Life Lines

Archives for January, 2014

Scientists have identified the origin of a genome for a specific type of transmissible cancer that has spread between dogs beginning 11,000 years ago!

Pigeons on the menu for some catfish

I came across this interesting video today from Animal Wire that shows a population of catfish caught hunting pigeons on land: Who knew that catfish had more in common with cats than just their whiskers.

Fruit flies detect cancer

New research published in Science Reports by Strauch et al., shows that fruit flies can tell the difference between cancerous and healthy cells. The researchers recorded calcium patterns indicative of neuronal activity that was stimulated in response to various odors emitted by healthy and cancerous cells. Because cells with cancer differ metabolically from healthy cells,…

I am very excited to report that the Puerto Rico Physiological Society will be hosting their 4th annual meeting, “Exercise Physiology: From Molecules to Systems” on February 8th. PRPS 2014 Save the Date Last year’s meeting was focused on mitochondria and was a big success. This year’s meeting is shaping up to be similarly successful.

Amazon Prime Air might want to pay attention to this research. Scientists have studied the flight patterns of albatrosses to understand how the animals are able to sustain flight with minimal energy expenditure.

New research provides more evidence of how birds conserve energy by flying in a “V” formation:

Great White Shark Longevity

Scientists have discovered that great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) actually live longer than previously thought (up to 23 years or so). Using radiocarbon age estimates, Dr. Hamady and colleagues at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution determined the animals can live to the ripe-old-age of 70+ years. These findings mean that great white sharks, like humans, may…

The mystery of deformed frogs

Since 1995 deformed frogs have been turning up. Call them the canaries in the coal mine for environmental health. Frogs are showing signs of some kind of stress. So is it a parasite? Pollution? A natural phenomenon? Cannibalism? Fungus? Ultraviolet light? Something in the water? Video from YouTube The tap water data referred to in…

A dog’s compass

Okay, here is something rather interesting that I came across today. Scientists have discovered that dogs will align their bodies with the Earth’s magnetic field before excretion. What is even more amazing is that the scientists actually observed over 5,000 pee breaks and over 1,800 defecations to come to this conclusion. Their findings suggest that…

It should be noted that the theory of dolphins getting “high” off puffer fish is highly controversial as others have mentioned that tetrodotoxin, the neurotoxin released from puffer fish, is famous for causing paralysis making it more of a poison as opposed to a good time. It is reportedly more potent than cyanide. In fact,…