Thursday, October 13, 2011

Of Neutrinos and Populations

For a true understanding of the true nature of "reality," there's no better place to go than the extremes.  While we may think we independently inhabit a rationally reductionist and linear universe, it's not true.  The smallest particles are both energy and matter, while the gravity generated by planets curves the fabric of space. Whoa. 

If that's not difficult enough, now the Disease Management Care Blog has to deal with the recent observation that neutrinos can travel faster than the speed of light. While it awaits confirmation, the discovery has important implications for decades of assumptions about the "relativity" of time (which can now go backwards?) and mass (which can now go beyond infinity?).  You can get a good sense of just how important it is by reading Mr. Krauthammer's cogent analysis.

The insights gained from "extremes" applies to other corners of reality, including people. The DMCB spouse is regularly tested by the various extremes of her husband's attitudes and behaviors.  At a far more magnified level, spend some time in a delivery suite at the earliest beginnings of life or attending to those at the end of life and you'll gain some insights there too. 

Neutrino speed reminds the DMCB the it's made up of subatomic dust gathered from infinitely large galaxies.  If that's true, why would we ever have the hubris to think that we're even close to understanding what makes us tick?  True understanding about health, wellness and achieving our greatest potential is to be gained at one end by examining subcellular genomics (for example, a "selfish gene") and at the other by, you guessed it, using huge observational clinical population bases (for the latest example, the true impact of dietary vitamin supplements). 

The future yield from ongoing investigations at either extreme end of the human spectrum promises to be phenomenal. 

We ARE all made of stars.....

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