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A new study published in Science is showing that adipocytes, or fat cells, are able to produce large amounts of cathelicidin antimicrobial peptides (CAMP) which can kill Staphylococcus aureus and, potentially, other microbial pathogens. Of course, the concept of the humble fat cell producing peptides is not new. We have known for decades now that they produce adipokines to help with signalling, and play a role in the chronic inflammation observed in individuals with metabolic syndrome.
This new study, however, sheds further light on how adipocytes play a role in immunomodulation, particularly upon first breach of skin and in eczema management. This study also provides new avenues for drugs used to manage diabetes as obesity and insulin resistance can reduce CAMP production, leading to frequent infections.
Read more here and here.
For the less craft-inclined at Easter…
” The Eggbot is an open-source art robot that can draw on spherical or egg-shaped objects from the size of a ping pong ball size to that of a small grapefruit– roughly 1.25 to 4.25 inches in diameter (4 – 10 cm). Super adjustable; designed to draw on all kinds of things that are normally “impossible” to print on. Not just eggs but golf balls, light bulbs, mini pumpkins, and even things like wine glasses– with a bit of work. ”
Read more at the Eggbot Project.
Edit: Found this old post collecting dust in my archives so I thought I would publish it despite being written 2 years ago since I haven’t updated this website for awhile.
The Great Ape Trust of Iowa are finding that primates have a more flexible audio repertoire than previously believed. On the other side of the world, Japan found a way to show that Bengal finches get excited over grammatical syntax. Yet neither of these have caused as much a stir in me as the Lyre Bird.
Sometimes the things you see on the Flintsones are not so far away from the truth!
Goin’ retro tomorrow for Earth Hour 2014. Woot!
Hepatitis C Virus Maintains Infectivity for Weeks After Drying on Inanimate Surfaces at Room Temperature: Implications for Risks of Transmission.
Elijah Paintsil, Mawuena Binka, Amisha Patel, Brett D. Lindenbach, and Robert Heimer
J Infect Dis 2014 209: 1205-1211
Read abstract here.