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Category Archives: Biology

CTDL 211: Crazy sleep deprived parents!

Have you ever thought of your new-parent friends as being a bit off? Well apparently you were right.

Scientists have shown relying on the sleep deprived-brain to perform well is potentially fraught with danger.
They found that even after sleep deprivation, people have periods of near normal brain function in which they can finish tasks [...]

CTDL 210: Where are the whale spots then?

I’m not sure I had a perception that deep sea whales were slow. I think I only thought that about the baleen type whales.

Super-fast pilot whales have been observed sprinting after prey, likely to include giant squid.
The rapid pursuit has brought comparisons with the fleet-footed land predator, the cheetah.
The cetaceans even [...]

CTDL 206: These Oreos are to help my jetlag

Never mind that I’m not flying anywhere, the Oreos are resetting my body clock.

Studies in mice have shown cAMP – a common signalling molecule – is involved in keeping the body clock “rhythms” going.
The team hope to develop drugs that target cAMP to help shift workers, frequent flyers or those with sleep disorders [...]

CTDL 203: The Mythical Man Moth

Oh look, another bad nerd pun as a post headline. I just found this interesting because we have a creature we’ve documented, but only seen 6 times in the last 150 years. If this was the coelacanth in the depths of the seas it would be one thing, but it’s a strange little non-descript moth.

The [...]

CTDL 201: Vodka tonic with a stem cell chaser please

Scientists have been looking at ways liver disease could be treated using embryonic stem cells, reducing the need for transplantation.
The research is one of two projects at Edinburgh University receiving £3.6m from Scottish Enterprise and the Medical Research Council (MRC).
The second project, which also involves embryonic stem cells, will look at [...]

CTDL 198: Iguana slaughter?

Yesterday I mentioned I’m fan of Big Cats, I’m also a fan of lizards, and Iguanas in particular. As a kid I had a few pet iguanas, and there’s a minimal chance that our next pet will be an iguana (we’ve already got two Euromastyx lizards, a doc, and a couple fire-belly toads). That said, [...]

CTDL 197: Baby Tigers

I’m a fan of big cats in general, and Tigers especially (so much so I won’t upgrade from OS X 10.4… sorry… nerd joke), so I’m glad to see some good news in regards to their chances in the wild.

Fourteen tiger cubs have been spotted in a reserve in north-western India, [...]

CTDL 196: I guess the big question is “can we make this work for Africa?”

If the treatments can be developed to work in an African environment I think, based on my spotty knowledge of the situation, that this could make large inroads into helping the African AIDS epidemic.

Appropriate treatment can all but eradicate the risk that a pregnant woman with HIV will pass the virus to her child, research [...]

CTDL 195: Sir Mix-A-Lot as Medical advisor

I’m not sure what the volume is around my organs, but I should be nigh immune to developing diabetes based on the size of my pants.

Subcutaneous fat often collects on the buttocks and legs. Body fat found under the skin – and particularly on the buttocks – may help reduce the risk of developing type [...]

CTDL 194: The Da Vinci Platypus

If only I was well educated enough to understand the genetic code of the platypus I’m sure it would make for some very interesting reading.

Scientists have deciphered the genetic blueprint of the duck-billed platypus, one of the oddest creatures on Earth.
The animal comes from an early branch of the mammal family, and like [...]