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 get great things out of 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 its course or to subdue her courage. In other words, we
have been again very successful 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, US President).
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
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 activated 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 Nov 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