December 19, 2018 - The latest evaluation of our research output
and that of the neighborhood we stay in has produced the expected results. Of
course, the response generated was also the expected: zero, nada.
December 5, 2018 - Directorial Quotation #51 (hopefully the last
one): "As the blessings of health and fortune have a beginning, so
they must also find an end." (Sallust, Roman historian).
December 4, 2018 - Following
Dio's advice, we have made the decision to lock up the wolves
for the next four years. Yes, don't we let'em go away.
December 3, 2018 - Directorial Quotation #51: "In governing I learned to move from the ethics of principles
to the ethics of responsibilities" (Felipe González, Former Prime
Minister of Spain).
December 1, 2018 - The least suitable person to lead the pack
says he has a dream; the rest of us say we may be entering a
November 27, 2018 - Directorial Quotation #50: "If those who
speak badly of me knew exactly what I think of them, they would
speak worse" (Sacha Guitry, French playwright).
November 23, 2018 - The little birds of Nov. 2 were not accurate and our
initial expectations have not been fulfilled. Sad thing is, it is
extremely unlikely that someone will be caught with his/her hand in the
November 21, 2018 - 'Cause they need somebody to tell them that
advanced lab techniques are gonna last forever, so tell me have they ever really
really really ever enjoyed an opening act?
November 20, 2018 - Directorial Quotation #49: "It doesn't matter whether the water is cold
or warm if you have to wade through it anyway” (Pierre Teilhard de
Chardin, French philosopher).
November 13, 2018 - It is with great sadness that we learned of
the death of Julián Gómez Cambronero, friend in lipid research for
so many years, and one of the last phospholipase D heroes. The
famous 'clam chowder incident' with him up there in Connecticut that
caused us to miss our flight back to Cali and spend a whole night
long at Logan airport still brings us fond memories.
November 9, 2018 - We have become aware that
Cyberlipid Center, a veteran and most useful lipid website,
lists our site under the section "Sites directly involved in fats
and lipids". Glad to be in such illustrious company.
November 8, 2018 - The paper by Pflimlin et al. referred to in
the August 2 entry below that calls into question the anti-diabetic
and anti-inflammatory effects of FAHFAs, is generating interesting
here. Not that this was unexpected, but time for soda and
November 2, 2018 - Cold winds blowing in
Norway, and little birds telling us
that the local scientific thing keeps going smooth. More
on this when circumstances permit.
October 24, 2018 - Directorial Quotation #48: "Only a few men
seek freedom, the majority seek nothing more than fair masters."
(Sallust, Roman historian).
October 23, 2018 - Our latest collaborative
effort with CIBERDEM colleagues concerns with lipid changes underlying brown adipose tissue
adaptation to cold under low adrenergic signaling conditions.
October 18, 2018 - Guess what is the Regional "Consolidated
Research Unit" (JCyL-UIC) that ranks #1 in terms of scientific
excellence? Yes, you guessed right.
October 16, 2018 - Directorial Quotation #47: "I try. I fail. I
try again. I fail better" (Samuel Beckett, Irish writer, Nobel
Laureate in Literature 1969).
October 8, 2018 - They make your day when they say you are so
enterprising and influential. Others can't say the same, ha ha.
September 26, 2108 - Extra Directorial Quotation (very, very
appropriate): "He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches." (George
Bernard Shaw, Irish writer, Nobel Laureate in Literature 1925).
September 21, 2018 - Directorial Quotation #45: "To avoid
criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing." (Elbert Hubbard,
September 20, 2018 - Being scientifically ignored may hurt some
people. Most of the times this is not intentional, they may have not
noticed your work yet. Just yet. It is you job, not theirs, to
change the situation.
September 18, 2018 - "It doesn't matter if you fall down as long
as you pick up something from the floor while you get up." (Efraim
Racker, Austrian American biochemist). Fall 2018 group meeting schedule
September 14, 2018 - We must always follow our own instincts and
not allow to be deceived by the enchanting singing of sirens. This
way we will avoid to be surprised by news like the one we just
received which, in reality, does nothing but confirm that some
things are in desperate need for a change.
August 18, 2018 - Yesterday we surpassed the threshold of
100,000 visits to our humble website. Eleven years were needed to
reach the milestone, roughly 9,100 visits per year. Not bad for such
a small site like this. We do know we need some serious facelift,
and may be working on it.
August 16, 2018 - Novel roles for lipin-1 in intestinal
inflammation and colon carcinogenesis coming soon to your favorite
August 2, 2018 - A recent study published by
Pflimlin et al. in the August 7 issue of Cell Metabolism
shows that fatty acid esters of hydroxy fatty acids (FAHFA) do not affect glucose uptake,
insulin, or GLP-1 release in vitro. Further, administration of FAHFA
to diet-induced obese mice do not significantly
improve their deranged metabolic status. The overall conclusion is
that the data "do not support the further development of FAHFAs for
the control of insulin resistance and hyperglycemia." Very unexpected
August 1, 2018 - Contrary to our initial skepticism, commercial
fish oil supplements seem to
what the label says they contain. On the opposite
side, commercial salmon usually contains lower omega-3 than expected
because it is not wild salmon as generally marketed, but farmed
salmon. This comes on the back of a very recent position
paper by the American Heart Association regarding omega-3 fatty
acids, where it is recommended that "one to two seafood meals per
week be included to reduce the risk of congestive heart failure,
coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, and sudden cardiac death."
July 27, 2018 - "And you shall hear of wars and rumors of
wars, see that you be not troubled, for all these things must come
to pass, but the end is not yet." (Matthew 24:6). Or: "Man accepts
as logical and reasonable all that is appropriate to his
selfishness, placing it above reality," from Vicente Blasco Ibáñez's
The Four Horsemen of Apocalypse.
July 20, 2018 - Napoleon Bonaparte said about the Spaniards that
they were "a mob of villagers guided by a rabble of priests."
Probably that was before Bailén, but what matters is that
much of the behavior that motivated Napoleon's comment is still
July 12, 2018 - More good news coming hot off the press:
regulatory roles of ethanolamine plasmalogens in macrophage
July 11, 2018 - Everything and anything you need to know about
the in vivo specificities of major phospholipase A2s,
soon to hit your favorite eicosanoid news
July 5, 2018 - While in human or murine primary macrophages
group V secreted phospholipase A2
is well described to be strongly up-regulated by interleukins -4
and -13, and much less so by bacterial lipopolysaccharide or
zymosan, the situation is surprisingly the opposite when
macrophage-like cells lines are used. Long time ago we reported on
this using the P388D1
cell line, and here is similar data
using RAW264.7 cells, which are by far and large the most utilized
June 29, 2018 - The latest installment on journal impact factors
is already here and... as predicted (see 07/25/17 entry), the
Journal of Immunology joins the JBC and other illustrious journals
in Q2. Another one we cannot/should not/afford to consider for
publishing our work. This is getting really really ludicrous.
June 22, 2018 - Directorial Quotation #44: "Everything should be
made as simple as possible, but not simpler" (Albert Einstein,
German physicist, Nobel Laureate in Physics 1921).
June 14, 2018 - Lucia Faccioli, friend and colleague from the
University of Sao Paulo just finished her three-day visit to our
institute and shared some interesting data on new functions for old
eicosanoids. Lipid science and fun, in
and out the lab, mesh well together.
June 13, 2018 - "The nation is quite able to take up arms but is
also very disorganized. Thus only he who can maintain it united and
in order will manage to obtain great things from it" (King Ferdinand
II of Aragon and V of Castile).
Summer 2018 group meeting schedule
June 7, 2018 - Despite the evergrowing difficulties we have to
face day in day out, our eicosanoid brigantine keeps sailing on
without any fear, because neither enemy ship nor calm nor storm is
able to stop her course or subdue her courage. In other words, we
have been very successful again in our applications to the annual
regional distribution of graduate scholarships.
June 6, 2018 - New government in Spain and a new ministry for us
to depend on, it could not be otherwise. We leave Economy (thank
goodness) and return to the Ministry of Science and Innovation,
which has been brought back to life. They have added now "and
Universities" at the end of the name, but that does not seem to
hurt. Time to update the stationery and all that fun stuff.
June 5, 2018 - An old battle hymn states that there
cannot be duties without rights, and no right should come without
duty. Today, it is not uncommon to find people who tend to forget
their duties but never forget their rights.
May 31, 2018 - Directorial Quotation #43: "Four fifths of all
our troubles in this life would disappear if we would just sit down
and keep still" (Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the USA).
May 26, 2018 - Back from the Annual CIBERDEM Meeting, held in
Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona. Friendly atmosphere, as always.
Other than that, we would not know what to say.
May 18, 2018 - After the pomps of the takeover speech of the
present occupant of the Rectorial Chair of the University of
Valladolid have vanished, the reminder was made that the latest
rankings of Spanish universities place the University of Valladolid
in the 63rd position out of 65 institutions analyzed.
May 7, 2018 - In the end it all comes to the same thing: no
matter what you do or what they think, there will always be room for
troublemakers. And, of course, a wolf in sheep's clothing is still a
April 27, 2018 - Historical fact taken from
here: Ludwig Thudichum, a guy who, much deservedly, pops up into
these pages from time to time, discovered the molecular composition
of what was then called lecithin (today phosphatidylcholine) in...
April 26, 2018 - Nice
trick that of the JBC Editor, Lila Gierasch, to advertise a new
ASBMB journal, which was none other than the JBC itself. New
directions, approaches and overt enthusiasm, yes, but the editorial
falls to acknowledge the progressive decline in relevance of the
journal over the years, at least in the lipid area. For many
authors, including of course us, JBC was not just another journal;
it was the journal. These are changing times also for
scientific publishing, and those who do not adapt are doomed to
perish. Whether JBC is moving in a successful direction we do not
know. We do hope so.
April 18, 2018 - Story is that of a wise vice chairman, so poor
and miserable he was, that subsisted by eating only the wild herbs he could gather. Will there be another person, he mused
to himself, who is poorer and sadder than me? And when he looked
back, the answer found out after noticing a
flock of directors who were collecting
the herbs he had discarded (liberally taken from Calderón de la
Barca's "Life Is a Dream"). Morale of the story: "Don" without a
"din", bollocks in Latin.
April 13, 2018 - Directorial Quotation #42: “Men are only clever
at shifting blame from their own shoulders to those of others.”
(Titus Livius, Roman historian).
April 12, 2018 - It seems there will not be CIBERDEM Annual
Report this year, at least not the way we used to know it. Not
that we will miss it much, though.
April 6, 2018 - Following on from the previous entry, it is
amazing to realize the legacy of words of wisdom that the ancient
Greeks left for us. For example, Pericles, the man behind the
construction of the Parthenon, argued that just because one does not
take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an
interest in one... which is somehow related with things that
happened today. When you got nothing,
you got nothing to lose. That's Dylanian, not Greek.
April 2, 2018 - Back from the Bioactive Lipids Conference held
in Athens, Greece. Wonderful moments, both in and out the conference
room. Maybe Cyprus awaits us, maybe.
March 26, 2018 - "The secret is in not going too heavy on the
sauces" (Abraracourcix, Gaulish gourmet).
Spring 2018 group meeting schedule
March 23, 2018 - Why is it that people complaining all day that
things do not get done, always tend to forget that things do not get
done on their own? Why is it that people always expect that others
will get the things moving?
March 22, 2018 - Directorial Quotation #41: “If history repeats
itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be
of learning from experience” (George Bernard Shaw, Irish
March 14, 2018 - Today the earth and the heavens smile at me;
today the sun reaches the bottom of my soul; today I've looked at
the calendar... I've looked at it and I have realized that...
today's the day! (With thanks to Gustavo Adolfo for the titanic
March 7, 2018 - Our recent JLR paper on palmitoleic acid isomers
in phagocytic cells is commented
upon briefly but very accurately in the
Lipid Web blog. This is the third time that our work is
mentioned in such a prestigious place. We thank Bill Christie for the
February 20, 2018 - Dennis Vance, another of the lipid research
giants of our era, wrote a very enjoyable
Reflection article last fall in JBC. In it, we read:
"Previously, one could possibly have developed an inhibitor of PEMT
(phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase) that might
have revealed the role of PEMT in evolutionary biology. However,
there is always concern about incomplete inhibition and off-target
effects of inhibitors, whereas gene-targeting technology is very
specific and unambiguous." True, of course, but just in the previous
paragraph, the author noted that in Pmet-/- animals the
amount of the active form of hepatic CTP:phosphocholine
cytidylyltransferase is 60% higher than in wild type animals, to
maintain phosphatidylcholine levels. So we wonder, could not gene
compensations in k.o. animals have an influence on something?
February 16, 2018 - It took quite a bit more than blood, sweat
and tears, but our new toy, a QTRAP
4500, the fifth of the series, is home at last. Now it is our turn
to see how beautifully this little monster does.
February 13, 2018 - Several years ago it was
reported that the orphan receptor GPR120 is an omega-3 fatty
acid receptor which mediates the anti-inflammatory and
insulin-sensitizing effects of these fatty acids. A very recent
paper in Cell Metabolism suggests that other orphan receptor,
GP40, is engaged by members of the novel family of fatty acid hydroxy fatty acyl esters. Grab some soda and pop corn and get ready
to enjoy future works on this engaging subject (no pun intended).
February 9, 2018 - A technological note on lipids just published
Nature Methods caught our eye for its subheading, an ultimate
declaration of lipidological principles: "Fats add structure, they
signal, they interact. In the lab, lipids are tough to work with but
worth the challenge."
February 8, 2018 - Didn't they want some news releases? Here is
one: "Novel lipids as possible markers for immunometabolic diseases"
News section of the official website of CIBER-ISCIII (in
Spanish; use the browser's built-in translator).
February 7, 2018 - Some scattered thoughts that cross one's mind
after browsing today's press: "let them invent, that later we will
take advantage of their inventions. For, I trust and
hope you will be convinced as
I am, the electric bulb shines equally well here as in the
place where it was invented." Different situation, same idea,
January 30, 2018 - Essential fatty acid deficiency, especially
for cells in culture, is seldom appreciated. Very few
studies have been carried out to document alterations in phospholipid molecular species as a result of serum starvation or
depletion of polyunsaturated fatty acids during tissue culture. A
paper by the Murphy group just appearing in JLR Papers in Press
fills the gap, and shows the replacement of arachidonic acid with
mead acid in particular phospholipid species as cells are kept in
culture, this leading to marked changes in the overall eicosanoid
January 27, 2018 - Good things, they say, usually come in threes;
omne trium perfectum - everything that comes
in threes is perfect.
There is lies, damn lies and statistics, the three little pigs, the
bad, the good and the ugly... and there is also the education, the
science and the future.
January 23, 2018 - This year the trilling blackbirds have taken
longer than usual to make themselves noticed. Today, the first day
that their singing finally floods the dawn of the city, also come in
those who like to make
themselves noticed. Preserve your
memories, they're all that's left
January 19, 2018 - The flight of Icarus, in addition to being a
fine Iron Maiden song, is a great reminder that the wax of reality
may melt for so many reasons, and the floor is a very hard place to
fall. Recurring thoughts for the day.
January 16, 2018 - Directorial Quotation #40: "One of the
penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up
being governed by your inferiors" (Plato, Greek philosopher).
January 15, 2018 - Our Paper of the Year
2017 was published in the November issue of Nature Medicine by
Arai and colleagues. The work describes a new pathway regulated
by PAF acetyl hydrolase that results in the generation of omega-3
fatty acid epoxides as new lipid mediators of mast cell-mediated
January 8, 2018 - "Don't try to be a great man, just be a man
and let history make its own judgment" (Zephram Cochrane, rocket
scientist. Also a Roy Orbison fan) Winter 2018 group meeting schedule