Friday, February 7, 2014

When buying fish

News today: "...a fish with cloudy eyes is an indication that it is well past its prime. Your fish should also have bulging eyes. Eyes that are sunken reveal a dehydrated fish, which means it spent more time on ice than in the water before you made your purchase."

Cloudy eyes = cloudy corneas =  corneal edema = dead endothelium

Yep, not fresh enough for people with more sensitive palate.

Fish covered with ice, not on ice, are rarely dehydrated. Those with sunken eyes probably smell too fishy already, they should be avoided indeed.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

GlassesOff app
A new app called GlassesOff claims to be able to improve your vision, eliminating the need for reading glasses for sufferers of the near universal condition called presbyopia (from the Greek for aging eyes). The condition hits nearly everyone -- an estimated 1.2 billion sufferers are predicted by 2020, according to one study.
Source: here

Friday, January 17, 2014

Google contact lens

Google is developing smart contact lenses that measure the glucose levels in diabetics' tears.

Comment: All contact lenses have the potential of impeding corneal access to air/oxygen. This changes glucose metabolism big time. Also, the tear turnover rate may vary from individual to individual. Much remains to be done before this smart lens becomes practical.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A protein safeguards against cataracts

Storage form (24-mer) and active forms of αB-crystallin which protect against cataract
In 2009, in very close collaboration with Sevil Weinkauf, professor for electron microscopy at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen, the first part of the αB-crystallin puzzle fell into place. The team successfully deciphered the molecular structure of the most important form of this versatile protein – a molecule comprising 24 subunits. Under normal conditions, i.e. when the cell is not exposed to stress, this complex is the most common variant. However, it is merely an idle form that contributes little to the prevention of clumping in other proteins. It was clear that there must be another molecular switch that triggers the protective protein.

It is this trigger mechanism that the team headed by Buchner and Weinkauf uncovered now. When a cell is exposed to stress, for instance when subjected to heat, phosphate groups are attached to a specific region of the protein. The negative charges of these phosphates break the links between the subunits and the large complexes consequently disintegrate into numerous smaller ones of only six or twelve subunits each. As a result of this breakup, the regions at the ends of the complexes become more flexible allowing the molecules to dock up with different partners, thereby preventing them from clumping – the protective protein is now active.

Source: here

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bioflourescence in fish

A new discovery reported on 1/8/2014:

 "...a variety of fish living around coral reefs -- including sharks, rays, eels and lizerdfishes -- that exhibited bioflourescence [under blue light].

"So how do the fish recognize it? Many of them have yellow filters in their eyes, "possibly allowing them to see the otherwise hidden fluorescent displays taking place in the water," a news release from the museum of natural history said.


"...the need for special technology to view what the website called weak fluorescence "casts doubt on the usefulness of the coloration in the fish's dimly lit natural environments."


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Nobel prize in physics 2013

(CNN ) - The Higgs boson, or the "God particle," which was discovered last year, garnered two physicists the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday, but it didn't go to the scientists who detected it.

Nearly 50 years ago, Francois Englert of Belgium and Peter Higgs of the United Kingdom had the foresight to predict that the particle existed.

Now, the octogenarian pair share the Nobel Prize in physics in recognition of a theoretical brilliance that was vindicated by the particle's discovery last year.

Well deserved. Congrats!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

AMD stem cell trial began

World's 1st iPS cell clinical study for regeneration of retina begins

TOKYO — 8/1/2013
The world’s first clinical study using stem cells harvested from a patient’s own body began Thursday. A government committee last month approved proposals for the tests, which will be jointly conducted by the Riken Center for Developmental Biology and the Institute of Biomedical Research and Innovation (IBRI) Hospital in Kobe.

Health Minister Norihisa Tamura signed off on a proposal by two research institutes that will allow them to begin tests aimed at treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common medical condition that causes blindness in older people, using “induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells”.