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Smart Mrs Dragonfly

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In order to avoid males of the species bothering them for sex, female dragonflies fake their own deaths, falling from the sky and lying motionless on the ground until the suitor goes away.

 

aeshna-juncea

A study by Rassim Khelifa, a zoologist from the University of Zurich is the first time scientists have seen odonates feign death as a tactic to avoid mating, and a rare instance of animals faking their own deaths for this purpose. Odonates is the order of carnivorous insects that includes dragonflies and damselflies.

But you can read the article here – http://www.newsweek.com/female-dragon-flies-fake-death-avoid-sex-evolution-591494

Reminds me of :-

Thought from the Greatest Living Scottish Thinker–Billy Connolly.  “If women are so bloody perfect at multitasking, How come they can’t have a headache and sex at the same time?”
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Fighting Cancer – new perspectives

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I have just lost a friend so this is of interest to me.

James P. Allison is the chairman of the immunology department at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. His seminal research opened up a new field in cancer treatment: immunotherapy. Instead of poisoning a tumor or destroying it with radiation, Dr. Allison has pioneered ways to unleash the immune system to destroy a cancer.

Two years ago, Science magazine anointed immunotherapy as the “Breakthrough of the Year.” More recently, Dr. Allison, 66, won the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, often a precursor to a Nobel.

Something from the interview… on a different note if you will excuse the pun.

On a less serious subject, is it true you once sang with Willie Nelson?

Only once. I was a postdoc in La Jolla, Calif., and I had this little band that played local bars. He came by and we sang “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.” Seeing someone survive cancer because of something I’ve been part of is about as good it gets. But at that time, singing with Willie was big.

James Allison

James P. Allison in his laboratory in Houston. He discovered an alternative to using radiation to fight cancer, finding a way to set T-cells loose on the disease. CreditScott Dalton for The New York Times

***********************

Here  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/03/science/arming-the-immune-system-against-cancer.html?_r=0  you can find an interview with Dr Allison on getting the body’s t-Cells to do the work. This is probably the way to go in the future.

This is probably becoming the focus now because here is another article http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-03-human-leukemia-cells-harmless-immune.html on new directions in treatment of cancer (with a difference to the one above)..

Majeti and his colleagues have some reason to hope that when the cancer cells become macrophages they will not only be neutralized, but may actually assist in fighting the cancer. Like a bloodhound owner who gives the dog a sniff of an object that was associated with the person or animal he wants to track, macrophage cellspresent recognizable bits of abnormal cells to other immune cells so that they can launch an attack. “Because the macrophage cells came from the cancer cells, they will already carry with them the chemical signals that will identify the cancer cells, making an immune attack against the cancer more likely,” Majeti said.

This is murder

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With reference to my previous (re)blog of the girl who died from cancer after following a quack cure I have come across this story here

It is about time that these quacks are removed from society. For good!

A controversial herbal “healer” and naturopath is under fire after the death of a teen girl he was treating for leukemia using a strict vegan diet and herbal supplements.

The Canadian Broadcasting Company reported on the death of the teen girl, who was from one of Ontario, Canada’s aboriginal First Nation tribes. Another teen girl from the same community is still in the care of Brian Clement, who Florida officials have ordered to stop practicing medicine and calling himself a doctor.

Clement operates the Hippocrates Institute, a spa-cum-clinic in Orlando, Florida where patients with serious diseases have been treated with what the state of Florida is calling “unproven and possibly dangerous therapies.”

Clement urges his patients to forego conventional medicine like chemotherapy in favor of veganism, supplements, juices and a raw diet.

Makayla Sault was 11 years old last July when she left chemotherapy in Hamilton, Ontario, to attend the Hippocrates Institute, which is licensed in Florida as a massage parlor. The girl died in January. The Ontario coroner’s office is investigating.

In the meantime, however, Clement has been ordered to cease and desist in calling himself a doctor — he is licensed only as a nutritionist, not a medical doctor — and to stop providing medical care to patients. The state issued their orders, along with a $3,738 fine, to Clement on Feb. 10. He was given 30 days to respond. He is facing possible felony charges of practicing medicine without a license.

 

Exciting Times!

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Exciting times! Indeed.

European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission successfully placed a small spacecraft on the surface of a speeding comet on Wednesday. Now maybe we will find out of comets filled the oceans of the Earth! Maybe we could find out of organic material exists on comets which could mean life was seeded from outer space.

But of course this news is not for the faint hearted, creationists and conspiracy theorists.

For scientists, one of the central mysteries that Rosetta will explore is whether Earth’s oceans are filled with melted comets.

Since the rocky bits that came together to form the planet were dry, water has to have come from somewhere else. One possibility is that comets slamming into the Earthearly on seeded it with water. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/13/science/space/european-space-agencys-spacecraft-lands-on-comets-surface.html

And how big exactly is Rosetta’s comet? Compared to Los Angeles very big.

Rosetta

 

http://www.iflscience.com/space/graphic-shows-size-rosettas-comet

Is there a ghost in the House?

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Is there a ghost in the house!

Why O! Why in this day and age are there zillions of people so gullible that they believe in psychics and ghosts?

Is it due to Conmen? One who gains the trust, or “confidence”, of his victims (often called marks) in order to manipulate, steal from, or otherwise predate upon them.

Or is it just plain stupidity?

Or maybe both?

Interesting article about James Randi in the New York Times. Now as you  probably know Randi has a million dollar challenge to anybody who can prove supernatural… and up to now nobody has been able to claim the prize!!! A million dollars, I could do with a million dollars!

And the likes of John Edwards did not even go there: Surprise! surprise!

But here is a link to the Randi article (and of course Uri Geller who has been calles a psychopath also figures). http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/09/magazine/the-unbelievable-skepticism-of-the-amazing-randi.html?_r=0

Love the last paragraph

 

In July last year, Randi came closer than ever to the end. He was hospitalized with aneurysms in his legs and needed surgery. Before the procedure began, the surgeon showed Peña scans of Randi’s circulatory system. “Very challenging, a very difficult situation,” the surgeon told him. “But he lived a good life.” The operation was supposed to take two hours, but it stretched to six and a half.

When Randi began to come to, heavily dosed with painkillers, he looked about him in confusion. There were nurses speaking in hushed voices. He began hallucinating. He was convinced that he was behind the curtain before a show and that the whispering he could hear was the audience coming in. The theater was full; he had to get onstage. He tried to look at his watch, but he found he didn’t have it on. He began to panic. When the hallucinations became intensely visual, Peña brought a pen and paper to the bedside. It could prove an important exercise in skeptical inquiry to record what Randi saw as he emerged from a state so close to death, one in which so many people sincerely believed they had glimpsed the other side. Randi scribbled away; his observations, Peña thought, might eventually make a great essay. Later, when the opiates and the anaesthetic wore off, Randi looked at the notes he had written.

They were indecipherable.

 

 

And then of course an interesting experiment. You can see ghosts if you really want to! Here is how!

ghosts

http://io9.com/test-subjects-made-to-see-ghosts-in-disturbing-lab-ex-1655906924

 

On a happier Subject!

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Stem cells?

Parkinson’s Disease breakthrough!

This is for the near future! 5 Years?

neurons

Basically the disease is caused by the loss of nerve cells in the brain that produce the chemical dopamine ,which helps to control mood and movement.

Now according to an article on BBC and I quote To simulate Parkinson’s, Lund University researchers killed dopamine-producing neurons on one side of the rats’ brains.

They then converted human embryonic stem cells into neurons that produced dopamine.

These were injected into the rats’ brains, and the researchers found evidence that the damage was reversed.

There have been no human clinical trials of stem-cell-derived neurons, but the researchers said they could be ready for testing by 2017.

Malin Parmar, associate professor of developmental and regenerative neurobiology, said: “It’s a huge breakthrough in the field [and] a stepping stone towards clinical trials.”

A similar method has been tried in a limited number of patients.

It involved taking brain tissue from multiple aborted foetuses to heal the brain.

Clinical trials were abandoned after mixed results, but about a third of the patients had foetal brain cells that functioned for 25 years.

You can read more here http://www.healthcanal.com/medical-breakthroughs/57115-stem-cell-transplants-for-parkinson%E2%80%99s-disease-edging-closer.html

And

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Plymouth-breakthrough-study-Parkinson-s-disease/story-24181860-detail/story.html

I like this if I can believe this…

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read it here http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29701768

As I discovered in last week’s episode of Trust Me I’m a Doctor, cooking starchy foods and then cooling them down changes their structure, so they become more resistant to the enzymes in our gut that break carbohydrates down.

So if you eat cold pasta your body will absorb fewer calories, making this a dieter’s dream.

What’s even more surprising is that if you take cold pasta and reheat it, then it becomes even more “resistant”, producing a 50% lower rise in blood glucose than fresh pasta.

( And b t w here is something interesting to ponder on …http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/11/nyregion/just-what-killed-the-diet-doctor-and-what-keeps-the-issue-alive.html )

So I am going to try it out tonight see – this reheated pasta thing.

Cook the pasta, cool it, make my very special tomato sauce with lots of chili and garlic (don’t come close tomorrow) and halumi cheese….with a  salad!

 

And so I harm no animal!

I often wonder if we have the right to kill an animal.

 

animal testing

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