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Posted by bio_man   January 8, 2019   1918 views
The Mexican tetra (Astyanax mexicanus) is a blind, freshwater cave fish native to central and eastern parts of Mexico. Growing to a maximum total length of 12 cm (4.7 in), this species is notable for having no eyes or pigment; it has a pinkish-white color to its body (resembling an albino).

The Mexican tetra spends most of its time in midlevel water above the rocky and sandy bottoms of pools and backwaters of creeks and rivers of its native environment. Coming from a subtropical climate, it prefers water with 6.5–8 pH and a temperature range of 20 to 25 °C (68 to 77 °F). In the winter, some populations migrates to warmer waters. Its natural diet consists of crustaceans, insects, and annelids.

Given their peaceful nature, this species is popu [ ... ]

Fish Mexico Blind Fish
Posted in Interesting Facts
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Posted by bio_man   January 2, 2019   1498 views
Genes that help control inflammation leads to longer lifespans for humans and other species, and more of these genes a species has, the longer it can live.

Genes encoding some inflammation-dampening molecules are more numerous in longer-lived species, such as humans, than in short-lived animals such as mice. The genes produce proteins known as CD33-related Siglecs. Siglecs are proteins that recognize different versions of sialic acid – sugars that are found at all cell surfaces of vertebrates and some invertebrates.

By distinguishing between different versions of sialic acid, the proteins help the immune system decide which cells are normal residents of the body and which are intruders. In addition, the proteins soothe inflammation in the aft [ ... ]

longevity sialic acid inflammation
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Posted by bio_man   January 2, 2019   1476 views

Teenagers are known for making impulsive choices and decisions. Studies of the adult brain show that risk-taking among teenagers can be narrowed down to the "feel-good" hormone dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers, as well as helping to regulate movement and emotional responses, see rewards and take action to move toward them.

When it comes to adolescents, neurons sensitive to dopamine are activated less when looking at the prospect of a reward compared to adults. Tests conducted on rats show that adult rats appear to obtain a small dopamine rush from simply anticipating a reward, while adolescent rats do not exhibit the same level of dopamine-based satisfaction. In terms of hum [ ... ]

Dopamine Teenagers Behavior Risk and Reward Rats Study
Posted in Research
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Posted on Mar 1, 2019 by cloveb
Posted by bio_man   December 31, 2018   1045 views

To produce cellular energy, nearly all multicellular organisms use a series of highly specialized proteins embedded in the inner member of the mitochondria to transport and pump electrons, collectively known as the electron transport chain. A new study has revealed that this is not the case in European mistletoes, the traditional Christmas ornament hung to give someone a kiss underneath it.

After sequencing the organism's genome, researchers couldn't find any mitochondrial genes for coding the protein subunits that make up the electron transport chain’s first station, called complex I. To find out which parts of the assembly line machinery had disappeared, researchers extracted proteins from mitochondria in the mistletoe's leaves and compar [ ... ]

Mitochondria Evolution ATP Synthesis Christmas
Posted in Research
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Posted by bio_man   December 30, 2018   1141 views

In a recent study, scientists delivered a molecule called FKBP1b into the central memory station found in the brain of aging rats. Upon administrating the molecule, hundreds of formally active genes were reactivated, in a pattern that closely resembles those of younger, more mentally agile rats than aged ones. As a result, the rats showed enhanced learning and appeared to reverse memory shortfalls when tackling a maze. These findings suggest that the mental rustiness which accompanies aging happens because the amount of this one molecule goes down; a follow up study is currently in the works to see why that is.

[ ... ]

Aging Rats Study Cognition Brain Memory
Posted in Research
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