Daily Archives: April 23, 2012

“Your Inner Neandertal”

Keynote talk by multimedia artist Lynn Fellman for Minneapolis DNA Days

Do you know why some people are 1 to 4% Neandertal? Lynn Fellman explains how your Uncle Ned and maybe you have an “Inner Neander” during her art and science talk on April 28th. The presentation is one of many talks at Twin City libraries to celebrate National DNA Days.

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“Your Inner Neandertal” is a 30 minute presentation showing how art can uniquely express science concepts and why some of us may find a little “Neander” in our genes. With examples from “At the Crossroads” video and DNA Portrait traveling show, Fellman explains how some genes may be a surprising and generous gift from our ancient and now extinct cousins.

Saturday, April 28th at 11 am
Minneapolis Downtown Hennepin Library
This keynote talk for Minneapolis DNA Days is free and open to the public. Please register (go here).
For more information, parking and directions (go here).

More DNA Days events at area libraries will cover topics like genetic testing and screening, capturing family health history and tools for collecting the information.

Illuminating Human Gene Stories through art, design and narrative
Lynn Fellman multimedia artist FellmanStudio.com

Did you hear that big giant meteor?

Who says that if you scream in space no one will hear you?

A rare daytime meteor was seen and heard streaking over northern Nevada and parts of California on Sunday, just after the peak of an annual meteor shower.

Observers in the Reno-Sparks area of Nevada reported seeing a fireball at about 8 a.m. local time, accompanied or followed by a thunderous clap that experts said could have been a sonic boom from the meteor or the sound of it breaking up high over the Earth.

source

Here’s an animation:
Continue reading Did you hear that big giant meteor?

Primary Cilia Connect

Here is a press release from BioMed Central that is just so interesting I had to give it to you as it is without delay:

Connecting cilia: cellular antennae help cells stick together

Primary cilia are hair-like structures which protrude from almost all mammalian cells. They are thought to be sensory and involved in sampling the cell’s environment. New research, published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Cilia, launched today, shows that cilia on cells in the retina and liver are able to make stable connections with each other – indicating that cilia not only are able to sense their environment but are also involved in cell communication.

Primary cilia are structurally and functionally very similar to eukaryotic flagella (motile tails used to propel microorganisms). For many decades it was thought that cilia on human cells were primarily for movement, for example, cilia on respiratory cells drive mucous up and out of the airways by beating together, however it is now believed that they are also ‘cellular antennae’ – important for cell to cell communication.

In order to find out how these cilia could physically communicate Carolyn Ott and Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, examined primary cilia from the retina, bile duct and in cultured cells. In all cases, cilia between nearby cells formed long-lasting contacts with each other, something that has never been observed before. The adhesions between cilia lasted hours or days and were dependent on interactions between glycoproteins (proteins with a sugar molecule attached).

Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz explained, “A number of human genetic diseases, including Bardet-Biedl syndrome, nephronophthisis, Joubert, and Meckel-Gruber syndrome, are due to defects in ciliary trafficking and signaling. Our study suggests that cilia are active transmitters and seek out neighboring cells to communicate with. These newly discovered cilia-cilia contacts may be disrupted in ciliopathies, an intriguing possibility that requires further investigation.”

The findings are published in Cilia, a new Open Access journal from BioMed Central. Cilia is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes high quality basic and translational research on the biology of cilia and diseases associated with ciliary dysfunction. Research approaches include cell and developmental biology, use of model organisms, and human and molecular genetics.

Reference: Primary cilia utilize glycoprotein-dependent adhesion mechanisms to stabilize long-lasting cilia-cilia contacts. Carolyn M Ott, Natalie Elia, Suh Young Jeong, Christine Insinna, Prabuddha Sengupta and Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz. Cilia (in press)

A Spoon Full of Ugandan War Lord, and Kitty Kats

You know about the Minneapolis Spoon if for no other reason than you read Biodork who uses it as a symbol in her blog’s motif. Last night someone gratified the spoon with the word Kony:

And now, the Kitty Kats …

(Sorry, I was going to put the second video in this blog post but something about the first video made embedding any second video impossible. Thank you for the upgrade WordPress and WCCO!)