterday??????????

Bubba said...

Dear Silver,

Uh... no, dear. The appendix is much smaller and located in the lower right quadrant of your abdomen. The fistula we removed turned out to be one of the largest goiters I've ever seen. Yes, it was hideous in appearance, but that's all in the past now.

However, with your new movie-star good looks, I'm sure you may lose your job in the circus, so it's probably in your best interest to start getting that resume polished up.


Ludlow Ketch, M.D.