Merry Christmas! (disease)

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and joyous new year.

Christmas reminds me that factor IX deficiency is also known as “Christmas disease.” Did you know that the name has nothing to do with the holiday?

The name comes from the first person properly diagnosed with factor IX deficiency, a Mr. Stephen Christmas, born a British citizen in 1947, who emigrated with his family to Canada. He was diagnosed at age 2 with hemophilia (no type yet). On a return visit to England in 1952 Stephen was diagnosed by the Oxford Haemophilia Centre as not having a normal case of hemophilia. Research led to a new classification, called factor IX due to the low levels or absence of factor IX protein in the blood. This eventually led to many others being properly diagnosed. Although Stephen later contracted HIV, he became an advocate for the screening of donated blood to increase the safety of transfusions and infusions.

And he went down in history: the new disorder was named after him!

Interesting Book I Just Read
I, Steve: Steve Jobs in His Own Words
George Beahm

I was too intimidated at first to read the new Steve Jobs book by Walter Issacson, so I settled for a short and sweet book. Well, it’s short! It is a collection of quotations by Steve Jobs, about business and life. It’s nice in that it’s a quick read, and you can go back and browse through it. Many of the quotations seem to be space fillers, and trite, shedding no light on Jobs or on anything! But some of it is good. I suspect you could get a lot of this on line, and save a few bucks.

Also, I finally finished Steve Jobs, which I will write about next week, and it makes I, Steve present Jobs as a savvy and wise man, sugar-coated all the way. To know the real Steve Jobs, read the Issacson book. For snippets, this is fine. Two stars/five.

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