Saturday, February 11, 2012

Science Saturday 2.4: The Brain and Obesity, Bootylicious Horse Fly, & Heartless Life



While many factors contribute to the onset of diabetes and obesity, a recent study has shown that a signaling pathway from the hypothalamus in the brain may affect obesity in a strain of mice.  db/db mice are genetically altered with a lack of leptin receptors, a hormone responsible for control of metabolism and appetite.  When treated with leptin-receptor neurons, the cells integrated with the hypothalamus circuitry in the brain, allowing the db/db obese mice to better control their body weight.  This can help open up new understanding of how receptors in the brain can affect diabetes and obesity management.

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Discovered in 1981, this Australian horse fly species has remained un-named until now.  Marked by the golden hairs on it's fabulous "booty", the Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae was named for pop star Beyonce Knowles.  This rare species plays a strong role in the pollination of plants such as grevillias, tea trees, and eucalypts.
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Two doctors at the Texas Heart Institute have developed a device that can replace a beating heart and sustain life without a heartbeat or pulse.  Their 'continuous flow' device provides a novel physiological approach to life support.


Heart Stop Beating | Jeremiah Zagar from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my yes, I would want my name to be associated with a fly! Hahahaha. At least it is a necessary and useful fly. =>

    The 'continuous flow' device is interesting with possible ethic's arguments. Let the argument/discussion begin!

    I am very intrigued by the liptin receptor research!

    Again, thank you for this blog thread. It is really fun and educational!

    ReplyDelete