Medical scientists dedicate their lives to unravelling the mysteries of the human body in order to advance the health of mankind. It is often a long and difficult road to discover the genesis of certain chronic diseases or what might cure cancer. Entire lifetimes and billions of dollars have been dedicated to finding cures for cancer and mapping the human genome. In fact, it took 13 years or so to map a full human genome for the first time, which occured in 2003. So thank goodness that scientists have finally turned their attention to what may be one of the most important medical mysteries of our time: Why is Ozzy Osbourne still alive?
No, seriously. I am not making this up. A bunch of actual scientists at a U.S. company called Knome are going to “run a full analysis on the ex-Black Sabbath frontman’s genome to find out why some people can live a life of extreme excess while others can not.” It may turn out that biting the head off bats has some therapeutic value after all.
According to Nathan Pearson, director of research at Knome (quoted in a Daily Mail article), “Sequencing and analysing individuals with extreme medical histories provides the greatest potential scientific value.”
Um, excuse me? The greatest potential scientific value for what? To figure out how much pot you can smoke before you can’t feel the heroin anymore? To determine what level of gall it takes to star in a reality TV show when your whole family is borderline psychotic? To understand the medical consequences of wearing those funny little glasses all the time? Gotta love how modern medicine sets its priorities.
According to Osbourne himself, ““By all accounts I’m a medical miracle. At one point I was knocking back four bottles of cognac a day, blacking out, coming to again, and carrying on. While filming The Osbournes I was also shoving 42 types of prescription medication down my neck, morning, noon and night — and that was before all the dope I was smoking in my “safe” room, away from the cameras.” Plus, according to reports he does not dispute, he’s been treated for rabies (after eating a bat head on-stage) and has been declared clinically dead twice. He has a genetic disorder similar to Parkinson’s disease and once broke his neck in a quad bike accident. And he repeatedly sang all that crappy Black Sabbath music, which would make anyone queasy. Dude could definitely benefit from some sort of serious healthcare makeover.
In a time when wellness and prevention are on every healthcare expert’s lips, it is downright inspiring heading into a long weekend to think that some out there are using their scientific minds to figure out just how far we can go into the abyss before we drive ourselves to destruction. Maybe those people at the State of California were right when they blocked Cal student’s ability to get genetic information about their own ability to metabolize alcohol in order to prevent those students from using that information for nefarious purposes. I guess they were worried that parents packing their kids off to college will learn to say, “Honey, just don’t do anything Ozzy wouldn’t do!” instead of “Just Say No.” According to Osbourne, “Mind you, I tell my kids that they have to be careful nonetheless. I don’t want them thinking they can do whatever because they’ve got some Osbourne gene that makes them superhuman.” Now that’s good parenting.
Maybe this effort to understand the scientific composition of the world’s most medically irresponsible people will give way to an entirely new field of science called “KeithRichardsology” where genetic scientists go where no healthy behavior has gone before. I can envision a new program at the Harvard School of Medicine where Professor Lindsay Lohan will lead the new residents through a course in how to administer cardio pulmonary resuscitation to yourself after a wild night in Vegas.
Interestingly, it now costs “only” about $50,000 to map one person’s genome, which is a marked improvement from the $500 million it cost the first time anyone tried. This actually may lead to serious advances in medicine as it becomes economically feasible to get at the root of disease by better understanding the specifics of our DNA. It just amuses the hell out of me that we are starting with Ozzy. Rock On!
In what can only be called “life is full of irony,” Osbourne has been tapped to write a health column (yes, not a typo) for the London Daily Times and Rolling Stone. He will be known as Dr. Ozzy. No doubt the real Dr. Oz is out there digging a grave so he can roll over in it. But he’ll be ok. He can just take two bat heads and call Dr. Lohan in the morning.