Tag Archives: Fancy

Ever Wonder Where The Word “Scientist” Came From?

In this ted talk, Laura Snyder provides a historical perspective on development of science in western society. I think it is interesting to learn about the first grants that were given to researchers based on a group of individuals coming together and contributing to an institution that they were both interested in and initiated.

From the Lab of Our Favorite Researcher (Dough Melton) : Discovery of Betatrophin–Potential for New Diabetes Treatment Replacing Insulin Injections

From the Lab of Our Favorite Researcher (Dough Melton) : Discovery of Betatrophin--Potential for New Diabetes Treatment Replacing Insulin Injections

A paperfrom Doug Melton’s group published in Cell (153, 4, 747-758) this month made a fascinating new discovery. Pancreatic B cells are responsible for the production of insulin in the body. Thus, regulating the proliferation of these cells is of great interest. The researchers used a mouse model of diabetes and using an antagonist blocked insulin receptors that surprisingly led to a higher proliferation of these cells. To determine what proteins were responsible for the proliferation, a microarray study was performed in which Betatrophin was found as a potential new hormone regulator. Expression of Betatrophin in mouse liver significantly increased B cell replication rates (red stained cells on the bottom row of the figure) causing higher levels of insulin (green bottom row) and improved glucose tolerance compared to control mice (top row). The study helps provide new methods for treatment of diabetes in the future and highlights the importance of basic research! It’s also Fancy!

Full Article Link:


Color in Nature

Color in Nature

To keep up with the theme of being fascinated with color in our class, I wanted to share this RadioLab segment.  It is one that discusses several features in how we both perceive color in terms of biology as well as the cultural influences on color identifications.  Enjoy!

First post: Music + Squid Chromatophores….definitely Fancy

So for my first post I really wanted to share this video with the web community. It’s an old one and it has probably been reblogged many times…but…I’m very interested in developmental biology–especially physical manifestations of it in pigmentation–when it comes to seeing biological patterns and stimuli and think everyone should see it. Basically these researchers connected axons of a squid’s dorsal fin to electrodes that sent signals (action potential) to chromatophores (the pigment cells) based on the bass of the music that was played in the background. It’s a combination that shows the fascinating nature of neurons, color in nature, and how species respond to stimuli. I’m concerned about the ethics of this demonstration though, because I don’t want our lovely squid to have experienced any pain during the experiment and hope that the Backyard Brains group was also concerned about the matter. (I think it’s important that we apply ethical principles to our science these days and I hope that my blog will reflect that through its development). Anyways, enjoy some squid, neurons, chromatophores. And stay fancy. Always.