Spiked

Bad jokes and corporate canoodling sum up Cinco affair

"Qué grosero," she was overheard to mutter. But Chen only seemed to be warming up. He pointed out a man in the audience to ask him a question.

"No, not you, the guy behind you with his dick in your ass," Chen quipped.

Hardy har har.

New Times asked Alberto Rodriguez of Arvizu Advertising, the firm that owns and puts on the event, what his people were thinking when they booked the comedian.

"I don't know who he was. But I did hear something about the show from someone besides you," says Rodriguez.

After checking with his events department, Rodriguez acknowledged that even the Arvizu folks didn't realize what Chen's act was like. "The events people were surprised. They pride themselves on the family atmosphere of the event. By no means was that a reflection of the festival," Rodriguez says.

Well, that's reassuring.

A Beautiful Mind

Tucked between the message from the wife of the Nigerian prime minister who continues to need our help getting millions of dollars in gold out of the country and the regular sales pitch for generic Viagra was this mystifying missive from Arizona State University's public relations machine, subject line:

"Protein mimetics that cause relaxation of smooth muscle could lead to more successful coronary bypasses"

Apparently, the research arm of ASU has discovered something worth crowing about. Unfortunately, it's virtually impossible to tell what that is. The press release, written by people who are paid to translate scientific gobbledygook into English, reads more like part of the AIMS test.

"Severe spasm of blood vessels contributes to the failure of coronary bypass surgeries and to strokes following the rupture of an aneurysm in the brain. A complex signaling pathway controls relaxation in smooth muscle cells, but researchers at Arizona State University have discovered how to bypass it," the press release begins.

And we sort of get that. But it's downhill from there.

"The research team has created a mimetic of the last protein in the pathway, HSP20, which causes relaxation in the same way as the natural protein. This research, published today in the online version of The FASEB Journal, is a major step in the development of a drug that promotes blood vessel relaxation.

"The signaling pathway that causes relaxation in smooth muscle cells involves many different proteins, but the last step is the addition of a phosphate group, or phosphorylation, of the protein HSP20, which actually effects relaxation. Other groups have developed molecules, such as the active ingredient in Viagra, that affect earlier steps in this pathway. But if a problem occurs in later steps, these compounds are ineffective."

And this quote aimed at explaining what all the above is about:

"You've got all those signaling pathways, but, boom, you can bypass them by putting in a mimetic of the protein that's the effector molecule,' said primary investigator Colleen Brophy, research professor of bioengineering at ASU, director of the Center for Protein and Peptide Pharmaceuticals in the Arizona Biodesign Institute."

We'll be taking two aspirin and calling them in the morning.

Spike us! E-mail spiked@newtimes.com or call 602-229-8451.

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