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August 19, 2019 - Membrane phospholipids or neutral lipids as primary sources of free arachidonic acid for lipid mediator signaling in monocytes? Bet on the former here.

August 13, 2019 - Current Quotation #5: The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

August 9, 2019 - It is great to receive good news from time to time, especially about matters you had almost completely forgotten or had not much confidence that they would work as planned.

August 5, 2019 - We have come to realize that most people ignore the difference between the two ways to designate a fatty acid with double bonds, the omega system and the n–x (n minus x) system. Well, they may look the same, and in practical terms they do not differ much but, truth be told, they do not mean the same. We posted this like five years ago and re-post it again for those with restless ears: n is a magnitude (number of carbons), ω is just a name to designate the last carbon of the chain; n–x is a subtraction, ω-x is not. n–x gives us the position of the last double bond counting from the carboxyl group, which is, incidentally, the proper way to count fatty acid carbons. ω-x indicates, counting from the terminal methyl group or omega end, the carbon at which the first double bond occurs. Let's take arachidonic acid (20:4) as an example: it is an n–6 fatty acid because its last double bond is located at C14 (20 minus 6); it is an ω-6 fatty acid because if we look at the molecule from the terminal methyl group, the first unsaturation occurs at the sixth carbon (which is C15).

July 31, 2019 - Hot off the press: New roles for cytosolic phospholipase A2γ in phospholipid arachidonic acid remodeling, here.

July 29, 2019 - Read in a letter of advice to candidates applying for a research position in some fancy university: "Working efficiently is more expected than working hard, even if one does not exclude the other and vice versa." Ah, those were the times!

July 26, 2019 - Double submission has been defined as "the submission to a journal of a paper that is under concurrent review by another publication." Note that 'concurrent' is the operative word here. Whether this is a dishonest practice or not, depends on who you ask. Some will argue that this is merely a strategy to save time. Publishers will consider it unethical, mostly for possible copyright violations. Whatever the side of the fence one is in, better not tempt the Fates.

July 12, 2019 - Current Quotation #4: "The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of mistreating someone" (Aldous Huxley, English writer and philosopher).

July 5, 2019 - "Monkey see, monkey do" is an expression used, according to the Free Dictionary, to refer to children imitating and copying what they see adults or other children do. Interestingly, some grown-ups in the neighborhood frequently behave the same. Trouble is, they may also be pretty annoying, sometimes even dangerous. Like monkeys with guns, you know.

June 14, 2019 - Sometimes things just do not work out the way they were planned. Usually there is a good reason for it. While the detrimental influence of the "one size fits all" approach currently in place cannot be left aside, doing less than the competition or resting on one's laurels is rarely a good strategy for success.

June 12, 2019 - "A time will come when our descendants will be amazed to find out that we did not know things that are so obvious to them" (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Spanish-Roman philosopher). Summer 2019 group meeting schedule here.

June 5, 2019 - Another palmitoleic acid isomer, the one having the double bound at C10, has been found to possess anti-inflammatory properties, just like the n-9, n-7 and n-10 isomers. This novel n-6 isomer is synthesized by bacteria and accumulates in triacylglycerol. There seems to be a pattern in here...

June 3, 2019 - Lipins, signaling hubs in innate immunity and inflammation, coming soon to your favorite eicosanoid library!

May 22, 2019 - Bilbao is definitely a place for serious mass spec-based lipidomic research. That is one reason why it is always a pleasure to visit the city. Other reasons are the mushrooms, walnuts and chestnuts, the headsets and the husbands... So much to choose from.

May 17, 2019 - There may be ladies who are sure that all that glitters is gold, but in truth it is not what people think, but what they, in their inner self, know. So, when you see some ladies shining white light, do not be too confident that everything will still turn to gold.

May 7, 2019 - Current Quotation #3: "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye?" (Luke 6:41-42). Most definitely, to keep order in our nation no trivial matter it is.

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 library.

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. By the way, that was Current Quotation #2.

April 2, 2019 - Now that the Directorial Quotations are gone for good, it looks like a good idea to bring to life something similar but slightly different: the Current Quotations, yay! Of course, in the same good-spirited manner as always. Here is #1: "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. Yesterday and today

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 here.

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 Research's 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 fortunate ones.

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 acid list.

January 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 year.    .

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 A2 (iPLA2β) 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 here.

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