September 30, 2022 - Current quotation #40: "Vitam regit fortuna, non sapientia" (Fortune, not wisdom, rules lives) (Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman statesman).

September 28, 2022 - Have you ever tried to headbutt a wall? Of course not. No matter how much effort you put into it the only thing you would accomplish is hurting yourself. The secret is to know when it is the time to let something go. This is different than giving up. Dedicating your resources to things that cannot produce results is a waste of time and above all, energy.

September 27, 2022 - Since we all know that a certain center located on the banks of the Pisuerga river and the words commitment and motivation do not fit in the same sentence, we must conclude that either she did not understand anything or she is a master of hypocrisy. We bet on the latter.

September 20, 2022 - Plasmalogens are abundant in mammals and invertebrates, but are absent in plants and fungi. Among bacteria, they are present in anaerobic bacteria but not in aerobic bacteria, with the notable exception of Myxobacteria. It is from these bacteria that the key enzyme in the synthesis of plasmalogens, plasmanylethanolamine desaturase (PEDS1) was first identified.

September 14, 2022 - "If you think you are too small to make a difference, you have not spent a night with a mosquito" (African proverb). Fall 2022 group meeting schedule here.

August 31, 2022 - Scientific publishing is now big business and, as such, a prime objective is to stand out from the crowd and get noticed. This is why the folks at Biomolecules prepared these banners for promotion in social media.

August 27, 2022 - We may agree with the Duke of Wellington that two plus two does not always equal four in Spain. However we must also agree with Descartes that in Spain, two plus three always makes five.

August 17, 2022 - The tempestuous and intricate beginnings in scientific research, as seen by Mr. Forges.

July 21, 2022 - The problem when something happens that you thought it would never happen is not that something itself; it is that you can no longer be confident it will not happen again.

July 18, 2022 - While surfing the web we stumbled across a rather old but certainly accurate description of a disease whose symptoms are easily recognizable: nobelitis.

July 16, 2022 - Words that sound or are written similarly but mean different things occur in all languages. In Spanish, for example, we have filiación (affiliation) and afiliación (signing up). Funny things may happen when someone uses one instead of the other.

July 15, 2022 - Yesterday, Laura Pereira successfully defended her PhD thesis titled "A lipidomic study of the activation and maturation of dendritic cells. Roles of arachidonic acid and the hexadecenoic fatty acid isomers." Congrats to her for a superb performance.

July 8, 2022 - Current quotation #39: "Change always comes later than we think it should" (Adm. Jean-Luc Picard, wise man extraordinaire).

July 7, 2022 - Roles of hexadecenoic fatty acids in metabolic diseases and cancer, coming soon to your favorite eicosanoid library!

June 22, 2022 - Current Quotation #38: "May you find as much peace as the relief you leave behind" (Spanish proverb). Sadly, the future does not seem to look brighter.

June 14, 2022 - "That of the Spanish was always a long and painful road to nowhere, marked by vileness and infamy. Paradoxically, all of the greatness and brilliance of our history is compatible with our miserable human condition; one is a complement or consequence of the other, and vice versa" (Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Spanish writer and journalist). Summer 2022 group meeting schedule here.

June 10, 2022 - In a recent article in Nature, adipose triacylglycerol lipase (ATGL) is identified as a major candidate enzyme for the biosynthesis of branched fatty acid esters of hydroxyfatty acids (FAHFA). According to the authors, ATGL hydrolyzes triacylglycerol and transfers the resulting fatty acid to a nearby hydroxyfatty acid. This results in FAHFA formation via a direct transacylation reaction. Unexpected, to say the least.

May 30, 2022 - More on Mead acid. A recent study in Cell Chemical Biology suggests that elongation/desaturation of oleic acid to form Mead acid regulates ferroptosis-like signals that restrict replication of hepatitis C virus in hepatocytes.

May 26, 2022 - Time for grant writing inevitably brings about the issue of popularity versus excellence in scientific publishing. Things have become so perverted that most policy makers can't distinguish between both concepts. So here we go again to clarify: vanity journals are primarily concerned with fashion - they have to sell. With this we are not saying at all that vanity journals publish bad or irrelevant science (though they frequently do), we just say that there is a lot of excellent science being published in 'lesser' journals which does not receive the respect or attention it deserves.

May 5, 2022 - The latest installment of the specialized pro-resolving mediator controversy (see March 9 entry) has reached unexpected heights and is commented on in Science. Best part, the last sentence: "no one expects an easy resolution to this highly inflamed dispute."

April 29, 2022 - We just learned that the review paper we published in BBA in June 2019 (this one) is the journal's most cited article of the last three years. This is, obviously, a good thing to note.

April 11, 2022 - Quotation #37 is actually two similar ones, both from or attributed to Thomas Alva Edison, American inventor and businessman. "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up; the most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time", and "People are not remembered by the number of times they fail, but by the number of times they succeed; and the number of times they succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times they fail and keep on trying. Every wrong step is another step forward.”

April 6, 2022 - An interesting study published in Cells suggests that mice may retain cellular memories of exposure to arachidonic acid across generations. In particular, continued exposure of the animals to arachidonic acid increases their content in 16:1n-9, which is quite reminiscent of our own data showing the up-regulation of this fatty acid in arachidonate-treated human monocytes.

April 1, 2022 - New insights into the interaction of cytosolic phospholipase A2α with membrane phosphoinositides. coming soon to your favorite eicosanoid library!

March 29, 2022 - "Four things cannot be hidden for a long time: scientific facts, stupidity, wealth, and poverty" (Ibn Rushd, Averroes, Muslim Spanish philosopher). Spring 2022 group meeting schedule here.

March 28, 2022 - 15-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (15-HETE) is most often regarded as a lipoxygenase metabolite. However, 15-HETE can also be produced at very significant quantities by cyclooxygenases. Thus, before taking 15-HETE production as an indicator of lipoxygenase activity in cells, it would be good to assess its levels in the presence of a cyclooxygenase inhibitor.

March 24, 2022 - Another study implicating secreted phospholipase A2 in the pathology of COVID-19. This time is not the group IIA enzyme, but the group IID. The work is in mice, perhaps that makes the difference.

March 17, 2022 - People often do not pay much attention to the abbreviations list in a manuscript. Not a good idea if the author has dedicated a lot of time in preparing it.

March 9, 2022 - The discovery of oxygenated products of omega-3 fatty acids and their role as resolutory/ant-inflammatory mediators was always received with much skepticism by the scientific community. A review just appearing in Frontiers in Pharmacology calls into question much of the evidence gathered along the years regarding specialized pro-resolving mediators. As this area of research is tangential to our work we have no opinion on the subject, but the review is indubitably a must read.

February 28, 2022 - Current Quotation #36: "Nothing can be stolen from an empty place" (Spanish proverb). In Dylanian terms, when you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.

February 15, 2022 - We bring Mead acid (5,8,11-eicosatrienoic acid) again to this section. It is a non-essential polyunsaturated fatty acid of the n-9 series that, unusually, carries the name of its discoverer, James F. Mead. Cultured cell lines are often found to contain significant amounts of Mead acid. This is thought to occur to compensate somehow for the low levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids of the n-6 and n-3 series that cell lines exhibit. For quick reference, here is our very nice fatty acid list.

February 7, 2022 - María Zambrano was a writer and philosopher, widely regarded as one the most brilliant minds of the 20th century in Spain. She was awarded two of the most important literary prizes in the Spanish-speaking world, the Cervantes Prize in 1981 and the Prince of Asturias Prize in 1988, the first woman to receive both recognitions. We welcome (back) David Balgoma as a María Zambrano Fellow in the Biomedical Sciences.

January 31, 2022 - In the April issue of Nature Chemical Biology, Kagan and co-workers published a study demonstrating the key role of group VIA calcium-independent phospholipase A2 (iPLA2β) in averting ferroptosis by eliminating oxidized phospholipids that act as ferroptotic signals. It seems like all the pieces of the puzzle are finally coming together, and the actual biological roles of iPLA2β are finally coming to the spotlight. This is the paper we distinguished as Paper of the Year 2021.

January 18, 2022 - Current Quotation #35: "I have learned not to try to convince anyone. The work of convincing is an attempt to colonize the other" (José Saramago, Portuguese writer, Nobel Laureate in Literature 1998).

January 14, 2022 - We got mentioned again in the Lipid Matters blog. This time in a kind of different way, but hey, as we often say, free exposure is always welcome.

January 13, 2022 - "It is not so much that I have confidence in scientists being right, but that I have so much in nonscientists being wrong" (Isaac Asimov, American writer and biochemist). Winter 2022 group meeting schedule here.   

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