April 17, 2019 - Science history papers are always so much
fun to read.
Here is the latest one, the history of aspirin, from Sumerian
and Egyptian times to the present.
April 11, 2019 - Formation of FAHFA (fatty acid esters of
hydroxy fatty acids) as a possible protective mechanism to
counteract the pro-apoptotic effects of hydroxy fatty acids
accumulating in cells? Find it in your favorite eicosanoid
April 9, 2019 - The following was said long ago, 21 centuries to
be precise, by Pompeius Trogus, Gallo-Roman historian:
"Spaniards are fierce and very brave, but with a big flaw; when they
do not have an external enemy against whom to fight, they pass time
fighting each other." It is remarkable that after so many years, we are
still in the exact same place.
April 2, 2019 - Between the inappropriateness of disrespecting our
foe and the indignity of smiling at him, there is a fair
middle ground: to ignore him. Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio died on a
Monday and in Madrid.
April 1, 2019 - Inspiring advice from another of the
lipid giants of our era: Bill Smith's
Reflections in JBC. Among the many pearls of wisdom contained in
the article, we selected this: "I (Bill Smith, graduate student) was
showing him (Bill Lands, thesis advisor) some data that I had been
too lazy to interpret. He listened briefly, gave me a disdainful
look, and then walked away without saying anything. He was actually
'saying' that it was time for me to grow up and take charge of my
project. And I did."
March 21, 2019 - Spring alters the blood (it sounds so
much better in Spanish). Four years ago, the good guys at DiabetesFede featured our work in their magazine. They did it again
and.. well, you read it. We may well be the only group affiliated to
CIBERDEM that has been interviewed twice by the magazine.
March 18, 2019 - "Nature is trying to tell us something. In
fact, she's screaming in our ears. If we would only listen" (John
A. Glomset, American biochemist). Spring 2019 group meeting schedule
March 14, 2019 - Looking back at the not so distant past, it
fills us with pride and satisfaction to declare how lovely it is
when a plan finally comes together.
March 11, 2019 - Interesting if somewhat smelly fact: dead
cockroaches give off a blend of various fatty acids, primarily oleic and linoleic, the
odor of which warns other fellow roaches roaming
around that they may be entering a danger zone. Similarly, the smell
of oleic acid allows ants to recognize a dead comrade ready to be
carried to the ant cemetery.
March 6, 2019 - In science, as in real life, not everything has
a solution. It is a mistake to try to find solutions for everything,
because old dogs are not willing to learn new tricks, that is clear.
February 28, 2019 - To consider is to think carefully about
(something), typically before making a decision. To reconsider is to
consider (something) again, especially for a possible change of
decision regarding it. No examples of the former word yet at hand,
so here is one of the latter: "I guess you've changed your mind. Why
don't you reconsider baby, give yourself just a little more time."
Elvis always delivers.
February 25, 2019 - A very recent
report in the vanity journal par excellence, Nature, describes
that cancer cells and related cell lines exhibit elevated levels of
the unusual fatty acid sapienic acid (6-cis-hexadecenoic
acid, 16:1n-10). Doesn't it sound quite similar to what was reported
in here about a year ago?
Great minds surely think alike.
February 22, 2019 - From the Journal of Lipid
Editorial Policy: "Acquisition of funding, collection of data,
or general supervision of the research group alone does not
constitute authorship." Fine, but as the old proverb goes, love
means deeds, not sweet reasons.
February 15, 2019 - Some folks like to lie to themselves and say
that we were born silver spoon in hand, but it ain't us, we ain't no
fortunate sons. We just did a few things the right way, and thus
have fine good people doing things the right way,
mass spec for example. No matter what
they say, it ain't us, we ain't no millionaire's sons, we ain't no
February 4, 2019 - Caproic (6:0), caprylic (8:0) and capric
(10:0) are medium chain fatty acids found at relatively high
quantities in goat milk (capra means goat in Latin). Although their
smell is rather unpleasant, their esters are commonly used in
perfumery and for artificial flavoring, which is quite ironic.
Caprylic acid in particular may also have some anti-inflammatory
effects but this needs further thorough investigation. For quick
reference, here is our old nice fatty
29, 2019 - The clot scandal that has recently spread across the
national newspapers teaches us once again that the thing that
matters the least in the world of science is precisely science.
January 22, 2019 - At the definitive end of the road, it is good
to keep in mind that staying away in silence is not at all an act of
cowardice. Many times it is rather the most courageous thing one can
do to protect the inner light within.
January 21, 2019 - The official 2019 Group Picture of the
Eicosanoid Research Division can be found
here. No one missed it this
January 9, 2019 - It was fun while it lasted. A burden
sometimes, we admit, but in many cases an enjoyable and worthwhile
experience if only for the looks of thrill and delight on the faces
of a few of the teenagers.
January 8, 2019 - In the Feb 22 issue of Nature Communications,
the crystal structure of group VIA calcium-independent phospholipase
was at long last revealed. Although some of the statements made in
the paper are extremely debatable, this work clearly constitutes a
breakthrough in the field, and will likely help develop new concepts
on enzyme catalysis and inhibitor design. This is the article we
have distinguished as Paper of the Year 2018.
January 4, 2019 - "Rich countries are rich because they dedicate
money to scientific and technological development, and poor
countries remain poor because they do not. Science is not expensive,
what is expensive is ignorance" (Bernardo Houssay, Argentine
physiologist, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine 1947). Winter 2019 group meeting schedule