Perspective: the outsized importance of very little things

It is said that anyone who thinks they are too small to make a difference, hasn’t spent the night with a mosquito in the room.

Of a human size but still small, (Game of Thrones spoiler alert) who wasn’t impressed when tiny Lyanna (Lady) Mormont felled a zombie giant, or that the Night King was killed by Arya Stark, the smallest but most lethal member of her family?

And from insects to TV fantasy to very real life. What’s known for sure is that we FAers have low levels of Frataxin; apart from that nothing’s actually known for certain. Something’s awry with iron-sulphur clusters; it’s suspected there’s too little iron in one part of our cells and possibly too much iron in another part. And the reason nobody’s certain yet is what’s being measured is microscopically small. This is about deduction rather than observation.

Consider it this way: each of us has more individual cells in our body than there are stars in the known universe. An average-sized man (175cms) of average weight (78kg or 78,000gms) has just 4gms of iron in his body in total. As our American cousins say, “You do the math!” Whenever you wonder why faster progress isn’t being made on finding a cure for FA and you’re told “it’s complicated”? That’s what they’re talking about.

Finally, on small things of major importance, a tiny quantity of flu vaccine avoids a huge problem for you and for those who care for you. Get vaccinated now.

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