Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

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Archive for April 2017

Experimental Biology – Day 1

  Day 1 of the meeting was as inspiring as usual. The Porter Fellow Reunion Reception took place this evening. This 50 year-old program is designed to support trainees as they conduct research projects in physiology and learn to become independent researchers. It was amazing to see so many past and present fellows and to hear about their accomplishments since receiving the award. Following the Porter reception, I moseyed on over to the Walter B. Cannon memorial lecture. […]

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Synthetic peptide inspired by Komodo dragon blood speeds wound healing

  Researchers at George Mason University have created a synthetic version of a peptide found in the blood of Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis). They dubbed the synthetic peptide DRGN-1. Living up to its name, DRGN-1 proved to be pretty tough against microbes (Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus) as well as biofilms. Bacteria stick together to create biofilms that attach to surfaces and help to protect themselves during an infection. Even infected wounds healed faster when they were treated […]

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Obese rhesus monkeys develop diabetes too

  A new study published in American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism shows that rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) who spontaneously develop obesity with aging are prone to insulin resistance and diabetes, similar to humans. The major goal of insulin is to lower blood sugar after eating a meal. In line with this goal, muscles respond to insulin by taking up large amounts of the sugar. Similarly, insulin blocks the breakdown of […]

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