November 22, 2021 - Current Quotation #34: "Be selective with your battles; sometimes peace is better than being right" (Anonymous). To which it could be added that life is too short to be fighting against vanity and incompetence.

November 17, 2021 - With respect to the flurry of comments spawned by a paper in Nature reporting how bad palmitic acid is for cancer progression, we echo the comments made by Bill Christie in his reputed Lipid Matters blog, hosted by Lipid Maps: "Arguably, it is not palmitic acid per se that is the problem but a large excess." Somehow this reminds us of that story of the guy who used to eat three times a day every single day in a McDonalds restaurant and, unsuspectedly, ended up becoming obese.

November 16, 2021 - Work by Huang et al. recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association reports an inverse association between nonesterified cis-7-hexadecenoic acid (16:1n-9) levels in serum and incident stroke. The authors suggest that cis-7-hexadecenoic acid should be investigated as a potential biomarker for incident stroke risk. This is, incidentally (pun intended), fully consistent with our previous work with this fatty acid.

November 9, 2021 - Perhaps because it was published in a 'lesser' journal (that said with all kinds of reservations), we had missed another important paper linking group IIA secreted phospholipase A2 (sPLA2-IIA) levels in serum with the severity of symptoms of COVID-19. Just like the work cited below in the Aug 30 entry, the authors conclude that the value of sPLA2-IIA as a potential therapeutic target warrants serious consideration.

November 6, 2021 - Back from the 12th CIBERDEM meeting, held in Mataró, Barcelona. While not walking through the great avenues as before, we've got to admit it's getting better (better), a little better all the time.

October 29, 2021 - Perhaps not the most appropriate position, but we will follow a diplomatic approach. The goal will be achieved anyway. Blood boils, that is inevitable.

October 28, 2021 - Current Quotation #33: "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt" (Mark Twain, American writer).

October 15, 2021 - TRPC3 calcium channel activation by intracellular diacylglycerol during lipopolysaccharide-triggered macrophage responses, coming soon to your favorite eicosanoid library!

October 13, 2021 - Ludwig Thudichum and Jordi Folch Pi, half forgotten heroes of lipid neuroscience times that are, unfortunately, well behind our times.

October 8, 2021 - Three considerations for today. First, mass activities must be planned with great anticipation so as to avoid as much as possible coincidence with other events. Second, delegation of responsibilities is not an acceptable option for certain kind of activities. Third, activities that amount to no more than a posturing exercise must be ignored.

October 5, 2021 - Times of bonanza seem to hover over our beloved institution. Problem is that those in charge of distributing the riches have not come to realize that there is also excellence beyond them and their close friends.

September 24, 2021 - The problem with fishing in another guy's pond is that you may end up with an unpalatable fish in your table. It was tried before and it did not work. Let's see what happens this time.

September 12, 2021 - "The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up" (Paul Valéry, French poet). Fall 2021 group meeting schedule here.

August 30, 2021 - A study by Chilton and associates appearing in the latest JCI issue reports elevated plasma levels of group IIA secreted phospholipase A2 and related metabolites in severe COVID-19 patients. This work provides strong evidence that this enzyme may constitute a therapeutic target to reduce COVID-19 mortality. Why will it be that we are not surprised in the very least?

August 27, 2021 - One can't endorse a request without even knowing it. Things come and things go. Quoted for truth.

August 7, 2021 - Current Quotation #32: "When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years" (Mark Twain, American writer).

July 27, 2021 - One would expect that, at least in a biomed lab, two plus two always equal four. To our dismay, we have come to realize that some people seem to be intent on disproving even this simple fact.

July 14, 2021 - Current Quotation #31: "Whoever hides something is because they have something to hide" (Fernando Esteso, truistic extraordinaire).

July 11, 2021 - So many new journals, so many new publishers. They target your ego, and they do it so well that many times it is difficult to separate honest science from marketing and pure business.

July 6, 2021 - Current Quotation #30: "You cannot get to know and love Italy if you have not tried Spain first" (Italian proverb).

June 30, 2021 - The fair of vanities that is all that impact factor thing spread its latest essences today. Regarding quartiles, everything stays more or less the same as in the previous years: the journals that not long ago were for us 'the journals' are all in Q2, some even in Q3. Interestingly, many of the new journals have fared better, with some of them positioning well in Q1. We keep wondering why people regard these data as as a measure of quality instead of popularity, which is what it really is. Lost battle, we know.

June 14, 2021 - "A day without football is a wasted day" (Ernst Happel, Austrian coach). Summer 2021 group meeting schedule here.

June 13, 2021 - Stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 and lipidomic profiling, hypoxic microenvironment and kidney cancer cells, all together in our latest paper. You may want to look it over here.

June 10, 2021 - Fortunately, the irresponsibility of some will not have a negative impact on our activities. We will have to wait a few weeks though to make sure nothing goes awry.

June 7, 2021 - We must face it: some things will never change. How do you keep going when everything but your pride tells you that the effort is not worth the benefit?

May 28, 2021 - Today Miguel Bermúdez brilliantly defended his PhD dissertation, titled "Regulation of the Inflammatory Response of Macrophages by Lipids: Roles of Arachidonic and Palmitoleic Acids." Kudos to him for an excellent performance

May 17, 2021 - Sometimes you spend hours on a problem without finding a solution. Then, when almost all hope is lost, somehow as if out of nowhere, you realize the solution was in front of your nose.

May 7, 2021  - Some people settle for the crumbs as a strategy of resilience. While there are certainly better ways to overcome adversity, for the time being we will take the money and run.

April 23, 2021 - You are a foreigner. This changes when they need something from you. Afterward you are a foreigner again. The funny thing is that they think you are unaware.

April 19, 2021 - Current Quotation #29: "Something is happening and you don't know what it is. Do you, Mr. Jones?" (Bob Dylan, he appeared so many times in this section). On a personal note, we wish we did not know, but hey...

April, 12, 2021 - Not necessarily a waste of resources to try chasing an artifact, but one has to know where and when to desist.

April 3, 2021 - Current Quotation #28 is an ancient Greek proverb, and a pretty good one given the current times: "Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad".

March 27, 2021 - Understanding signaling networks regulated by lipins provides clues to define the immunometabolic response of activated macrophages. All this and a bit more at the annual meeting of the Spanish Society of Immunology.

March 24, 2021 - "Studying without a liking for it spoils the memory, and it retains nothing it takes in” (Leonardo da Vinci, Italian polymath). Spring 2021 group meeting schedule here.

March 23, 2021 - An ancient proverb says that the enemy of your enemy is your friend. However sometimes it is better to walk alone, and the current situation is one of those. Uh, and the friends of my friends are also my friends... what a mess!

March 10, 2021 - Current Quotation #27: "If you look for different results, don't always do the same" (Attributed to Albert Einstein, German physicist, Nobel Laureate in Physics 1921).

March 8, 2021 - Current Quotation #26: "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" (ancient saying, likely of Greek or Arabic origin).

February 26, 2021 - Like two peas in a pod; cells and biomolecules, biomolecules and cells. Phospholipases, from structure to function, and something in the way they move.

February 19, 2021 - Trying to identify possible arachidonic acid sources for prostaglandin biosynthesis in zymosan-stimulated macrophages, and the role of cellular compartmentalization as an effective means to regulate both the levels and nature of eicosanoids produced. Soon in your favorite eicosanoid library!

February 17, 2021 - Current Quotation #25: "Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you, all things pass away... patience obtains all things" (St. Teresa of Avila, Spanish mystic).

February 16, 2021 - With the new advances in lipidomics, a growing number of unusual fatty acids are being detected. A recent paper in Cell Reports describes desaturase and elongase enzyme activities that drive the increased diversification of fatty acid isomers in prostate cancer cell lines and tissues. An abundant presence of these unconventional fatty acids, including 16:1n-9, is found in neutral lipids, consistent with our previous observations.

February 15, 2021 - Sitting back and waiting for the rain to come is fine as long as the rain finally comes. No rain, no flowers, yes, but no effort, no reward too.

February 8, 2021 - Stanford University people recently published in PLoS Biology their updated list of the world's top scientists across all disciplines, based on Scopus citation data. While bibliometric measures are usually of very limited value, it does not hurt at all that the Stanford University list includes us among the most influential biochemists worldwide (he, he).

February 6, 2021 - Our Paper of the Year 2020 was published last July in Cell Metabolism. Making good use of lipidomics, Hsieh et al. showed that distinct proinflammatory stimuli reshape the macrophage lipid composition in a signal-specific manner. The study raises the provocative idea that manipulating the ability of macrophages to adopt their preferred lipidomic state can be exploited to enhance host defense against bacterial challenge.

January 18, 2021 - "There are three stages of scientific discovery: first people deny it is true; then they deny it is important; finally they credit the wrong person" (Alexander von Humboldt, German geographer). Winter 2021 group meeting schedule here.

January 15, 2021 - Neverending e-mail exchanges and on-line meetings, lots of paperwork to achieve in the end the same result as if we were allowed to decide by ourselves.   

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