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..News
 

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 nightmare.

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 cookie jar.

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 responses here and here. Not that this was unexpected, but time for soda and popcorn anyway.

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, American writer).

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 here.

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 eicosanoid library!

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 indeed.

August 1, 2018 - Contrary to our initial skepticism, commercial fish oil supplements seem to accurately contain 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 around today.

July 12, 2018 - More good news coming hot off the press: regulatory roles of ethanolamine plasmalogens in macrophage phagocytosis, here.

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 stand!

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 macrophage-like cells.

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 here.

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 wolf.

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... 1874!

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 here.

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 playwright).

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 inspiration).

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 free exposure.

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 in 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" in the 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, here.

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 nice 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 response.

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 to you.

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 allergic reactions.    .

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 here.

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