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Terminators: Wordplays for Ideas & Insights

No Man is Almost an Island

Asilomar is on the Monterey Peninsula. "Peninsula" comes from the Latin 'pen' meaning "almost" and 'insula' meaning "island." Peninsula, a piece of land surrounded on three sides by water, is "almost an island." In the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of northern Minnesota, Lake Insula is famous for its maze of islands.

'Insula' is also where we get the words insulate, insular, and insulin. Insulin is a protein hormone that regulates blood sugar. The protein is produced in the pancreas, in tissues called the Islets of Langerhans. Hence, insulin. Also, human insulin was the first product of recombinant DNA technology, produced commercially since 1982 by lab microbes given a copy of the human gene for insulin. Perhaps you know someone with diabetes who takes insulin daily. My Dad does. Human insulin from microbes instead of from cadavers is a good case to test the ethics of cloning human genes and patenting products from cloned human genes.


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