Tag Archives: Kenneth Nortvedt

Montana girl does good, real good !

Montana is flyover country. Nobody smart lives there. We all know that.

But when I got there in 1972 an issue of Science contained an article by State Legislator about a modification of general relativity — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Nordtvedt.  MIT grad, Harvard Junior Fellow etc. etc. 

Then there was the son of a doc I practiced with in Billings.   Honors physics at Billings Senior high school placed him in 2nd year physics at Harvard, from which he graduated in 4 years obtaining a masters in physics as well. 

Then there was a local boy, the Thiokol engineer who predicted the Challenger disaster and was over-ruled. 

The great thing about Montana was that no one ever bragged about this sort of thing.  There were so few people, that no one felt compelled to tell you about themselves, you’d find out about them soon enough.  The classic example was an excellent surgeon and friend I practiced with for 15 years.  Only on reading his obituary last year did I find out that he had a Fulbright after college.

Which brings me to Lindsay, a girl I first met when she was a high school student.  The family were ranchers with a beautiful spread on the east face of the Crazy mountains north of Big Timber.  I’m not sure how we first met — I don’t think I saw any of them as a patient.  But we all became friends and the galactic premiere of a cello sonata I wrote with a 19 year old secretary in a lumberyard was in their living room. 

The two least important things about Lindsay are that she was a centerfold and an olympic silver medalist in woman’s two person crew.  Don’t get excited about the centerfold bit, she was fully clothed, but for some reason the Harvard Alumni magazine had a 2 page picture on a field of daisys of her back in the 80’s when she was there. 

Lindsay went on to get a PhD from Cambridge and her work and that of her husband may have come up with something useful for Alzheimer’s disease.  I’ll talk about the science behind it in a future post.  But when the news broke today, the stock of her company hit 70  (it was around 7 at the beginning of the year).  For details please see — https://finance.yahoo.com/m/49fa6153-4235-3866-bff2-5a35470e54da/why-cassava-sciences-stock.html.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer girl.  Of course it didn’t just happen.  Decades of hard work went into it.  So as you fly across the country, look down.  Some people down there might be even smarter than you are. 

The Impeachment Trial of President Tester 2027

It’s almost Christmas. Time for some R&R. Here’s another science fiction story for the cognoscenti, which assumes you have some scientific chops.  Not all will be explained.

After the Taiwanese biologic agent turned the world’s armed forces into pacifists, you’d think that the end of history had arrived. For how this happened see the first story — https://luysii.wordpress.com/2018/11/19/a-science-fiction-story-for-the-cognoscenti-answer-to-the-puzzle-and-a-bit-morea-science-fiction-story-for-the-cognoscenti/.

Well, thought all sorts of garage molecular biologists, maybe humanity could be further improved, or those not of the right sort eliminated.   The Syrians learned this the hard way creating a biologic agent which attacked Jews, not realizing that Syrians were closer genetically to them than anyone else [ Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. vol. 97 pp. 6769 – 6774 ’00 ].  The Israeli’s saw this coming and had a defense ready.   The midEast became a lot quieter.

The touchy feely types thought of other ways to improve humanity, particularly a group of vegetarian molecular biologists at Montana State University.

You probably thought of Montana State in Bozeman as Moo U, where the sons of the soil achieved a rudimentary education.  After Jon Tester was elected president in 2024, a lot of money was poured in.  Sophisticates were appalled that Tester made it after Trump.  They should have known better– the US has elected a peanut farmer, someone from Dogpatch, a broken down actor making movies with a chimp, and the ever appalling Donald Trump.

Actually as far back as the 70s Montana had a state legislator (Kenneth Nortvedt) Junior Fellow at Harvard writing papers on alternate theories of gravity.  Biologic research was alive in Montana since 1928 at Rocky Mountain Labs in Hamilton and still kicking with prion work as of 2015 — http://klyq.com/prion-disease-study-at-hamilton-lab-is-published-youtube/.

So what happened?  Have you ever heard of the Lone Star Tick?  https://acaai.org/allergies/types/food-allergies/types-food-allergy/meat-allergy.  A single bite can make you allergic to meat.  Your body’s immune response to a tick antigen, must also in some way react with meat, the same way that the response to strep infection can sometimes cross react with the heart causing rheumatic fever.

At first it was thought that the tick injected galactose linked (alpha 1 –> 3 )to galactose, but that was quickly debunked when taking alpha-galactosidase (available at your friendly local health food store) didn’t work.

Montana attracts all sorts of people, ranging from rugged individualists to touchy feely types and points between.  There’s plenty of room out there (more cows than people at last count) so the dominant zeitgeist is live and let live.  The one unforgivable sin is putting on airs or bragging.

Thus it came to pass in the year 2025 (anno Tester #1) when the federal funding spigot was turned full force on MSU that a group of smart vegetarians from Portland Oregon overcame their scruples about living in a land whose major function was producing meat, and wound up in the newly formed Mike Mansfield department of molecular genetics at MSU.

Basically they knocked out gene after gene in the tick and looked at what disappeared in the secretions of the tick as it bit.  There were plenty of glycoproteins some of which had galactose.  It was child’s play to isolate and sequence the gene.

By this time the technology to put any protein coding gene in adeno-associated virus (AAV) and infect people was well advanced.  So they experimented on themselves, injecting virus after virus, forcing themselves to swallow their scruples as well as meat and seeing which of the tick’s proteins made them ill when they did.

The rest is history.  The virus spread quickly and suddenly no one could eat beef or pork.  The ranching industry in Montana and elsewhere died.  Ecologists rejoiced that the prairie was no longer grazed.

A group of bankrupt ranchers from all over the state (and a few from Wyoming) invaded the lab and killed every scientist there.

They were not tried in Montana, as no one would convict them, instead being tried in Vermont (Birkenstock country) and sent to prison for life.

Which brings us to the Impeachment trial of President Tester.

Can you guess what it was for?  Answer next year.

In the meantime, a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all