June 30, 2007

Ecylse, the "Zorse"

What the heck is going on with this horse? It's part zebra, apparently.

while most zebra-horse crossbreeds sport stripes across their entire body, Eclyse only has two such patches, on its face and rear.

The one-year-old zorse was the accidental product of a holiday romance when her mother, Eclipse, was taken from her German safari park home to a ranch in Italy for a brief spell.

There she was able to roam freely with other horses and a number of zebras, including one called Ulysses who took a fancy to her.

When Eclipse returned home, she surprised her keepers by giving birth to the baby zorse whose mixed markings betray her colourful parentage.

Via DailyMail

At first, I thought that this would be a good example of mosaicism, but upon further research, I found out that this would require a mutation. I guess I was thinking something more like X-inactivation, seen in the colorful coat coloring of a calico cat.

In any case, I thought that this was a striking example of genetics in action. Yay weird science!

June 01, 2007

"Flea" Bite

A while ago, I started to read the posts of "Flea," a pediatrician blogger so named by snarky surgeons who call pediatricians "fleas."

He took to his pseudonym well, offering biting commentary in the medical field, often offering harsher truths than I thought appropriate, as evidenced in my response to his entry on Lavender Essence and vaccines. A doctor has a position of high responsibility and respect and it requires a certain amount of professionalism... which apparently, extends to blogs. You cannot let your guard down, even when you use a blog as an outlet for something as frustrating as a malpractice lawsuit.

Flea's posts became irregular and more and more of them cited an ongoing court case he was involved in. I thought that this was a risky thing to do and as many speculated when his blog was completely erased -- it did not bode well for the outcome of his trial.

Indeed, he was featured on the FRONT PAGE of the Boston Globe just a few days ago! That's crazy scary. I would not want something like that to happen to me.

Worried about how a blog might affect your career and your reputation if you should be discovered? Clinical Cases and Images offers a few pieces of advice: write as if your patients and your boss reads your blog everyday. Conform to HIPPA. I added a disclaimer to my sidebar, but I don't have the traffic/notoriety/fame that Flea, Respectful Insolence or Dr. Dimov have to warrant full disclosure.

Kevin, M.D. offers his own comments and summarizes the responses in the blogosphere.
Eric Turkewitz, personal injury lawyer provides some links to the ongoing story.