Monday, July 25, 2005

Of 'half-baked' and 'playing it safe' mainstream media

A few days after the sandiwara at the UMNO assembly with the waving of keris, coining of 'creative terms' such as Melayu Glokal (Glocal Malays) and Lembu Suci(Sacred Cow), our English mainstream media seems to play safe by having 'safe' or rather 'neutral' headlines like:
She can't stop eating and She can't even eat

Sanctuary at risk:Kinabatangan forest in danger

But how many of us knows about the hidden or unknown facts behind the keris waving and Prader-Willie Syndrome? Here I would like to point out some facts and some thoughts of my own.

1. Keris Panca Warisan a.k.a. 'We-are-not-afraid weapon'

a. According to here, the name for the keris was supposedly names after 'suggestions through sms, e-mails and faxes.
Ketika mengumumkan nama keris tersebut, Penolong Setiausahanya, Abdul Rahman Dahlan berkata pihaknya telah menerima pelbagai cadangan nama yang dikirimkan menerusi sms, email dan talian fax.

b. The unique kris is made of seven types of steel (which includesbesi, baja dan pamor-steel, fertiliser? and ???) acquired from its owner, a kris maker in Kuala Kangsar about two months ago. And let me tell you that it is not cheap. I couldn't find the piece of news in Bernama but if I'm not mistaken, it costs up to five or six figures Malaysian Ringgit.
Ikrar itu disambut tepukan gemuruh perwakilan dan sejurus kemudian, Hishammuddin melaungkan slogan ‘Hidup Umno, Hidup Melayu dan Allahu Akbar’ and Big aye for education ‘jihad’

With the aggresive roaring and waving of the sharp weapon and some headlines featuring the word 'jihad,' (only with better-dressed and minus any cloth coverings on the head), I really wouldn't be sure how some foreign (Western) media would be too fast to misinterpret that.

Picture from Screenshots.

2. The Prader-Willi Syndrome
PWS occurs due to lack of several genes on an individual’s chromosomes normally contributed by the father.
PRADER-WILLIE Syndrome is a complex genetic disorder that causes, among other things, a chronic feeling of hunger that can lead to excessive eating and life-threatening obesity.
Most cases of PWS are blamed on a spontaneous genetic error that occurs at or near the time of conception.

I'm not sure about the print version, but the online version (as always half-baked as it is) failed to mention even the word 'chromosome 15.' With all the hype of the Human Genome Sequence (which scientists have moved on further than that now with all the -omes that you can think of, e.g. proteome, metabolome, degradagome etc.)and the National Biotechnology Policy, isn't it supposed to be the media's job to educate the public a little bit about the genes and the chromosomes of our body? I'll bet some could even think that a gene is a 'hantu' or something.And sometimes we do hear in our news that there were some 'mysterious disease' happening in some rural areas. Let me tell you here: There is no such thing as 'mysterious' in the causation of disease. With the boom of scientific researches, virtually all diseases, except maybe trauma, have a genetic component.
Here is some further information that I have sourced over the internet about PWS, particularly pertaining to Chromosome 15:
An individual without Prader-Willi syndrome receives a chromosome 15 from the mother and another from the father. In Prader-Willi syndrome there are three genetic subtypes: deletion, maternal disomy and imprinting defect. Anomalies at Chromosome 15 include:

a. Deletion - 70%
A deletion including the q12 band (arrow) of chromosome 15 is contributed by the father and observed in about 70 percent of the subjects with Prader-Willi syndrome. The imprinted 15q11-q13 chromosome region includes genetic material (DNA) that is normally active (paternally expressed) on the father's chromosome 15 and inactive on the chromosome 15 inherited from the mother. Therefore, the paternally expressed genes from this region of chromosome 15 are missing in the deleted region of chromosome 15 and Prader-Willi syndrome occurs.

b. Maternal Disomy or UPD - 25%
In approximately 25 percent of subjects with Prader-Willi syndrome, both chromosome 15s are inherited from the mother (maternal disomy or UPD) and no chromosome 15 is present from the father. The missing chromosome 15 from the father which contains the active or paternally expressed genes required for normal development causes Prader-Willi syndrome in individuals in which both chromosome 15s are inherited from the mother.

c. Imprinting Defect - 5%
A few individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome (up to 5 percent) may have an imprinting defect inherited from the father of the chromosome 15 involving the q11-q13 region. This imprinting defect will not allow the normal expression of genes that are active on the chromosome 15 from the father and needed for normal development. Prader-Willi syndrome then occurs. Rarely these imprinting defects on the father's chromosome 15 may be inherited with a potential 50 percent risk for having additional children with Prader-Willi syndrome.

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