Histamine and neurotransmitters

Increased levels of Histamine will allow neurotransmitter proteins to pass through the blood brain barrier by opening the capillaries for white blood cells and proteins; therefore, allowing the proteins to diffuse into the brain allowing for exponential change in human activity based on the synthetic proteins/transmitters consumed.


Why don’t we call them alligator pears?! That’s so much better.
Dictionary.com

Why don’t we call them alligator pears?! That’s so much better.

Dictionary.com


Well, I started grad school on Monday. In honor of all the mini breaks I’ll need to take, and all of the new things I’m learning, I’m going to revive the science blag! Yay! My goal is one per day. Thanks for sticking around through my go-wild-summer-hiatus.  (: 


I failed at the internet. 

I failed at the internet. 


How Owls Turn Heads

A mystery of the animal kingdom: How do owls turn their heads 270 degrees without damaging their blood vessels?

Read more and see the video here.


whydontyouwriteaboutitinyourblag:

Me attempting competition.

I made my first .gif! And put it on my other blag!

whydontyouwriteaboutitinyourblag:

Me attempting competition.

I made my first .gif! And put it on my other blag!


The Best Narcotic

image

Cheese is high in casein, or dairy protein. Usually when proteins are digested, amino acids come apart one by one, but casein behaves differently. It breaks into short strings of amino acids, which are biologically active compounds that have a mild narcotic action. For this reason, they are called casomorphins; casein-derived, morphine-like compounds. Some scientists believe that casomorphins are responsible for the strong attraction that people have to cheese, and why it is so hard to give up eating it. There is still much to be discovered on this topic.

Source page 129; Cheese photo credit


People always praise Nokia, but have you ever tried to smash one of these into some yogurt? 

People always praise Nokia, but have you ever tried to smash one of these into some yogurt? 


A friend of mine moved to California recently, and it came to my attention that everyone there is being silly. Here is my soapbox. 

Let’s begin simply by saying trying to label food as “genetically modified” is ridiculous, and frankly stupid. Everything that we eat now is genetically modified. Many historians define the beginning of “civilization” as developing means for agriculture, and with this definition, we have been genetically modifying food since the beginning of civilization. For example, ancient peoples would pick grains that gave the best yields in a given soil type, climate, etc. or even the ones with better taste. This selects which ones were eaten, and which ones survived to this day.

But that was so long ago, right? Nope. We do it today, too. Behold the wild banana and strawberry above with their “organic” descendants. Perhaps most extreme of all is corn, where the currently accepted ancestor is teosinte. Modern corn is so modified that it can’t spread its own seeds. The seeds are in paired rows and stay attached to the cob at maturity. If a cob falls, the seeds germinate in the same spot, and competition kills them all. The corn we eat is fully dependent on humans for cultivation. Read more here and here.

Please understand that I’m not attacking organic farming. Pesticides can be damn frightening (especially with my passion for entomology). What I find ridiculous is the uneducated GMO hype and subsequent panic. That said, don’t even get me started on this:

arf

Picture Sources: Soapbox No GMO Wild Banana "Organic" Banana Wild Strawberry "Organic" Strawberry Teosinte Modern Corn Chiwawa 


Vampire Penguins

I had intended this to be funny, but as I looked more into it, all I found at first was Christian nonsense. So I’ll just start out by saying: Congratulations religious folk, you have completely missed the point. I hope you’ll trust science over your religious leaders for this one.

Back to business.

Radiocarbon dating uses the half-life of carbon-14 to determine the approximate age of biological artifacts. When it comes to marine organisms, however, it often fails dismally. For example, living penguins have been dated 8,000 years old.

Penguin

This is only half of the story I’m about to tell you, but this small fact has been one of the things creationists cling to in order to completely discredit radiocarbon dating as a scientific technique.

Now for some (real) science.

Radiocarbon dating only works if the organism has gotten its carbon (in the form of CO2) from the atmosphere. This of course rules out marine and other aquatic organisms, where CO2 comes from dissolved carbonate rocks. The carbon from the rock is much older than the carbon in the atmosphere, and hasn’t had a chance to mix with the younger carbon sources to replenish the levels of 14C. This means that a living penguin may have a radiocarbon date of 8,000 years, proving this technique is situationally unreliable, but no such phenomenon occurs when dating wood. The error extends to organisms that incorporate marine life as part of their diet, as well.

The National Center for Science Education has a wonderful webpage addressing this issue.

I would also like to mention that vampirepenguins.com is a real thing, and I thank them for the above picture. 


I just set a basket down on the side of a bookshelf. Skyrim has quit physics.
(No it’s not stuck between the shelf and the wall.)

I just set a basket down on the side of a bookshelf. Skyrim has quit physics.

(No it’s not stuck between the shelf and the wall.)


Pain in the ass

I am reading some interpretations of Strabo's writing, and this popped up in a section that is not at all related to my paper…. but the index entry was “buttocks, diseased,” and I had to look. For scientific purposes of course.

"Then comes Pygela, a small town, with a temple of Artemis Munychia, founded by Agamemnon and inhabited by a part of his troops’ for it is said that some of his soldiers became afflicted with a disease of the buttocks and were called ‘diseased-buttocks’, and that, being afflicted with this disease, they stayed there and that place thus received this appropriate name."

Pygela is 3 km north of today’s tourist resort of Kusadasi and although Agamemnon’s soldiers apparently regarded a posting to Pygela as a pain in the ass, we cannot fail to be impressed by Strabo’s mastery of detail….

Excerpt from: Odysseus Unbound: The search for Homer’s Ithica
Robert Bittlestone, 2005 


The Hot Word- A personal favorite blag

Whom is a pronoun that refers to a person not present in the conversation. Technically,‘whom’ is the objective-case pronoun of the subjective-case pronoun ‘who,’ where ’whom’refers to the object of a sentence and ‘who’ refers to the subject. It’s the difference between the accusative form, ‘whom’ and the nominative form, ‘who.’

Read more here.


SLENDERCLOWN
So I saw this in the mall today…

SLENDERCLOWN

So I saw this in the mall today…


Ever feel like you’re in the wrong place?
(Crap I meant to put this up months ago.)

Ever feel like you’re in the wrong place?

(Crap I meant to put this up months ago.)